I was recently awarded 2nd place in a prestigious* photography competition and I wanted to tell you about why I entered.
I enter monthly competitions mostly to improve my standard and to understand what makes an impactful image. If it can impact on a stranger then it will impact on the families I’m creating the images for.
I am competitive, but not with anyone else… this is the bit that’s really important. I am competing with myself! I know this sounds bizarre and most of my friends would not be surprised of my mindset.
The point is that I want to be is better than the photographer I was yesterday. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about being the best I can be for myself, my family, the families I shoot for and for anyone else who has an impact in my life.
I’m not saying that I don’t occasionally slip into comparing myself to others. I do, but it’s different this time. I look at where they are and what they are achieving, and I want the same if not better. This is for me and not to prove anything to anyone else. We all wish to understand where we want to be in life and when you see someone enjoying success in what you love doing, then it can inspire you in that direction. It shows you what your heart’s desire may be.
It matters to the families who book me that I am the best I can be. They know I’m motivated to produce work of a high standard and trust I will do the same for them.
This is another reason why I enter competitions; I have to learn what makes a good photograph, accept critique and celebrate any wins no matter how big or small. This is the space in which you will learn and grow the most.
Wishing you all the best in your ventures!
* The reason why I say prestigious is because that there are so many competitions in this industry and the levels vary. The SWPP have very high standards. To find out more about SWPP competition requirements see this link: http://swpp.co.uk/comps.htm