Prize Winning Photos Made Easy

Photographers seeking to create prize winning photographs, or those looking to get paid the big bucks for their photos, would do well to heed the words of the wise old success author, Wallace Wattles. In his famous 1910 book, “The Science of Getting Rich”. Wattles observed that in every endeavor folks don’t succeed by doing certain things, but rather they succeed by doing things in a certain way.

He says folks don’t get rich because they do some certain, secret, specific things. Folks get rich in every field imaginable. But the ones who do best, excel because they do what they do in a certain way. Great photography is no different. Art is no different. In every different style there are prize winning works.

So, in photography, what is that “certain way” that lets some people create prize winning photographs again and again? How are they doing things in a certain way that different from the all the rest.

There are 4 critical factors that go into creating great photos. I call them the 3C’s +1.

Composition – great photography mirrors great art. If you want to be a great photographer, make it a habit to study great art. How the image is put together. The placement of objects and lines. The angles. Too many things, too few. All play a critical part in the final outcome. Remember this phrase and you’ll improve your photographs dramatically, “That one thing I do”. Each photo should be dramatizing one thing, making one thing stand out. Making one story easily understood.

Color – bright, vibrant colors. Particularly reds, blues, and oranges, carry significant weight in the judging of your photos. These colors attract the eye much more than soft pastels or dull, drab tones. The use of complementary colors will always allow your photos to command attention. Get yourself a color wheel and keep it in your camera bag or near your computer for post processing. With programs like Photoshop, it’s easy to create the colors you need, even if you didn’t capture them in camera.

Clarity – clarity has two parts. Focus is critical. Nobody want to look at a blurry subject. If your subject has eyes it’s absolutely critical that they must be in sharp focus. Sure you can blur the background or surrounding areas but your subject must be in focus. Soft focus is OK if that is the style of your work, but camera shake or other obvious signs of uncontrolled motion are a no-no. The second part of clarity was mentioned before in Composition. Clarity of purpose. You must instantly and clearly answer the viewers question, “What do you want me to see here?”

And the Plus One – you must present something different. We’re all bored, seeking some new thrill. We’re tired of seeing the same old things.We crave a new perspective. One of my simple flower shots just took top prize in a contest. Search “flower photographs” on Google and you’ll see millions of photos. What makes one flower stand out among the rest? The 3C’s + 1. My flower won because it contained the 3C’s above plus it offered a new perspective. The flower, one simple yellow Daffodil shot against a sky blue background, won because it had that +1 feature. It was shot from the unusual perspective of a bug on the ground. It was shot looking up while nearly every other average flower is shot from a “people perspective”. That is, looking down. If your viewer can say, “Wow! I never saw that before”, you’ve got a good chance to take the prize or earn big money from your photos too.

But you don’t have to be too creative or spend a fortune on props to offer something different. Now, with digital props and digital backgrounds, you can quickly and easily add tremendous value and eye appeal to your photos.

A few minutes with Photoshop and these professional, pre-shot digital props and backgrounds can quickly take your average photograph and make it a prize winner. If you’re a portrait photographer or wish to be, these backgrounds can let you make a lot more money with less effort by offering your clients fresh new scenes without the cost, hassle, or responsibilities of owning a fancy photography studio.

Digital backgrounds are a great way to take the prize.

Following the 3C’s + 1 is the “certain way” to start creating your own prize winning photos today.