Photo contests can be a great way to get visibility and recognition for your photography. The key, of course, is finding the contests that are worth your time, and more importantly your money. I always enter the PDN Photo Annual, the Communication Arts Photo Annual, The American Photography Annual, the Sony World Photo Awards and if I were not the APA National President, I would also enter the APA Awards. As president I can’t enter, but several years ago I won the portrait category and found it to be tremendously beneficial.
When entering contests the thing I look for more than anything else is what kind of prestige and exposure will I get if I win? There are a lot of contests in the world and while it is great to be able to say you are “award winning”, beyond that the benefits are minimal. Many contests promise exposure, but will the people that matter see the winning images? Will winning help my career?
With the APA Awards the winning images are printed and sent to photo editors and art buyer across the country, additionally a selection of the winning images are printed in an issue of Lürzer’s Archive alongside the top advertising from all over the world (If you don’t know Lürzer’s Archive, go Google it right now!) and of course the winners are featured on the APA National Website.
Anyone can enter, but APA members pay less. The early deadline is June 29th and the final deadline is July 14th. Take a look and give it some thought at apanational.org/awards