I first got hold of news about my win through a comment, someone had sent me a private message saying hi to me, and congratulating me on my win.
First reaction - big smile on my face. I didn't expect that result, I wasn't even ready for it. I had joined the assignment for my first time hoping that my photographs can gain more exposure.
Instead, it rewarded me with something even better, an ipod and a T shirt from Dreamstime.
Looking at the winner's section and my name beside "1." I felt like it was true competition, with two US counterparts faring just as well below my name. A thought of me standing on a podium and my national anthem playing..how silly it was but it was just a thought filled with pure fun. I believed everyone submitted the best picture they had and in one way or another, they recieved recognition and viewership too.
I felt the win was not necessary for me, but no way I am not going to recognize it. It really made me happy at that instantaneous moment and encouraged me to work harder for better stock photos despite having limitations with lighting and models.
Thereafter, I received a few more congratulations as well. This shows how nice the people are in this community, keeping close watch on each other and encouraging one another on. I guess this is what kept me going on for more stock photos, as well as the cash reward of course.