Till now I have talked about “How to Submit Photographs for Exhibitions”
& “Make Your Photographs Prominent in Exhibitions”
Let’s talk about “How to impress the Photo Selection Jury”. Generally a good photo exhibition of repute has a panel of jury members who do the screening of the photographs. These photographs finally go for print and on the walls of the exhibition. Each and every jury member has his/her strength in a certain field and their own perspective to look into a photograph. But there are a few things which each and every jury members looks into before rating a certain photograph.
A few year ago when there was less of digitalization and photographs were clicked on film rolls, the jury used to sit at a single place and they were shown the prints of the photographs submitted for screening of an exhibition or a photo contest. The jury was then asked to rate the photographs and choose the top photographs. The common photographs were then chosen for the exhibition.
With the digitalization the screening process has become less cumbersome. All the jury members are now asked to rate the digital copies submitted for the screening from 1 to 10 (1 being the least). The ratings of all the jury members are compiled and averaged out. The top photographs are then shortlisted for the exhibition.
So what do the jury members look for in a photograph?
Does the Photograph have a story?
This is one of the most important points a jury member takes into consideration before deciding the rating for a photograph.
If there is a clear story in your photograph, the chances of your photograph going through the screening are quite high.
So before submitting a photograph, look into the photograph ‘n’ number of times. Ask yourself what story is my photograph saying?
Make sure that the photograph isn’t showing a conflicting story.
How unique or rare is the photograph?
The photo selection jury screening your photographs has quite an experience and their eyes have seen countless number of great, good as well as bad photographs. Uniqueness of Rarity is what a jury member tends to look for in a photograph.
For example photograph of a farmer working in a field is quite common
where as a human carrying weight on the shoulders while snowing is quite unique and rare.
A rare and a unique photograph catch the eye jury as well as that of a common viewer.
So try to bring a kind of uniqueness in your photographs. Don’t submit photographs which are quite common like photograph of a fort from outside is quite common and chances of many photographers clicking and submitting the similar photographs are quite high.
How well the Photograph is Composed?
The next thing the jury looks for is “The Composition of your Photograph”.
“A photograph with a strong composition is better than a poorly processed one”
Over processing a photograph and not taking care of composition of the photograph is what the photographers do now a days.
Focus more on composition rather than post processing.
A well composed photograph doesn’t need too much of post
Technical aspects of the Photograph
The last but not the least, thing that a jury looks for in a photograph is its technical aspects. It’s is not that the technical aspects don’t matter or are least important but if your photograph is strong on the above mentioned points then the chances of technicalities being ignored is quite high.
The above photograph though technically not very good at the same time catches everyone’s eye.
Hope you would have got some Tips on how do the jury judges your photograph.
I will continue talking about ‘photo submissions for exhibitions’ in my coming articles.
The author is Anil Khubani ‘Flyaway’
Professional Photographer &
Founder: Jaipur Photographers’ Club
Feedback and suggestion welcome