Print & Win Judges Offer Tips for Capturing Competition-worthy Photos

With over 600 submissions for the Print & Win Competition, it was tough to narrow it down to the images that were selected to face the judges’ panel. In fact, there were several images that were on the cusp of making it to the panel.

Given that there was so much discussion about the images, several of the original judges – Pete Wright, Jeff Bowman, and Dennis and Cheri Hammon – returned to share a rare, public learning opportunity for up and coming photographers and photographers who have never entered their work in a formal competition.

The judges selected a few of the images and offered some great talking points not only to the photographer of the image but also to anyone looking to learn and hone their skills. Dennis Hammon is excited to share this sneak peek into a judge’s mind.

“We want you to learn from everybody’s image. We want to give everyone the experience to understand what judges are looking for,” he says. “We’re looking for sharpness, technique, and story-telling. The composition and subject are so important.”

The judges picked a wide variety of images ranging from a boudoir capture to a kaleidoscope creation and discussed what the photographers did right and how the image could be improved for another competition or what a photographer could do differently for future competitions. The suggestions were as simple as a closer crop and choosing a different time of day to as technical as changing settings and doing additional post-production work.

A consensus among the judges is the best way to improve skill and technique is to continue entering competitions. As many past Sunset Print Award winners have stated, anytime they put their work in front of judges, they learn something to help them improve.

Whether the Click & Win Image Awards was your first or fortieth competition, check out the video above to eavesdrop on the conversation. Feel free to leave us a comment and let us know what you learned from the discussions.

Now that you’ve learned more about how to capture the perfect image, contact a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 to find out how to take the next step – printing. Remember, it’s not a photograph until it’s printed.

Prints That Win: Angels Bending Near the Earth

Idaho Falls-based photographer, Cheri Hammon, had an unusual start in photography. After abandoning a career as a hairdresser due to allergies, she happened upon a job in a local photography studio.

“They put me in sales and I was terrible,” she says, laughing. “So the photographer who owns the studio asked me if I was interested in retouching.” From that moment on, she had found her passion.

Her Sunset Print Award-winning image, “Angels Bending Near the Earth,” also had a unique inception. “Normally, I get a feeling when I start a project and it sits in my head for a while and kind of cooks,” Hammon says. “But this is the only one I’ve ever done that just hit me all of a sudden.”