I decided to enter my first non online photo contest. It was the Utah State Fair and I found out about the photography division. My cousin Tony from Tony Murray Photography (check out his work, it's amazing) helped me out with some tips on entering the contest. I ended up getting 4th in the landscapes division, which I felt pretty good about considering it is one of the more competitive classes.
My Snake River Overlook picture was my choice for the contest
Here are some tips on entering a photo contest
1. Find a contest, fairs are a great place to start. Look for photography groups in your area. You can also look at photographycompetitions.net for national and international contests. I would recommend starting with local competitions before you go to the national or international scale.
2. Find your strongest images. Look through your library and find your best pictures. Make sure that they are well composed, sharp, and are technically well executed. If in doubt ask other photographers or friends what images they think are the strongest.
3. Read ALL the rules for the contest. I made the mistake of just skimming the rules of the contest and ended up realizing the morning I was to take my print to the fair that my mounting was incorrect. So my wife helped me to scramble to fix the mounting so I could enter. Read the rules and read them carefully.
4. Get a high quality print. Go to a professional photo lab to get your print. DO NOT go to Costco, Walmart or the like. Get a high quality print on high quality paper. I chose to print mine on metallic paper, because it is very glossy and has a metallic luster to it.
5. Pay close attention to your mounting/matting. Sometimes it is best to just have it done professionally. Many contests will judge your print and the mounting/matting of the photo.
6. Take your photo to the contest in some sort of protective covering. When I took my picture in, it was raining, which could have ended my chances before they started.
7. Go to the gallery and enjoy all the entries in the contest. If your photo doesn't win, study the winning photos so you can improve for the next contest. Figure out why they won.
Entering a contest can be a great way to examine your work and find ways to improve your photography.
If you want more info about my Snake River Overlook picture check out my post on it here.
If you are interested in purchasing a limited edition print of this image or some of my other work, keep checking back, I am currently looking at options for an online store.