Tag Archives: photo competition

Photo show review Simon Roberts’ Pierdom Brighton & Photofusion SALON/15 award night

Today, here are some links to work published online recently—a review of Simon Roberts‘ photo exhibition, Pierdom on at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery until 21 February.

http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/2016/01/pierdom-3/

And another post, The Big Night Out, over at Photofusion‘s website covering the Photofusion SALON/15 PV in December. I also write about my selection process, special mentions and the winner of the Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2015, Anthony Carr.

http://www.photofusion.org/the-big-night-out-photofusion-salon15-hotshoe-award/

 

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Photo competitions report from Miranda Gavin’s talk at Photofusion Brixton

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David Titlow’s winning portrait, Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

Today’s post focuses on entering photography competitions and is a report by photography graduate Jess Morris from my recent talk, Discovering Your Competitive Side, which took place at Photofusion in Brixton.

In keeping with the theme of the talk, this post opens with David Titlow’s winning portrait (Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow) from the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 which was announced last week. His portrait Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow was captured the morning after a large midsummer party in Rataryd, Sweden. It shows his baby son being introduced to a dog. He says: ‘Everyone was a bit hazy from the previous day′s excess – my girlfriend passed our son to the subdued revellers on the sofa – the composition and back light was so perfect that I had to capture the moment’.

This year the competition attracted over 4,000 submissions in the form of editorial, advertising and fine art prints; an exhibition of sixty shortlisted photographs including the four prize winners as well as the work of the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award, Hana Knizova (Portrait of Olivia Colman) can be seen until 22 February 2015.

David Titlow (b. 1963) is a London-based photographer working in fashion and advertising. He has exhibited widely and has been commissioned by numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Vice and Vanity Fair. Originally a musician from Halesworth in Suffolk, Titlow switched to photography in the early nineties and has since worked in the industry.

NPG x139974; Olivia Colman by Hana Knizova

Hana Knizova, Portrait of Olivia Colman. C-type colour print, 16 October 2014. 16 1/2 in. x 23 1/4 in. (418 mm x 592 mm) image size Commissioned, 2014

Miranda Gavin – Discovering your Competitive Side
Tuesday 16 September, Photofusion – Brixton

Jess Morris reports from the event and from her perspective as one of the audience.

As well as being a well-respected name in the photography world, Miranda Gavin, who is editor-at-large for Hotshoe, editor of Frame & Reference and The Roaming Eye, also has personal experience of being on the judging panel of photographic competitions.

This makes her an invaluable asset to the circle of freelance up-and-coming photographers trying their hand at entering the unknown, and often unfair, world of competitions. Brixton’s Photofusion invited her along to share her knowledge and advice with its members.

Miranda opened the talk with a quiz to spark audience participation, not to mention wake everyone up after a long day in the rat race. We split into small groups and chose one person to take note of our answers. Listed here are the questions she asked us, along with a selection of answers from around the room:

Why bother entering competitions?
E x p o s u r e
To raise your profile/Publicity/Elevation/cutting corners
Gives you a project/Target/Challenge/Makes you finish it
Contacts/Gain experience/Feedback
Tutoring
M o n e y £££££!

How do you find out about them?
Online/Mailing Lists/Repeat notifications from previous competitions
Word of mouth/Networking/University Alumni
Advertisements/Posters/Flyers/TV

Name the ones you have heard of/entered (in order of popularity):
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
British Journal of Photography photo prizes
Photofusion’s AMPS annual photo prize
Terry O’Neill Photographic prize
Prix Pictet
Portrait Salon
Nikon competitions
World Press Photo
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Sony World Photography Award
Landscape Photographer of the Year
Association of Photographers prizes
TRIBE

As well as listing some of the reasons for entering photography competitions, Miranda also urged us to note down the negative aspects and the flaws. The general consensus was as follows:

Work goes into the ether – with no explanation of where it has gone or who has seen it.

Costs – some competitions are charging an extortionate rate per photo for entering without any guarantee of the photograph being returned or properly looked after.

Lack of feedback – If you don’t get through to the final rounds or win, you at least want feedback from the judging panel on whether they liked certain aspects of your work, or what you could have improved on. If no reasons are given the disappointment is far greater.

No communication after payment is taken – This truly leaves a bitter taste and gets you thinking that they were only after your money in the first place, plus WHERE does the money in entry fees go?

Lack of clarity in criteria – You can’t be judged harshly for not ticking invisible boxes! It is not always clear.

Unfair judging – Often the judges have no artistic background whatsoever and are merely there because of sponsoring or circumstance; for example, the Taylor Wessing prize includes a member on the judging panel from the law firm sponsoring the prize.

Celebrity/already established winners – Seeing the same names, or same circles of winners, is neither promising or inspiring for prospective entrants.

The second half of the talk focused on an interesting topic, that of crowd funding, a platform many photographers are now using to get their work out there, as well as to fund work. Crowdfunding is the funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people via the Internet. One woman in the audience made the point that she tried raising £2,000 through crowdfunding to make a video. However, she found it problematic because she ended up having to put her own money in to reach the full amount which was misleading and defeated the object entirely. Some platforms only give you the money if you reach your full target.

The same woman also noted a positive aspect that it’s not just about the money, it’s also about raising awareness and appreciation of work or projects with followers and contributors, of whom she had gained plenty. Miranda brought up an example of a project that was crowdfunded successfully and managed to raise awareness of autism and in turn allowed the photographer to self publish a book. There were certainly pros and cons involved in equal measures, however, generally the feeling was that crowdfunding was an alternative method to entering competitions in terms of offering elevation, money, experience and networking, however, it required a lot more effort and time to achieve it.

Crowdfunding requires full time dedication during the campaign period (often of 90 days). However, as Miranda pointed out, TIME is a huge factor. It may be a more tangible way of achieving a goal with a clear objective, but photographers have to commit to it. For those who cannot dedicate themselves and the necessary time to crowdfunding, competitions are still an option.

It was time for the audience to turn the questions on Miranda, eager to find out about her personal judging experience of being on a panel and what information she could divulge about the dialogue that goes on behind the scenes. Miranda said that when judging work herself she prefers it if the names of entrants are stripped off the work, as well as from CVs and personal statements. This is so that she cannot be influenced by someone’s history, education or presence in the art world already. Anonymity is crucial.

In terms of information, Miranda explained how she likes to read any statements or  descriptions after looking at the image, and to test herself on how well she can read its meaning without one, however, in some cases the statement may be vital and a necessary component of the work. In terms of writing statements to accompany entries, Miranda said that a concise statement, or around 200 words, is enough and to bear in mind the audience reading the statement, so nothing too theoretically heavy or filled with jargon. If a theory is being referred to, or a quote is used, she likes to see the photographer demonstrate how it relates to the work, otherwise it is decoration.

LESS IS MORE: This is crucial to remember when choosing your final selection. Only submit your best shots.

BELIEVE IN YOUR WORK: The work you submit should also be work that you feel strongly about, perhaps a recent body of work that you are still passionate about and connected to as this will come across to the judging panel.

FIT THE CRITERIA: Make sure your work meets the criteria.

CHECK TERMS & CONDITIONS: Read the small print and beware of rights grabs.

LABELLING IS VITAL: The order of your series is important and how it is viewed by judges.

VARIETY OF SCREENS: Check your images on a range of screens if you are sending in an online file, find a balance that will work on most screens.

RESEARCH competitions and previous finalists and winners to see a range of styles and formats that are being accepted. This is not to copy them but to merely get an idea of whether your work could stand alongside some of them.

MOVING IMAGE WORK
Miranda also talked about the complications of submitting different mediums of work. Moving image artists need to be aware of lazy curation or lack of appropriate funds/space to show it. The whole piece can be mistranslated if it’s not shown appropriately and with the necessary settings. You have to be in control of how your work is shown otherwise it is almost pointless. How can you take control? The only way really is to always include guidelines on how you want it to be viewed and hope that they are suitably followed.

By the end of the talk and after giving a summary of the key areas covered, the audience seemed more enlightened on the subject and, possibly, more realistic about what they’re really getting when entering a photography competition. That’s not to say people were put off from doing so, but instead they were a little wiser about the process and better informed about the negative aspects. For the people who may enter their work after attending this talk, it’s fair to say that they would be doing so with somewhat of a better chance of succeeding than before, or at least better informed.

Photo Competition – Final call for aspiring music photographers in Hear To Be Heard 2014

HTBH_Photographer
If you’re a music lover and a passionate photographer then you may be interested in Relentless Energy Drink’s ‘one shot’ photography competition with a deadline of this Sunday 12 October.

This year, as well as working together with DJ and presenter Zane Lowe to give a platform to the nation’s DJs and bands, the competition is also looking to springboard the career of aspiring gig photographers and music bloggers. The Relentless judges will be “looking for music enthusiasts that have the right drive and upmost passion to get their style known above the rest. They are looking for high energy, commitment and passion to Be Relentless”.

I gave a talk on photo competitions a couple of weeks ago at Photofusion in London and we discussed photo competitions and the Terms and Conditions including how important it is to read the small print. I have not seen the T&Cs so cannot comment on them for this competition.

Look out for a report (coming soon) from the evening talk by recent photo graduate Jess Morris who I asked to cover the evening event. If you have any comments, please do so below.

PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE
The chosen photographer will win the chance to have their own photo gallery on nme.com and have their work showcased at Relentless @ No5 on Denmark Street London as well as earn commissions for Relentless throughout the year to shoot various events.

JUDGES
Include the well-known music photographer Dean Chalkley, who is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic album artwork and has been featured on this blog . See post, Music and portrait photographer Dean Chalkley debuts new short film.

The judges will select five finalists and then thee winner will be chosen from these five by public vote.

TO SUBMIT
Enter ‘one shot’ that you have taken that captures the passion, commitment and emotion of a gig. Attach as JPEG.

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
Why are you passionate about music photography?
Share an example where you have demonstrated getting your work noticed
Which photographer inspires you and why?

Follow the link HERE to read more and to submit online.

Other industry experts include:
Matt Wilkinson – NME’s new music section Editor for Radar
Jon Mclldowie – Head music booker for Reading and Leeds Festivals
Sam Grant – Head of Relentless Energy Brand Marketing
Zane Lowe – DJ and presenter.

https://twitter.com/relentlessdrink
https://www.facebook.com/RelentlessEnergy

Photo Call: L A Noble Gallery launches London Life Photo Competition and last weeks to see Japan Suite by Chris Steele-Perkins

London_Life_NEWSLETTER_RESIZE

Two snippets today from L A Noble Gallery: the launch of the gallery’s London Life Competition and a reminder that Chris Steele-Perkins wonderful show, Japan Suite, ends on 1 February. So why not head over to north London and see work by Steele-Perkins who joined the Viva agency in 1976 and Magnum Photos in 1979 – the year that his first monograph, The Teds was published. The book is still available and has since become a classic of British documentary photography.

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Chris Steele-Perkins at L A Noble Gallery opening for Japan Suite

LONDON LIFE COMPETITION
The London Life Photography Competition is open to all and L A Noble Gallery is looking for “dynamic, exquisite, challenging and creative images… that capture the current age of austerity and decadence in all its forms to be included in an exhibition in Summer 2014”.

From the Roaring 1920s to The Great Depression of the 1930s “it was an age of unbelievable wealth, glamour, freedom and decadence where not only artistic, but also individual, expression broke new ground. However, it was also a time of great social upheaval as millions lived in poverty and/or faced persecution on social, political, religious and ethnic grounds. Thus, many parallels can be drawn between this period and today. The spirit of the lifestyle that this ethos encapsulated, serves as an escape from the current economic climate, just as it did in the 1930s.”

Follow this link for details on How to Enter.

PRIZES
All finalists will be featured in the exhibition this Summer.

1st prize
Six months representation with L A Noble Gallery and mentoring with Gallery Director Laura Noble.
Consultation and printing of your gallery portfolio, with a master printer.

2nd and 3rd prize
A two-hour portfolio review with Laura Noble.
Featured prominently in the exhibition.
An annual National Art Pass valid for one year.

COST
£25 for up to four images.

DEADLINE
31 March.

Photo News – Call for entries to Renaissance Photography Prize 2013 with an early bird discount till 15 March

During my recovery period, day-to-day concerns became irrelevant, and I became more aware of the moments that really matter in life – moments of emotion, human connection, and wonder at the beauty of nature. What better way to represent those moments than through photography?”
Fiona Gifford, a lawyer and keen amateur photographer who was diagnosed with breast cancer, aged 34, founded the competition in 2006.

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RENAISSANCE PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2013
The Renaissance Photography Prize is now open for online entries and there is an early bird discount of 20% if you submit your images by 15 March. It is an international photography award that showcases outstanding photography from emerging or established photographers while raising funds to support young women with breast cancer. All profit from entries is donated to The Lavender Trust at Breast Cancer Care, UK and there are a range of prizes.

I’ll be on the judging panel for the Series category and have been a keen supporter of the competition, since I met Fiona in 2008. I will be supporting the competition on the blog until the deadline by featuring the logo. I recently did a short interview with Renaissance for its February newsletter, see below for an excerpt from the interview. The full version should be on the website soon as I had rather a lot to say. For now, here’s a taster:

You will be volunteering to judge this year’s prize – What made you support Renaissance?
Honestly? My mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2008 and I happened to meet Fiona [Gifford, the founder] the same year. We got talking and discovered a shared passion for photography. So many photo competitions charge entry fees that amount to a small fortune when you total them up and I often wonder where the money goes. With the Renaissance Photography Prize all the money goes to the Lavender Trust. 

What are you looking for when you judge a photography prize? 
I like to find images that resonate with me and give me a sense of the photographer, their vision and imagination. I am drawn to photos that evoke emotion… I see a lot of clichéd images that show me the same subjects, whether portraits or landscapes, portrayed in a generic fashion. With a series, it’s important that the photographs are cohesive and hang together as a whole. But that doesn’t mean that they all need to look the same – it’s about the overall sense of the series as well as about the individual shots. I think that one of the most challenging aspects in creating a series is producing a tight edit, one in which all the photos are working individually and together.

In the five years since its inception, Renaissance has raised over £200,000 for the charity. Entering gives photographers a chance to have their work judged by some of the top names in the industry and win prizes with a total value of over £5,000, including cash, photographic equipment, portfolio reviews and the winning series published in HotShoe Magazine. In addition, 60 selected photographs will form part of the Renaissance exhibition held this autumn in a prestigious London gallery.

Previous prize winners include Renaissance Photography Prize 2012 to Anastasia Taylor-Lind (United Kingdom), Calumet Film Prize 2012 to Julieta Sans (United Kingdom) and the Category Prize 2012 – Expression to Mimi Mollica (United Kingdom). See 2012 prize winners for more.

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SUBMISSIONS
Photographers can enter single images (categories Expression, Ordinary and In Between) or a series of work in an open category. The competition is open to everyone and welcomes entries from all countries.

Single Image
Submit unlimited individual photographs
Categories: Expression – Ordinary – In Between
Entry fee: £15 for 1 photograph, £25 for up to 3, £40 for up to 6

Series
Submit 5-8 photographs from one body of work + project statement
Category: Open, no theme
Entry fee: £50 per series

JUDGES 2013
Monica Allende – Picture Editor, The Sunday Times Magazine
Simon Bainbridge – Editor, British Journal of Photography
Julia Fullerton-Batten – Photographer
Miranda Gavin – Deputy and Online Editor, HotShoe International
Nadav Kander – Photographer
Chris Littlewood – Director of Photography, Flowers Gallery, UK
Brett Rogers – Director, The Photographers’ Gallery, UK
Sophie Wright – Cultural & Print Room Director, Magnum Photos

The judges will select 60 photographs to be exhibited in London autumn 2013, and from these nominate the shortlist and winners. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony held during the exhibition week.

PREVIOUS JUDGES
In previous years the judges, all of whom donate their time and expertise, has included Martin Parr, Eamonn McCabe and editors, curators and directors from respected UK institutions such as The Photographers’ Gallery, Michael Hoppen Gallery, Rhubarb Rhubarb and the Sunday Times Magazine.

About Renaissance
Six years on and the competition has become an established fixture in the photography world. Renaissance is growing each year and last year the competition attracted over 5,225 entries from 67 countries. It has enjoyed amazing support from photographers, editors, curators and photography organisations and aims to raise even more funds this year.

For more information please visit Renaissance Photography Prize or contact info@renaissancephotography.org.

You can also find Renaissance on Twitter and Facebook.