View Full Version : Bread and butter image- please CC

12-14-2008, 08:50 AM
I took these photos during a Christmas session- and I started wondering if there is ever a spot for a plain, but nicely done bread and butter image in competition? Anyway, please let me know what you think. I still haven't figured out how to make the pics bigger.:p8305



12-15-2008, 04:48 AM

I see that this thread has been viewed 50 times and no responses. That's why I figured maybe someone should say something about these images. On your other thread I suggested you get a hold of some loan and showcase books. I want to strongly suggest that again. I think it would give you some insights as to what is expected in a merit print. To answer your question, yes a simple but well done image can have a place in print competition and recieve a merit. However the examples you posted here have some real technical and compositional challenges. I do not feel you would be happy with the scores on any of these images.


12-15-2008, 04:57 AM

I see that this thread has been viewed 50 times and no responses.


We were waiting for you.:D

12-15-2008, 04:58 AM
The biggest thing to remember in print competition is impact. You have just a few seconds to wow the judges. So most of the time a bread and butter images don't do well in comp it has to go beyond "the client loved it" and has to impress a panel of photographers.
the last two years i have hung all four images at nationals but at our local level the last two competitions I have only scored 76-78 and a few of the images i really liked. i did not get thought from others before submitting the images to our local and tried to pick what i thought was good. At the national level I use a group of photographic friend to pick the images and also help me with some ideas on how to tweak the images.
It is very important to have others help you. Keep putting the images up on this forum and soon you will start to get an idea of what will work for comp.

12-15-2008, 02:50 PM
Okay- so I seem to have some technical and compositional problems. Can someone please outline some of those to me- composition has always been a struggle for me. You all do such a good job on cc- I just need a little guidance right now! Thanks!:)

12-15-2008, 04:04 PM
I sent you a PM.

12-15-2008, 05:59 PM
Kesha, Keith is right. But this should not discourage you from entering different images into your local competition so that you can get feedback from the judges.

Personally, I've entered print competition in order to make my client's images competition worthy - that is, to make all of your "bread and butter" images look like they are for print comp. If you try this, instead of separating bread and butter with competition, your clients will benefit, and your business will benefit, in the long run.

I believe Keith got his masters using client images as well as I.

12-15-2008, 06:07 PM
To build on what Micheal said, don't think of competition images as different from client images. Just think of print judges as even more demanding even more discerning then clients. It's not that competition wants something different then a client, it's that competiton is an even higher standard. Doesn't it make sense that another photographer with thier higher knowledge would have higher expectations than someone who knows nothing about the art or science of photography? Whenever someone says a judging was harsh or difficult I tell them they should be glad, because if competition is difficult it means when you do well you have really accomplished something.


12-16-2008, 02:51 PM
I just wanted to jump in on this thread quickly... I think of myself as a 'bread & butter' photographer. I don't create crazy amazing images. I'm not on the leading edge of creativity. I'm not even on the middle edge of creativity! BUT, I do produce very good quality images - consistently.

The trick with entering 'bread & butter' images in comp is that they have to be executed flawlessly. If it's something the judges have seen over and over again, then they will reward you for your technical mastry if you can show flawless execution. Otherwise, there isn't anything to keep their attention. Think of it this way... in Olympic Gymnastics (everyone watches gymnastics every 4 years, right?!), you have starting value based on the difficulty of your trick, right? Well, if you start at a 10.0 difficulty, then the judges have the opportunity to reward your effort, given the difficulty, even if it's not perfect. However, if you start at a difficulty of 7.9, and still don't execute to perfection, then the judges have no option but to score lower (based on the lower "start value" and then the lack of execution). Same deal in competition. If you give the judges a "bread and butter" image (aka lower start value), then you have to perform at 100% for them to reward your effort.

Like Keith said, if competition were easy, there would be no accomplishment in success.

For what it's worth, one of my "bread & butter" images was featured on the cover of Professional Photographer magazine last month.

12-16-2008, 03:38 PM
Hi Kesha;

I would like you to make a hard drive file folder "Potential Competition Images". For each session & wedding put files in the folder you feel may make a good candidate for competition. You will accumulate a lot of images and can narrow down to the best rather than cull through all files to find images.

As Keith has been trying to impress on you ... the PPA General and Loan Collection books will help you learn about those elements of an excellent image that will help it do well. Put yourself in the shoes of a judge. You are sitting there for many hours on end. It tends to become routine as prints keep coming up that are ordinary. Then, one comes up with a creative, intriguing, title. You sit up and look forward to seeing the image. ALRIGHT !!! ... you are not disappointed. The image lives up to your anticipation and fits the title. It has lots of impact and tells a story. The entire image meets most of the Dirty Dozen and you are thrilled with what the maker created !!!

To that end ... here is the Dirty Dozen of competition:


12-17-2008, 04:30 AM
Heather, that's a really good explanation!!

12-18-2008, 02:23 AM
Thank you all so much! I am learning more every day. I'd like to tell Mr. Howe that I contacted Mr. Box and am going to attend his workshops in the near future- so thanks for the advice! (Caldwell is about 4 hours away.)

And Heather- thanks for chiming in- I saw your beautiful cover last month- your little girl in the pink hat. In fact, now that you mention it, I remember the article calling it a bread and butter image. Great job! I especially loved the kicker lights you used!

That's a great idea to make a folder of possible comp images. Sadly, it would be pretty empty right now, but I just got a new L lens for Christmas from my sweet hubby so maybe I'll meet some of you at SWPPA in September! Thanks again everyone!

12-18-2008, 02:58 AM
Mr. Howe

Mister? MISTER?? Now I really feel old! JK Kesha. I am glad you will get a chance to study with Doug, you will be amazed and on brain overload from the wealth of knowledge he has to share.


12-18-2008, 08:30 PM
Ha Ha- I did not mean to make you feel old- I just felt a little weird calling you Keith- like I would calling Doug Box Doug or Ansel Adams Ansel. When I get my first merits ( That box of blue ribbons I was telling you about) I'll invite you all to a party down here in Texas and call you all by your first names. Until then. . . Thanks again, Mr. Howe, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Gan, and Mr. Flory. :)

12-18-2008, 08:59 PM
Kesha, My name is Keith and I like to be called that. I can't speak for any of those others you mentioned but yes I do have a box of blue ribbons and merits. That's just stuff I did, it's not who I am. It has absolutely no bearing on my value as a person. Who I am is Keith and I would like it if you considered me a friend and would call me that. . . whether you have no merits or hundreds of them. Thank you!


P.S. Heather . . ha ha - now you are Mrs. Smith - so I guess you are old too!

12-19-2008, 03:30 AM
P.S. Heather . . ha ha - now you are Mrs. Smith - so I guess you are old too!

You know, before I lived in the south, I felt old any time someone called me "ma'am" but now I find it quite endearing. My kids even say it, and I must admit that I like it. Mrs. Smith seems so formal! And I'm soooo not a formal kind of girl! But, I respond to most anything, so there you go.