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Do you deserve recognition just because you showed up?

When I was a kid, we had an event in elementary school called sports day (also known as field day). It happened once per year and all of us kids absolutely loved it.

Sports day was a full day of outdoor competitions, and the most important of all was the running race. This was a 100-meter dash and every kid in the class wanted desperately to win it because the first, second and third place winners were awarded a ribbon that was color-coded to the winner’s placement.

Oh, how I wanted to win one of those ribbons for the running race! But the competition was fierce! The boys and girls were split up into their own races and everyone wanted to win one of the coveted three ribbons.

I have a clear memory of winning second place in the running race one year, and how proud I was to have that ribbon pinned on my t-shirt. I felt like I had accomplished something special and I ran home from school that day to show my parents and sister my new, shiny ribbon.

Fast forward to when my kids were in elementary school. They still had sports day but there was no more first, second and third place. When my kids were in school, everyone was a winner and all kids received a ribbon just for showing up.

But here is the thing…now I am running photography competitions. This means I’m the guy in charge of sports day!

Should we have a ribbon for everyone who shows up? Or should we reward achievement and greatness?

If you want to achieve greatness with your photos and have them stand out from the crowd in any photo contest, or in your social feed, or if you just want to create the best possible photos, then here is my advice for you.

Composition, composition and composition!

Your composition is the building block, the foundation, the cornerstone of your photo. Without a solid composition your photo will be forever flawed and non-recoverable; destined to die a lonely death on your hard drive.

Great compositions are achieved through storytelling in your photos, and through combining the rules of composition into one frame.

If you want to learn the essentials of how to create amazing compositions, then consider taking a serious look at the Photography Transformation Masterclass.

You can watch a free webclass and learn more about his by clicking this link:


You are just one photo away from your best photography ever.

Tim Shields

PS. I designed the free webclass to motivate and inspire you to create the best photos of your life. Start now.