Last year I created a blog post On Recognition, where I recognized six photographer friends and their photograph that knocked my socks off that year. It was one of my most popular posts-to-date and so much fun to curate I decided to make it an annual thing.
I find entering contests and submitting for competitions a fun challenge. Every single time I do, I learn something. A piece one judge or curator considers worthy another may easily dismiss. Everything is subjective. And it's important to keep that in mind.
Lately I've been making a point to share my work as much as I can. It can be pricey but it doesn't need to be. I've found some pretty affordable (and even free) online sites I love which I'll share at the end of this post. My success rate so far has been pretty good. And nothing feels better than to be recognized… knowing your work, when put to the test, stood out and was memorable? Oh, yes.
[That guy, Jay Maisel, I just quoted? If you aren't familiar, Google him, and prepare to be amazed. I'll give you a head start HERE.]
Curating this post, I'm learning to see patterns in what appeals to my eye. I'm a sucker for clean lines and interesting compositions. But for me, nothing is more important than gesture. Dictionary.com defines gesture as "a movement or position of the hand, arm, body, head, or face that is expressive of an idea, opinion, emotion, etc." I'm pretty sure that's why I'm so drawn to documenting people and real life. It's almost impossible to coax a gesture. It just happens and if your timing is good, you capture something great.
Below are six photographs from photographer friends that turned my head this year. My first thought when I saw each one of these was "Wow." My second thought was, "Oh, I wish I'd shot that!" I love reading the story behind these shots and learning a little bit more about the photographer. I hope you enjoy this gallery as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
EASTER BONNETT Gail Just
HAPPY PLACE Andrea Chivers
GOLD IS IN Marilou Jaen
UNINHIBITED JOY Sharra Liptack
I'd like to thank all of the photographers pictured above for participating, allowing me to curate another show-stopper post this year!
If you take photographs and are interested in entering a competition, these three sites are my favorites:
- National Geographic Your Shot : Be sure to check out the Assignments & Stories section where documentary photographers, photo editors and photo producers create assignments and if your work is chosen it becomes a part of the online story. Best part? It's free!
- Leica's I SHOT IT Photo Competition : An ongoing competition with tons of categories and the entry fees are very affordable. For each competition there is one winner and several Mark of Excellence (MOA) recipients which all receive comments on their winning entry from the judge. I've entered a few categories over the past few months and received a MOA in the Black & White Competition. And just this week I received another MOA and also WON the Dog Competition! I entered three images at $3 each. Those are my kind of entry fees!
- LifeFramer : I found out about this competition last October when they were launching their second year. I subscribed for a year for $99 which allowed me to submit 5 photos to 12 monthly themes. They have several pricing structures to choose from and you don't have to subscribe. I won third position the very first time I submitted and was over the moon! Nothing since, but I love how the judge comments on the top selections. That kind of feedback is priceless, whether it's on my own work or someone else's.
I highly encourage you to get your work out there! If you do, I'd love to hear what happens, so please keep me posted. ~ S.