| Darwin Wiggett
Winning some awards is about much more than prizes. The resulting exposure can be a huge boost to a photographer’s career. The overall winner of last year’s Travel Photographer of the Year competition, Canadian photographer Darwin Wiggett, has enjoyed a dramatic upturn in his photographic career - something he attributes directly to this TPOTY success.
“I have won international competitions in the past and although I got publicity for a short time, the real benefit was the prizes; the previous wins did little to boost my career. But winning TPOTY for 2008 was a different story,
” he said.
“My career has really taken off since the announcement of my win. Although I had decent images and a strong portfolio before winning, I struggled to get noticed and people were not banging down my door to buy my images. But after winning TPOTY it was like my work suddenly had legitimacy and a large audience. I was flooded with calls and email. My work featured in major photo magazines and newspapers around the globe and people began buying my prints. My book orders tripled, stock photo requests doubled and I was suddenly being asked to give seminars across Canada. Visits to my website increased ten-fold, I was asked to do several assignments, and my workshops filled faster than ever before.
Darwin Wiggett is the latest in a long line of photographers to reap long-lasting rewards from TPOTY success. Just one other example is Charlie Mahoney, winner of the New Talent section in 2007 and the Life portfolio in 2008, who has seen a fledgling career really take off. Photographers who have been featured in the Photographers’ Showcase on the Travel Photographer of the Year
website are also enjoying greater exposure, through increased web traffic.
With entries for the 2009 awards open until September 22nd, and more categories than ever in this year’s competition, amateur and professional photographers worldwide have the opportunity to enjoy the international exposure that comes with a TPOTY win.
TPOTY 2009 features three portfolio categories - Homeland, Natural Wonders and People of the World, and a One Shot category, on the theme Festival, Fiesta and Celebration. In addition, it features New Talent, the award for those who want to start a photographic career, the First Shot beginners’ single image category, and Young TPOTY (for kids with cameras).
The 2009 TPOTY prize package is impressive. Winners will travel to China, Costa Rica and Morocco with Intrepid Travel and to Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains with Mountain Paradise. They’ll also receive some great equipment, including a 26in NEC Spectra View monitor, an Apple MacBook Pro with Aperture 2 software, Wacom Cintiq 12WX interactive pen display and new Intuos4 pen tablets, Adobe CS4 Web Premium, Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom software, a total of £1,000 to spend with Jacobs Digital Photo & Video, Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio books, Harman Photo and Ilford Photo paper, prints and darkroom products, Lee filters, Lexar CF cards and card readers, Photo Iconic photo courses, and £300 to spend with Linhof Studio.
Entry is via print submission or online image upload through the Travel Photographer of the Year
website, and entries close on September 22nd, 2009. Entry fees start at £10, and entry to Young TPOTY is free. Winning images from previous years - including Darwin Wiggett’s beautiful shots - can be seen in the Winners’ Galleries on the competition website.
“All-in-all winning TPOTY has been the best marketing tool ever. I never dreamed I even had a chance of winning, but I knew I could not win if I did not enter!
” concluded Wiggett.