RISE international Photography Awards
Last summer I entered my first judged photography contest through the RISE awards. The RISE awards were created by Kelly Brown one of the first superstar newborn photographers in the industry. I was late to the game and didn’t plan any session for competition. I used images I already had and simply picked 4 of my current favourites to enter. I think I entered the night before the deadline after finding out about the contest that day.
The contest is entered online by submitting digital files through the RISE website. This is obviously much simpler than the WPPI contest I entered afterwards. The WPPI contest required the images to be printed matted and shipped to Vegas for the judging! The RISE contest is relatively difficult to win. The winners from last year are superstar photographers who submitted stunning work. There are many smaller contests you can enter if you would like to give it a try. You can enter the Child Photo Competition monthly by submitting digitally.
I entered 4 of my favourites from the time and didn’t have any expectations for how they would score this being my first contest but just the act of entering is an important one. I liken it to ripping off a bandaid because it’s a little scary but the longer you think about it the scarier it would be. I heard many photographers say they weren’t good enough to enter so they talked themselves out of entering.
Sure you run the risk that some or all of your images score low enough to be considered below industry standard but that’s not the end of the world. Even at our best shoots there are likely some images that aren’t great. We miss focus, miss the perfect expression, over expose or a million other technical issues. Finding out that your images are at industry level may seem like a loss to some people too. But to me, knowing you are industry level is good! It means your images are worth paying for so at the very least you can feel confident that you are good enough to do this.
In the RISE contest 3 of my 4 images scored bronze and 1 scored silver. It’s kind of them to include Bronze as an award because it’s nice to be rewarded for hard work and I was very happy with my scores. The same scores at another competition wouldn’t earn any awards but that’s not the important part. I think knowing where you stand regardless of where that is, is an important part of getting where you want to be.
The RISE competition awards a numerical score but it also provides a very short written feedback from the judges. Not enough to really change your images but enough to discern the level of perfection they are after.
Poppies- Scored Bronze
My poppy image scored bronze at the RISE competition. I LOVE this image and would love this whole series just as much even if it scored below industry standard. I love the intense colour of the giant poppies I picked from the garden and I was proud of my toddler bucket pose. This was shot with studio light using my Canon 5D mark 2 and my cheap 50mm lens.
Sleepy Pose- Scored Bronze
This sleepy pose is still a favourite of mine and it’s inspired me to do several other sleepy photos of mother’s with their children. It is an important image in my journey because it was another example of trying out new ideas to see where they take you. I thought of this shot in my mind and it turned out just how I wanted it to. I lost marks for the pattern in the fabric and her hair our of place. Because it was a newborn session this was a fast shot- one of many shots I took for moms gallery. If it were shot for competition I would have spent 20 minutes or more just tweaking and perfecting all the tiny details. This was shot with studio light using my Canon 5D mark 2 and my cheap 50mm lens.
Endless Love- Scored Bronze
This image also scored Bronze at the RISE competition. I was very proud to have created this image because it was not an easy pose to achieve. I lost points for originality and in hindsight I realized that the in hands pose was very popular this year so there must have been countless entries like this. Something I didn’t consider for my first contest. This was shot with Studio light using my Canon 5D mark 2 and my cheap 50mm lens.
Sisters – Scored Silver
My sister image scored a silver award! I was very pleased to achieve silver in my first contest. I think it did well for it’s original design and the two bears who mirror the sisters. This was shot with natural window light using my Canon 5D mark 2 and my cheap 50mm lens.