Photo competition is a great way to involve as photographer. Don't expect to win some of the biggest one are over 40000 photos like Wildlife Photographer of the Year or UPY for just one winner. Perhaps you can be lucky to get the big shot of a life but if you watch photo honnored or remarkable you will see also great shots. And you will perhaps choose another kind of winner.
But why you should do ? It's a great way to confort and compare your work against other photographers. Photography is a competitive world and be in the short list is great way to get your name known in the world of photography and gallery. It's also a good way to push yourself and not staying in your confort zone. Be creative and different.
I can't tell you how to win a competition even if I've got some shots Honored and win the Monochrome Photo Awards 2019 with Bull shark dance but I can tell you there are some rules to respect.
1 - Be sure you've got the Raw if asked I was finalist of Nat Geo Beyond the shot but can't find my Raw file when asked so I loose the winning place.
2 - Be sure if there is someone in your shot you've got the authorization to avoid problem
3 -Read the rules and respect them on image size, categories, name of files it’s important
4 - Watch winners gallery first to see how the level Is high and to purpose new images don’t send image close to last winner images if you’ve got an incredible image close to something already win keep it for another contest or the next five years.
5 - Try to keep your shots far from social network to amaze the Jury, if your picture have been seen many times there is no more surprise. It’s something not eas to do cause when you’ve got a great shot you want to share it.
6 - Watch who is the jury if you want to be pro it’s better to be seen by the good people like Natgeo Editors or International Editors
7 - Play Pro not amateur play against the big one even if you are amateur it’s a good way to involve and you would get great surprises. When I look at photo competition with pro and newbies sometimes I am really surprised to see best in amateur. And always surprise to see good photographer to stay winning in second class category when they can be in good place or winner in the first class……
8 - Don’t think about winning think about how your name can be in good place in photo contest use contest as a part of your marketing plan. If you win that’s great but it’s great to be there every year. Winning is about detail and lucky strike watch Siena winners Galery or UPY or Wildlife photographer of the year etc…
9 -Watch what the members of jury like, what they do if they play low light play the game or if they like full of colors be sparkling it’s a good way to play like you are working with editors some like dark, when others full of light and colors.
10 - Be in phase with the contest some contest like very specific graphic like Biophoto, Montier etc… where
they love low shutter speed effect and specific technics. So watch winning images to be sure.
11 - I read lot of advise about photo contest don’t go big first try small and local contest… it’s like soccer or basket ball where do you want to play local or worldwide!!! So play big photo and marathon is the place where you can play with the best, so play with the best. The best way to progress is to watch front of what you loose and who. What make this picture great face to yours. You will get great progress like that. Or you can be the king of the village.
12 - And never forget photo contest is about taste I’ve got some images finalist or winning and do not pass the first stage of other contests. Even if it’s hard at the beginning keep in mind to give your best, not your good. A good picture for magazine is not a good picture for contest. Contest is to sell in gallery. When you watch your pictures say to yourself is this picture can be on my wall living room or not.
13 - At the beginning you will be emotionally affect by yourshot cause you wait for a while for this picture, you are happy to,see this or this and catch it but it’s not a good thing you need to get an outside and honest eye on your work and when you don’t know which is the best do not hesitate to ask to someone honest and emotionally far from you. It’s not about hearing you are the best it’s about how to progress and maki,g good decisions.
14 - The less you crop the better it is you need to edit your picture when you do it not at home on computer. Show you’ve got an eye when you catch your camera. The same light and sharpness.
15 - Photo contest will give you legitimity and do your name on the wall but it’s just a small part of the game. And to bring salary at home