Critiques & Competitions
Why You Need to Consider Both

March 3, 2019  |  Front Range Photography Group  |  Lone Tree Civic Center  |  MAP

Over my career, I have found that having my work critiqued and entering image competitions has helped me grow, tremendously, as a photographer. More than I can describe! I will share with you just how important these two very valuable tools can be and how to use them for your photography. I do realize that I am asking you to wear your heart on your sleeve and not get hurt . . . an awkward proposition . . . but, oh so rewarding!


There are two distinctive components to this program . . .

  • The Critique

  • Entering an Image into a Competition


The first component is how a photograph is critiqued . . . constructively and positively. Even though both aspects use similar principles to evaluate a photograph, the art of the critique itself is the delivery of one’s opinion of that image to the maker.


The second component is how an image is judged in a competition. A judge will look for  proper use of elements of composition, presentation, impact and more. A great resource used for critiquing and judging photographic images is a document called “The 12 Elements of Design”.


These points of view are extremely useful when you are thinking about entering and preparing an image for a critique, competition, portfolio review, or a display opportunity.

These two individually different processes, critiques and competition, are quite often confused or used interchangeably. And what’s worse . . . both words usually strike fear in the heart of a photographer. The desired outcome from either process is constructive criticism. It is the greatest learning tool we as an artist can benefit from. However, as most of us have experienced, the opposite is what quite often happens: damaging criticism, embarrassing comments and sometimes just plain rude! It can be misleading, scarring and will keep photographers from ever seeking criticism again. I promise you that getting constructive criticism can be very helpful if not rewarding. Constructive criticism can be the best tool for learning to become an awesome image-maker. Entering your photography in competitions can be very scary but is also a great way to grow. I can testify to this because of my personal, 40 years of image competition experience. I can truthfully say that my work is what it is directly because of critiques, competition and feedback from my peers and mentors.


I will strive to clarify both process’ and ease your fears and concerns about these often viewed “horrendous words”, judge and critique.  I hope to make critiques and competitions a positive experience for you. They can become very dependable tools in your photography toolbox. Really . . . it is possible!



  • Critiquing & Judging - What is the difference?

  • Critique - Definition

  • What is a critique?

  • Why you would subject yourself to this horror?

  • Benefits from a critique

  • How to do a constructive critique

  • Examples of images and critiques

  • Judging - Definition

  • What is judging?

  • Why you should submit to competitions

  • Benefits from a competition

  • Types of judging

Front Range Photography Group Member - $80

Non -  Member - $90