Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Practical Failure

OK, so the 4th of July Photo Contest was a complete bust for me. If you can't already tell: I didn't win. There's no value in discussing the details of the winning photo or how the contest was run. All I can say is congratulations to the winner, I bet that made them feel great. The only real lesson for me on this is that I can't go into these things expecting anything.  Neither should you.

I honestly expected to do better. I figured that given the day, a patriotic theme would have played well. After all, the winner was chosen by popular vote.  Sadly it did not.

What went wrong?
  • I expected some kind of exposure. I got none. This blog got zero hits that Saturday. 
  • I expected to make a sale.  I hoped that at least one person would have been interested in purchasing one of the framed photos. I'm not sure anyone even knew they were for sale.
  • I expected to win. Two of my entries were taken in town, and the other was unique to New Hampshire. I felt I was very much in the spirit of the contest. To give credit, I believe the winning photo was also taken in NH. I also feel that the quality of my photos was very high. I spent a lot of time carefully preparing the photos for enlargement as well as figuring out the best size to print them at (time well spent because they came out far better than I ever thought they would). These pictures really hold up to printing at large sizes, and I'm proud of that.  I also happen to think they are professional quality.

What can I do differently:
  • Expect nothing.  You can't control these things, so why get too emotionally involved. Just put your best work out there, be happy you have something to share, then let whatever happens happen. It is what it is, they say.
  • Promote more, but tastefully.  If I had printed out a very small sign, say 2x3", that said the photo was for sale, the price, and my website - I might have gotten more exposure. I think a tiny sign like that would be noticeable but not garish. Anyone interested could look closer and read the info.  Anyone not interested would barely notice and pass by.
What's next?  I still feel strongly that "Determination" is saleable.  I'm probably going to see if there will be any other local art shows or competitions around. I think I will also look into consigning a few smaller prints at some local craft/antique stores.  I also think I'll keep blogging about this curious adventure. I've learned so much about photography, from taking the photo to printing big, and I think all of it is teachable.  I plan to write it all down for your benefit.

Next post will be a little bit about how I prepped for the contest.  Stay tuned.


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