29th Dec2014

3 Print Competition Tips from Jurors-In-Training (& CPPs!)

by Christine

Jurors-in-training are PPA members and print competitors and who have completed the PPA Judge’s workshop as part of the process in becoming a PPA Affiliated Juror. After the workshop, students who have their Master’s Degree are eligible to begin judging print competitions at a state level.

Like anyone else – we have opinions and advice and here is a roundup of comments from some fellow JITs to help new competitors. This will be a multi-post topic, so stay tuned for more.

Please note that today’s advice-givers are all Certified Professional Photographers. Just sayin’. 😉

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#1

Remember: You are not competing against other photographers,
you are competing against yourself.
The goal is to make your work better.

~Margaret Bryant, M.Photog., CPP

Absolutely! Margaret nailed it. If you don’t take any other lesson away from print competition, this is the one you need the most. Print competition is not about beating out other photographers/competitors. It’s not about doing as well as someone else. We’ve all gotten caught up in the emotions of winning/losing, but eventually we all recognize that without a doubt, the competition is within and we all have won.

My own thoughts, excerpted from Why Print Competition? :

“…Competition has made me a MUCH better photographer. Every year that I compete, my work reaches new levels of technical excellence because I constantly push myself to refine my skills, both in the studio and on the computer, and in doing that I’ve looked at my images way more objectively than I ever have in order to eliminate anything that might make it less than a stellar image. It’s an improvement process and a learning experience. It’s not about the merits, scores and degrees (although they’re great reinforcement) – it’s about improving what I’m doing.”

#2

Ask someone who has been successful for a critique of your images.

~Ella Carlson, M. Photog. Cr., CPP

Ahhhh, yes! Ella brings up a very important point. When you begin your print competition journey, you are going to need help. And you are going to ask for it. You need to use discernment in who you ask for help. Your best bet is to ask those that have gone before you. And who have done it well. VERY well.

Shawn & Willard Jones of Jones Photography, Mayfield, KY at their Mentor Booth Appointment with PPA Affiliated Judge, Gregg Wurtzler from OH. IUSA Mentor appointments are a wonderful way to get experienced input on your competition images.

Shawn & Willard Jones of Jones Photography, Mayfield, KY at their Mentor Booth Appointment with PPA Affiliated Judge, Gregg Wurtzler from OH. IUSA Mentor appointments are a wonderful way to get experienced input on your competition images.

As a matter of fact, let’s dust off an article for you to read, if you haven’t already, that expands more on this topic: Photography Critiques – Part 1

#3

Handle objections before the judges can object to them.

Adrian Henson, M. Photog. M.E.I. Cr., CPP

This is a rock solid piece of advice. If you see anything wrong, and I mean ANYTHING, fix it. If you ask me “do you think the judges will see/notice this?” I’m gonna look at you sideways and comment on the Browns.

And I don’t even watch baseball.

If you can see it, the judges will see it. If I can see it, the judges will see it. Let’s not enter anything at all that will not pass muster. This isn’t the time for sloppiness.

Stay tuned for more JIT tips and a High Wootness Five! to Margaret, Ella and Adrian for sharing their wisdom. 🙂

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