24 Sep

How to Choose Your Best Shots for a Photography Competition 


Photography competitions are great opportunities for photographers to gain recognition, showcase their skills, and even win prizes. However, choosing the best image to submit can be daunting. The key to success lies in your ability to create a list of photos that capture your creativity and unique perspective and will resonate with the judges. In this post, we will explore some important steps and tips to help you choose your best shots for submission to photography competitions. 

  1. Understand the Guidelines of the Competition 

Before you go through your photos and select your top picks, it’s important that you understand the competition guidelines. Make sure to carefully review the categories, rules, submission deadlines, and any specific requirements. Familiarizing yourself with these details will help you make your selection accordingly. Most importantly, read through the competition’s Plagiarism rules. It’s essential that you submit your OWN WORK, meaning that you took the photo you submit, and are not simply the subject of the photo, if that applies. 

  1. Know the Theme and Your Audience 

Consider the theme of the competition and the intended audience. Who are the judges? What kind of images are they likely to appreciate? If the competition has a specific theme, make sure your chosen picture aligns with it. Adhering to the theme shows your ability to create a cohesive entry that stands out. 

  1. Create a List 

Start by compiling a shortlist of potential images you want to submit. This list should have a variety of shots that highlight your photographic creativity and versatility. Take your time to objectively evaluate each image. Consider factors like subject matter, lighting, composition, and emotional impact. 

  1. Quality over Quantity! 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that submitting a lot of images will increase your chance of winning. In reality, quality is much more important than quantity. Judges are more likely to appreciate well-curated images that show a unique style or portray a compelling story. Choose your absolute best shots rather than trying to fill the submission quota. Some competitions, like the 2023 K12 In Focus Photography Competition, only let you submit 1 photograph per category, so make sure you choose the best quality image you have following the requirements of the category. 

  1. Prioritize Creativity and Uniqueness 

Photography competitions receive a wide range of submissions. To stand out to the judges, select shots that are creative, unique and evoke emotion. Avoid overused concepts or subject matters. Instead, strive to show a new perspective or a unique interpretation of the theme. 

  1. Emotional Impact 

Photography is a medium that can provoke strong emotional responses. Select images that have a powerful emotional impact, whether through composition, storytelling, or subject matter. Photos are more likely to leave a lasting impression if they connect with the viewer emotionally. 

  1. Get Feedback 

Getting a new perspective on your photography is extremely valuable. Share your list with friends, family, or fellow photographers. They can help you see your work from different angles or perspectives that you hadn’t considered. Constructive feedback can be very helpful in guiding you toward your final selection. 

  1. It’s All About You! 

Although all the above tips are important, photography is all about showcasing your passion. Choose images that you love and are proud of. Don’t be afraid to choose a photo that someone may not have liked, because it’s more important to submit work that represents you as a photographer and a person. 


Choosing your shot for a photography competition may be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. It requires a combination of a deep understanding of the competition’s theme and guidelines and creative vision. By following these steps and tips, you can increase your chances of making a lasting impression on the judges and being a successful photographer.