Outcomes of survey among contestants of 2011 inspire changes

Joeri Kempen (photo by Linelle Deunk)

Joeri Kempen (photo by Linelle Deunk)

Recently a survey was held amongst the entrants of the 2011 contest to find out their thoughts and points for improvement.

The respondents were mostly satisfied with the setup but as we hoped they also suggested improvements. The entrants requested more feedback and information following the end of the contest and some people encountered problems with the software while uploading photos.

We are happy to announce that new software is being developed. Last year any changes to submissions had to be made by our staff . For the 2012 edition, the software will give participating photographers more control over their entries. They will also receive a confirmation when the upload is successful, something that many people missed last year.

The respondents were mostly satisfied with the overall communication but some minor things will change. Entrants will receive more updates on the state of affairs and the outcome of the competition. People who have been encouraged to participate but did not win, expected a more personal message at the time of the announcement of the winners. We will try to do so but the sheer number of people who have to be informed at that very busy time makes it hard to write everyone a personal message.

Suggestions were made to send out editorials and to have the Call for Entries available in more languages. We sent out editorials a few weeks ago and expect to see them in several photography magazines, websites and blogs. We are also working on translating the Call for Entries. Since there is no budget for translators, we are looking for volunteers to do this.

The feedback showed some comments of ‘too much moralism in the contest’, the winners not being ‘truly groundbreaking, more controversial than a full proper statement’ and insufficient represen­tation of ‘everyday life’. Pride Photo Award has a message of diversity, so there is indeed a moral attached to the contest. As we try to show the world images of diversity, this means there will both be images of everyday life and more controversial images. Ideally it is a good mix, representing that diversity. Pride Photo Award will never be only the one or the other.

One person expressed concern that participants from distant countries would not ‘be given a fair chance as the cost of travel would have been extremely high’. This concern can be dismissed. We have a budget to cover the travel expenses for the first prize winners, regardless where they are from. Secondly, the jury does not know who the entrants are or where they are from, so this does not play any part in the selection process.

The respondents who participated in the survey are between 23 and 68 years old and came mainly from America, England and the Netherlands. There were slightly more male than female participants and they were -either as a professional or amateur photographer- mainly working in art and documentary photography. Pride Photo Award likes to thank them for their participation and for their feedback.

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.

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