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So you are a keen amateur or professional photographer? You have a website and are looking to push yourself forward? Your marketing options are massive today: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest , blogging, optimising your website and don’t forget good old networking (it still works). It’s a job in itself and getting it right is a whole new story.
Are Photography Awards Worth Entering?
On top of this, you notice you are receiving numerous emails too, “Enter our award now- only three days left to submit”. Is it worth it? In my experience, definitely. It’s not a lottery game, it’s about entering the correct images to the correct awards. Look at the higher profile awards such as The International Photography Awards and the Association of Photographers, these are my personal favourite. Look at the previous years winners, not to copy, but to get a feel for the correct style for that award. The Taylor Wessing Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery is a great example of this. http://www.npg.org.uk/photoprize1/site14/
Here is a great link to help you choose which awards are best for you:
Enter only your best images from that year, you don’t need to spend a fortune. $200 -$300 dollars is sensible, then see what happens. If you aren’t selected then don’t be disheartened, there is an abundance of competition and a lot of people miss out. Instead, look at the winners and think about what you can do to improve your photography for the following year. Image communication plays a big part here, not just special effects or clever lighting.
If eventually you are selected, you may win a prize or have your work selected for a exhibition. If you think that’s it and the work will now flood through the door then you are very wrong. It doesn’t. It’s what you do next which is important.
You have something great to talk about so get your achievement on to your website and social media to spread awareness. You could also tag the bottom of your emails with your award, “IPA Awards winner 2016”, for example. Having a well respected award to your name instantly gives the client a sense of trust and confidence in you and your work. Be careful not to push it too far though, if you appear to be showing off, this will almost certainly have a negative effect. You simply want to make people aware that you are up there this year.
I have found the dedicated awards page on my site very useful: http://www.mhphotographic.co.uk/awards. It’s something you can refer people to when an image is relevant to a potential project. “If you go to the 4th image on the awards page of my website, this lighting would work well with your subject and we could apply this look to your photography”.
Good luck and keep shooting.