Thoughts About Print Competitions - part 1 of 1 2 3 4

by Michael J. Ayers Published 01/06/2010


Why enter the Societies' Print Competitions? Many photographers have their own agendas as to why they work long hours and spend tons of money on these display prints, but here are the top reasons:

Publicity -

Get your name in the local newspapers and other publications; a press release is your cheapest and most effective form of advertisement.

Awards -

It is a great confidence builder to get recognition for your work and all who know you well will tell others about your achievement.

Professionalism -

You will eventually move to a new echelon of excellence. I feel that competitions are a reflection of the work you do for customers.

Customer Awareness -

Surveys show that your clients would rather shop at businesses that excel in their profession. It only makes sense to try to reach your greatest potential and to do your very best.

Education -

Learning by both failures and successes can make you even more determined to be your best; the greatest achievers in history failed numerous times before succeeding. Show me someone who consistently gets high scores and I'll show you someone who also has had plenty of 79s.

Licentiateship, Associateship, and Fellowship -

Earn Society Merits toward your degree by entering the monthly competitions and ultimately entering the International Print Competition.

Practice -

Just think: you can have a dry run before the big Societies' competition. Have other judges find minor faults with your entries before the big Convention and make necessary corrections. What better way to test out your images? Just make sure the jurors you show them to will not be judging that year at the Convention.

Competition is definitely a succeed, you must play to win.

The entry fees are minimal and the learning experience is tremendous. I feel that anyone who enters is a winner, no matter what the score. I realise that it is very difficult placing your work in front of your peers to be scrutinised, however, the judges are usually very fair and lenient. Their constructive criticism I have found to be exceptionally helpful, even while watching them judge other photographer's work.

Incidentally, go to the competition and watch the judges score the prints! You will begin to realise why certain prints get certain scores, and before too long, you will start to predict what the judges will say about the prints they look at as well as the scores they assign. There isn't any substitute for entering yourself, however. If you have never entered the Mid-East States Competition and watched the judges critique your own work, you have to gain this apprehensive experience. There are times when you'll want to stand up and take a bow, and there are others when you'll want to just scream at the judges. It is definitely a game! The rules sometimes change slightly from year to year, but to do really well, you must play to win.

Give it your best "shot" and good luck!

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1st Published 01/06/2010
last update 07/04/2022 09:16:15

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