So the good news is that that image above from my Dead Indian Pass series received an honorable mention at the International Photo Awards (the Lucies), but the bad news is that nobody mentioned it to me. I had to find that out all by my poor pitiful self. The same thing happened already last year. My Giddy Up series placed second and I was definitely told about that. I even received an official certificate that I could frame or fold up and keep in my wallet in case I’d ever run into an art director. So last year I was checking out the winners’ gallery and, still basking in my own glory (even though my old coach said placing second only makes you the first loser), moved on to the honorable mentions gallery just to stumble upon The Sultans there.
I didn’t make much of it. I figured it was an honest mistake or maybe they didn’t think I could handle two successes at the same contest without my head swelling up to a grotesque size and exploding and soiling that nicely framed certificate on my wall.
But this year they did it again, not mentioning my honorable mention that is, and now I think they might be doing it on purpose.
I know, it’s not exactly earth shattering news (to be the 7th loser in the 32nd category) and they would have to send out a lot of emails (my picture is about # 1487 from the top) but still, every little bit counts and that’s why we enter contests: To brag about winning (or being mentioned, honorably at that), to go to an editor or art buyer and proudly proclaim: I’m not just something the cat dragged in, no sir, I’m an award winner, you can trust me with your multi-dollar shoot.
For every photo contest already out there, there are 3 new ones springing up, blunting the effect of all of them. Generally they charge quite a bit of money and it’s becoming very questionable if entering (and winning in some fashion) any of these is actually worth it, but what’s not questionable to me is this: If you decide to have honorable mentions in your contest than you should put in the effort to let the mentionees know. You’re welcome, don’t mention it.
You can check out the winners and honorable mentions here.