I had a fabulous opportunity last night to attend a Professional Photographer's Association Image Competition and Evaluation with three AMAZING judges!
Gil Jackson, CPP, Photographic Craftsman, FSIPPA President
Anthony Marill, Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, PPSGW President, PPA Counselor
Jackie Hicks, CPP, Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, Awarded
As a business professional it is very important that we are always learning and growing. We can't expect to have a "competitive" edge if we become complacent in our work and think that we are "good enough."
What I walked away with from the image competition is that we always can strive to be better at our craft. Not everyone in the world loves photography, but everyone in the world DOES have a passion for something. Whatever that "something" is where your heart is complete and you are energized and excited to learn more is the "something" that you should want to always be better at each and every day! Many people in our group had very casual conversations with the judges and it was so refreshing to see their willingness and desire to help each of us learn and have the desire to want to get better and better. Seeing all the "title's" behind these three people I listed above would make me think they are "untouchable" and not going to help someone like me who is just in year one of this journey, but I found that to be the exact opposite. These three people were very genuine and helpful. Walking away last night with a greater understanding of the art of photography as well as how important it is to pay attention to the details in photography and really find one thing that makes you say WOW to that image!
There is no magic "formula" to being successful in the area that you are led too, it just takes a determination, education, and surrounding yourself with people that do what you want to do or be. Most importantly, I believe it takes a heart, a heart to WANT to help others and in return you are helped. It's that "pay it forward" mentality that I love....
With that said I am going to share with you the list of "critiques".....this may or may not be helpful to you, but hopefully something in this list will strike you and apply to something that you are doing. FYI this list is geared towards the photographer, but I have found time and time again that you can learn something from just about anything if you look deep enough. :)
Enjoy the list from the Master Photographer Craftsman on "What Makes an Image Competitive"
This list is in random order and may or may not make sense to you...these were comments that the judges shared after the images were posted, but I do think that there are some great "overall" tips intermixed ;)
20% darker (your image needs to be burned 20% darker) then you normally would share with a client
Where is the point of interest and where should the viewer focus their eye?
What is the impact-WOW or oh, that's nice...or OH MY GOSH that is totally moving me to a direction of a specific emotion
Naming is critical that it matches the point of interest in the subject
Too much going on is distracting and takes away from the image
Over sharpened is NOT good
Watch out for "Hot Spots"
Cropping is critical-make sure you are find the RIGHT points to crop at
If it doesn't enhance the photo leave it out!
Scenery looks cool in HDR (not all the time, but sometimes)
Skylines need to be fabulous
Whatever is front and center MUST be in focus
Slim lining an image will make it pop off the page
Broken branches and distractions that are 1/2 of something do not work and distract from the image
ALWAYS rule of 1/3
Little details-fly away hairs, hot spots, ugly shadows, wrong light source are NOT attractive
Details are in the white
Think COMPETITION guide lines every time you photograph something and your photography will be 100% better
Clothing and placement are VERY critical in a portrait-they can make or break the image
Loop shadow MUST be in the right place
Catch lights in the eyes need to be the same size and correct location
Remove bags from under eyes
Skin tones are NOT to be green and clean up faces so they are pretty
Portraits are the hardest category in the competition
Profile shot-you should NEVER see any part of the other eye
Baby needs to be the right size in the frame-not too big and not too small, but jussssst right ;)
NEVER EVER EVER broad light a woman's face-it is NOT flattering
Watch items behind the subject ( poles going through heads)...not so attractive
Light comes from above not below-use hair light with gel from behind
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'
I am grateful for people that help me and I hope that in turn I can help them...
Until next time....have a fantastic day!