Comping With Your Camera

Good morning compers!  Are you enjoying the summer so far?  Have you managed to get out in the sun lots?  What have you been up to, drop me a comment below and let me know, I am always looking for inspiration!  I have barely been indoors since the summer holidays started – it has been a whirlwind of picnic making, sun-cream application, beach trips, walks in the country and playing in the sea – and it isn’t even August yet!

One thing I have been doing LOTS of already is taking photos!  Do you find you take more photos over the summer, I know I do.  Apart from Christmas I think this is the time of year when I get the most snap happy with the camera app on my phone.  It is so simple these days too, you don’t even need a specific camera to remember to pack in your bag – the quality of photos taken with most modern smartphones are usually pretty good.  You even get some great free apps to add filters and tidy up your photos, making it even easier to take great pictures to treasure for a lifetime.

Taking photos is also a great way of entering comps too!  There are lots of brilliant photo competitions – ranging from quick in-the-moment snaps, to planned out, staged photo opportunities, to full-blown amateur photography and nature photographic comps.  If you don’t currently do photo comps here are my top tips for getting started:

  • Think topically – if it is summer there are bound to be lots of comps relating to sending in your best “summer moment”, or in the winter months you may be asked to seed in photos of your Christmas tree, or your best pumpkin carving at Halloween etc.  Always have in your mind the current themes and topics and bare this in mind when taking your photos.
  • Have a look through the “Creative Comps” section of your Compers News magazine, and get an idea of the sort of competitions available at the moment.
  • Once you have some competitions in mind to enter, jot them down in a file – paper or digital – and include any relevant terms and the closing date.  That way you won’t forget about doing them, and can plan them into your outings and daily events.  For example if there a comp that requires you to take a selfie with a particular product in the picture, make sure you carry that product with you whenever you go out and about, remembering to use it to take some interesting photos and giving you more pics to choose from when you enter the comps.
  • Try and think outside the box – everyone enters the obligatory “hot dog legs” and “building a sandcastle” photo into “summer moment” comps.  Can you come up with some more interesting and unique subjects around the same theme that will make your entry stand out?  Maybe building something more imaginative out of that pile of sand, or having a set of teddy bear legs where your own legs would be in the “on a sun lounger” photo.  Go wild and think creative!
  • Get the family involved.  Several brains are better than one, and sometimes kids come up with the greatest creative inspiration for photo comps.  Explain the general theme of what you are trying to capture or create, and then let the kiddos go nuts and try and snap as many interesting photos as you can.  Promoters like photos that are imaginative, unique and eye catching.
  • Remember to read all the Ts and Cs carefully.  Sometimes promoters will only want over 18s in the photos, so make sure your kids are only involved behind the camera for these ones.  Sometimes the product needs to be clearly in shot, so make sure you can read any labels clearly, where appropriate.  Sometimes photos need to be taken at a specific location or time of day, so make sure you read all the terms more than once and make notes in your Photo Comps file as necessary.
  • Keep a folder of all your photo entries, as chances are you will be able to enter more than one competition with the same photo.  A lot of promoters will use the same theme at the same time – e.g. beach, landscape, Christmas etc – so you will get more than just one use out of your best photos.

To get you started here are some great current photo competitions for you to get stuck into:

  • Do you like to take photos with your pampered pooch?  Submit your best “me and my dog selfie”, that best reflects your dog’s personality, and you could win £250 in cash in the current Columbus competition!  Entries must be made over twitter and the competition ends on 30th July 2014 so get your camera out and get snapping!
  • While you are enjoying your summer holidays keep in mind the Debenhams Blog competition to win a 7 night all-inclusive Virgin Holidays competition!  They are looking for the best photo via Instagram of a “Fabulous summer moment”.  Entries need to be made by 13th August 2014, check out the website for all the details.
  • If you are getting out and about over the coming weeks, make sure you take some good examples of an “Outdoor Selfie” and you could be winning an outdoor photography holiday to the Lake Destruct and a photography equipment bundle.  Upload your best selfie to the Above and Beyond Facebook page by 17th August 2014 for a chance of winning.
  • Here is a very creative one for you – take a picture of a current circulation coin in an interesting place or position!  You could win £1,000 in cash by entering the Change Checker website by 30th September 2014.  You can upload your entry by Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and full details are on the website.

Happy creative comping, and lots of Lucky Dust to you all!

Kirsty x