Your images will never be good enough.
Yeah you heard me, never.
Before you get all upset, close this page and start sending me all kinds of emails about how good your images really are hear me out.
During the last few weeks I have spoken to quite a few photographers both online and in person, about entering photography competitions.
What brought this on was the fact entries to the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year closed recently. Now the WPOTY is like the Oscars of the wildlife photography world. It is the holy grail, the special moment, the ultimate recognition.
I was quite surprised to hear that a lot of photographers don’t enter because they don’t think their images are good enough. A common response was ‘I’ll do it next year‘ with the idea that they might have a better chance of winning then.
And what makes you think your images are going to be any better then?
Don’t you think that by the time next year comes along you would have – hopefully – grown as a photographer and your personal standards and assessment of your own work would have grown along with your photographic ability leaving you in the same situation saying the same thing – I’ll do it next year.
The point of entering a competition like the WPOTY is not winning. The point is not even being recognized at any level.
The point is that you take your images – your best images – seriously.
The goal is to critically assess your own work, make a call on what you think the best ones are and then move on from there.
By not taking a swing, by not going all in, by not letting the chips fall where they may you will never reach that important point where you sit down, have a good, long, honest long look at your own work and make the call on which images you would like to put forward as your ‘best’.
By taking the time to look at your own images, to critically look at your own images, you will start changing the way you look at your own photography and that will make you grow.
Will you ever think your images are good enough?
Probably not because we all feel that we can create better image. We all feel that we can improve somehow.
Are your images good enough for now?
Don’t wait until you feel your images are good enough.
Take a swing now!
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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