by Charlotte Moss Published 01/06/2015
This year Richard Walton was lucky enough to be able to head out to the WPPI convention in Las Vegas to judge the 20x16 print competition, but usually he can be found on his home turf in the UK judging for The Societies. 'I started judging competitions around five years ago' Richard told me. 'And it wasn't long after that when I started judging qualifications too.'
'I enjoy judging just about everything' Richard tells me when I ask him if he has a favourite. 'Although obviously print competitions and panels are more enjoyable - a digital screen will never contend with a great quality print.' Richard is another judge who advocates getting along to watch some judging at the convention; 'the 20x16 print competition is a big highlight for me. There are lots of entries and you'll learn so much in just two days. The WPPI print competition is another great one to enter, and we need to represent the UK so I'd encourage as many people as possible to enter!'
Given a choice Richard prefers to judge weddings and portraits. 'I'm a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to photography. I've photographed a lot over the years and I appreciate all genres of photography - but portraiture and wedding is really my main area of expertise.' Richard suggests that the best way to prepare for entering a competition is to show your photographs to as many people as possible; if you get lots of good reactions you're probably onto a winner!
Richard believes that judging other peoples photographs makes his own work improve too. 'It makes me push myself because I want to be on par with the entrants who do really well. I don't want to become lazy and critique peoples work if I'm not putting out good images myself.' It can be hard to look at your own work sometimes and evaluate it critically so print competitions can be a good way to get a handle on how your shots are coming together compared to others in the industry.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 192 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 20th January 2021