3 Simple Photography Tips for Winning Photo Contests

Action sports photographer Lorenz Holder is a two time winner of the Red Bull Illume action and adventure sports photography contest. In this video he shares invaluable insight into how to employ what he calls the POP Principle to nail your shot—and maybe win a photography contest in the process:

POP is an acronym for Plan, Organize, and Position.


The award-winning photo featured in the video was shot in Eastern Germany at a place called Gablenz. The model for this image is an Austrian BMX rider, Senad Grosic.

By his own admission, Holder was a week late reaching the spot. Which meant leaves had fallen from the trees and covered the entire lake.

water full of leaves

There was absolutely no way he could make the shot he had envisioned: a mirror image of the bridge on the water that made it appear like a perfect circle, with A BMX rider atop.


That’s when a brainwave struck him. He had a fishing net in his car. Together with Grosic, Holder managed to sweep the lake clean of all the leaves. It was a time consuming process but necessary.


The framing of the shot and the overall shot making process took less time than you might expect. Holder had a clear idea about how the final shot would turn out. Plus, Grosic, being a professional, did his best.

Grosic was a little mad at Holder for having to pitch in to clean the lake. But when he saw the final image he realized all that effort they put in to clean the lake was well worth it.

Lorenz Holder BMX shot

Final Image

To put things in perspective, this image was published in more than 300 magazines worldwide!

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