And the Winner Is!

The photographer holding the giveaway photo

Me holding the giveaway print

Congratulations to Greg F. for winning the March print giveaway contest!

I hope everyone is doing okay and not getting over-anxious about this virus.

I do think we need to take it seriously.

I'm self-quarantining and not taking on any outside photo gigs right now, though that's not a problem because everything seems to be grinding to a halt! 

I had an inquiry Friday and now everything's gone silent. I'm very grateful for my part-time remote writing job.

This too shall pass - sooner rather than later, I hope.

I want to tell you about my process for picking a print winner.

I did some research on this because I wanted a fair process.

I download all the contest entries from my website into a Google Sheet which is random - I have no idea how the website generates the export report.

If anyone qualifies for extra entries based on the instructions I sent in my newsletter, I add the extra entries onto the spreadsheet. 

After that, I use a random number generator to pick a number. Then I look at the spreadsheet to see who's name corresponds with the number, and that person is the winner. 

I have a lot of friends and family members signed up for my newsletter. If the winner is a family member or close friend, I use the number generator to pick another number. 

Here's why it was so fun for me that Greg won, and why I believe there are things at work in the Universe that are bigger than we are. 

Greg is a musician.

I knew who he was because he played guitar at the church I attended in Peachtree City when we lived there over five years ago.

I had never met him.

My sister sometimes sang in his group when they played at church.

After I got divorced and moved to Atlanta is when I got serious about my photography, and I opened an Instagram account.

Greg came across my account by chance, liked my work, and started following me. He was one of my earliest followers and a big supporter.

He often left nice comments about my work but he didn't know who I was.

His IG handle has his first and last name and the word "music," but I never knew his last name and didn't make the connection.  

It must have been a couple of years after he started following me that he was talking to my sister (JoJo) and my name came up.

I don't remember the whole story and I'm probably getting parts wrong, but Greg suddenly made the connection that the photographer he was following on IG was JoJo's sister!

My sister told me about it, and I finally made the connection too. 

Small world, right?

In December of 2018, my sister had a calendar release party for me at her house in Peachtree City.

She invited Greg.

He was running late, and I was bummed he wouldn't make it because I wanted to meet him. He was such a kind supporter of my work. 

He managed to make it as we were closing up and putting things away. I had a few prints with me, and Greg bought one that he'd been eyeing for a while. 

So, I have met Greg, though can't really say that I know him.

When the random number ended up being him, I almost thought I should do it again since I've met him.

Then I realized that wouldn't be right because he won fair and square, and I've only met him once. It doesn't bend my rule of no family members or close friends winning. 

He was obviously meant to win the print.

Congrats again, Greg, and thanks for being such a strong supporter of my work!

If you didn't win, guess what? There's going to be more opportunities coming up.

Times are tough all around right now. This virus is devastating in so many ways. 

I think it's important to have some beauty in your life to keep your spirits up. 

So, the giveaway continues with another print giveaway contest in April. 

Also, if you're interested in purchasing a print right now, please use the coupon code March25 on checkout for a 25%-off discount on your order. This is a quick flash sale. The coupon is good through Sunday, March 22nd at midnight. 

Take care and stay healthy, and...see you between the raindrops!