Mel Collie


Competitions - yes or no?

Every now and then theres a Monday competition rant over on Twitter.

If you aren't aware, Wex and Fotospeed run Monday competitions, free to enter, encouraging you to enter an image you took the week before, but in Fotospeeds rules its the weekend before, this can lead to some confusion, and often some changes in who won.

However, should you or shouldn't you enter?

1. It's up to you, don't enter because you feel pressured to, enter because you want to, with no expectation. With no comparison to other entries.

1. The only competition is really with yourself. We battle daily with the negative thoughts in our heads..should we do this, what will they think of me if I do that, I'm rubbish at that...etc etc Awareness of the language we choose to seek to ourselves with is where our main focus should be. Changing our language changes everything. Notice the words you choose to say to yourself when your images arent as good as you would like, when you are having a bad day, when you have a good day, when your self esteem is low.

1. Entering is winning. You've won the battle with yourself to put your work out there. We have an expectation of winning something, expecting something back for our hard work, when in reality, your work is for yourself. Take photos that you like. If other people like them, its a bonus. But don't rely on this social media "likes", they release a hormone called Dopamine that keeps you hooked on coming back for more. Watch that and keep it in check.

1. Judges tastes are always different to yours, of course, you didn't read the same books, watch the same movies, weren't influenced by the same people, haven't visited the same places, been affected by the same things... life moulds us and how we feel and think, when we are aware of those influences, we can acknowledge them, allow them to affect us, or not. Sure its lovely to win a competition, especially if it means your photography career takes a leap ahead because of it. However, its also not the end of the world when you don't win, its not a sign that no one likes your images. The brain is programmed to lean towards the negative. thats why counting your wins every day helps towards not being reliant on "likes"from people you don't know. Count your wins in everything in life. Getting up and to work on time, doing the food shopping, making a cup of tea, washing up, being kind to someone, helping someone out, giving someone a hug, being kind..theres lots of wins you do everyday, but take for granted, beating yourself up for one thing that was not achieved, yet forgetting the many that were.  

Social media is very fake. No one puts out whats really happening to them on their pages. For example, the fitness instructor always posts images of the perfect six pack, not telling you about the dehydration, shading and lighting it took to take that shot, and the binge eating later to make up for it...theres not many truths on Flakebook, take it all with a pinch of salt.

The only Competition is with yourself, even making a decision is a victory.

Be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Always.

Mel Collie

Workshops in Cornwall combining mindfulness and photography.
Sunday June 25th
Japanese Gardens, Newquay, Cornwall.
Future workshops coming up: Eden Project, China Clay pits, Helford River, Porth Nanven, The Rosalind, Luxuylan Valley.

Melanie CollieComment