A bit of competition is a good thing!
January 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Although winter may not be the favorite season for most photographers to practice their art--including me--it is a great time to have people see and judge the fruits of one's labors. Here in New Jersey, at least, there are enough competitions, calls for entries, and open calls for work to keep any competitive photographer busy through the coldest and darkest months.
To illustrate my point, I note that as of today, I have applications outstanding for exhibits in three different art institutions. I also have work hanging in four places--the gift shop of the Ocean County Artists Guild, the TRAC Gallery on Main Street in Toms River, the Belmar Arts Center in Belmar, and the Monmouth Museum. I'm not going to say where I have applied to exhibit additional work just yet because, quite frankly, I'm a bit superstitious and I don't want to jinx my chances of getting accepted, and possibly winning an award. I will in good time, if I am lucky.
Many photographers I know do not participate in judged competitions. They say they shoot for themselves only, or only to produce work to sell or for a client, and they do not need the approval--or pressure and expense--of applying for and participating in a juried show. Other photographers feel just the opposite and welcome the opportunity to compare their work with others. I side with the latter group in this debate. I think a bit of competition is good--it helps to keep you sharp, to learn more about your craft, and how to see a particular subject or scene in a different way. A little envy, jealously, and annoyance is a good thing--so long as the results of the competition are taken as a learning experience and not the basis for destructive self-doubt and depression.
That is how I feel at present anyway, I do, however, reserve the right to be annoyed, frustrated, disgruntled, and possibly perplexed if none of my work is accepted or not viewed very favorably at the competitions I have entered! If that happens, you just may see a blog post about just how unfair judges are and why I am never entering another competition--until the next time.....!
Keywords: Belmar Arts Center, Monmouth Museum, New Jersey, Ocean County Artists Guild, TRAC Gallery, Toms River, competition, jersey shore, juried competitions, juried shows, photographers, photography, winter
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