Judges are responsible for evaluating thousands of competing pictures. While doing so, it is unlikely they will select an image based on technical merits only. That explains why professional photographers with exceptional technical brilliance can fail in these competitions. Thus, competitors ought to know what to consider when entering contests.
Nail the Basics
The judges will evaluate the focus, composition, and exposure of the photos. This tip seems obvious but photographers sometimes forget it. To win photo contests, avoid submitting overexposed and dark photos. If the photos are out of focus, the judges will not look at them twice. Make sure every feature of your subject is clear and sharp.
Enter in the Right Category
The contests have categories, which allow participants to pick their preferred groups. If you don’t submit your photo in the right category, it cannot win. The best way to know if your photograph stands a chance of winning is by imagining what other contestants will submit. If your preferred category is themed, do not give an elusive interpretation. Be clear in your interpretation to convince the judges.
Think like the Judges
Another way of getting an unbeatable competitive edge in free photography contests is by thinking like judges. The jurors in most contests are professional photographers. They have thousands of photos in their portfolio. Take time to view the photos captured by these judges. That will enable you to submit photos of a similar style to the judges. It is more likely the judges will appreciate those photos.
Do not enter Multiples
Many entrants believe submitting identical photos in different multiples boost their winning chances. Such a move will give judges a negative perception of you. That proves the contestant cannot interpret his/her photo. Apart from that, your photo will only do well in one category. If you are determined to submit photos in multiples, make sure they are different.
Easy on Editing
Photographers have lots of tools, which they can use to perfect their images. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are magical tools. Photographers can use them either to do good or evil. Judges in photo contests never allow contestants to use these tools. They expect them to showcase their photographic skills. To remain the good books of jurors, be easy on editing.
Check your Work
Cautiously check your work before submitting it to the contest. Captured photos might have an array of errors, which will hinder them from winning. Any error on the photos is a turn off to judges. Thus, you must commit time to remove spots or distractive elements in the background. Anything that taints the clarity of your work should be removed.
Engage other people in sourcing for criticism or opinions about your images. Seek the sentiments of fellow photographers because they can help you to identify errors or distractions in the photo. Their constructive criticism will help in improving the quality of your pictures. With their help, you will easily win the free photography contests.