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Do you submit your photography into contests?

I had a great question asking me how I judge contests and I really thought about this question and wanted to help you think about what to submit before you actually push the submit button.

Do you feel that it’s a waste of your time and that you’ll never win? That’s how I felt when I first started to put my work out there.

BUT, you know what! I stepped out of the box and went for it!

I put this image into Outdoor Photographer’s monthly contest and didn’t win BUT the Editor saw my work and paid me to be on the cover! Woot!

Tips on how to Win a Photo Contest when you don’t win!


To win is awesome, yes! It’s definitely a bragging right that is well deserved. You work hard on your images so of course a good win or two helps boost your ego. It’s ok…be happy! But if you don’t win, you could feel depressed and wonder if your work is even good.

I’m here to say please, please don’t feel bad if you don’t win. It still gets your work out to professionals and others who LOVE what you do! I’m here to help you really think about what you’re submitting before you push that submit button. Like I said before, I was one of the photographers who said, “I’ll never win!” and would look at all of the photos submitted by others and get frustrated with my own work!

But…another but! When you add your work to contests, it changes the way you look at your work. You really think about the subject and say to yourself, “Am I telling a story powerful enough to catch the judges’ eyes?” You never know…just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t win!

This is why I want you to keep trying. Get your work out there! So submit your work to photo contests and win!  It may take awhile but don’t give up!

Now that I’m a judge I’ll give you four of my tips to help you get there!

In the video below I, talk about some questions to ask yourself before you push the submit button:

  • Does it go with the theme?
  • Does it have impact?
  • Is it creative?
  • Is it technically perfect?



To get you started, here are some awesome sites to submit your work:


Do you not put your image into contests because you talk yourself out of it? I’d love to know…I bet there are a lot of you out there. Or are you the one who goes for it? If you are, what do you say to yourself to get the job done?

Thanks so much for reading…remember, you can do it and a thousand words do make a difference!

Please share with your friends to help them take the plunge and put their work out there.


Janice Sullivan

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