Snowy Owl - Winner of four Photography Awards - PPoC, MPI, PSA and European Finalist in Nature Photography
I've mentioned this one before, but thought it would be a good time for a reminder, as I've got 4 images entered in a contest right now, and I've seen ads for what I call "bad" (Thanksgiving shots or Christmas images) contests recently. Photography contests are great, but not all contests are equal.
Photography contests for beginners are good because they allow a photographer to see what others think of their work, independent of the local area and folks you know or who know you personally. For more advanced photographers, competing against other photographers of a similar level of ability, and then getting feedback from trained photography judges can be invaluable. Most often, these type of photography contests are sponsored by the major photography organizations – like the Professional Photographers of Canada or the Photographic Society of America, or by local branches or photography clubs who use the rules similar to the main organizations.
The problem comes when companies or groups hold “contests”, but what they’re really doing is making an image rights grab. That is, the sponsoring organization says something like “all images become the property of XXX “, meaning the sponsor can then use the images entered in any way they see fit. This is a death knell as a photographer – you just gave away your work. Yes, you’ll get exposure, but people have died from exposure!
So, if you’re serious about improving your photography, why not look at joining a photography club or organization, and then competing in the contests they hold? It’s a great way to improve your photography, and a wonderful way to push yourself to make better images. It’s also a lot of fun, and that’s what photography should be – fun!
Tree Mist - Winner of three Photography Awards - PPoC, MPI
Biology Field Trip - PPoC Photography Award Winner
Island Mist - MPI Photography Award Winner