Premium/ What I’ve learned from competing in photography contests
When it comes to photography, we all have our ways of improving in this art that we love so much. Each of us has our way of assessing our portfolio, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and finding ways of improving ourselves.
For some time, I have worked with two photographers and sent my pictures for analysis and submitted my photographs to a famous photography institution for 1 on 1 live critique of my photos.
However, since December 2021, I got a new bug. And that is… competing in international photography salons.
Before we delve more into the article, please keep in mind that all the competitions that I attended are organized by photo clubs from different countries, under rules from The International Federation of Photographic Art, International Association of Art Photographers or Photographic Society of America.
So, I am not talking about some small contests with unknown judges or even celebrity judges but rather contests judged by people with qualifications, distinctions, and most of all, an impressive body of work.
It all started as a curiosity. I said, well, let us try one time. See how it goes.
And one time became two times, two times became four times, and here we are 9 months later with a total of 34 contests in which I participated.
So, how do I stand after 9 months? Well, I think I am doing rather well actually. I participated in 34 photography contests, had 174 pictures accepted and won no less than 41 prizes. I am proud of all the awards, no matter if they are Honorable Mentions, National Diplomas, Salon Diplomas, or Ribbons, but I am mostly proud of the medals I got. Five gold ones, one silver medal and four bronze medals.
After 9 months of selecting pictures and selecting contest categories in which to participate, I understood some basic principles that changed a bit how I started seeing photography lately.
And today I want to share those things with you because, who knows, you might find them interesting.
After watching so many contests, seeing my photos come up on top, or being bested by other photos, I started seeing a pattern and, in a way, I think that we, as photographers, should focus on these kinds of talks instead of other things.
Before we start, I must confess that my submissions were in the Travel/Photojournalism-Sport sections, mostly with the occasional Landscape or Nature if I felt confident about a photo sometimes.
1st thing I noticed: Camera gear does not matter so much. Sometimes.
When I said a few lines ago that we should focus on creative and constructive talks instead of doing some things, these are the things that I was referring to. Except for one magazine (I will let you guess which one) and a small forum, I have stopped reading or participating in debates, forums, and online arguments about cameras, sensor sizes, pixels, etc. Things are just not relevant anymore.
I have submitted photographs to contests taken with a Sony A5000, a Sony A6300, a Fuji X-T1, an X-T20, an X-T3, a Nikon D750 and… a phone.
And yes, the pictures I took and sent from my phone got accepted. Not awarded but accepted.
Only for Premium Subscribers!
To access these articles you must be a PREMIUM subscriber to Fuji X Passion.
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get instant access to all Premium articles, all prior and upcoming magazines, all special editions, all previous videos, discounts and offers. If you are seeking relevant information about this camera system, or useful tips from photographers using the Fuji X system, this is the most valuable place for you.
BASIC Plan subscriber? Upgrade to PREMIUM!
- Access your account HERE and sign in with your email address and password as always
- In this step click the ‘Subscriptions’ tab and then ‘Change plan’
- Now you can change from the BASIC plan to the new PREMIUM PLAN
- Finally, the system will only apply a proportional value to the remaining charge and change the plan immediately.
Already a Premium Subscriber?