I have been a member of the Wedding Photographic Society (WPS) for several years now. Periodically, we have an event called Portrait Palooza. Each participating photographer gets a dedicated 10 minute time slot to shoot a model dressed in a wedding dress. It is like a free-for-all for creative juices. The venue picks the winner of the contest and is allowed to use the image(s) for advertising. This year was the first time I participated in the contest along with over 30 photographers and 4 models at the beautiful 1705 Prime venue in Raleigh, NC. We have such a great community of wedding and portrait photographers in the Raleigh WPS! That is for sure!
The photographers were divided into four groups with a leader/timer and a model. It was sure a pleasure for me to have WPS Photographer of the Year Michelle Gunton as my leader. She is such a great person and creative photographer! Too bad she could only “time” my slot and was not able to suggest creative things to me. : )
Anyway, to this day, I am not sure sure how I feel about competing with art. I know how to compete from my wrestling days in my youth, but I am just not sure that art is a place for competition.
Art is expression –very subjective and personal. Unlike most sports, there is not a concrete set of rules to go by to determine a winner. So art is in a sense “multi-shades of color” that is defined by each photographer(artist) and viewer. Or is it?
I also understand that image competitions can be important tool to help one grow as a photographer. Winning photography contests affirms that your expression does make an impression on others(judges mainly) and helps to affirm your creative efforts. Contests have winners and losers and in this sense they are “black and white.”
So… in this spirit of this contemplation, I decided to share two versions of the images that were shot at last night contest – one "color” and one “Black and White” version. So are you a “color” or “black and white” type of person?
Here is the black and white version of the image at the top of this post.
The next set.
The last set.