7 Tips for Winning Fashion Photography Contests

Fashion photography contests offer a marketing platform where a fashion photographer can showcase his skills to an audience of magazine editors, fashion designers, photographic associations, exporting and advertising agencies. These can range from local competitions to international competitions.

The main focus of the images displayed in a fashion photography contest is to capture the essence of the clothes on the model or the products the model is endorsing. The images are judged based on composition, technical skill, creativity and overall atmosphere of the image. Fashion photos have a high-glamor quotient and are often shot at exotic locations.

While participating in a fashion photography contest, keep the following tips in mind:

Tip 1: Know the Competition Rules

Go through the fine print laid down in the competition rules and know what you are getting involved in. You should be aware of how the images will be used by the sponsors. The conditions might state that they will retain the rights to distribute the winning images. Some sponsors include the rule that any image that is submitted in the competition can be used by them in any way they see fit. Some competitions specify the number of images, their theme and their format, as well the time frame for submission of the photos. Once you have read the fine-print, make sure that you ask for any clarifications that you need.

Tip 2: Follow the Theme

It is very important that the images submitted for the fashion photography contest follow the theme that is specified. If the theme is images for a swimsuit calendar, then it becomes your job to ensure that the image has scenes related to beaches or swimming pools. If possible, instead of going through your portfolio of existing images, shoot new images with a fresh perspective. Avoid clich├ęs and keep a fresh mind.

Tip 3: Be Aware of Competition

Be aware of your competition while preparing for and participating in the photography contest. You will need to make sure that your images are technically excellent and can compete against the best.

Tip 4: Research

You should research the judges of the competition to become familiar with their likes and dislikes by checking the images they selected in any previous contest they have judged. If they are photographers themselves, then you need to become familiar with their portfolio.

You should also go through the list of past winners of the competition you are entering. Try to get in touch with them to learn of their experiences in this competition and any tips they will share with you.

Tip 5: Practice

If you intend to take part in photography contests on a regular basis, you will need to significantly practice. While taking photos, you should refer to tear sheets that give you various facets on how lighting, hair, makeup and posing should be done. Have a concept in mind and work towards it till you are sure you have achieved your goals.

Tip 6: Ensure Technical Excellence

The images that are submitted for a fashion photography contest should be technically excellent. They must have the proper focus and exposure, and attention to every part of the frame including backgrounds, foregrounds and colors.

Tip 7: Have Confidence!

Last of all, have confidence in yourself and your work. Learn from your mistakes and don't let past mistakes intimidate your future work

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