By Jim Colton

Once again we are upon the photography contest season.  And every year I hear photographers ask “Do photo contests matter?” In the opinion of this photo editor, they do! But just don’t take my word for it; here are what some prominent industry professionals think about the value of contests and what you can do to assure your entries are seen in the best light.

Why Enter? 

I’ve asked some prominent recent contest winners how they feel about contests and how the recognition affected their careers. They offer some valuable insights on their thought process and suggestions worth considering as you prepare your entries.

The Judges Speak

Have you ever wondered what judges are looking for in these contests? And just as important, what turns them off? I asked a venerable group of former jurors to share their thoughts on what works and what doesn’t!

Colton’s Hints: Contest Do’s and Don’ts

I’ve had the honor of being a judge at many contests including World Press, POYi and the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. Here are my top five helpful hints for preparing your entries.

The List

Here is a comprehensive list and links to most of the high profile photography contests professionals will be entering this year. Good Luck!