“Award Winning Photography” seems these days to be a catchphrase on every second site. Frankly, it`s lost its value, just like Jumbo Shrimp, Sale and…Your Call is Important to Us….
Here are the facts. There are actually a half dozen real photography awards in North America and no, winning the northwest Barrys Bay landscape competition does not qualify you to shoot portraits.
The real awards are judged by a panel of Nationally acclaimed photographers and these groups include the Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of Canada and Capic. There are a number of high end mags like Applied Arts inCanada and PDN in the USA who have juried competitions annually. There are as well, National Associations for Journalists that hand our Editorial Awards which are properly adjudicated.
Contrast that with the latest fads…Websites that declare you a top photog because you had a few hundred of your Facebook friends vote or worse yet, media and “pay to enter” sites who set themselves up as judges based on polls that are merely popularity contests or worse…
It wouldn`t be so bothersome if not for the fact that the general public already has a hard time judging a photographers work based on a few web images, let alone his or her professionalism in business.
I stopped entering the real competitions a number of years ago. I had won at that time of 100 local, National and International awards and I simply decided to put a little more time into my family and my business. To tell the truth, I feel sorry for newbies in the biz. There are some great photographers in Ottawa…and hundreds of “award winning photographers”
(Full disclosure), I am one of five photographers in Ottawa who has been honored with the title Master Photographer and the only studio owner to ever win Canadian Photographer of the Year. I am qualified as an International Judge of Photography in Canada and the USA)