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MarcHathaway
12-10-2009, 06:14 PM
I'm interested in entering in the print competitions but don't really know where to begin. What would be your recommendation for someone that knows nothing about print competition as to where to begin?

The information on the site is a bit scattered and confusing and a big reason why I did not get involved this year. After reading the thread about getting more people involved with print competition I start looking for more information with limited results. There are some very basic questions that are hard to find thorough answers to.

Who - who can enter
How - how do you enter
What - what can be or should be entered
Where - where are the competitions held
When - when are the competitions held
Why - why people should get involved

Some of these questions are answered better than others.

Heather_L._Smith
12-10-2009, 10:14 PM
Who - who can enter
Anyone can enter

Where - where are the competitions held
There are several opportunities to enter print competition. If you're just getting started, you can certainly try things out at your local affiliate, or at your state association, or at a Regional/District level. Locals, depending on how often they meet, may encourage a type of print competition at each meeting (sometimes as often as monthly). Local competitions are generally not judged by affiliate judges (this part is important to understand, as affiliate judges are trained and qualified to judge at the national level). State competitions offer an experience closer to that of a national competition (closer - not the same, but closer), and generally happen annually. In Regional/District competitions, images are submitted and judged by affiliate judges. Because they are judged by nationally affiliated judges, the images that 'merit' at a Regional competition can be sent on to Nationals that same year and automatically receive a national merit (the only place merits count toward your degrees).


How - how do you enter
Depends on the competition. Some levels allow you to hand deliver your print case the weekend of the competition. Others, like a Regional or Nationals, have deadlines for submissions, which are often weeks or a month+ before the competition itself.

What - what can be or should be entered
This is a very broad question. I think the best answer is "pretty much anything." I would strongly recommend getting your hands on past PPA Loan or Showcase collection books and see what has been meriting and earning the top awards over the last decade.

When - when are the competitions held
Nationals are judged in June each year. With thousands and thousands of prints being handled, it's a multi-day process, with nearly 50 judges. State competitions vary by state - check your own state's association for info - should be on their website. Regional/Districts are annually as well - check to see what region/district you fall under and you can find info on when their competition is held - mine is always in April (SEPPA).

Why - why people should get involved
Hahahahahaha..... I might recommend a quick search on print competition here on the forum. This is one of those topics that has huge proponents on one side, and others who don't see the same value on the other. I personally believe that my work has changed and increased in technical competency as a direct result of competition. I have a great respect for the process, and have seen success in a fairly short period of time. I could type until my fingers turn blue, but the most critical thing I can say is - try it. Try it and see what you think. I don't want you to take my opinions for your own, because you may not see the same value that I do.

Keith_A_Howe
12-10-2009, 11:13 PM
Marc,

I see you are in Denver, not so far from me. I was just there over the weekend. Anyway, If you are really serious about entering, why don't you make a trip to my place in North Platte. I would be glad to help you all I can. I do have some experience in print competition.

Keith

MarcHathaway
12-11-2009, 12:00 AM
Heather, thanks for the long answer. I didn't really expect anyone to attempt to answer every question. While I was trying to find the answers I was also trying to make a point. For someone new to print competition it's difficult to find good information about it. In order to get more people to participate I think there needs to be a good introduction and road map, so to speak, to the competition.


Keith, I really appreciate the offer and may take you up on it. I'm sure you would be an excellent resource and mentor. The problem is you couldn't do that for everyone thinking about entering the competition.

I joined PPA to improve my knowledge and skills more than any other reason. Degrees and Print Competition are frequently referred to as ways to do this along with certification. I don't think there is enough information about how to get involved with competition or earn degrees on the website.

I wanted this thread to be a resource not only for myself but for anyone else interested in print competition. What would your recommendation(s) be for a newcomer wanting to learn more or participate for the first time in print competition be?

Jeff_Dachowski
12-11-2009, 12:36 AM
Marc,
If Keith is offering...you should take him up on that. I want him to review my prints and I have to fly there, and do a bunch of construction to his studio before he will even open my case. I got the feeling he was willing to do that for free for you. I would jump all over it!!
Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
12-11-2009, 01:42 AM
Keith, I really appreciate the offer and may take you up on it. I'm sure you would be an excellent resource and mentor. The problem is you couldn't do that for everyone thinking about entering the competition.


Well, I can't do it for everyone but then everyone hasn't asked. Four years ago I made it a personal goal to help other photographers reach their WOW moments. So I am personally obligated to help everyone who asks. So far it's gotten dicey right before a few major regionals and national, but I haven't had to say no to anyone yet. Anyway for years this kind of information was passed through word of mouth and that was enough. Now PPA has grown so fast that word of mouth isn't keeping up. I know PEC is trying to address this issue. There is a 4 part webinar that you can download for free. Here is the link to my previous post that has the links to the 4 different webinars.
http://www.ppa.com/community/forums/showthread.php?p=213269&highlight=print+competition+webinar#post213269




Marc,
If Keith is offering...you should take him up on that. I want him to review my prints and I have to fly there, and do a bunch of construction to his studio before he will even open my case. I got the feeling he was willing to do that for free for you. I would jump all over it!!
Jeff

Jeff - If you remember correctly I already paid for the construction work with a full day of land leveling and and 4 days of chauffer services. And I hate to tell you this, but if I thought there was gonna be anything exciting in your case, I'd be opening it right away . . . oh wait minute! Are you bringing Carolle's prints too? That's a whole different story!!!!!!!

Keith

MarcHathaway
12-11-2009, 02:48 AM
Thanks Keith. I just watched the first part and it was helpful.

What is the difference between National and International competition?

Keith_A_Howe
12-11-2009, 04:10 AM
Thanks Keith. I just watched the first part and it was helpful.

What is the difference between National and International competition?

No difference. It is an international competition but sometimes we shorten it up and just say national comp. Really the correct terminology is International. FWIW there are entries from Korea, China, England, Mexico and who knows where else. The International competition will take place in Atlanta on June 13 - 16, 2010. The deadline for entry is usually about a month before that.

I really was serious about you coming out for a day. In fact Holly and I were talking about maybe doing a one day seminar on competition if we could get enough people to actually travel to North Platte. Probably be easier if we held it in Denver or Omaha.

Keith

Rick_Massarini
12-11-2009, 05:03 AM
Marc,
I agree with Jeff. I know a lot of jurors and it would be difficult to find a better one to be your mentor. Take Keith up on his offer - it would be worth the drive - from no matter where you live !

MarcHathaway
12-11-2009, 05:09 AM
Keith I think the seminar is a great idea. You may want to consider doing it with the Professional Photographers of Colorado. I haven't seen an event schedule for 2010 yet. They held a print critique last year but I don't think it was a full competition seminar.

Linda_Gregory
12-11-2009, 02:06 PM
I've been to the Howe's studio twice to study with them plus many email and phone conversations. They'll walk me through until my lightbulb moment arrives and that's just studio work.

For comp, they'll ask questions and see if you find solutions with the answers you give..it's truly YOUR work yet, they give guidance which teaches you what to look for or change.