Businesses don’t run competitions because they want to reward you for excelling in your craft. They run competitions because they want to explore new and interesting ways to ensure your readership of their product and accompanying advertising, and to make money from your attention.
Open entry art competitions also have a very good chance of completely shattering an unwary/unprepared/inexperienced entrants positive experience with their craft. Ten thousand people enter, and one is selected for praise at everyone else’s emotional expense based on someone’s singular opinion on what art is good and what art is not. And then, after you are effectively told that your entry is nothing more than a generic 6-by-4 not worthy of mention or praise on its own merits that’s been thrown in to the black-hole of unmentioned silence, you have the ‘winner’ and his fantastic prize rubbed in your face in a presentation / acceptance video to make you feel even more like a loser. This is a sure-fire recipe to make huge numbers of people feel very, very bad about their efforts and ability. I've seen many people give up their craft after entering competitions with an unprepared mind-set.
A person would be far better off entering weekly competitions with their local camera club, who are NOT hell bent on scarring them for life.
Online "popular photography" businesses aren't ‘nice guys’ any more than Anthony Hopkins is a flesh-eating cannibal. What you’re seeing is a product, a construct designed to alter your perception and attitude to their goods-and-services-for-sale so they can cash in. This is called ‘marketing’. They are not your friends and you should not invest in them emotionally.
It’s exactly the same as toothpaste commercial using tall beautiful blonde models smiling broadly at you from up on their bill-boards. That model is not your new squeeze, nor your BFF. She’s up there so you’ll buy the toothpaste.
I was meaning those people who heap false and maybe even 'paid for' praise on another photographer and blindly state how every image xxx photographer takes is worthy of being called the best image ever. This is not how it happens for me, I try things, some work out and some don't... I learn, I grow... mistakes are just as important as successes and people need to know that... a bad image doesn't make you a bad photographer... rather it is something to learn from... a stepping stone to something better.
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