Entering photo competitions takes time and money and up until recently I guess I hadn’t seen it as an important part of my work. I was too busy simply doing my job! But I have since realised that industry recognition does play a part in your development and achievement as an artist (even if it just helps your ego), so in 2009 I entered a few images into the 2009 Great Outdoors Photo Comp (sponsored by National Geographic at the time). As a first time entrant I was amazed and thrilled to win the Outdoor Sports category with my “Lost World” caving image, and the very next year I won the same category with my freestyle Moto-x image (see previous post).
Since then I’ve made the effort to enter at least a couple of photo competitions each year and have managed to pick up at least one award in every competition entered so far bar one. (Yes, the ego is very happy).
2012′s PDN Great Outdoors Award winners have just been announced and I am thrilled to have once again been acknowledged in this competition with First Place in the Scenes of the Natural World category. There are some wonderful winning shots in the winners gallery which you can view here, I especially like Peter Lik’s magical tree in the Plants, Animals, Insects and Garden’s gallery, as well as Ben Moon’s underwater bodysurfing shot.
So if you have been thinking about putting yourself out there and entering some photo competitions, my advice would be to go for it! Pick a genuine photographic competition of a style appropriate to your work, backed by reputable sponsors and with transparent terms and conditions (be wary of those competitions that claim usage rights to your images, read the T&C’s carefully).
And good luck!