Comping With Your Camera

Hello everyone!  How is your week going, any nice wins to report?  Just a few small ones here of another book from Goodreads and a Gatorade water bottle as a runners’ up prize from their monthly draw.  Starting to get back into my comping properly now the kids are back at school and clubs have settled down, but I find I am getting distracted by Christmas plans and ideas too, which is eating into my comping time!  I desperately want to win lots of nice Christmas gifts and treats this year, but I am also busy planning present ideas, recipes and craft projects so that when work gets really busy in December I have all my plans ready and done.  I need to finds a better balance this week I think, or it will be Christmas before I know it and I won’t have accomplished what I set out to do!

I need to make an effort to do more creative comps this month too, as I have been pretty lacks on this since the kids went back to school.  The girls entered some great summer creative comps themselves, and it would be nice to think they might win something for their efforts.  With Halloween and Christmas coming up I thought it would be a good time to revisit how to get the most out of creative photo competitions, in readiness for their being tons of great photo comps coming up over the next few months:

Where to find Photo Comps:


  • Compers News:  As a member of Compers News you have access to some brilliant photo-entry competitions both in the printed monthly magazine and online via the Chatterbox Forum.  Check the forum often to get the heads up on new photo comps that might not have made it into the magazine yet.  Be sure to connect with the Compers News Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages too, to keep yourself up to date with all the latest and bst creative competitions!

  • Facebook & Twitter:  Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great for photo competitions too.  Keep your eyes peeled for big brands, especially around peak times such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas wanting to see your Easter bonnets, pumpkins or Christmas crafts.  I often add a photo to standard like & share or retweet competitions too, as an aid to helping my entry to stand out – it can’t hurt!

  • Instagram:  Instagram is another great source of competitions that require a photo to enter, and is still a relatively under-used source.  Join an Instagram & Pinterest competitions group on Facebook and you will get notified when new UK competitions are found, and make sure you follow your favourite big brands on Instagram to get their new photos and competitions direct to your feed.


Tips for Winning with your camera:


  • Read the Rules:  People contact me all the time and ask “why aren’t I winning photo competitions?” and a lot of the time when I check their entries it is often that they haven’t qualified to enter because they haven’t read the rules properly!  Make sure you know what date (and time if available) the competition closes and don’t wait too long to enter.  Check what you need to do to enter – if the competition calls for a selfie of yourself with a product, don’t get someone else to take the photo for you and make sure the product is in show.  If the rules say no-one under 18 can be in the photo, don’t waste your time setting up great photos with the kids as it won’t count!  Make sure you are aware of all the rules before you take the time to enter.
  • Plan Ahead:  We all know when Easter, Halloween and Christmas are and we also know these are the times when a lot of photo-competitions pop up, so it is easy to get ahead and pre-plan some entries.  The more practice of making those tricky Christmas cookies, decorating that pumpkin or making that elaborate Easter bonnet the better chance you have of being happy with your entry.  Practice taking creative photos of you in your Christmas jumper ahead of time, take different and exciting shots of your summer flowers in bloom and experiment with different designs to carve into pumpkins.  The more photos you take the better the feel you will have for your best entry.
  • Stockpile:  Usually there is no reason why you can’t use the same photos for multiple competitions, so take lots of photos and stockpile your best entries to use over and over again.
  • Think Creative:  Promoters want to see entries that make then laugh, make them think or that show lots of love for the brand.  If you can try and get the brand promoting the competition into your entry, even if it isn’t a requirement.  Maybe try and colour-coordinate yourself to the brand colours to make for an interesting shot.  Try different angels in your photos, rather than just straight on or portrait – anything to make your photos stand out from the crowd.
  • Use Technology Wisely:  Even the most basic photo apps on your phone or free websites online now have some great filtering and editing features.  Have a play around with them on some existing photos so that that you aware of what you can do when the time comes to take some competition snaps.  Use a nostalgic, sepia-toned filter for a competition for vintage or retro goods, or maybe brighten up the colours in your flower and garden entry photos to make them really pop out of the image.  Also if you struggle to get a good selfie with your phone camera (I have stupidly short arms so can definitely relate) then think about investing in a selfie stick to help you go to those extra lengths!  They can be picked up quite cheaply these days and will really help you to take those photos that require it to be a selfie and not taken by a third party.


So there you have it, take some photos this weekend and have a practice with all the editing and composition tricks you can think of.  Preparation and planning make for great photos - and more interesting competition entries too!

Happy comping and lots of Lucky Dust to you all!

Kirsty x