There’s no better way to check how good of a photographer you are than by entering a photography contest. There are plenty of online photo contests that you can be a part of right now. Some of them offer free entries, while others will ask for a small fee, especially if you’re entering with two or more of your photos.
If you have never participated in a photo contest before, you must have a lot of questions, like how to actually win one of them. In this article, I will give you some essential tips as to how you can increase your chances at a photography contest. Read on!
Carefully Read the Rules
This is an obvious suggestion, but I can’t stress enough how important it is. Not reading the rules is one of the most common rookie mistakes, and it can happen to more experienced photographers as well. Make sure to carefully read the details regarding the file type, file size, entry date, and others.
Always Send Several Photos, If Possible
Photo competitions usually give artists a chance to showcase more than one of their photos. Sometimes, more photos can mean a larger entry fee, but it’s worth it. The more shots you send, the bigger the chance for one of them to be the winner. However, quantity doesn’t mean much without quality, so you will have to send only your best work.
Good Photos Don’t Win, Exceptional Ones Do
Always have in mind that you will be entering a competition with hundreds, if not thousands of other photographers. Photo contests usually reward only three or more best images, which means that there can be dozens of excellent photos that have been sent, but they aren’t good enough.
Your photos should stand out from the crowd. They need to be something unique and exceptional. If it’s just a close-up portrait of your friend or a regular old sunset above the hills, you’re probably not going to win. The photos you send should have a story, a twist, something that will make the judges feel like you really created a work worth showing.
Get a Second Opinion
We might feel that some of our photos are amazing, but we are often not objective. That’s why you should seek a second opinion before you send anything. Preferably, you should ask some more experienced photographers about your work. Maybe show them a few of your best images and ask for an honest opinion. It can happen that the photo you thought was your best is actually second-best or third-best in the eyes of others.
Make Sure Everything Is In Order
Once you narrowed it down to several photos, make sure that they are in perfect order. Check if they are slightly blurred or they don’t have some spots that need retouching. Maybe the exposure was a little bit off, or you got the wrong color balance. Make all the necessary corrections in your photo editing software before sending anything.
If You Don’t Win, Try Again
Hardly anyone wins their first photo contest, or event the second or the third one for that matter. The important thing is to believe in yourself and never give up. Photo contests can have brutal competition sometimes. Once the results come out, don’t worry if your photo didn’t make it to the final selection. Instead, give tribute to contestants that won and try taking as much from their winning photos as you can so that you can improve your work in the future.