I am incredibly proud and honoured by having been selected as the Instagram Suggested user. Facebook (which now owns Instagram) decided to choose my work as "exemplary", so my pictures were for a several weeks highlighted and watched by several hundred thousands of photographers all around the world.
Official statement by Facebook is, that "There's no way to guarantee selection as a suggested user." and that "suggested user posts beautiful, original content and brings a unique perspective to Instagram." Which makes the selection somewhat unpredictable, even mysterious - and I am really happy that Instagram appreciated my work and all the effort I put into it, and that I can be part of this amazing community.
Highlighting my account by Instagram also helped me to reach as many as ten thousand Instagram followers - it is a big milestone and something I perceived as a pretty big deal back than.
UPDATE: I am really very proud that Instagram decided to choose me as the suggested user again!
Video editing has always been my passion and I did my best to fully understand how the editing software works. After a couple of years of fairly intensive work I became (in all modesty) quite skilled in this area. But despite the fact I knew what I was doing and felt ready to provide services at a professional level, it was sometimes hard to convince people that I was indeed able and competent - I was 14 years old back then, and people responsible for commissioning video projects were (quite understandably) afraid to entrust me with any important job.
From the very beginning of my work with the Final Cut Pro editing software, I dreamt about receiving the "Apple Certification" one day - professionals working with various Apple-related products do receive the title if they succeed in passing quite a demanding official exam held by Apple. I figured out that this might be the right way to prove my proficiency and I spent more than a year going through numerous books and tutorials to properly prepare for the exam. And I made it!
The fact I am an "Apple Certified" Final Cut Pro expert prevents me from having to persuade people about my editing skills again and again and allows me to focus on what's really important.
My name is now listed on the official Apple registry (to view it click here) and I was surprised that I am not just the youngest person, but also the only one from the Czech Republic to have this certification!
At the moment I am a student of the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP).
For quite a long time, I perceived photography simply as a chase for good shots for which neither specific knowledge nor proper technical background are needed. I have always been passionate about taking pictures, but I simply let my feelings and impressions to lead me and was exploring new possibilities by experimenting intuitively - relying on the trial-and-error method. I happened to take several quite good pictures, but after some years I decided to get more seriously involved in photography. I wanted to be in control of as many variables as possible - so that I could be in charge of both the story and the technical aspects of a picture. And that's why I started studying photography at NYIP.
During this course I became much more critical of my work and could (and had to) try many different genres of photography - from wildlife and photojournalism to portraiture and other more stylized projects. It was the portraiture that had drawn most of my attention - and I spent more than a year of my studies focusing on portrait photography and all that's associated with it.
Apart from this course, I also decided to expand my practical skills by assisting during many photoshoots and I also decided to attend a portraiture drawing lessons which helped me to reflect on portraiture from a new perspective.