11 Feb Helpful Tips & Advice with Competition Judge Anne Almasy!
Next up in our advice series is competition judge Anne Almasy!
1. Select images that make you FEEL something. Then review those images, and make sure you’re not just feeling something because you remember what you felt like when you took the photo. Do you feel something because of the photo itself? Do you return to the image over and over, even as time passes and the shoot is no longer fresh? Don’t worry about what other people may or may not feel when they see the photograph. Follow your gut, and submit images that evoke strong emotion in you, the artist.
2. You can’t save it with Photoshop. Don’t submit images that you had to retouch to death in order to make them presentable. Sometimes you have to let a nice photo go because the exposure was really dreadful, or the subject’s eyes were half-closed, or some stranger in a bright red jacket wandered through the background. Don’t just enter those photos into the contest and hope no one notices. Carefully select photos that are genuinely strong without excessive post-production. (Unless, of course, you’re a Photoshop genius whose work is based on masterful digital manipulation!)
3. Judges know what it takes to make a good photo. We will look at your image and note everything from your connection to your subjects, to the technical skill involved, to the physical effort required, to the post-production quality. We can also usually tell if a photo was a mistake. Be certain you’re submitting images that you MADE with purpose and intention. Lazy photography is a huge turn-off.
4. Enter even if you don’t think you can win. The first contest I ever won was a total shock to me, but it was an image I was truly proud of, so the win was incredibly exciting! When you make a practice of entering contests, you get better at it, and more comfortable with it. You realize that it’s okay if you don’t win — or even place! And you become more familiar with the process of critiquing your own work, looking for your strengths and weaknesses. Contest entry is an excellent way to hone your portfolio! Save a folder of the photographs you select for contest entry, and use those images in your ads, sample albums, and promotional pieces.