I was sitting in my dorm room at Arizona State University. To my left I had my Xbox on (as it was pretty much 24/7) with some racing game on pause. In front of me I had my future, for I was entering a photography competitionthat I believed would make me famous and rich beyond my wildest dreams. To this day, I can’t remember if I won any prize in that specific competition, but I remember that was the genesis of the idea that photo competitions were how you become successful in this career.
As I grew in my career, I paid less attention to trying to win competitions and focused more on learning my craft and developing a style that would serve my clients well. In the same way that I worried schooling for photography would train my eye to be generic, I worried that results (be it good or bad) in a photography competition would jade the direction of my style. So for that, and many other reasons, I decided to save the money that I would spend entering them and put it towards camera gear.