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Coming Full Circle: Photographing the Tenth Annual P&G Awards

Several years ago (feels like another lifetime) my partner at the time won a P&G Award for a feature in his magazine. I remember the party looking very elaborate, and it was one of the first times I was introduced to the work of a certain successful Toronto photographer. This gentleman has a studio and gallery near my house full of images from people he’s shot: everyone from Lady Gaga, the Royal Wedding and essentially every celebrity ever. I always wondered how someone achieved such success, and essentially placed him in an entirely different category of the world with his talent, opportunities and connections.

Fast forward to the other night, and I was the official photographer of the tenth annual P&G Beauty Awards at the gorgeous, Art Gallery of Ontario. I was really excited to be the first female photographer for the event, and the first time not using the other photographer. So incredibly grateful they took a chance on me. Could my work be comparable to his?! I was flabbergasted and so excited.

Working independently means all of my successes and failures happen alone, and sometimes it’s nice to share. It’s been a long time of working with my head down, hustling, improving, feeling amazing and then feeling inadequate, constantly having imposter syndrome and more. If you’re a new (or experienced) photographer and you’re reading this: no matter what you’re feeling you are not alone. I’ve learned to love the ride.

Anyway, the event was hosted by the talented (and hilarious!) Dan Levy, who was equally as fantastic as you’d expect. I took a look around the room, which was weirdly nostalgic as there were familiar faces from my past (which as you may know has some painful experiences) and I couldn’t believe I was here, as the photographer. And in a completely different time in my life. Whatever you’re going through, it will pass. Life is constantly moving and even when you’re feeling stuck it will never last. I promise, as I know it to be true.

Here are a few of my favourites. I spared you the 100 step and repeat photos, and allllllll of the images of flowers, signage, food, wine, and most of the classic “party” photos. What a night! Very thankful.

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Nicole Hudson