Photography is both a profession and an art. But what is an artist without an audience? Every photographer wants to reach out to as many people as possible and receive acknowledgement and positive reinforcements.
There are many ways to get recognition as a photographer. One of the most effective methods is to create an online photography portfolio and promote your work on the web. Another great way to get more exposure is to participate in photography contests and – of course – win them.
Easier said than done? Maybe we can help you with that. Here is a list of eight steps you can take to increase your chances of winning your next photography contest.
- Find Your Niche: Every photographer has an expertise or a niche in which they excel. There are numerous photography contests that focus on specific categories such as news photography, music photography, black and white photography, film photography, microphotography, fashion photography and many more. Locate and zoom in on the contests where you think your work can truly stand out.
- Understand the Rules: Before you submit anything, make sure you go over the contest’s terms and conditions, read through the technical specs and understand the requirements. You don’t want to be disqualified just because you didn’t get the instructions right.
- Get Feedback: Your friends and colleagues – especially those who have experience with photography or visual art – are a wonderful source for honest and useful feedback. Ask them to review the works you’re about to submit and share their advice. If you’re planning to shoot something new for the contest, you can consult your circle of experts on where and how to do it.
- Research Previous Winners: By seeing the winning entries from previous years you can get a pretty good sense of what the organizers appreciate about a photo. However, beware not to duplicate or imitate previous winners.
- Offer Something Unique: Steer clear of banal imagery and submit a photo that expresses something special, fresh, or that captures a unique and different angle of an otherwise regular occurrence.
- Tell a Story: A photo that always almost delivers is the kind that conjures a story or a statement. Capturing a beautiful or interesting story in a single frame is where you should be headed.
- Identify the Judges: Often enough the contest will list the names of the judges, especially if they are known names in the photography scene. Conduct a short research to understand the judges’ backgrounds, get a sense of what their personal style is and what makes them tick.
- Campaign for Votes: Many contests that take place online are judged by viewers’ votes. If you are participating in such a contest, you need to start a campaign that actively solicits votes for your photo. You can create a special landing page for the campaign, where you explain why people should vote for your photo, what do you intend to do if you win, and how they can help you achieve this goal.
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