Progress toward goals
Quiet, by Eric Jeschke
At the turn of the year I had done a little reflection on the passing of 2009 and the coming year in terms of what I am working toward in my photography. One of my goals for 2010 was to enter more photography contests. I’m tracking pretty well on that goal; I’ve entered a total of 3 contests so far this year. The first one, Digital4Print, I only entered one photograph, and it was rejected. The second one (to be reported on later) I’ve entered three photos and the judging is still to come on that. The third contest is the annual EHCC Spring Arts Fest. I entered two photographs yesterday morning: the one in this post (“Quiet”) and Fertility. The judging was yesterday afternoon and I’m happy to report that both pieces were accepted into the show, which will run at the EHCC gallery from next Friday, Apr 2 through the end of April. I just barely got the photographs in on time–I’ve got to get a little more disciplined on that.
I think photography contests are a healthy part of the photography journey. Not essential, of course. But there is far more to it than just getting your ego stroked. For example, I usually attend the Juror’s Talk (if available) and ask about at least one of my pieces and listen to the critique other other’s work as well. I am inspired by all the other art, and it’s also a great chance to network with other artists.This time my daughter, aged 9, asked to come with me. She’s a budding artist in all kinds of media and it was neat to see her checking out the selections and listening intently to the juror’s critique.
You’ve got to develop a healthy layer of skin and not worry about rejections. They tell you something, but don’t get the wrong idea about a piece if it is rejected. If you believe in the work you’ve just got to keep entering it. The piece that didn’t make it into the first contest I entered this year? Fertility.
I’d like to start entering some non-local competitions. There are plenty out there on the net of course. A lot of the benefits that I mentioned above are not there with the web-only competitions–you don’t get your work displayed in print in a gallery, you don’t get much feedback, you don’t get to interact with the other artists, etc. I’d be interested in hearing about any you think are worthwhile, because there are a lot of places to waste money on that and I’d rather be selective with my time and money. Please leave a comment on the post if you have any thoughts about that, or on photography contests in general.