There are countless photography contests on the Internet that you can participate in, as well as many contests that you can find locally in your community. Not only do you have super high chances of winning a photography contest — simply because not that many people take the time to enter — but following these tips and strategies can help ensure you have the best chances of winning, and winning 1st place prizes.

Putting all these strategies together, will help give you the winning edge.

1. Prevent Disqualifications!

Amazingly, sometimes hundreds of photos are automatically disqualified because people don’t do the following. That is, read and follow these specific rules. There are a few common rules you’ll see – which tend to be the photo must showcase the sponsors products, it cannot contain logos from other companies in the picture, it must be a picture of you, and sometimes pictures of other people will require a simple signature stating they give you permission to use it. If you make sure you pay attention to this in the rules, you are in many cases already ahead of hundreds of other people that didn’t. Also, many times the photograph is judged (as opposed to being picked randomly) – so look at the criteria that they specify, to make sure you have the maximum chances of winning.

2. Tell a story

Over thousands of years, generation after generation has passed on information through storytelling. For example, through ancient cave drawings, hieroglyphics, dancing, and so forth. One of the best types of pictures is one that tells the story, it evokes emotion, or conveys an idea. You can easily make a picture tell a story after you’ve taken the picture, by cropping it, making it black and white, changing the hue or saturation, and so forth. This will help your picture standout from the thousands of others that are entered.

3. Vary your composition

One of the best ways to stand out from the competition, is by varying your composition. For example, if you have to take a picture of a person, instead of centering them in the middle of the picture, maybe have them off to the left. Or, a very cool method is by blurring the background. Stand far away from your subject, then zoom the camera in to focus on specific features. Or, you can fill in the whole picture by zooming up close. These are the kinds of things that professional photographers do, and will help you stand out from the crowd.

4. Get inspiration from other sources

Pinterest is a fantastic source of images. If you’re trying to think of ideas of what kind of picture to take, take a look here. Under no circumstances though, should you ever “borrow” someone’s image, and submit it as your own. Nowadays, it is relatively easy for a judging agency to find out if you have done this. Not to mention — the “Internet crowd” will be quick to point out the source of any winning photo if you did that. But getting ideas of what you can do, and then taking your own picture, that is entirely different. And can help you.

Also, look at what types of pictures were selected as winners in the past. This can help give you an idea of what types of photographs the judges are looking for.

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