Over the past year I have been entering Calls for Entry, contests essentially. Getting to the point of doing this was not quick or easy. It took many years.
As a teen and 20-something I often wanted to enter contests but didn’t really know how to or mainly if my work was up to par. Back then it was all prints, no emailing or uploading. Living and growing up in a small town the whole process was daunting, an ordeal and frankly rather costly.
Forward 30 years and the process has become much easier, much less daunting. So much is now digital, one simply uploads the entry. There is no film to get processed only to find 35 of 36 exposures didn’t quite do the subject justice. No additional trip(s) to have something printed that did do the subject justice. The whole process is simpler now.
Add to that what 30 years does for one’s confidence. Though I still wonder sometimes if my work is any good, Instagram is a great meter for that. Instant affirmation! Gratification! Within a couple hours you will immediately know if your work is popular. For that purpose, social media platforms are helpful. Does experiencing the process and seeing that yes, indeed, your work is popular and even worthy of entry, enable you to feel fulfilled?
I recently entered a Call for Entry (pictured) with the category of “Open.” My entries didn’t get noticed. I entered a Call a few days later with the subject Architecture. One of the images got shortlisted (an honorable mention of sorts). It would seem advisable to enter contests that better suit one’s best subject rather than one that includes everything under the sun. That would be common sense, no?
It’s all a learning process, one that I see more established photographers still wrestling with. Learning never ends.
Here’s an image I recently entered. Hope you enjoy it!