Despite the way in which making and sharing photos has drastically changed over the years, competitive photography still flourishes today, with it now including portions of social media photography such as ClickASnap and Instagram. Alise Tifentale, art expert, educator, and researcher believes the main feature of competitive photography is its likeability – and most importantly by your peers - she says, “it is photography for photographers,” it is them who truly enjoy the ‘how’ behind it.
Competitive photography really has come a long way
In 1929 the Kodak Company held their first photo contest, with the winner – L. L. Martin – scooping what was then a whopping $2,500 for a picture of a child coyly stood against a wall. The first nation-wide picture contest was announced in the run up to the Great Depression in what some claim to be a bid by Kodak to “start cameras working and keep them working.” By 1931 the prize winnings had tripled to $100,000 but little has ever been known about the content behind the camera, some pictures so abstract a curious mind would pine for justification or explanation from the photographer. Other photography competitions today come with an opportunity to truly step into the world of somebody or something else, and has the power to impact society, the environment, and even ourselves. Research even suggests that people depend on the information from photos to meet certain needs and achieve certain goals.
The compelling pictures that plastered TV’s and magazines from the Vietnam war have had profound effects since their surfacing, even decades later. From images of US corpsmen carrying injured children, offering a glimpse at the humanity within the violence. To the famous picture ‘Napalm Girl’, where Vietnamese children are captured fleeing bombed buildings, and a young girl with no clothes on. These pictures subsequently won the photographer, Nick UT, a Pulitzer Prize, World Press Photo of the Year and 40 years on he was inducted by the Leica Hall of Fame for his contributions to photojournalism (the images were shot with Kodak film, Kodak would be happy to know that cameras did keep working). The image itself has been voted one of the top photographs that changed the war, and the world.
Photography can leave its mark in painful ways, but also beautiful ways
The curiosity that lies behind the camera of a wildlife photographer can spark joyous connections to animals, allowing us to glimpse their private lives. Wildlife photography competitions garner unprecedented participation. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year award started with a mere 361 entries and now boasts over 45,000 entries a year, even touring its own exhibition that is seen by millions around the world. With severe threats facing our wildlife globally, from deforestation to climate change, imagery offers a chance to be inspired to make change. One winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award is Marsel Van Oosten, without his pictures of the Qinling black snub-nosed monkey we would not be aware of its endangerment. His work has also seen him win Travel Photographer of the Year and International Nature Photographer of the Year.
Aside from the societal impact images can have, photo competitions can have personal impressions. They have the ability to support the progression and growth of evolving photographers whilst offering validation and professional approval. Photo industry expert, Fiona Rogers, believes the recognition and confidence that being chosen for an award is particularly important for emerging photographers, it can invite discipline into projects and assist them with viewing their work more objectively. Competitions can also be a consistent part of your marketing strategy as an investment into yourself and your business. Numerous photographers speak of how many more phone calls they receive after winning prizes, because word spreads!
Be a part of the ever-growing and ever-changing industry of competitive photography and allow us to witness just a fraction of this wonderful world through your images whilst having the opportunity to win money and showcase your work. If you want your photos to have an impact societally, professionally, or personally, then you should enter the monthly Posipix Photography Competition judged by world famous photographer Mike Browne. Based around the theme of “Wonderful World” it gives you the freedom to present what inspires you. There are £1,000’s in cash prizes with 25% of the entrance fee going directly to charity, we are currently supporting Giles Duley's Legacy of War charity.
The world around us doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to other cultures, other animals, other people too, go capture it.
For more details visit https://www.posipix.com/