Photo contests are fun but also stressful. They present a lot of opportunity for you to showcase your work to the public, but some can also be a risky move for your career. It is for such considerations that you need to make the right choice in terms of the competition to engage yourself in. Given that there are hundreds if not thousands of photography contests for you to choose from, the decision you make can have lasting implications on your career.
Why even bother?
Entering the free photo contests is not only great for your career in terms of recognition and exposure but also give you the opportunity to get feedback from professionals in your field. But you need to select the right competition for your work. Here are some reasons why:
- Less Stress
You will have more peace of mind and an easier time finding content to submit to a competition that is greatly related to what you frequently do. You could enter a wildlife photography competition, but you have no interest in the outdoors at all. In such a situation you will struggle. Similarly, pick out the right category in the competition that you enter. Do not expect the judges to move your work from one category to another. Everyone can do with less stress in their lives.
- Appropriate exposure
You could win a landscape photography contest as a street photographer either because of a technicality or you submitted great landscape work. However, remember if most of your work is on street photography then you will not be getting the right exposure to your work unless you are thinking of changing to fulltime landscape photography. Winning the free photo contests is one thing but can you sustainably go one with the type of photography you submitted?
- Better chances of winning
You have higher chances of winning in a photography competition that you are experienced in. Imagine entering a medical photography competition as a wedding photographer? Good luck with that. Choosing the right competition that fits suits your interests and experience will increase the odds of your win.
- Branding purposes
Organizers of photo contests will want to be associated with certain types of work for their own brand. The same should be the case for you. You should not be involved in a competition that does not promote your values.