View Full Version : Why do you enter your images?

05-11-2006, 12:52 AM
I am curious to the motivations of others as to why they enter into these competitions. I thought I might learn a thing or two by the answers.

So why to you enter?

05-11-2006, 03:46 AM
Greetings Mark,

It's funny, every time I put 4 prints into a case, I put 4 Blues in there. Sometimes, when those Masters view my images, they see things that I NEVER saw when I packed them. I don't always agree with what they see and what they say, but I always learn a bit more. :cool:

One thing I know for sure, if you want to become a Master, Blue ribbons are very important, but when you are making a living with your camera, Green ribbons are the best :D

05-11-2006, 12:54 PM
Competition is about learning, testing my abilities and images against the standard, and yes, about my personal esteem (ego). I first entered in 1968 hanging 1 of 4 (it went loan) and finally earned the Master of Photography in 1979 (13 years). That's 52 entries to hang 9 images (fortunately 6 were loan) and acquired 17 of those dreaded 79's. In that time I learned an increadable amount above what I had learned at Brooks. Also the publicity from the awards and exhibitions were adding to my credibility in the business. After receiving the Masters a friend said I should just concentrate on my business so I didn't compete for 10 years. I became very stale and began to dislike what I was doing. It took three years to improve my work enough to have a print accepted in competition. Since then (1992) I have missed going 4/4 once. I also love competiting to make ASP's Traveling Exhibit which takes only Loan images from it's members. I compete on my state, regional and International levels within the PPA. I don't do a session that I don't apply the principles of a good competition image. With few exceptions the portraits I have had accepted are from regular sessions. I would be far less skilled without the process and I encourage all to compete for that reason.
Buddy Stewart, PEC vice chairman

05-11-2006, 12:57 PM
Hi Mark;

If you don't enter, at some level, you don't have a measure of where you are as an artist with a camera. Even if my clients, friends, or relatives rave over my work and I love what I've created ... till I have a panel of judges rate my work I don't have a handle on how far I have come. So, till you see your images compared to others you don't know how you stack up.

Whether it's the PPA competition, regional, state, or sub-state ... try competition. It can become addictive. And your clients will be impressed when you call and tell them you won an award on an image of them !!!

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP

05-12-2006, 02:47 AM
Hi Folks,
I enter the local affilliate level to receive direct feedback from my peers. On this level, you can hear the opinion of 5 judges on your print quality, posing, lighting, and most importantly originality. Then back at your studio, you can implement the suggested changes in future sessions to improve your images.
If it does well at the local affiliate, I'll send it on to state and PPA International. State and PPA international competitions provides opportunity to earn degrees which validate your expertise, and encourage you to stretch your skills and creativity.
The most valuable lessons I've learned from print competition was to be open to feedback on my images and that the images that clients love aren't necessarily going to score well at print competition. Most judges have seen it all. They are looking for something beyond the ordinary, something original or so well done that it knocks their socks off.
Clients love big smiles and more traditional looks to their images. Client education will help sell "art" photography, but expressions sell the images. When you can combine the expression, the creativity, and technical excellence--then you have a merit print.
I love print competition because it makes me grow as a photographer and as a person who can graciously accept both negative and positive feedback.

05-23-2006, 12:26 AM
Let see... I join print competition because I really like winning those little ribbons..... You know, just like in grade school! lol

Seriously, competing in an organized (not the normal “peoples choice/stock photography” drive that magazines do) print competition really improves your technique, presentation and creativity.

Also, you learn where you stand in relation to where your peers are. You then make a choice to at least be up to par, be better or be completely different from what’s out there on the market.

BTW, Hi Auralee, nice seeing a familiar name on the board….. Congratulations on the print of the month and judges choice sweep on the May print comp.