As a photographer, you will come across a myriad of photo contests each with beautiful promises. You are likely to be totally spoilt for choice figuring out the option to go with. However, this should not be the case. The first consideration that you can make is the ease of entrance. There are some competitions that are nigh impossible to permeate. Be that as it may, whether the competition is free or paid for, you will have to make other considerations to decide on one that is best for your career.
Do not simply submit your work
You need to have a strategy in your engagement with photography competitions. Do not simply submit your work to just any kind of competition base on the rewards only. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
- Your values and interests
Organizers of free photo contests will want to be associated with a certain type of photographer and certain type of content as well. The same should be the case for you. Will association with a particular competition be beneficial or detrimental to your photography career? To decide on this, consider the alignment between your values and those of the sponsors. Consider your interests as well. There are some competitions that will reward you with an opportunity to study in the best photography schools on the globe but probably going back to school is not an area of interest for you but rather an apprenticeship programme working with leading photographers on the planet.
- How many categories are available?
Most photo contests will have multiple categories for you to select from. Does the work you create have anything to do with these categories? Submitting your work into the wrong category of a competition will likely reduce your chances of winning because categories have their own specific requirements. A competition with only one category that is well defined would probably be better than one that has a hundred categories that overlap. At the same time, a competition that offers multiple categories gives you better chances of winning.
- Are there opportunities to learn?
Sometimes you will not win the competition and that is just okay. The chances of winning in free photo contests especially international ones are quite low because of the innumerable submissions they receive. However, even if you do not win, are there are opportunities for you to learn from your peers and the experts in the field?