Why do dancers, dance? Why do singers, sing? In most cases, it has something to do with sharing their gift. Why every four years does the world stop what they are doing and watch a group of people perform their very best (the Olympic Games)? There is something intoxicating about watching and participating in an event where every single person is trying to push their limits to become better than before. So, why aren’t you entering more photo competitions?
We’ve all heard the excuses; we may have even used them from time to time. But the bottom line is this; an excuse is still an excuse.
A) I don’t have enough time. You’re a photographer, remember? You hike 2 ½ hours to take pictures of a waterfall, or wildlife, and you can’t spend 15 minutes to fill out a form or type an email??
B) I’m not good enough. You don’t get better by sticking to yourself. You don’t become a Michael Jordon by ONLY playing in your own back yard. Photo competitions are not just for those who view the photographs, they are the sporting events of the photography world.
C) I wouldn’t know where to find a photo contest. Google the phrase “photo contest” and you will get over 16 million results. If that’s a little overwhelming, try your school paper or the county fair first. Many of the same photo websites you go to for photo tips, photo articles, and photo quotes also have their own monthly photo contests.
Now that we’ve covered reasons for not entering, let’s talk about reasons that you should enter.
A) Prizes. Yes, some competitions offer thousands of dollars or cool photographic equipment. Just remember, sometimes what you win is recognition, and that can lead to good paying jobs in the future. For every super contest with exciting prizes, there are hundreds or more places with less competition, that gives you greater odds of being successful.
B) Sharing your gift. If no one ever saw your work, would you still be a photographer? It’s a personal question we all have to answer for ourselves. Maybe it sounds self-centered, but I like bringing a smile to someone’s face or a tear to their eye. If I can share something that makes someone feel better . . . I have done good in the world today.
C) Improved Skills. Consider every competition as an assignment from your personal mentor. How can you do better than you have before? How are you going to stand out from all the others in the same competition? Relearn your skills every time. Use the elements of design, like Repetition, Framing, and the Rule of Thirds.
D) Personal Promotion. Have you ever heard: “Oh, you do photography? I wish I knew; my sister just got married last weekend.” Or: “You do photography? We could have used you last weekend, we had a family reunion and I didn’t get any good pictures.” It may seem obvious to you that you love photography, but others NEED to see your work too, so they know who to call next time.
E) Personal Growth. It is true that you learn by doing; but you also learn from seeing, hearing and being with others. The purpose for school is not just what you learn from a book. It’s about bonding and interacting and building friendships. Photo contests bring people of similar passions together. It promotes personal growth not only for the photographer but for the viewers as well.
Photo contests are a good thing. They are worth your time, not only for your benefit, but for the thousands of others that get to see your vision. Whether you win or not, is not really the point. This is where you can share yourself with the world! You become a better photographer and the world becomes a better place because of your willingness to share. Regardless if you consider yourself a semi-pro photographer, or just starting; photo contests often represent the next step in becoming even a better photographer than you are now.
Award winning writer / photographer Tedric Garrison has 30 years experience in photography. As a Graphic Art Major, he has a unique perspective on the Elements of Design and how they relate to photography. His photo eBook; Finding your Creative Edge in Photography, proves creativity CAN be taught. Tedric shares his wealth of knowledge with the world, at: Better Photo Tips.com
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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