How to win at photography competitions
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How to win at photography competitions

Having served as a judge on panels for quite a few of them, Senior DPReview contributor Damien Demolder knows a thing or two about photography competitions. Here he shares a few things to consider when entering a photo competition, and some tips for standing out from the crowd.

1. Read the brief and stick to it

It might sound obvious but reading the brief and understanding the theme is a part of the process of entering a competition that many photographers neglect – or simply don’t do. If you don’t take the time to appreciate what the organisers want, you reduce your chances of providing it. A skim-read of the brief might tell you that it’s a landscape competition, while a more careful study might reveal that seascapes and panoramics are excluded, or that judges will be looking for images showing the effects of agriculture in the countryside.

If the rules say ‘no logos or watermarks’ don’t add a logo or a watermark. No matter how good it is, the picture it will be rejected. You also need to be conscious of how much manipulation is permitted and the categories that allow or forbid it. These are simple things that can easily disqualify you right from the start.