The Professional Photographer’s of Canada recently held their provincial print competition in Edmonton, Alberta. Entering into print competition is a great way to have my images reviewed on a regular basis by a panel of master judges. This of course can be a huge blow to my ego, but it also teaches me how to improve my technical skills and ensure every year my entries score better than the year before! I think print competition is the sole reason my technical skills continue to grow. It is tough to look back at the images that I thought were “so good” from my Hallmark portfolio, and even from my blog. I keep them there though to remind me, that when a judge throws out one of my images for a technical detail, it makes me mad and forces me to push harder in my work. If I never submitted my images and risked never putting my heart out there, I wouldn’t hear the critiques that have helped me to grow as a photographer.
The images that I place into print competition are typically those ones that I have pushed myself creatively or technically. I could choose to enter “safe” images, but if I won awards for every image I entered, I would never grow as a photographer and so I choose to keep putting forth work in which I stretched. Some of these images have done very well, but others crash and burn very quickly!
My score this time around was disappointing, especially for two of my images which I had worked extremely hard on. After a day or so of disappointment, I put it behind me and took a close look at the feedback. Three of the images had very minor technical issues with them, and I will be re-photographing all of these concepts to push my skills and burn into my mind the lessons imparted by the judges!
As much as I hate having my images shot down, I love the determination and energy I get to redo, improve and grow because I know the redone images will be way stronger than they were to begin with.
This image, titled “Thank You Lord for a Cowboy’s Life”, received a score of accepted! I can’t share the remaining images until after the national print competition so stayed tuned!