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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Entering Competitions

This year I have been entering photographic competitions as a way to try and raise my profile.


I have been treating the experience as one of learning.  For each competition, I have been able to be introspective and analyse my work in order to try and improve it.  Each entry has asked me for a biography and an artist statement which prior to entering competitions I had no experience of writing.


I have looked at what has won the competitions in the past, in an attempt to better understand the craft of photography and good storytelling.  This will help me to make better decisions and ultimately create better images and better stories.


I have been selective in the competitions that I have entered. This is partly because some competitions appear to be cash-cows generating revenue from entry fees. My selection has been based on the following:-

  1. who the judges are

  2. what the level of exposure would be if I were shortlisted or won

I have ensured that I have fully met the criteria set for each competition in terms of both the artistic and the technical expectations of the submission. This should hopefully improve the chances of my work being noticed by the judges.


For each competition I have entered, I have planned, prepared the images that I wanted to enter. I have fine-tuned my work as I have gone along and all this has served to improve my practice further.


At this stage, I have no expectations about the prospects of my images to win, but I have to be in it to stand an chance. As each result comes in, I will analyse any feedback (if received) and use it to improve further.


Competitions Entered in 2017 so far:

  1. AOP Student Awards – not shortlisted

  2. Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize – not shortlisted

  3. Guernsey Photography Festival Competition – Series 1 – awaiting results

  4. Guernsey Photography Festival Competition – Series 2 – awaiting results

  5. Picfair’s Women Behind the Lens Competition – awaiting results

I have intentions to enter further competitions and will write about them in future posts.


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