Why and How Taking Pictures For Photo Contests (Part II)

A photo for a contest must be simple, neat, evocative and surprising.
A photo for a contest must be simple, neat, evocative and surprising.

Some ideas for taking a good photo for a contest

Choose to focus on simple topics, such as the expressions and body language of animals.

Use unique shapes and colors to create images that radiate serenity, calm and tranquility. Try to create pictures that will appeal to the imagination of the audience. Ethereal subjects are one way to do this.

Always try to touch the deepest spirit and the innate personal feelings of the audience. Try to appeal to everyone's subconscious.

Always try to find luck. It must be sought.

Think anthropomorphically in wildlife photography, and try to put yourself in the place of the animals.

The process of creating a picture involves three elements:

  • The points of interest.
  • The scene.
  • The lighting.

A photograph for a contest must convey beauty

In human beings, beauty can be found in someone’s eyes, body, appearance, or clothing. To not follow the crowd is a hallmark of beauty. This is aesthetics.

A photograph where there are several subjects is very annoying because the audience members feel like they cannot breathe. It is better to have plenty of space in your photo, which creates feelings of calm and tranquility.

Do not forget that a photograph must always transcribe a three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional medium.

When creating an image, the photographer will use creative techniques to enhance the beauty of the scene. This is the artistic side of the photography contest.

Some basic rules to follow

When you enter a contest with a set theme, your photograph must fit that theme. Do not try to use arguments and examples to justify your choice. Keep your photo simple and be consistent with the theme chosen by the organizers.

If the contest rules tell you to include comments with your photographs, spend a lot of time writing the comments. They should be accurate and clear. The comment on each photo should explain why you took the photograph and should also give some technical explanations to convince the jury that your approach is right.

In general, competition juries are announced before the event. This gives credibility to the competition. We advise you to conduct a little research about each of the judges to understand their approaches and their work so that you can submit pictures that are compatible with their preferences. This does not affect your creativity, but it is a bonus for you. However, be careful not to directly contact the jurors, because the rules do not allow it. Moreover, in most competitions, juries do not have access to the names of the photographers who submit photos.

Your photos should be prepared especially for the competition

Even if you have a large stock of pictures, it is better to take new photos for the competition. That way, you can prepare the scene, the subject, and the lighting especially for the competition.

Dipping into your stock of available photos is a minimum-effort solution that can work, but, in general, you have little chance of winning even if your photo fits the competition theme.

Photographers who participate in and win contests are often frequent competitors who know how to take a photo for a contest. A photo contest requires a specific state of mind. It is its own field of photography. When a professional photographer makes a photography report and has the opportunity to take a picture for a contest, he thinks about it constantly.

Different ways to submit a photo

On paper

Competitions judged from printed pictures are definitely the most difficult. The photographer must not only prepare for the competition but must also handle printing the photo.

Printing a picture is not easy and can be expensive. The contester should not use cheap online services because in general the quality of the prints will not meet the standards of the contest. Most cheap online printers use poor quality paper. The resulting print is usually bad, and not worthy to be used for a contest.

We recommend using the services of a real printer who will give you personalized service. This kind of printer may possibly correct the brightness, contrast and color management of the photo. Moreover, he can advise you on the best paper to use for the photograph you have asked him to print.

It is best to have a personal printer at home and to do some tests before ordering the final print from a professional printer, but paper and ink cartridges are very expensive. If you only participate in competitions occasionally, it is better to do everything through a professional printer.


The easiest way to submit photos for a contest is digitally, because the judgement will be made from the appearance of the photo on a computer screen. If you have a calibrated monitor to use for preparing your photo for the contest, the photo will probably appear the same on the jury’s monitors as it does on yours. You only have to deal with the post-processing and the quality of the scene you photograph.


Photo contests are great ways for a photographer to progress, compete with others and develop his artistic sense. Taking pictures for a competition is a real field of photography. A photography contest requires a lot of preparation to take the photos, comment on them, and understand the theme. All competitions are worthwhile. The competitors should understand the reason why the competition was organized. An avid photographer who likes competition and challenges always gets a great deal of personal satisfaction from participating in such events.

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Article published on Friday, March 25, 2016 . Written by
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