How to Win Photography Competitions

by CompetitionsAustralia on April 17, 2011

Entering photography competitions is a fun and sometimes profitable experience as you work to improve your photographic skills. When you enter these competitions, however, you are pitting your talents as a photographer against those of many other photographers. Here are some tips on how to win your next photography competition:

What Is The Goal

Every photography competition that you enter will have slightly different rules, guidelines, and, of course, themes. If you enter a great photo, but it does not fit the parameters that the competition requires, then you will be disqualified. Take the time to look at even the smallest of the fine print to make sure that you can enter your photo. Often, photography competitions will not allow the entrance of images that have been previously published, or they will not allow you to publish them yourself in the future.

Once you have read the rules, go a step further to see what sorts of images the company has picked to represent it in the past. Look at the images in the competition’s promotional materials or online to see previous winning materials. Many photography competitions’ goals are to find images that a corporation can use in its website or promotional materials in the future. Make sure that the photograph that you enter into your next competition fits the company’s branding strategy.

The Winning Photo

Once you know what the rules of the photography contest are, it is time to turn your attention to submitting the best possible photo based on its technical merits. The image that you submit should be filled with vibrant colours and have been exposed perfectly. If you are using traditional film to take your photographs, then make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to correctly develop both the film as well as to create your photographs.

Not only does the photo that you submit to a photography competition need to be filled with rich colours, but it also must be focused correctly. Look critically at all parts of the image to ensure that no part of it is out of focus. Check for distractions, both in the foreground and background of the image, to keep your picture in contention for the top prize.

Try to take a break from preparing your entry into the photography competition for a day or two prior to submitting it. By taking a step back from the image that you have been focused on creating for several days, you can give yourself the kind of objectivity that is necessary if you are going to find distractions and other flaws in the photograph that might cause the photography competition’s judges to eliminate your image from the running for the top prize.

There are likely to be many technically excellent entries into a photography contest. What will make your image win over your competitors’ images is the creativity that you demonstrate in your photograph. Go back to the gallery of previous winners’ photographs and try to figure out where they added something extra. Whether it was in the subject of the photographs or a particularly interesting bit of trick photography that was used to their advantage, you should take the hint to dress up your own photos. You should never copy someone else’s work, but you should use it as inspiration.

Previous post:

Next post: