12 Tips for Submitting to Photo Contests

by Photo Life

Paul Zizka, Grand-Prize winner, TWWLI VII

Have your friends and family been telling you that you should enter a photo contest? Did you read our post on why you should enter The World We Live In photo contest this year and decide to give it a try? Or have you been eagerly planning to participate since last year? Wherever you are in your process, we have 12 tips to help you prepare to submit to The World We Live In!

12 Tips for Submitting to Photo Contests

  1. Research contests (ours and every contest you are considering entering!) before submitting so that you know the implications regarding your copyright and other legal aspects. Many free contests are a way for companies to gain a bank of images to use for their purposes, so read the fine print and submit to reputable contests.
  2. Read the instructions carefully and follow them.
  3. Stick with the theme. If you have incredible images that just don’t fit in with the theme, save them for another contest. (Check out the upcoming themes of our Showtime contest here.)
  4. If you are having trouble resizing your images, read this tutorial.
  5. Do not add your watermark or signature in the images you are submitting. This is usually distracting and will interfere with the overall quality of your work. Besides a contest should be anonymous!
  6. Check where your focus is; for people and animals, the eyes should be in focus.
  7. Use moderation when editing your photos. An adjustment that goes too far can ruin an image. Good editing (and HDR) should not be obvious.
  8. Consider getting feedback from your friends as you are choosing which photos to submit. Sometimes others can see things that we don’t notice and can offer a new, helpful perspective!
  9. Look at your images in thumbnail size. If an image stands out at that size, it’s probably a strong photo.
  10. Only submit the best version of a particular image. Submitting a few variations (cropped, colour, black and white, vertical and horizontal, for example) won’t improve your chances.
  11. Make your composition as ideal as you can. We often see great photos that have a distracting element in the frame that takes away from the whole image and ruins an otherwise competitive image. Look to see if there are any elements that take away from your composition and adjust accordingly. It’s an easy fix (in camera or in post), and it can make a world of difference.
  12. Follow your instincts and send what you believe to be your best images.

For more details on the contest and to enter, click here. Good luck and have fun! We’re getting excited about seeing your images!

This post was edited from a post published on October 28, 2016. We republished it to help those of you preparing for our upcoming deadline of March 24, 2019, for The World We Live In VIII, in collaboration with La Maison Simons.

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