Is all what it seems when it comes to Photography Competitions?

This week my attention was drawn to this interview on social media.

Quote from the article – please read the piece in full

View the Creative 2023 Open Gallery here…

Now I have written about my feelings on competitions before, (many years ago and not, I think, on this blog)

I am all in favour of competitions that feature measurable methods of “best-ness“ but of course when it comes to any creative endeavour, any measurement can only be subjective and wholly down to the taste of the judges (despite this statement one of my favourite programs on TV is Sky Arts Landscape/Portrait Artist of the year).

There were times in my career when I did enter competitions and open calls but I have now got to a stage where I feel I do not need the “validation” of an award or recognition.

At those times I would always enter my most “artistic” red carpet & music images (along with many of my colleagues) into the Arts and Entertainment category. It became obvious that this category was more often than not headed by an image from a very artistic installation or show. I.e. It was as much about what was being shot leading to the artistry of the image as it was how it was shot. Having been on curator panels I saw that it was really difficult to disassociate the two.

Most of my clients have been with me a long time, they don’t give me briefs (other than make sure you get a portrait orientation image as this is for a cover etc.), they know how I shot and I am fairly solid in my style. The new clients I have gained recently has all been down to seeing my work (online or from other organisations in the same industry).

So, add AI to the subjective-ness argument and is it fair to say photo competitions have run thier course? (especially for professional photographers)

I know many amateurs will still seek the validation and give thier images away to organisations that are basically seeking images to use for marketing themselves.

Have Sony shot themselves in the foot? What do you think?


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