The days leading up to entering the contest, you were only thinking of how much fun you’d have finding the perfect shot to submit.
Now that you’ve entered, the weight of the competition has finally hit you.
You’re now realizing you have several other amazing photographers competing against you. Although you shouldn’t take your competition lightly, you should still have fun.
When taking your photos, your personality, mood, and creativity will all shine through. With a few photo contest tips, you can let go of all your competition worries and focus on doing what you love: snapping amazing photos
Are you ready to take home that grand prize? Continue reading below for our guide on how to win a photo contest!
1. Have a Solid Understanding of the Rules
Before you do anything, read the rules thoroughly. Even if the rules are in fine print, be sure to read everything. One of the first things judges will do when looking at all the entries is rule out each photo that didn’t meet all the requirements or follow all the rules.
This is a sure way to lose the contest, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to ensure you make it to the next phase. Some rules to consider are as follows:
- How many photos are you allowed to submit?
- What format must the photos be in?
- Is there something that needs to be included in all entries?
- What date must they be submitted by?
- What rights do you give away once submitting the photo (how will the photo be used)?
Make sure you know everything about the contest before entering it. This can only better your chances of winning.
2. Keep the Theme in Mind
Is there a theme for the photo contest? You don’t want to leave the judges wondering how your photo relates to the theme of the contest. If there’s a theme that needs to be followed, follow it, and follow it well.
There’s always room for creativity and thinking outside of the box, but the end result should be something that makes complete sense for the theme at hand.
3. Do Something Unexpected
Speaking of thinking outside of the box, it’s important you stand out from the competition. Remember, you’ll be up against many other talented photographers, so what will you do to make yourself stand out to the judges? Submitting a photo that many other people will submit won’t bring any attention to you.
Instead, do something unexpected. How can you take the theme and do something different with it? The more unique and creative your photo is, the better chance you have at grabbing all the judges’ attention.
4. Gather Enough Research
If you feel stumped in the beginning, don’t worry. There are ways to help get the ball rolling. Before shooting your shots, gather enough research about the contest or the theme.
What have others done in the past? You never want to copy someone else’s work, but looking at past winners can give you an idea of what type of photos the judges are looking for. Let these images inspire you.
If you know who the judges are, then you can also gather some research on them as well. What type of photography intrigues them? What are their personalities like?
Once you know this information, you can then produce a photograph they’ll love.
5. Only Submit a Sharp Image
The quality of your image is of the utmost importance when it comes time to make your submission. Don’t send in anything that’s less than high-quality. A sharp image will show the smallest details and color changes.
If you’re not confident about how to produce a sharp image, then be sure to practice doing so before the contest. Purchase the right equipment and learn how to change the camera settings to ensure you take only the best photos!
6. Use Your Photo to Tell a Story
The best photos are ones that tell a story. What reaction do you want the judges to have when looking at your photo? What emotions do you want them to feel?
What’s the story behind it? Does your photo leave the judges wanting more? It should. Some questions you want the judges to ask are as follows:
- Where are these people going?
- Where did they come from?
- What happened to this person or thing before the picture was taken?
Think about the story you want to tell and then bring it to life using photography!
7. Photograph Your Passions
Try to photograph something you’re passionate about. This passion will show through in the photo.
You’ll put more effort into the shot without even realizing you’re doing so. Think about what inspires you? What are some of your favorite photos and how can you use this inspiration to create an original shot?
8. Ask for Opinions Ahead of Time
Why wait until your photo is in front of a judge to receive an opinion about it? Ask for opinions from your friends and family before submitting them. Ask them for advice as well.
What do they like or don’t like about your photo? How can you improve it? If you need to toss out a few until you get the right one, then you know you’re on the right track.
9. Enter More Than One Contest
The last bit of advice is to enter more than one contest. The more contests you enter, the more experienced you’ll become. If you don’t take home the grand prize the first time, then keep trying until you finally get it.
If you’re able to speak with the judges, ask them what you could have done differently to win. Ask them what you did differently that made you win. Then, take this information with you and use it for future contests.
Are You Ready to Enter a Photography Contest?
With all of this helpful information in mind, you should be ready to enter a photography contest today. Remember to follow the tips listed here and always have fun.
For a list of daily entry contests and never-ending fun, click here!