More Thoughts on Billboard’s Second Photo Contest

I looked at some of the recent entries again.  You can see them here:  

Since the Recent Entries window only holds so many images at a time, you may not see the Erykah Badu shots I’m referring to; but for now, you can search through the bunch and spot them near the end.  
As I was looking, I spotted a few obvious amateur entries, a few obvious pro entries, and a bunch that were hard to tell which category they entered.  I knew the Erykah Badu shots were in the pro category, simply because they had access to a very restricted area.  To shoot from the photo pit at ACL means you MUST have credentials and MUST be with a legitimate publication/media outlet.  
So, here are my thoughts…  These Erykah shots are OK, but they sure aren’t amazing.  They really aren’t even memorable.  They are fine for publication, but are they the best shots around?  Are they worthy of winning an international competition?  Hmmm…  I don’t really see it.  
Here are a few of my Erykah Badu shots from the exact same performance.  Are they my best shots?  Probably not.  Would I enter them?  Probably not.  Anyway, take a look:  
Maybe I’m very biased on this subject, but I think my shots are much better than the ones already entered.  What’s my point?  My point is that many other people have some good images, and many other people have some killer images.  These people may be entering against you.  This is why you need to edit and think hard and long before wasting money on images that might not be worth entering.  Don’t submit something if it’s not your very best work.
I’m not saying to avoid entering all together.  It’s OK to enter, just don’t submit anything and everything, hoping to win.  Be hard on yourself, because the judges don’t care how sentimental an image is to you.  The judges don’t know that your mom likes the image.  The judges just want to pick the best shot.  
And someone else just may have a better shot of Erykah.  If you truly feel like your Erykah shot is totally killer, then submit it.  At some point, you can’t worry about other people in the competition.  Just think your entries through first.