Yes in my bio it states I’m award winning and published. This is true and back in the day I thought it was necessary for my Professional photography career. Yeah big deal... what does award winning and published mean to someone that wishes to hire me? Zip... Nada! That's what. How many people even know what a WPPI Grand Master is? PPA certified? Yeah ok. Most people do not even know what the PPA is.
Also the pictures in this blurb do not really go with the article, mostly because I don't really have any that do. However! The pictures in this article are what you can do in two weeks instead of braving the crowds for the race. You can go shoot at the Southpoint Arena with the Hunter Jumpers in town! Yes for free!... except for the Saturday Night Performance. Yes I'll be there a lot. I'll place a link at the end for information.
Never In My Photographic Career Has Anyone Hired Me Because I Was "Certified"
Certified bat shit crazy? Yes, maybe a time or two, but people do not hire you because of certifications in this case. An RN, or an Architect? Yes, but a Photographer? No. These Certification programs are developed to make money for the places offering them. Nothing more. They wish to sell you on the fact that you are part of something bigger than yourself.
After decades as a pro I no longer think contests are a good thing. And published? Back in the day published meant we finally got paid decent money for our work. This is also no longer the case. Many publications pay little or nothing for Photography now.
All Publications Are About The Advertising.
Yes they want a successful publication that people will read, but they want that so that they can sell their Advertising which is where the money is. Photography Competitions are also money makers. They are feeding off of your desire for acceptance and the pat on the back.
Currently YouTube is built on that premise. Get people to donate their videos... Then have them go crazy trying to drive people to watch or follow them. Just so that YouTube can sell adds to go in front of, or during those presentations! ALL of the video they get to make money from, is given to them for FREE!
So people are going through hell giving free information, or trying to be some “expert” simply so they can make part of that Advertising sale. Yes, some make a lot of money doing so, but trust me that’s both a LOT of work, and a very small percentage of contributors. Also? Not everyone is an expert, but if you can influence enough people to believe you are? We all see that every day...
But Even More Importantly… Is Competing Against Our Fellow Photographic Artists A Good Thing?
For many reasons I do not think so. Read on, I’ll try and explain myself.
Photo contests are subjective. When I have personally judged, it is difficult for me to remain non-partial because one has a hard time not saying to themselves “well I would have”… but the judging of images is exceptionally subjective! It's not about what you would do. It's about what they did! So is what they did wrong? Nope it's theirs! Not yours. Who are we to judge? Also? Those scores depend upon who is judging!
When I entered contests I always found out who the judges were. If I wanted high scores I shot, or edited those images with what those judges liked. This is crazy! In my current older and wiser state I shoot for what I like. Yes, I said what I like! We as photographers should compose our images for ourselves, not others. This is the key reason we are photographers in the first place!
It gives us a shit ton of personal joy to go out and shoot. Doesn’t it?!? Yet then there is that little thing out there called self esteem. We want the accolades of others! We seek justification for being good at something! We want and NEED that pat on the back! Well I’m patting you ALL on the back right now!
You ARE Good Enough! In Fact You Are Awesome!
Every day moving forward I want you to get up in the morning, and when staring back at yourself in that mirror say that out loud! Yup! Even if you see that scare-do on top of your head, and that sleepy look on your face, or your bed-beard that looks all outta whack… YOU ARE AWESOME!
I'm very sure that Rembrandt never entered a contest. I'm also pretty sure Ansel Adams never entered a Photo Contest or belonged to a Photography Club. Even today... the recognized "experts" in Photography do not belong to a Photography Club per se...
So Photography Competitions for some kind of score, or blue ribbon, or even to win a Camera? Sorry, I do not see it. Also? If you will read the fine print on many contests once you enter, they own the rights to your work! They can display that work with your name on it, all blown up looking really bad. Is that what you want?
So my friends please, simply pat yourself on the back. You are good enough! If you look at the work of others and see something you like, but are not doing? That's a learning opportunity, not a reason to think you are not good enough. Study that image for inspiration. Try and figure out what they did that you might not be doing. Inspire yourself with more education, not a photo contest that will not actually teach you anything.
Go out on PhotoSafaris with others! This is a huge improvement to both your education AND your mental health! It's FUN! We should be learning from each other and we should be trying to assist our fellow Photographers, not compete against them!
Thanks for reading! And a HUGE thank you for the many accolades I've received stating you enjoy my blog! I did not really relish the idea of doing a weekly blog. IMHO I am NOT an author! THANK YOU! I've now enjoyed writing it as well.
Yes, I changed my website colors so that typing my blog was easier on my eyes. Here's to hoping it shows well when you get it. I have zero idea what will happen there until Tuesday when it goes out. I use another platform to send it, and I do not yet know how it will look. BUT! It has been damn easier on my eyes. ^_^
Coming This Week
On Thursday November 9th at B&C Camera I'm teaching LightRoom For Beginners. However! Some changes have been made to LightRoom so even intermediates will get something out of this class. There will be two more following this class for a series of three. Each one delving deeper. So tell your friends! To register click the link below.
A promised above a link to information about the Las Vegas National Horse Show.
SALE! SALE! SALE!
Ted and I were out shooting today and we decided to have a sale in support of all my followers and their referrals. The pre-black Friday sale! The GW Special from now till Thanksgiving... A fully functional Custom Designed Website by Ted Vieira is only $499.00 AND you get a free 20x30 Custom Fine Art Print of any of your Images you like, printed by myself! Jump on this folks! That's an over $200.00 Savings off of the Winslow Special and a free Print to save an additional $100.00! New orders only... Click the link below and mention the GW Special! Tell your friends!