Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Photography competitions

Learn the art of winning photography competitions.Whether you are new to photography or a glowing professional, photography competitions are well worth considering. In order to increase your winning chances, you must first understand that what you consider to be the best image is not always reflected in the final result. This may sound ambiguous to some but certain requirements must be adhered to.

To be successful entering and winning photography competitions one must first understand what the judges and the companies holding these event require. Companies usually have strict guidelines telling photographers what sort of image they are looking for. Most companies will use the winning image as promotional material for their business, so submitting images that dont meet their guidelines will certainly not be ranked.

Travel companies will be looking for an image that they can use on their brochure - so before you enter in any competition it is well worth while to take a close look at the company and the images they normally use.

Regardless of the type of image entered, photographers must submit images that are technical perfect, with good composition and proper exposure. Submitting poor quality images will waste your time along with the judges.

One of the utmost moments in any photographers career is to see his/her images displayed in the winners section of a website or newspaper or at a prize winners ceremony. This is a moment when a struggling photographers business may start to take off or give his studio an extra boost. It is also when the value of a photographers images rises.

But to win a photography competition, the right approach is very important.

Your image should hold a theme that will suit the company holding the competition. If the company is travel related they will be looking for an image that has vibrant colours; an image that has life and soul. Energy companies will want an image that will blend their industry and the environment together.

When entering a competition there will be hundreds, if not thousands of photographers with entries. To give yourself the best possible chance of winning, only submit images that you think will have a decent chance. The image that you enter should have impact and must be a photograph that you are proud of - an image that you are constantly showing off to your friends and family.

Prizes on offer vary and can range from cash to equipment. Some of the larger competitions pay out tens of thousands of dollars. Competitions that are free to enter will have smaller prizes but are still worth entering.

One thing you should remember is that some companies hold competitions to get free images. Before submitting your pictures, read the guidelines. Make sure that you will be able to sell the image after the competition and that you are not signing away the copyright of your image. If you are unsure about it and the guidelines are not clear, it is best not to enter.

There are thousands of competitions held all over the world each year. To find out which ones suit your photography contact your local camera club, or look up some of the photography directories on the web. Some of the larger competitions that are open to photographers world wide will charge a submission fee, but there are a wide selection of free competitions out there.

If you are new to photography or unsure about your chances of success its best to try a few free ones at the beginning.

Photography competitions can do so much for a photographers career - some say its the taking part that counts - but when the winner receives so much free advertising for their business, plus the large amounts of cash on offer; I think they are worth taking seriously.
About the author: TJ Tierney is an award winning photographer and a freelance writer.

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