How To Win a Photography Competition
The hobby of taking photos often becomes an enduring passion for many photographers and sooner or later thoughts of entering a photo contest for recognition or reward can seem very appealing. Worlds Best Photos Photo Contest won’t just give you the chance to win a prize, but will also help you build a great reputation....which for a full time or part time photographer can equate to more business and more dollars in the bank.
But, winning a photo contest is not always that easy. Let’s say you’re seriously considering participating in Worlds Best Photos photo contest. What do you need to know in order to win? Read on and consider what you might need to do to help you win, but bear in mind there is of course no such thing as a winning formula that will guarantee success.
So how do you take winning photos? It’s a question pretty much every photographer has asked at one point or another. After all, anyone can learn to take good photos. Not everyone has mastered the fine art of capturing images that really make a viewer sit up and take notice.
However, while it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s important to realise that there’s a methodology attached to capturing amazing images as well. Best of all, it’s a methodology that can be mastered with enough insight and practice. Let’s take a closer look at some of the main considerations most winning photo contest images and all world-class photos have in common.
Follow The Photo Contest Rules
Every photo contest has its own requirements, which should be respected if you want your photo to be taken into consideration. When an entry is received the first thing that is checked by Worlds Best Photos is to see whether you followed the Rules of the contest. Photos that do not comply may be immediately disqualified, without even moving forward to be judged, and you don’t want that to happen. So, it is very important to make sure that you understand what you need to do. So read the Rules of the photo contest carefully.
Get it Sharp
Unsharp images are often scored harshly by most judges and is perhaps the second criteria they will address after first eliminating photos for Rules violations. If you are consistently getting unsharp images learn how to correct this flaw before you enter the photo contest. Taking 10 minutes to learn how will make the biggest difference in your chances of winning, and will catapult you past the dozens of amateurs who didn’t take the time. YouTube is a good source for tutorials, and they're free!
There are of course exceptions and some photos may benefit from some motion blur. And of course, some abstract photos may be entirely blurred, on purpose!
Consider The Composition
One of the surest ways to stand out from the competition in the photo contest is by paying attention to your composition. Make it interesting! Don’t always place your focal point in the centre, which often tends to come off as boring and predictable. You could follow the 'rule of thirds' by placing the focal point one-third of the way in from the edge of the frame. It is the simplest way to make a mediocre photo more compelling.
But don’t stop there! Photo contests are a time for experimentation and this is what Worlds Best Photos encourage. Find new ways to make your photos unexpected. You want to catch the judge's eye and make your photo memorable. Try shooting from a new angle: maybe on the ground looking up at your subject. Or get in close, filling the whole frame. There are countless ways to make your photos unexpected by simply using a new composition. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
However, a general no-no is to have horizons in landscapes that are not level. It's easy to fix in post production and correcting the horizon could make the difference between a winning contender and a reject.
These are all great approaches to consider and learn, but it’s just as important not to let rules stop you from identifying and nailing a really great shot. Not every truly beautiful photo features a composition that follows the rules, but all come attached to one that’s really solid, so always consider yours first and foremost.
If taking photos that include in the composition the copyright work of other artists such as paintings, sculptures or graffiti make sure that they do not become the predominant part of the overall image or it may be judged unfavourably. Read the Rules for more information.
Judges can be quite harsh on plagiarism. When it comes to landscapes and landmarks the judges may have perhaps seen images of the same view countless times. The Wanaka tree in New Zealand and the Crawley Boat Shed in Western Australia are common examples that have been photographed a trillion times. You're going to have to come up with something a bit different to set your image apart from those who may have preceeded you.
When taking photos of humans or animals, or the interaction between them, a powerful and compelling image might result if you can capture the emotion. It's far easier said than done but when it happens and you click at the right moment the result may be magic. It could be enough to make you a Worlds Best Photos winner.
Human beings are hard-wired to respond not only to emotion, but to crave a good story and pictures really are worth a thousand words. Truly beautiful images make us feel something. They can make us laugh, they can make us cry, and they can put us right there in the moment.
They can also make us wonder, think, and contemplate. Try approaching your subject by asking yourself what you want your photo to say to the viewer. What story are you telling them and how do you want them to feel about what you’ve just said?
Light & Colour
Any well-orchestrated photograph will feature colours that are true to life and good lighting that adequately illuminates the subject. Truly great photographs will take mere technical correctness and transcend it by using light and/or colour in original ways you don’t see every day.
This is one of the many reasons why photographers are big believers in the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. Those are times of day that have a way of generating amazing lighting and vibrant, living colours you just don’t see the rest of the time. However, it’s important to understand there are other ways to capture light and colour that truly sing.
Try using reflected light to add visual interest to your shots. Think outside the box and play with artificial lighting concepts that help to tell the story of your subject in an exciting new way. Look into ways you can consider colour when putting your composition together as well. The sky’s the limit!
One of the most helpful ways to get your creative juices flowing is by looking at the work of others. Look for inspiration from your favourite photographers, or checkout the internet.
What About Perspective?
Although we rarely think about it, each of us sees the world from the same perspective more or less all the time. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with photographs that capture the world from this same familiar perspective, mixing things up can be a simple way to add a wealth of interest to your images. Start considering ways you can do this in regards to your favourite subjects and watch your pictures come alive.
Instead of photographing a child or an animal from the usual perspective of a full-grown adult, try bringing yourself down to the subject’s level and grabbing the shot from there instead. Consider shooting from up high, down low, or from an angle that’s slightly off-kilter as well. Show your viewer the world from a perspective they’ve quite literally never considered before. You might be surprised with the result!
Try to present a story with your photo
The best part about taking photos is that in some cases they can often tell stories. Some stories are sad while others inspire happiness and joy. The story you present depends, once again, on the photo you plan to take and how you plan to create your composition. But, considering that you are participating in the Worlds Best Photos photo contest, you may consider making storytelling a priority. Everybody loves an image that tells a thousand words, so you will definitely manage to impress if you end up capturing such an image. Of course, such a photo does not come easy and you might have to take a lot of photos until you find the one that is telling the desired story.
Speaking of stories, have you ever noticed the way the really good ones don’t just spell everything out for you? They always leave a little something to the imagination and invite you to wonder what happens next. It’s why the book is almost always better than the movie. Books stimulate the imagination in a way a movie simply can’t.
Truly fantastic photos do the same thing. They only take the viewer part of the way there when it comes to what they’re trying to say. The viewer is left to imagine the rest of the scene.
Ask for opinions and feedback
Don’t rush when it comes to submitting your photos, but take the time to ask for a second opinion, even a third opinion if possible. You could upload your photo to our Facebook Group and ask for constructive criticism. But, in most situations, asking for opinions and feedback from your friends and family is enough. Kindly ask them to be objective because they are capable of noticing those small details you couldn’t see, due to the fact that you may be emotionally attached to your work. If you have a social media profile where you periodically share your photos, you can ask feedback from your followers as well.
We can’t guarantee you will win the photo contest, but at the very least, you now have some ideas to increase your chances. Don’t get discouraged if you submit an image and it doesn’t win. Remember that a photo contest is always subjective by nature. If one image doesn’t win in one photo contest, it doesn’t mean it won’t win in another. Follow the guidelines above, enter as many photos as you like, and hopefully you get a win. It's not a matter of chance, it's you holding the camera so you have full control!
Worlds Best Photos are looking forward to awarding the photo contest prizes and we hope to see you in the winners circle soon. Keep shooting and enjoy your photography!