About Art Competitions

About Art Competitions

What to do
Only you knows what you want to do.  All I can do is help you do it by teaching you what I know.  What I can say is this: without a plan of action that includes specific goals and deadlines, you are unlikely to get anywhere.  My “big break” happened when I made a plan about how to get what I wanted in photography.  To this day, everything that I achieved came out of this.

Waiting to win an art competition is like waiting to win the lottery.  Granted, you have more chances of winning an art competition than a lottery, but either way you are not in control.  The judges are in control. All you can do is submit your work then hope for the best.

The first thing you need to do is take control of your destiny.  Stop waiting for others to make you successful, and take control of your own success.  That’s what I did.  I didn’t enter competitions, I didn’t try to get awards or win anything, I looked for ways to sell my work myself and make an income.  Money is important, because photography is expensive.  Without earning money from my photography I would have been forced to stop.

This meant I had to study marketing.  That was my second big break. By studying marketing, I learned how to sell my work.  Knowing how to sell is not innate.  I wasn’t born with that knowledge. None of us is!  It’s something we have to learn, all of us, if we want to sell.

From there, things fell into place.  I also had to learn how to deal with criticism.  But that’s another story.  Here too, it is not innate.  All of this has to be learned.

Notice that none of this has much to do with photography. Eventually, while photographs are what we do, they are not the only thing we need to focus on.

Alain Briot

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4 thoughts on “About Art Competitions

  1. I pretty much gave up entering photography competitions years ago because I discovered that all too often the judges and I had a difference of opinion over what constitutes a good photograph! I remember one competition in particular where, had I taken the winning image, I would have deleted it without much thought. To each his own, or her own as the case may be. Ironically, I won a photo contest a little over a year ago because I thought the host was only asking for people to submit samples of their work concerning the Christmas holidays. If I had realized it was a competition I wouldn’t have entered!


  2. Hi Alain,

    I think what you are really saying is to make a plan, a road map, a workflow that provides direction and creates the synergy of meeting BUYERS, not judges and critics.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Also, I believe a work of art can be a complete personal expression and at the same time not enticing or engaging to others at all. Sending one of those to an art competition is like sacrificing your children or something like that. I guess it has to do with choosing your audience.

  4. On a similar vein, I thought that getting to know other photographers in local photography clubs would help provide an avenue to get my images more exposure. It unfortunately didn’t do anything except get to know other photographers who are busy trying to do the same thing as me or were more interested in the competition circuit. Eventually I found it a waste of time. Plus other photographers are not going to buy my work and are really not the clients I want to attract.
    I like Alain’s approach of appreciating and supporting the individuality of one’s artistic work and its uniqueness as a stand-alone expression of one’s artistic vision. THAT cannot be judged!

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