Snap Happy



Never has it been so easy to take photos. Most of us have mobile phones with inbuilt cameras. Digital cameras are becoming quite sophisticated and small enough to carry in a purse or top pocket. There are also many ways to instantly copy, crop and enhance and then send your snaps to family or friends or upload them to your Facebook page, Instagram, Flickr or a website. It is no wonder that photo competitions are becoming more and more popular by the day.

Once it was only professional photographers who entered competitions. Now they are open to just about anyone. They can be fun, creative and as many other compers don’t want to go to the bother of entering them, there may be a better chance of winning a prize for your efforts.

Since January I have won three prizes for photographs. My husband is a keen amateur photographer and out computer is jam-packed with photos from all kinds of family occasions and holidays around the country. So many I certainly have plenty to choose from whenever I need a photo and my husband doesn’t mind as I always acknowledge that they are his creation. This partnership seems to be working well!

Photo competitions can be based on just about any theme but some of the most popular ones seem to include:-

(1)   Babies and children. These are always popular, especially in parenting magazines and websites. Often the prizes are very attractive too. If you are a proud parent or grandparent you probably already have plenty of these or are more than willing to take some that might be suitable.

(2)   People having fun. Those with lots of happy, smiling faces and can be useful depending of course on the theme of the competition.

(3)   Landscapes and interesting tourist or historical sites. It is always a good policy to take as many as you can while on holidays. They could come in handy at any time and you can always crop or change the view to make them even more interesting.

(4)   Unusual objects or events or scenes taken from an atypical perspective or cropped in tight to reveal something different. Again, it should meet the criteria of the competition theme. And, you never know when you might need them and this exercise can be a bit of fun too.

Pretty much the same rules apply to photo competitions as with other competitions. These include – always stick to the theme and answer the question – make sure your entry is in before the closing date – take care when filling out the entry form – and always read the terms and conditions and any other fine print. However with photo competitions it is also vital you’re your images will impress the judges. Make sure they are unique, sharp with good contrast and the colours are natural (unless you have opted for black and white, which could be interesting). Many photo competitions are just after something fun that goes with their theme. Always make sure you are authorised to share the photos whether published in a magazine or online. Copyright laws are strict and apply to photos as well as written works therefore they must be your own work and not taken from another source.

I have one more tip from my personal experience. If you are not sure about uploading photos to Instagram from your mobile phone or you don’t have one, you can download bluestacks ( onto your PC or Mac and use that instead. It will install a program where you can access android or iphone apps through your computer. That is what I do.

Finally anyone really keen on the idea of photo competitions might like to take a wander around


Everyone needs a getaway by Kenny Louie

Attribution-NonCommercial License

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