Advice for photographers entering the 2010 World Press Photo contest

Before you enter your photos, take a moment to study the advice of jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer. In this text she gives some insight into the jury procedure and provides you with important tips.

Ayperi's advice:

Trust your instincts. Don't try to second guess the jury. Every constellation of jurors will give different results and there is no way you can predict their reactions.

As a photographer today, you are also bound to be an editor of your work. The editing process is as much part of your work as the shooting. Take this opportunity to make your best edit ever.

Stories

  • A story is a story and you should show it. Don't address this category as a series of individual shots. The jury will be looking for the best edit. Spend time to ensure you have a real narrative.
  • This involves information, emotion, and personal style.
  • If your work is more abstract, make sure colours and shape work together.
  • The jury first sees all pictures from a story together on a large screen, before viewing individual images. Visual unity and first impressions are therefore key.
  • As your submission will be seen amongst tens of thousands of single images, every frame of your story needs to be especially high in quality. In short, all your pictures need to be good - not just fillers between a couple of top images.

Singles

  • Edit singles for impact. Whilst styles can differ, you need to be ruthless in quality, even for ‘low intensity' imagery. Think carefully about the potential and limitations of a single image.
  • Try to forget about what you went through to get the picture. Look at it with fresh eyes, as if considering someone else's work. Keep taking out images until you end up with what you think is absolutely vital.
  • If you submit a series of singles on the same subject, you risk the weaker ones pulling down the better ones.
  • Use this opportunity to surprise. Adopt forms and subjects which take your work further without relying on your established style.
  • A multicultural, multi-skilled jury of professionals will view your entry on an excellent high-definition screen, in search of talent. You are challenged to draw their attention with your pictures, because they are different, because they open doors instead of just confirming perspectives.

You have something to tell us. Pay utmost attention to the way you present your work and your pictures will take on their own life.

Best wishes to all,
Ayperi Karabuda Ecer