Category Archives: Awards

Photo Contests and Shooting What you Love

Eggs at the Versailles, FR market.

I entered this image in a food photography contest a few months back and was shortlisted as a finalist. The image was taken at the outdoor market in Versailles on my vacation last year. The vendor had crates and crates of eggs stacked on his table. The shadows of the eggs in the crates, the fine lines and symmetry of the crates caught my eye. And there goes the click. How this image versus the other mages I submitted made it to the finals I do not know.  We never know the minds of the judges. We can only wish that the image we submit somehow resonates with those judges. I entered another contest last year and scored very well with one judge – but one is not enough. The others had a different idea for the criteria for winning. Win or lose – doesn’t matter – what matters is being in the game – taking forward action and being confident in your own style and the value you bring to the table. No judge in a contest can take that away from you. Shoot what you love – and keep shooting it. Shoot, refine, shoot some more. Rinse and repeat. Even if you never enter a contest, this is the formula for excellent work. So go out and do excellent work.

So why do we enter photography contests? For me, it was all about validation. To know that the months of hard work and practice bring tangible results. To compete with professionals and amateurs on a global scale  – and wind up on the shortlist – this is a really great motivator to keep doing what I do.

Do any of you doubt  your talent and ability every now and then like I do? Sometimes the work of photography and art is isolated. Hold fast to your vision. The world needs it. Art matters – in history – and now more than ever. Your work enriches the world around us. Keep doing it – over and over and over again.

My agreement as a finalist was that I would not publish the image on any social media until the winners were announced on April 23. Although I did not place or win my category, “Cream of the Crop”, I was thrilled to be a finalist. It is so satisfying to do work that you love and get paid and recognized for it.

There were over 5000 entries and about 100 finalists in all categories. Each category had seven finalists and there was an overall winner. My image was on display in a five-day exhibition of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013 at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 from Wednesday 24th – Sunday 28th April 2013.

Keep directing energy to the thing that you love and love will come back to you in ways you could never imagine.