All the Fun Outtakes from The ON PURPOSE Photo Contest

The On Purpose Photo Contest, the first of its kind, ran between November 14th and December 2nd, 2017.

The following is a list of the brainwaves, plans, and observations that happened behind and during the contest. Because we believe in record-keeping!

PSST: To purchase a Kindle edition of Ashraf Engineer’s book, Bricks of Blood (that inspired this photo contest) click HERE

  • We read, we observe, we capture the beauty of our surroundings through photographs. How could we combine all of these pursuits? Through a photo contest, of course!

  • When we love a book, we think of ways of spreading the love. In this instance, it was Ashraf Engineer’s excellent ‘Bricks of Blood’ that inspired us to float out a photo contest.

  • Our call was to all the street photography enthusiasts who love capturing the ‘everyday’ of the city they live in and/or love.

  • Our chosen hashtag was #MyCity, simple and to the point. Participants could send in a 5-word caption of their photo as well. We believe in brevity!

  • We were super stoked by the response, which was immediate and composed of beautiful images!

  • Instagram led the pack as the preferred site of submission, though Twitter wasn’t far behind it in the race.

  • The most exciting part of the journey was reaching out to friends and acquaintances, most of them photography-lovers but so many of them just excellent observers of the life around them. We realised this was not just about clicking that awesome picture but about acknowledging the true character of the place we live in!

  • As the photos kept pouring in, we realised Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai are breeding grounds of some of the most talented candid photographers out there.

  • Our pitch was one photo per participant, but the entrants had different ideas – a few of them sent us multiple entries and we so loved this twist!

  • Ashraf, the competition judge, was a keen observer throughout. He couldn’t wait to have a look at the whole lot of entries and be tortured by the decision of choosing a winner!

  • As the last day drew closer, we rang out reminders, and happily, last-minute entries happened. We understand how pressure can be a great motivator!

 In acknowledgement of the demand, we extended the contest by a day. Who doesn’t like one extra day of something so fun?

  • But it had to end, and it did. Instagram kept up its lead as we received the most entries from the site. When it came to cities from where the images came, none could top Bengaluru! But, it was awesome to have received entries from Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and even as far as New Jersey and Berlin.

Ashraf engineered (he he!) a surprise before the announcement of the results. There would be three winners instead of one, and each of them would be sent a signed copy of ‘Bricks of Blood’! Admittedly, he had a tough time picking the winners, but he wasn’t complaining.

  • From the big lot, Mahalakshmi Raman from Bengaluru, Priyanka Mathur from Delhi, and Arpitha Rai from Bengaluru came up tops! We loved their black-and-white images, all depicting the chosen city’s typical sights. Congratulations!

Needless to say, every step of the way was a fun, learning experience. Photography can bring people closer, and we sure did make some new talented friends!