In the resolution post it talks about getting out there and entering contests. But if you have not done this before -- how? How do you get started? Where is the information?
In the very beginning I entered a contest that was put on by an art group at the beach where I love to spend some time. I ended up joining that art group. How did I find it? Very serendipitously! One day -- I was poking around on the internet. We were planning a trip to the beach in a few weeks -- so I wanted to see what was going on in the area. The Glynn Art Association had a call for entries for their annual photo show. So I thought -- why not?
In that show I got an honorable mention -- I was hooked on entering. When I had my photos framed for the beach show -- the frame shop had flyers about another photo show. There is a huge fair in the fall in Perry, Georgia. They have a giant photo show -- so I entered that one. The local art center also was holding a photo show that August. I entered that one too.
That was all I did for a couple years. Then I started thinking about entering a juried show. The difference is that an open show - all entries are in. With a juried show -- the juror(s) decide what photos are in the show. Usually they have a set number to hang. They look through all entries and pick the best to hang for the show. From those they winners are chosen after the show is up. At this point, I am no longer entering an open show. I prefer the juried events.
OK -- so back to how do you find out about these events. Most of the time the deadline for the call for entries is well before the show date. You need to know about it well in advance -- or mark a show on your calendar for the next year. I had to do this with Slow Exposures. I knew the show was always in September -- but would miss the mid-June deadline. One of my goals for last year was to enter the show. I entered and had two photos make it through the jurying process. One of the photos received a purchase award.
If I were new to contests and just starting out I would simply Google "art organizations" in my area/city/state. The local-center scene is a great place to start when looking for a show to enter. If you find nothing about a show on the internet -- contact the centers to see if they do have a photo exhibit and the criteria to be a part of it. I started local -- I think that is a great way to start.
Besides the beach show, the local center, Slow Exposures, and the fair -- another show I had been in during the past couple years is the Southeastern Flower Show photo contest. In 2007 I heard about it kind of late -- but since I do a lot of floral photos -- I had plenty to look thought to come up with some decent entries. One of those photos made it through the jury. In 2008, since I had been in the show before, I received the call for entries in the mail well ahead of the deadline.
In 2008 I added Slow Exposures and ArtsClayton's photography exhibit to my list. Arts Clayton is another local art organization in my area. In fact, it is the county just next to mine. They have a juried photo show every fall and I had not entered it before this year. Three of the four photos I submitted made it through the jury process.
Let's talk about deadlines. I use the whole time I have to think and rethink my entries. I don't like to wait until the last moment (I save that for the IRS). Know your deadline -- but don't get in too big of a hurry to get your entry in. Think about it -- you could even print the photo(s) and put them up some where you can see them to think it over.
In 2008 I met someone at Slow Exposures who encouraged me to enter the Hearst 8x10 Photography Biennial. This is the first nonlocal photography contest I have entered. The deadline for it was postmark by January 1, 2009 (which really meant December 31 -- no mail on January 1). I think I sent my entry in on December 19. I feel like I am a long shot on this one --I am keeping my fingers crossed.
There are websites that list art/photography contests and supply links to the information including the call for entries. The call for entries will have all of the information on the way you should submit your entries and include an application, if it is required. Some contests prefer the entries on a CD others request the printed photo. There is a link for a site like this in the resolution post. Art Show has a good list of shows complete with links to calls for entries and the host's websites. I was looking over the PhotoSpiva 2009 information just the other day. I am thinking about entering something in this one.
Other ways to find out about shows and contests is through photo clubs. If you are not a member of one -- you should look into it. The club gives you a great chance to get feedback from other photographers about your photography. Some clubs have contests among members. Also, the clubs have field shoots -- to get you out and perhaps trying something new.
And speaking of new -- I added my signature to the posts! How cool is that?