Here is the winning photo for Alien Skin’s February Photo of the Month contest. The photo-sharing theme was unexpected. Congratulations to Angie Lambert!

Judge

This month’s contest guest judge was the fabulous Seattle-based adventure lifestyle and wedding photographer, Kyle Ford.

Winner

About the winning shot Kyle said, “The sense of motion caused by the subject’s hair gives me a feeling that something unexpected had just happened off camera. The image has a great sense of depth, something not unlike a large wet plate would have, including the scratches. I’m also particularly drawn to the warm tones of the image coupled with the soft light coming from off camera right give it great contrast. Contrast that provides definition in the chaos.”

We connected with this month’s winner, Angie. Learn a little more about her, below.

How did you get into Photography?

My first camera was a Kodak 110, as a Christmas gift from my parents in the late 1970s. As a young girl, I became intoxicated with photography.

“Mom, Dad, can I have a darkroom?”
“No.”

The film, along with those flip flash gadgets, was expensive. I only babysat on weekends for a minimal fee, so the challenge was real. My parents were undoubtedly aware that all of those film rolls, carefully wrapped in aluminum foil strewn about my room, needed developing. Right?

“Can I, please, have a darkroom?”
“No! Stop asking. There are chemicals involved. It’s too dangerous.”
“Sigh.”

The photography bug had bitten me. After a few years, it returned to dormancy. Then resurfaced many years later when the job I had been working for twenty years resulted in so much stress than a creative outlet was much needed.

I’d like to think that I would have returned to photography at some point anyway, but nevertheless, it happened and in a huge way. Now I can’t put down my camera. The limitless opportunities that the digital arena offers are endless. As of late, I’ve been entranced with portraiture. I see people in the most creative ways, often unlike the way they see themselves, which is the best reward of all. My heart smiles when I see others love themselves. It matters.

I ignore the question of “What if I would have stayed strong and followed my heart’s deep-seated tug toward photography when I was younger?” Knowing that all paths bring us where we should stand, I find peace with the opportunity to create artistic images now.
It turns out; I didn’t get into photography. It got into me.

What’s your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?

My new favorite editing accessory is Alien Skin Exposure X2–I’m crazy about it! I’m learning more and more about portraiture, so I feel like it is nearly a guilty pleasure to have Exposure at my fingertips. It has such a fluid-like action to move through a myriad of options for processing images. The artful possibilities are endless.

With regard to gear, I would love to have some professional lighting options. One of those scrumptiously large scrims like Sue Bryce uses would be amazing! I could only imagine what creative sparks that would kindle for me! Her work is such an inspiration.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is putting down the camera. I see beauty in all things, ordinary or complex, human or structural, and happy or sad. Life is good, and I enjoy seeing it twice; first through the camera lens and over-and-over in treasured images.

How has Alien Skin’s software changed how you process your photos?

Alien Skin Software has brought my photography to a new level. It helps my work make emotional experiences. When I see folks with glassy eyes and quivering chins view themselves in a great photograph and recognize that they are beautiful, my heart swells.For me, Exposure X2 does just what the name says. It exposes photographers and clients to the forefront of artistic, expressive and professional images.

Learn more about Angie on her website, or follow her socially on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Runner Ups

There were many spectacular images shared last month, some of them are listed below in this article. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who submitted. These are amazing!