Helpful Thoughts On Online Photography Competitions

Posted on: 12th April 2013

Photography CompetitionsOnline photo competitions are a great place to express your talent with a camera. Quickly searching online, you'll find dozens of photo competitions ripe for entering. If you are thinking about entering one, these helpful thoughts from photo contest veterans should make it a bit easier.

Photo competitions always have strict guidelines, so make sure you stick to them or you might end up being disqualified.

The most common guideline is photograph size. In traditional competitions, judges would ask entrants to mail them prints of a certain size.  If it's an online photography contest,  there will probably be regulations around file size. Sending a picture that is too big can be just as frustrating to the judges as sending one which is too small, so make sure it fits with the dimensions that you're asked for.

Pay close attention to any rules about modification. Most contests will tell you in the rules what you may edit and what you may not edit. While some competitions may allow you to edit colours, exposure and balance, others may allow you to crop your photos, while others may not allow any modifications at all.

Also pay attention to how you should enter: this will be clearly set out in the rules Some competitions will ask you to send your files via email, others may take a more "social" approach and may ask you to submit via Instagram with a special hashtag.

Some competitions will only let you enter a single photo, while others will let you send in multiple shots. If you take time to read the details of each competition, you can give yourself the best chance of winning.

For competitions that have a specific theme, you will need to think carefully about what will appeal most to the judges. These types of competitions usually have a brief, so read it carefully. It will provide clues about what the judges are looking for.

Another guideline to pay close attention to is eligibility: meaning whether or not you're allowed to enter. Usually restrictions are based around where you live, how old you are, and whether you're a professional or an amateur. There's no point in entering a competition that you wouldn't be allowed to win, so checking these restrictions can save a lot of time.

We're not going to lie. Terms and conditions are pretty boring to read. Don't overlook them, though. The main reason for disqualification is that most people don't read the terms and conditions and submit work that doesn't  fit the criteria.

It’s always good to look for advice from your peers before sending work into a competition. You can get particularly valuable feedback in photography forums.

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