What makes award winning photography?
This is the great question on every photographers mind. With a whole array of award bodies out there with different criteria it can be hard to keep up with them, so how do we determine what award winning photography should be. I am proud to say I have received awards from a majority of these bodies although there is one that has alluded me which I strive to one day achieve.
To me an image worthy of an award is a blend of four elements.
It can be one element of a combination of a few – but what makes an incredible photo into award winning photography.
The Big Four
LIGHT >> Light is one of the most important factors to me. It can be natural or artificial. It just needs to pop. Some of my most favourite images are of those that have used interesting beams of lights to pick out elements of the image to tell a story.
COMPOSITION >> It goes without saying you need to compose a subject within a frame. Using different elements to create the frame can take it to the next level. I like to think I’ve always been good at composition from my film days – although I now like to tread a tightrope of the awkward and unconventional. I get some people don’t get it but I like the intentional lunacy and to make people feel uneasy.
MOMENT/STORYTELLING >> The more you shoot the more you pre-empt a moment. You have the stand alone money shot images. That are 100% there for effect. They bore me. I like a bit of emotion of a layered scene of multiple images. Kristian Leven is a wizard at this. I recall listening to him over a beer one night, talk about how he waits for his moments – like a tiger stalking pray. An image needs this context to be a true wedding award and a winner in my eyes.
UNIQUENESS >> I see so many award winning wedding photographs, including my own, that I think “this is good but i’ve seen it before.” To be a true award winner I think it needs that extra element. I actually think this is the most important of the four but often one which is overlooked. I admit I have got away with a few from this oversight.
Lets see your award winning photographs
Below are some of my current awarded images courtesy of the following bodies.
- This Is Reportage
- The Masters of Wedding photography UK & NI
- Photographers Keeping It Real
For those wandering the missing one is fearless – one day I’ll capture one.
This Is Reportage Story Award.
I’m proud of any award I receive however the ultimate in my collection is my This Is Reportage Story Award – It is the pride of any award winning photographer.