There is this HUGE photography contest that has been going on since I have been a photographer. Hosted by Shoot & Share, it’s called The Photo Contest. This contest is unique in that it is completely free to enter, it’s voted on by photographers and you can see the exact placing of each of your photo’s at the end. The contest last about 3 months, between entering, voting and revealing the winners. There are 25 categories from wedding, to newborns, pets/animals, passion portraits and variants of each of those! Photographers are allowed to enter up to 50 photo’s total across those categories. There are hundreds of thousands of photo’s entered each year, and millions of votes. When you log in, you’re shown 4 photo’s and you pick your favourite, over and over and over again. There are 12 rounds, and slowly photo’s get eliminated each round. The only way to know if you still are in each round is if someone gives you a “heart” on a photo.
I’ve always voted in the contest because it’s inspiring to see the talent out there, and it’s always been a fun way to pass time while I would put my kids to bed. I have never entered. As an artist, I find it scary to put myself out there in front of other professionals in the industry to be judged. Writing this post is scary too! When you pour your heart and soul into creating it feels like an extension of yourself.
This year, at the last minute, I decided it was time to put myself out there. I will admit, I spent many hours in February furiously voting, and checking my account to see how many hearts I had, and to see if the number would grow each round. A little crumb letting me know I still had a photo in. Round after round I was so pleased to still be receiving hearts. I couldn’t believe I still had people voting on at least one of my images. Finally over the weekend the results were released.
583,150 photo’s were entered this year across 25 categories
Over 90 million votes were cast from over 144 different countries
I entered 7 photographs (2 babies/toddlers, 2 pet’s/animals, 1 children, 1 family, 1 maternity)
I had one image in the top 30%, and one image in the top 10%
I’m so happy that I put myself out there this year, and I love that my top two images were the only 2 studio images I entered. I love shooting in studio and planning the details of each photo and set up, and allowing my creativity to flow. I am so excited to next years competition, I know I’ll be planning the whole year so I can make sure I enter a full 50 photo’s next year.
If you would like to learn more, or see the top 20 photo’s from this year’s competition visit the Shoot and Share website here.