Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Judges tips for photography comps

I recently had the pleasure of judging local photographs at an agricultural show and a clubs interclub challenge all in one week.

The standard was extremely high and there was a huge amount of effort in the under 18’s section which is fantastic as these are the photographers of tommorrow.

There were A and B grade images, monochromatic, prints and digital.

I struggle with the ideology in an open section that has analogue prints and digitally taken images up for judging together.
I must be strange, I like to judge digitally taken images against one another as I feel analogue is in a league of its own.

If we are to be judged should we be judged with our peers?

But as usual it was a fabulous experience and the range of subject matter and techniques and styles were amazing.

So what are my tips?

  1. Read the rules; ensure your photo is within the guidelines.

  1. Have a clean crisp neat mount for your prints; sometimes it’s literally points that separate 1st and 2nd.

  1. Ensure your photo is clear, its hard to judge an image that has been printed too large and the whole image is out of focus or too pixelated.

  1. Don’t have titles near the photo it can be distracting.

  1. Mount colour can be black or white or pick out a colour that is within your photo and match the mount to this.
    Make sure your mount colour doesn’t distract from the photo. ( and dont forget to place an arrow for the top of the print on the back - so we know which way up the print is to be viewed.)

  1. Photos  are usually judged on:

-       Impact
-       Composition
-       Technique
-       Presentation
-       Subject matter

Other items that come in to play are:

-       fitting within the sections heading,
-       the shows guidelines
-       creativity
-       lighting
-       style
-       centre of interest
-       colour balance
-       story telling

Digital images can be looked upon favourably with a neat boarder around them. 
Good luck with your next show!
I know I cant wait to judge again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

When does business responsibility end?

Saddened to hear of a friend purchasing a business the walk in walk out type.
All that was promised in the documents, stock control sheets etc were not as it seemed.
Missing passwords, memberships not up to date and mess on site to name a few concerns.

It’s a fact of life people who let businesses run down and or loose the plot with them just prior to the sale can damage the businesses reputation for the new owners.

How do you get over that?


1. Wipe the slate!

2. Clean up, sort the place out, put your mark on it.

3. Renew the memberships with enthusiasm; people will be excited to hear you have taken over ( and probably relieved )

4. Work out your new business hours to suit you and your customers and be consistent with your opening hours, people like to turn up to a premises to find its actually OPEN and welcoming.

5. Check out the staff, are they from the previous owners stock pile, are they doing more damage than good? (remember you are as only as good as your staff, brand and marketing will not get you over the line each week if you have rude staff and or staff who don’t have the same passion for your product.

6. Treat each customer the same, remember word of mouth is the fastest and best form of advertising, you want the old customers, the ones who walked away and those new customers to come in and notice the new management. Positive referrals spread fast!

7. Listen to each customer! Sure they may whinge about the previous people but if you listen and pick up how you can do better, its like having a review done on the business – as long as its constructive, if it’s a personal attack against the past owners their reasoning’s may go deeper than a failure of customer service.

8. It’s your business try new things, ask your best customers what they are looking for and NETWORK, join local groups and talk to other business owners. ( don’t get caught up in the gripeing or sad sacks - look for the bright and bubbly owners who are like minded.)

9. Listen to all the advice and pick out the best bits that suit you, your financial situation and your future goals for the business.

10. Have fun, running a business is hard work but enjoy it, “ better to be self employed than unemployed” Work hard, learn hard and you will reap the rewards.

Good luck I know you will do well!