You have a passion for photography but it’s only recreational for you. If you feel photography competitions are only for professionals, you are mistaken. As an amateur photographer, you have a fair chance of winning if you keep a few things in mind.
First things first, here are the reasons why contests are a good idea.
The best way to get your work out into the world is to enter a photo competition. The larger the magnitude of the contest, the better the exposure. By joining such contests, your work is up for sampling by a wider audience. If you are looking for quick recognition, entering a photography competition is the way to go.
Comparison with other works
There is no better place to make comparisons of your endeavors with other photographers’ work than a photo contest. Observe their techniques and learn from them. Don’t review your work too severely. Try to turn it into a learning experience.
Expand your market
When you get a potentially bigger audience for your work, you are also casting your net outside your familiar territory. You are marketing your work all over the globe. Where else will you get such an opportunity? You never know who is scouting for new talent and might be surprised by the outcome. You might also succeed at procuring licensing deals and custom photo shoots.
Photo contests are a great opportunity to find new friends. You get the chance to meet like-minded people with similar interests. You can share your work with them; get their feedback and useful tips, and vice versa.
Now that you are convinced of entering a photo contest, here is how you can better your chances at winning it…
Read the guidelines of the contest and check if they are asking you to give up the picture ownership. Go only for those competitions which let you retain the copyright. They ought to ask for your permission if they wish to use your work anywhere.
Last date for submission
Be very careful about the deadline. Create reminders and mark it on your calendar. These competitions do not accept submissions after the last date. If you miss it, all your hard work would be in vain.
Do your homework
Once you’ve decided to compete, the most important thing to do is to read all the rules and prerequisites carefully. And then, look up the past winners. This will give you an idea of what they are looking for. Go through the appointed judges’ work. You will be able to understand what style they prefer. This will greatly improve your odds at winning.
Select your entry wisely
After your research, it’s time to judiciously select a picture for the entry. You now have a good idea about the style of the judges and the kind of pictures that have won the contest in the past. Go through your collection carefully and pick your work thoughtfully. Select an image that depicts your own style prominently and is better than the work of the past winners. If it matches with the judges’ preferred styles, your chances are greatly enhanced.
Keep in mind the specifications
The contest will most likely be inundated with entries. Usually, they have a prerequisite for the image size which is mostly its smaller resolution. Before submission, remember to adjust your photo’s size according to the guidelines, else your entry can potentially get disqualified right away.
Send your entry on time and relax. Your side of the work is over. Entering a contest has many incidental benefits. Even if you don’t win the contest, don’t be disappointed. It does not mean that your picture can’t win at any other competition. Winning is subjective. Also remember not to enter contests that have an entry fee if the company is not well-known. There have been scams galore. If you are starting out, go for those that have no entry fee. The idea is to keep participating in as many contests. You never know when you can get lucky. Click away and don’t forget your reason: photography is your passion. Enjoy the experience.
~ Aatika, Write Wing Media