When New Orleans photographer Yvette Ponthier first learned about print competitions, she was initially turned off by what seemed to be subjective judging and nitpicking. “I saw these beautiful images just being picked apart,” she says. “So I said, nope, not doing that. That was the biggest mistake I ever made.”
Four years ago, she changed her mind and began competing with images like “And They Left Their Boats in Search of Him,” at left, which won the Sunset Print Award at the 2015 Southern Pro Exposure Competition sponsored by Professional Photographers of Louisiana.
“Print competitions totally make you more creative in every aspect,” Ponthier says. “I should have stuck with competition because being an active participant has taken my photography skills to levels I never thought possible.”