A Classic Quote and Thoughts About Imaging Competition

A Classic Quote and Thoughts About Imaging Competition

Intro by Skip Cohen

Several of my most valuable lessons in photography over the years have been thanks to print competition in both PPA and WPPI. My first print was entered in WPPI’s competition over twenty years ago. I entered one print and sat in on the portion of print-judging open to the public. Well, I planned on staying an hour and stayed for half the day.

I ran across in Bob Coates’ archives, and it tied in both thoughts about imaging competition and the way it can link to building stronger brand awareness in your community. And even a print doesn’t score as well as you hoped it might, you’re a winner because you’ve participated in the process and feedback from the judges will help you raise the bar on your work in the future!


By Bob Coates

Thanks to Karl Mullings, a photographer in Flagstaff, Arizona, for this reminder of a quote from one of his and my mentors, Donald Jack.

It came up in a forum post about how a photographer wouldn’t participate in Imaging Competition run by Professional Photographers of AmericaThis almost 30-year photographer claims that their reward comes from hugs and referrals to other clients and there is no need to receive any other acclaim.

I now take you to the quote from Donald…

“If you have nothing to compare something to, then what you have in front of you is the very best that it can be.” ~Donald Jack

I applaud every photographer in their efforts to become better in whatever way they can. I suggest that using the PPA system of Competition accelerates that growth. When a photographer competes against themselves and pushes themselves through PPA’s competition system with peers they see an incredible leap in the depth and dimension of their imagery…. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Why does that matter? “Clients are happy with the photographs I supply them.”

Better photography. It translates to more and larger sales and being able to raise prices along with opportunities to create press releases and social marketing pieces that give more credence to someone looking to choose a photographer, not to mention staying front of mind in your community.

What are you waiting for? Give it a shot and see how fast your image making skills grow.

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This article was written by
Bob Coates

Bob Coates is a practicing photographer, artist, Panasonic Lumix Luminary and educator. Bob coaches photographers on business, marketing, photography and Photoshop. His diversity as an artist is legendary with experiences in virtually all major specialties. He regularly teaches/presents at many of the major conventions, but also to small groups around the country. Click on his headshot to visit his Successful-Photographer blog.

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