Photo Feedback

I suggest you approach photography competitions as a game. After all, it's only a matter of opinion. Most importantly, you need to like your own photographs and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Of course, anyone can take a photograph, but does it have value? Do other people enjoy viewing it? Could you do it better? If, like me, you are interested in improving your photography, then entering photography competitions is a great way of getting honest feedback from people who have some expertise.

However, don't assume the judges from just one competition are right! Remember, the results of a photography competition are only a matter of opinion. Years ago, I entered a photograph in two competitions. At the local camera club, the judge told me the photo had no artistic merit and I should consider giving up photography. At the Sydney International Salon, it won first prize. Two different judges, two different opinions. Which one is right?

So, if you were to enter your photograph in two or three competitions and you received low scores in all of them, then you have two choices.

First, you can disregard the results. Personally, the photograph may still remain a firm favourite and this is completely valid. Second, you can take the results on the chin and look more critically at your work and how you can improve. One suggestion here is to put the photo away for 3 or 6 months and then look at it with fresh eyes. It's amazing how often a little time proves the judging panel correct, especially when we're at the beginning of our photography journey.

Of course, if you have a great photograph, then whether it wins or not is to some extent a matter of luck. No matter how good your photograph is, you have no control over how amazing someone else's images are, or how the judges respond to your technique, subject matter and emotion. That's why I recommend aiming to be in the top 20 percent and, eventually, one of your images is likely to be a winner.

Check out our e-book on How To Win Photo Competitions on our Better Photography Education website - you can find it here.

And, of course, you can enter our current Better Photography Photo of the Year Competition - details are here.

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