Why you should enter.
Do you ever doubt whether you should participate in the photo competition? Don’t let yourself be stopped by thoughts like: “Is my image good enough?” or “there are probably much better photographers than me”. Maybe you don’t see the point of working hard for a photography contest that may not see potential in you? Participation matters, because photographers of all levels can benefit from entering photo contests. So here are 7 good reasons to enter:
1 Inspiration and creativity
A theme or category can be interpreted by each photographer differently. Seeing how other people have interpreted a competition theme can lead to inspiration and creativity in your own work. Therefore it’s a great way to improve yourself.
2 Step outside your comfortzone
You will find yourself gradually building up a portfolio and acknowledging your own unique style. Because a themed photo contest can give you direction and can also pushes you out of your comfort zone. Everybody knows that unique creative expressions evolve when we step outside our comfort zone.
So it’s a great opportunity to put your skills to the test or take your first steps in another branch of photography. Are you primarily a pregnancy photographer or a newborn photographer? Then, for example, you could well focus on family photography, because a new theme offers you a great chance to learn new photographic techniques, while you connect with what you already know and have learned about (in this case) photographing people.
3 Build up your skills
As a photographer, with the knowledge of your work being criticised and judged by others, you force yourself to be critical about your own work, to achieve the best possible result. It focuses your mind on being perfect.
4) It’s a great way to gain exposure!
- It is in the interest of a competition to involve the audience, so imagine what this can do for you? This competition has honorable mentions. Even though they have not actually won a prize, they are very important, because they can get noticed by many others.
- For example:
- Renate van Lith once participated with this colored image in a photo competition, in which she had not won any prizes or received an honorable mention. But the (international) press nevertheless picked out her entry, so that her photo eventually went around the world. From Kazakhstan to Italy, Australia and the Netherlands. Her name (with link) was mentioned everywhere, which of course was incredibly good for her exposure (and her SEO).
5) More interaction with your followers on social media.
It is very nice to involve your followers in your participation in a photo competition.
For example: you can make a social media-post with a number of photos and ask your followers which photo(s) they would pick to send in. That can result in a huge amount of (nice) reactions, opinions and involvement. Of course you then also let them know which photo(s) you picked to send in to the competition. You can also communicate the outcome to them. Interaction guaranteed! If your social media is alive, you also live on the internet. That too is good for your visibility and hit rate on the internet.
6) There is a possibility to win a great award!
It is, of course, incredibly difficult to win the first place in a competition. But when you win, this can undoubtedly open doors for you and offer new opportunities. Certainly when it concerns a large competition or a competition that matches your activities or company. Because if you as a birth or newborn photographer, for example, win a Birth & Beyond Photography Award, the title of this award makes it immediately clear to (future) customers that you excel in your field. It’s the best advertising you can get! And with it you can get an edge on your competition.
7) It can be incredibly valuable for your company.
Having a winning (or honorable) entry, will give you a lot of validation. There is nothing that beats this when it comes to things like growing your photography business. The ability to call yourself a prize-winning photographer can go a long way. Is the size of the competition important? From the perspective of calling yourself a prize-winning photographer, participating in a smaller competition (where there is a greater chance of winning) is perhaps the best choice.
So you will always have benefits by taking part in photo competitions if you handle it well!