A different perspective on image competition and photo contests

Episode #226: Interview with Mike Betts (24 minutes)

Discussion Topics

  1. Image Contests
  2. learning through judging
  3. accepting criticism
  4. gauging reactions

Mike Betts

CEO & Co-Founder of Photocrowd

Mike’s from Oxford, in the UK, and is the CEO and Co-founder of Photocrowd.com, a global photo community for those with a real interest in photography, whether it’s their job, their hobby, or somewhere in-between. It enables its members to earn money from their imagery at the same time as providing them with an inspiring platform for them to share their work.

Mike worked originally in IT research, and made a career change to being a pro photographer in London in his late twenties, shooting architecture to start with, and then increasingly studio still life. He’s shot a fair amount for Getty, and has seen all the changes that that industry has gone through over the last 15 years.

He had the idea for Photocrowd when he was teaching photography classes in Oxford. He would set regular assignments for his classes, but at the end of the course the students would really miss the structure this provided for their photography. Photocrowd was intended as a solution to this, and it’s grown from there to be a global community of 30,000 photographers.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

  • Sharing your images with peers vs. judges in competitions.
  • How it feels to have your images judged.
  • The benefits of entering online photo contests.
  • What entering your images in competition can do for your learning & growth.
  • Being open and humble to accepting criticism and remaining objective.
  • Taking your results and using that to grow as a photographer.
  • Playing on your photography passions and the images that crowds react positively to.
  • Crowd-sourced style photo contests as they relate to which images you should have in your portfolio.

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