I joined Professional Photographers of America and the Colorado affiliate (PPC) last year. One of the first courses I took was Larry’s Print Competition College. My key objectives in joining was to improve my photography and get certified as a professional photographer.
PPA and PPC offer amazing Portrait and Landscape photographers that are very willing to help mentor you on your photographic journey. Another great way to improve is to enter print competition. Professional judges, with typically decades of experience, score your images (anonymously by the way) and typically you can request a video critique of your image.
Larry’s course shows you how this process works, what are the judges looking for (the 12 elements of a print), formatting, and the timetable to submit your prints. There are local, regional, and international print competitions to enter.
Personally, I entered four different competitions last year. This process has helped me fundamentally change the way I look at a scene or subject, lighting, storytelling, and composition. This has significantly improved my images in a short time.
I was lucky enough to get a merit image score for one of my images (of 4) entered in international photographic competition by the end of the year.
I highly recommend Larry and the Print College Course as a great way to start out. Other courses are also offered by PPC during the year (very reasonably priced) culminating in a state conference in November of each year. I definitely endorse this organization and their coursework.
– David Snyder