Jackie King asks “Is it good enough?” “Am I proud of it?” when entering competitions.


September 10, 2010 by N@

Based in England, Jackie is the recipient of numerous awards, including UK British Professional Photographer and British Portrait Photographer of the Year, both in 2005.

Jackie has worked within the film industry in Ireland as well as the fast-paced fashion industry in Italy for Milan-based design duo DSquared. She honed her photography skills in the United States at the Maine Photographic Workshops and then with fine art photographer John Paul Capongiro. Tying her many experiences together, today she produces images ranging from hyper-realistic to avant-garde abstraction that define her intimate style when concentrating on her Portraiture and Fine Art Photography.

Most recently she gave a seminar on ‘Women in Photography’ to the BIPP National Awards and also moderated a panel discussion at B&H Photo Video in NYC.

Jackie thrives on the artistic energy that propels one of the world’s most exciting capitals while also taking inspiration from her many travels across the globe and is currently preparing for an exciting exhibition which will showcase her intimate colour work in New York in May 2011.

How long have you been picking up a camera?

My whole life, I grew up around cameras, my parents and grandparents always used to be capturing us and my Grandpa had his own darkroom (which no one was allowed in) so I just started out very basically very early, taking a snap when my mums camera was around and I was lucky to be given (automatic point and shoot film) cameras for Christmas, it’s good to see I have conquered a few techniques since then lol, Professionally I’ve been shooting for the last 10 years,

Did you always know that you wanted to be a photographer?

Not at all, I love and gain enormous inspiration from every art form and it all happened quite late on for me I guess. After completing a Fashion Design degree and working extensively in the Fashion Industry and then on Feature Films it was Photography that kept popping up in my life and Photography which completely captured my heart.

What is your specialty as a photographer?

People and Fine Art Photography, I love the interaction with the people I meet and photograph and I love creating little worlds, stories and tales which evolve in the process of making my Fine Art images.

When you’re not shooting for clients, what kind of images do you like to shoot?

Recently I’ve gotten into calm peaceful Landscapes, so early morning or late afternoon it has been known particularly over this summer for me to take myself off and wait, photograph and enjoy, I’m also having a love affair with my holga all over again! (I’m having a show next year in NYC)

How did you first get into photographic competition judging?

Through being a Director of the BIPP, I also now judge the Towergate Fine Art Photography Award too.

Do you think there are extra considerations to be made when entering an International versus Local competition?

I’m sure there are many, mine are always the same regardless of the competition I’m entering, namely “Is it good enough?” “Am I proud of it?” If I can happily, confidently answer positively to these two questions then yes I’ll enter, if I have to think about – not a chance. I have a good chat to myself, go away and work harder to improve my image taking so that I might get an image for next time. Entering competitions is a great way of placing yourself within your pier group, it’s excellent to share images and spark discussion and a thought process.

It’s been said many times that entering a competition is more than just winning. What do you take out of a competition when you enter?

A few more grey hairs and wrinkles lol, It has a lot to do with critically evaluating your own work and actually stopping and seeing collectively where you are at and how you are evolving. Entering is always a mixture of a little nerve raking and exciting too,

What are the first 3 things you look at in your images when you enter a competition?

Impact, Something different, Pizzaz! Have I seen this before? Does it look familiar? If it’s an image I don’t recognise or one which doesn’t look familar, if it leaves an imprint and is memorable and if it has a WOW factor (also for me it’s all about how it “feels” and whether I feel a sense of balance and ease with the image). Striving for originality is key.

What advice would you offer photographers entering a competition for the first time?

Be Brave, Be Bold and if you think it fairly represents you then go for it!

Jackie is part of the Judging Panel for the 2010 International Aperture Awards which has a first prize of $20,000 usd

Find out more about Jackie at

One thought on “Jackie King asks “Is it good enough?” “Am I proud of it?” when entering competitions.

  1. Jackie seems to have very eclectic taste so is ideally placed to judge other’s work. She will not reject an image simply because it doesn’t fit with the accepted norms, but in common with many judges, is looking to be stopped in her tracks, and have her breath taken away. Her Fine Arts background has made her aware of the possibilities of colour, which many people seem to shy away from, so thanks for your encouraging advice – and examples – Jackie!

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