My Photo Contest Examples
6 Photos with a Story to Tell
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” E. Welty
When people look at their photos, there are often a couple that stand out as their favourites. It might be because there are family or friends or both in the picture. It might be a photo of a place they visited or an activity in which they were involved. Regardless of why we take photos, looking at them can bring back wonderful memories and entering a photo contest helps us by allowing us to revisit our photos. I hope you enjoy these examples of photo contest entries.
Recently, I went through thousands of my photos to choose some to submit to my first-ever photojournalist competition. My submissions were for the 2021 Photo Contest sponsored by The International Food, Wine and Travel Association. It took me several days to sort through my collection of photos, but it was a lot of fun reliving some of the moments captured by my camera.
Over the years, I have used several versions of the iPhone. My current phone is the iPhone 11Pro Max. I also used several point-and-shoot cameras, a Canon DSLR camera and my newest camera acquisition, the mirrorless Sony A6400.
In my opinion, the best camera is the one you have with you. You never know when a good subject for a photo might appear. I took the photos I submitted on my cell phone and/or digital camera.
Here are the six photos I submitted and how they placed in the photojournalism contest. I hope you enjoy these photo contest examples and the stories behind them.
Photo Contest Examples – My entries
FOOD: Beautiful Meal
As you can imagine, looking through photos of a beautiful meal to find something to submit was a fun yet challenging task. Food can evoke so many memories. Memories of a place and time, as well as who you were with. This photo of a charcuterie board from Luckett Vineyards in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia, has plenty of memories. We were in the Annapolis Valley region, where the vineyard is located, visiting family who had just moved there.
For my husband Sylvio, who had grown up in the Maritimes, Pete Luckett, owner of the vineyard, was a familiar name. Pete is the outgoing and enthusiastic personality behind Pete’s Frootique, one of Atlantic Canada’s beloved brands. It has changed names and ownership over the years, but he is legendary.
Pete has said, “The fruit and vegetable trade are always on your mind- that inventory is dying by the second -wine meanwhile is getting better by the minute.”
He purchased the land in 2000 and opened the winery to the public in 2010. The Crush Pad Bistro has a fantastic view of the vineyard and a seasonally inspired menu. The shareable cheese and charcuterie board paired well with our wine choices.
This photo evokes memories of a shared time with family in a beautiful setting.
FOOD: People of Food
This trip to Peru was extra special for me. It was my retirement trip after teaching elementary school for 30 years. The day I took this photo, we had been on a tour of Cuzco, South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Our guide took us to a local fruit and vegetable market, where we picked up some ingredients for a cooking demo by a local chef in a nearby restaurant.
The dish he prepared and that appears in the photo is called Causa Limeña. It is a mashed Peruvian yellow potato pancake stuffed with chicken, onion, peppers, and Peruvian Aji(chillies).
Causa comes from the Quechuan word “kausay,” which loosely translated means “sustenance of life.”
After the chef prepared it, our group sat at a table in the restaurant and had it served to us with other local dishes. While we enjoyed our lunch, we were treated to a five-member musical group playing Andean folk songs on traditional instruments.
I took this photo on one of my favourite road trips, making it one of my favourite photo contest examples to share with you. We were on a two-week road trip through France. After flying into the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, we picked up our rental car, and we were off. One of our main goals was to experience two of the best wine regions in the world, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a region and the name of the port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France.
The Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum)is a great place to learn the history of winemaking in the region. We went on a self-guided tour of the vaulted cellars built-in 1720, reading the written explanations of the various artifacts and archival documents while ogling the impressive collection of wine bottles.
The tour ended upstairs in the museum store, where we were treated to some wine samples.
I belong to a group called Ladies Who Lunch. It is a group of ladies that get together for a wine-food-pairing lunch. My friend Juanita created the group because she is passionate about wine and wanted to share her knowledge. She has a great deal of wine education and has been involved in the wine industry for years in many capacities.
In this group, Juanita picks the wines, makes food pairing suggestions and hosts us at her home. She bases her choices on the time of year, country, interest in exploring a specific grape, or something she noticed in the liquor store.
We were tasting wines from the Burgundy region of France on the day this photo was taken. In the photo above is a crisp Petit Chablis she used as a start to the tasting.
This powerful photo contest example may have you shaking if you’re afraid of heights! I know I am biased, but I think you can feel the power of the water in this photo I took in Ecuador. Located about 7 km(4.3 mi) from the town of Baños is Devil’s Cauldron (El Pailon del Diablo). The waterfall plunges 61 meters(200ft) into a gorge and is the tallest waterfall of the Ecuadorian Andes.
You can’t see the waterfall from the road, so once we paid our admission fee, we navigated a fairly long, uneven path, a swinging bridge and a series of stairs to get us to this impressive waterfall.
TRAVEL: People of Travel
One of the many things I love to do when travelling is learn about an area’s local culture and people. I will try to choose activities on organized trips that arrange a visit with a local family. Such as, I have had dinner with an extended family in Peru, visited schools in several countries, and taken a canoe in the Amazon to visit a local family in the jungle and learn about their traditions. I took this photo in a small community on the outskirts of the city of Otavalo. Otavalo is home to one of the largest markets in South America.
We visited the home of a well-known family with deep musical roots. They demonstrated how they craft their hand-made musical instruments and shared some music with us. Some of the extended family including this woman and child, came to join us while we were enjoying the demonstration.
IFWTWA Photo Contest Examples – My Results
I was happy to learn that my photos of the wine cellar and the mother and child had both won bronze medals. All six of my photos and the photos submitted by other photographers are in this edition of the magazine. While this was my first time submitting to a photography competition, it won’t be the last. My love of photo contests is just beginning.
Click here to see the whole magazine.
“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers