Why Image Competition
Every year, Jeff and I enter a handful of the country’s most prestigious image competitions. Why? Competition forces us to expand, to grow, to improve, to innovate. Competitions are not won; merits are not earned with average “been there, done that” imagery.
Some competitions have no winners per se; one earns an award based on the score the image receives. Think of it like a test: only scores of 80 and above receive a Merit Award. The magic score of 80 or higher is difficult to achieve. Most images will receive a score in the 70s, indicating the image is solid professional quality, but these images will not merit. Photographers in these competitions do not compete against one another, rather, each image is judged independently. Most PPA-style competitions are in this format.
Some competitions retain the 80-and-above scoring system, but then also rank the top three images in each category for an award. The Behind the Shutter competition follows this format, as does WPPI. Receiving a merit in these competitions is still the ultimate goal, but placing first, second, or third is an additional feather in one’s cap.
Behind the Shutter 2016
Jeff and I each entered 5 images into the Behind the Shutter competition this year, judged annually at ShutterFest in St. Louis, MO. We are happy to report that we each merited 3 of our 5 images, AND we took home trophies in three categories!
The First Place images in each category were announced live at ShutterFest to over 2,000 attendees. Since Jeff and I each had a first place image, both of our names were called! What an honor!
The top three images in each category are published in the May issue of Shutter Magazine, available at Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide.