When approaching entering photographic competitions I decided I wasn’t yet confident enough to enter competitions of which are paid for, but instead exploring free competitions to give me experience and inspiration to consider paid competitions in the future.
I found it hard to find free competitions online however I found two websites which are used to enter competitions. I set up a profile where you can upload your images and chose which competitions you enter. There is a choice of a free account or a paid ‘premium’ account. The free account limits the things you can do with the site such as a maximum number of uploads a day, only being able to enter small selections of competitions and only being able to submit one image to the said competitions. As a starting point I felt this was enough for me to work with. The two websites are Viewbug and Photo Contest.
The other positive about these websites is that you can reach a diverse audience of photographers – amateur, hobbyists and professionals, allowing you to rate each other’s work with ‘awards’ which is motivating. The competitions are also made or judged by professionals which is very uplifting to think my work is being examined by them.
Having the profiles means that I have a consistent platform where I can broadcast my work to a larger audience whenever I see a competition theme fitting, which will help with my recognition as a photographer and help me feel rewarded for my work.
I approached the competitions thinking about imagery that I have which I could use to fit the theme presented, and if it was relevant. I tried to use images aesthetically interesting but metaphorical to give my work a bit more edge in the crowds of photographs entered.
I entered 6 competitions between the two websites, some that are yet to be concluded. I didn’t worry about the reward – that was just an added bonus. This for me was more about building the confidence in my work to be able to broadcast it and be critiqued by individuals unknown to me with different experiences.
COMPETITION 1 – ‘April’ – use a photograph that symbolises the month of April, a monthly competition to visualise each month – Deadline April 30th – At the end of the year the 12 winners will be up for a very special prize and will receive an exclusive ViewBug Blog Interview, and exclusive Social Media Promotion, an exclusive ViewBug Prize Package and 300 Reward Points
COMPETITION 2 – ‘Anything Reflections’ – Deadline 8th June – Grand Jury Winner -$200 Amazon Gift Card, People’s Choice – $139 Viewbug Giftcard, Amateur Winner – $50 Amazon Gift Card
COMPETITION 3 – ‘Rule of Thirds’ – Deadline June 23rd – Grand Jury Winner – Nikon D3300 SLR Camera (body only, People’s Choice – exclusive blog feature, Amateur Winner – exclusive blog feature
COMPETITION 4 – ‘Everyday Heroes’ – Deadline 25th May – Prize is a $300 (USD) value prize package provided by Lexar, who’ll award the expert’s winner with a 128GB 1066x CompactFlash card and the CFR1 Workflow Reader. The crowd’s favourite will win a 128GB 1000x SD card and the SR2 Workflow reader.
COMPETITION 5 – ‘Across the Rooftops’ – Deadline 29th April – CAME 1.696th, showing amount of images that are entered. It’s not disheartening because there is so much competition so it is realistically expected.
COMPETITION 6 – ‘Self-Portraits’ – Deadline 4th May – CAME 877th – quite nice to see the different rate of stars I was given to be able to evaluate my own work