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Last month’s theme, “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice,” brought in a variety of photos, from holiday theme shots to the sweet loved ones in people’s lives. November’s winner, rainyday, was our guest judge this time around. See what she had to say about her first-place pick below… ** First Place goes to CharmedImpressions for “Holiday Fairy” ** Second Place goes to rabbitt98 for “Colorful Christmas Cutout Cookies” ** Third Place goes to Denise Potrzeba Lett for “Sweet Treats and Smiles” ** Honorable Mention goes to solange for “sweet girl of mine” FIRST PLACE — HOLIDAY FAIRY “I chose “Holiday Fairy” for first place because I feel it has good composition and focus and fits the theme perfectly.” I agree: it’s a sweet expression on a lovely little girl playing dress up. I really like the different perspective this photographer took and especially the shallow depth of field with the focus being placed right on her face and eyes. The lighting works great here. SECOND PLACE — COLORFUL CHRISTMAS CUTOUT COOKIES This is a nice, bright, colorful shot that certainly sings holiday sweets. The thing that makes this shot stand out for me is the attention to detail. Notice in the reflection on the ornaments, it’s not the photographer you see, but a reflection of Santa Claus… very clever indeed. Remove the edge blur (it’s too soft for stock standards) and I could see this being a good stock shot THIRD PLACE — SWEET TREATS AND SMILES What a nice lifestyle shot. I don’t know for certain that it’s a candid shot, but it has that great “real life” quality to it. Nice composition with the framing of the doorway and the staggering of the people in it. Fantastic expressions. The faces might be a bit too centered in the frame but I understand the choice the photographer made and would likely have done the same thing myself. HONORABLE MENTION — SWEET GIRL OF MINE I love this wintery lifestyle portrait. Good composition, though there’s one minor clip of the hood at the top. It would be nice to see the full round of the hood with a tiny bit of breathing room. Her eyes are in a perfect spot on the rule of thirds grid. If you look closely, you can even see a few snowflakes coming down. I love the warmth of her face and smile among the cool chill of the winter weather. Congratulations to each of our winners!! [ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelly Perry from Portland, Oregon, specializes in people photography, what she calls documentary or lifestyle portraits. She is known especially for her imaging of children. Shelly’s concern for people is reflected both in her sense of purpose and the images she produces. Her images have been seen all over the globe on music CD covers, books, magazines, catalogues, websites, ad campaigns and even on TV. Her work has also appeared in several local exhibits and gallery shows. Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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