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There's A Lot To Learn By Reviewing The March Contestants For Photographer Of The Month

Published: 18/03/2015

ContestI just got finished studying all the contestants for March photographer/kitchen of the month. Several jurors have remarked that the quality of the entrants of this contest keeps increasing.

There are 61 entries from 8 countries this month and there is a lot to be learned from studying and comparing the photos. Here are some of my observations:

  1. The best photos combine great photography and a great kitchen design. You can't win with just one, you have to have both. If your photography is perfect and the kitchen is boring, your photography can't fix boring.
  2. Composition and attention to detail at this level is a huge factor.
  3. The distortion caused by shooting too wide can easily become a big distraction.
  4. The decor objects in the kitchen can make a big difference in the image. If you have too many decor objects they become a distraction and if you don't have enough the photo "shouts" vacant.

Your first reaction to browsing through all 61 of these kitchen shots may first be...  they all look the same but there is one that stands out above the others. I noticed it as the entrants were submitting their entries and my feeling has been confirmed by 3 of the jurors that have voted so far. Can you see which one it is?

Larry Lohrman

26 comments on “There's A Lot To Learn By Reviewing The March Contestants For Photographer Of The Month”

  1. 59 sorta lights me up. 24 is good too. Quality on them is good. I agree it takes design too...

  2. I'm going with 53. So well lit, appealing composition, great design, balanced color, just enough staging to show it is lived in but definitely not cluttered, I appreciate that the stool legs are not chopped off ..... the list goes on.
    This is a great photograph, all the way around, in my book.

  3. 21 does it for me ... simple but strong. Would love to have that kitchen in my home!

  4. I agree! The photography has risen to a whole new level. Architecture comes to mind. I don't see pictures of this quality in the multiple listing services in my area unless done by Architecture photographers. Outstanding work!!!

  5. I agree with Mel. I think that #56 is, by far, the strongest image in the contest. A wonderful, *tight* composition (no UFWA here!), great exposure and clarity, WB and contrast are spot-on, with strong directionality of light! I could go on and on! 🙂

  6. I agree this contest is a great idea, however, in reference to the fact that the kitchen (or house) is boring - you won't win...

    That basically makes the contest only for those who have achieved higher end clients which excludes most shooters just trying to take great pictures.

  7. I agree with Jason. We can't all get those fabulously designed kitchens/rooms as RE photographers. We are the guys and gals who have to take the houses our agents give us then make the most out of it with the best photography we can shoot. Then we strive to give it the best post production we know how.

  8. @Jason & @Tom - I'm just saying that's the way the visual world works, I can't make the jurors only pay attention to photography... the object you are photographing plays a big part in the image you create. That's life.

  9. @Larry - Yes, it is life. People are prone to judge superficially on appearance. It has always been the case and always will. I've never entered the contests because I feel that the property doesn't meet the caliber of others that do. I guess its something to think about when voting. Is your vote going to eye candy or to technique? Congratulations to those who's hard work has led to clientele offering homes such as these to photograph - hope to join you in the future.

  10. Regarding the idea that the most sensational subject matter is more likely to win -- that's a real danger. I personally would not want this to become a "House Beautiful" contest, instead of a photography contest.

    Speaking for myself, I often find myself in a minority among the judges, maybe in part because I'm more interested in what the photographer was able do DO with the space she or he had to work with, rather than in the work of the architect or designer. I often vote for some of the more humble rooms, when I think the photographer did a particularly good job of photographing them.

    That said, the better photographers are very often getting the better gigs, so it does make sense to some extent that the best photographers are also shooting the best least a majority of the time, we hope!

  11. For sometime now I have wondered what plays a bigger part in the contest the subject or the photography. I agree with Scott that in the larger markets the better photographers are going to get the better properties to shoot making the contest more a top of the food chain contest. My solution, split the contest in two for properties priced over $500k,and properties under $500k. Sure it will still vary from market to market but it will also open up the contest as well.

  12. @Dave - The fact is that I'm struggling with getting 61 entrants to follow the seemingly simple rules we have now. With some entrants it takes 3 or 4 email exchanges for them to follow the rules. There's just no way I'm about to make the contest more complicated! I frankly don't don't find this to me a serious problem.

  13. I pick lucky number 7 - 56 and 51.

    I also agree with the comments above about the advantage one has when shooting higher end homes. Hopefully judges rule more on technique, balance and quality before judging the pics with what has more $$$ spent between Staging and luxury built kitchens.

    Good luck all its going to be a tough one.

  14. @Kelvin - Yes, exactly, I think this contest only partly about the winner and at least as much about people getting feedback about their work.

  15. I've read all the comments and found them to be very helpful when photographing kitchens, thank you all! One other thing I learned was turn off the phone while adjusting and re-sizing the image!

  16. I like all of the entries, but try to quickly cycle through the list to see which ones automatically 'stand out.' I can relate to people bringing up the quality of kitchens and the design/price tag associated. Personally, I have never used multiple exposures in a shot, so maybe that's a difference between contests? I'd assume the majority of the entrants were blended exposures.

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