Fearless Awards – advice from Dennis Berti


Hope you all enjoyed the reveal of the latest Fearless awards, and I would like to share some of my thoughts and insights on curating Fearless Collection 35.


Congratulations for all the winners! There are so much talents, and I’m so proud to tell you that we all can consider the wedding photography as an art form 🙂

Candice, Dorota and myself, had a great honor and privilege being the judges of the latest Fearless Collection, and we truly enjoyed the process. Looking through more than 15,000 photos, and it is, wow definitely a lot of photos. We came up with the final selection of 89 award winning photos, which is only 0.6% of the entire entries. I mean only one photo of every 150 photo were selected… OMG.

I would like to share with you guys few simple tips that would increase your chances at an award; details you should look out for when submitting images to a competition. I would like to iterate that these are my points of view. These are not rules you must follow and iit may even go against what you believe to be true. Nevertheless, I hope that you find my tips helpful.

Here we go!

– Have a purpose in your shot. “HOW” is important, however, “WHY” is more crucial.

– Edit your photos right. So many pictures were not awarded because the extreme retouch, or vignette or HDR or just the abuse of the dodge & burn technique, and the selective color technique. The picture may be great with complete aesthetics, but It may not look real at all due to overdone retouch.

– Although you have a nice moment-driven candid photo, converting it into Black & White doesn’t always help the photo to tell the story right.

– Crop the photo right or accurate. A good composition itself has a great key factor in the overall impression. Keeping the key elements in the nicely cropped photo may yield a nice form of an awesome image.

– If the moment is fearless, it doesn’t mean that the picture itself will be fearless, either. Work harder to make your photo worth fearless.

– We all see many deja-vu at the weddings such as dynamic
bouquet toss, dramatic recession & exit at church, the bride walking down to aisle… Think more & different to make it unique with strong story telling. I know it is not easy. That’s why it’s not easy to win an award, we look for the best.

– Miniature couple… I know it is a trend, and it’s apparently an “easy” shot to my understanding. But it’s not easy at all to find the near perfect one amongst so many similar photos in the submission. Put on it the “extra” factor.

– Show me content… We don’t need extremely close up photos without any purpose.

– We’ve got nearly 90 award winning photos, however there were so many many more images with great potentials to win or close to win. Fight for your photos, don’t accept the obvious.

– Are you doing a symmetry? ok, great. Do it a perfect symmetry, not just 90%, because it’s not a symmetry

– Don’t send two or three photos of the same exactly scene. Just choose the best one. You are competing with yourself, however, you also have to compete with other colleagues 🙂

– Find your real voice in your photos, don’t try emulating the skills of your idols, you just can’t. Copying the original doesn’t make your photo better than original. You are more than welcomed to be inspired by them, but put your own voice in your photographs

– Happy clicks guys, see you at the next round