For me it is a lot of stress - followed by butterflies - followed by indecisiveness - followed by confidence - followed by fear - followed by binge eating ice cream and chocolate! It is a whole lot of emotions wrapped into one tiny day that really, in the grand scheme of life doesn't mean a whole lot - except that I am putting myself out on a limb. I am challenging myself, my ability, my knowledge of my craft. I am creating my best possible images that day, every day
Here is the annual low down - State Photographic Competition is October 12 (this year in Sacramento), followed by District Photographic Competition (some time in the spring) and then International Photographic Competition (sometime in the summer). Our California State Competition is the sounding board for which images may do well and which ones need to be put aside, opening the door for others. Some people work and re-work an image - I do not do that - if it doesn't fly at State, I am not going to waste my time on it...instead I will work on a new image or idea. I would have to say that 95% of my Photographic Competition images are client work. I don't put a lot of effort or time into "coming up with an idea" for competition - that is just me! That is how I like to work! Some may not agree with this, and that is totally fine. The big thing is that I am entering images and I am learning from my mistakes and successes. What is interesting about these particular photographic competitions is that they are not judged against each other, the images are judged based on 12 Elements. Huh? Yeah, I had no idea when I first started competition what that meant either...so, what are those elements?
Impact - Creativity - Style - Composition - Print Presentation - Center of Interest - Lighting - Subject Matter - Color Balance - Technical Excellence - Technique - Storytelling
No one element carries more weight than another - but without one element, the image will probably not do well. So I have to sit back and look at each image with these 12 elements in mind. There is a problem there - I am totally attached to my images. They are a part of me. My hard work. My creativity. My heart and soul goes into each picture I take...so how the heck do I look at things objectively? Honestly, I do not ask many people for their opinion anymore. Why? I am not sure...part of it may have something to do with everyone telling me what I need to do different...that's not my style...or how others are just a gushy about how cute it is, but don't truly understand the concept of the Photographic competitions that I enter. I do it to make me a better photographer! Anything that goes beyond that is a wonderful benefit.
So, here are a few images that have been entered into State, District and International Photographic Competitions over the past few years...Let me see if I can start with the oldest first...
The very first image titled "Cheese Gromit" was entered in the 2011 Professional Photographers of America's (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC). I entered one image. I had no idea that the entry price was for a case (which is 4 images). It was the first or second year that IPC accepted digital file entries. One image...it earned a merit. I was hooked!
What is a Merit? Great Question! It scored high enough to be considered above "Above Average". This is not above average for a hobby photographer - now mind you there are some REALLY GOOD hobby photographers out there...this is above "Above Average" in the field of professional photographers. That is huge!
Notice - there is absolutely NO presentation what so ever on my first few years of image competition. I started adding presentation boarders in 2014 and Yes, I do wonder how they would have done had I known what the heck that presentation thing was all about or had the input from the amazing people that I know now.
Stay tuned, I will post more on this whole Photographic Competition thing so you can see the progression. To think, My first Photographic Competition was in 2011 - that was 8 years ago. WOW!!!!