"... For over forty years I have been photographing on and off. But, since I retired a few years ago, I devote most my time to photography including teaching workshops. I also judge and critique work for groups. So, when I say that I was very much moved by your work - the praise comes from someone with a very critical eye. If I was judging, I would have given you first place. However, and I am sure you know, judging is highly subjective. As I write this on one monitor, I am looking at your work on the other monitor. You are by far the best photographer in your field. Your work goes far beyond the literal look of most rodeo photography - it captures the power, motion, intensity, color and feel of the sport. Your work is truly inspirational...."
I was floored. The fact that Larry took the time to write says alot about him and the power of his words is enormous. I so much appreciate that he understands, admires and validates what I do. So much so that it makes me want to work even harder. I didn't win first place, in fact I only earned an Honorable Mention, but in my mind, this email was much better. I will never forget Larry and others like him, even if I never meet him. I will also remember to keep with the spirit and always pay it forward! Thank you, Larry.