Five Tips for Entering the Best Photos
Thank you to all who have submitted photos for IREX’s first-ever “Make a Better World Photo Contest!” With over 1,300 photo entries and still two weeks to go until the deadline on May 15, 2012, I’d like to offer some insights on what type of photos I think the judges and IREX’s president will favor.
As the organizer of the Photo Contest and someone that has reviewed countless pictures for IREX communications over the last two and half years, I have naturally formed an opinion on what is great nonprofit photo storytelling. Do you agree or disagree after reviewing my list below? If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comment section.
Capture the Action: Before you submit photos, make sure they are relevant to the theme of the contest, “Make a Better World.” Ask yourself, do your pictures capture candid moments of individuals making a positive change in their community?
Study the IREX’s Seven Focus Areas: We work with educators, journalists, librarians, nonprofit leaders, college students, youth, and women to name a few. Try to include these as main subjects in your photos.
Be Unique: Take a look at some of the recent photo entries on our Flickr page to get an idea of what is missing. We’ve received many pictures of children and the elderly so if you would like to stand out, consider submitting photos of other people, such as of women and youth.
Inspire a Hope, Inspire a Solution: Do not shy away from capturing the reality of the situation, but try not to depress. Through the action and the expression of the subjects, convince the viewer of a better future to come.
Don’t Over Edit: Document the development issue in its most raw and organic setting but don’t get too creative and over edit where the pictures become incoherent. Pictures should be in focus and tell a story within a quick glance.
As an extra bonus, here are some extra tips straight from some of the Photo Contest judges themselves:
Jeanie Adams-Smith,Western Kentucky University: "Pictures should tell a story. I will be looking for pictures that are storytelling and have clarity, elegance and simplicity."
Tom Murphy, A View from the Cave:“I am interested in photos that tell of capability and promise. What catches my eye are images that are of empowered people.”
Josh Nesbit, Medic Mobile: “I'm most interested in photos that help us understand reality. This gives us an honest starting point, sometimes surprisingly good or bad.”
Photo Credit: We Love Tripoli