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  • Writer's pictureAmy L. Sullivan

Strong Girls Can: A Photo Contest for Tween and Teen Girls

It’s time for the Strong Girls Can tween and teen photo contest. Eeek! Can you see me clapping my hands? Can you hear my voice hitting that semi-annoying pitch it does when I squeal like a kid on the last day of school?


If you are just joining our series, let me catch you up. #StrongGirlsCan is a summer series for moms and daughters. Every Monday, we talk about raising strong girls.

The goal of the #StrongGirlsCan photo contest is to encourage tween and teen girls to think about the attributes which make girls strong. Is it physcial attributes? Knowledge? Loyalty? Skills? Faith? Do strong girls speak with boldness, take risks, ride skateboards, read?

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I’d like to introduce you to our guest photographers. Meet Renee, runner, chaser, red velvet cake maker. She’s a photographer from Georgia who has the unique gift of using the photos she takes to tell stories about her subjects.


I’d also like you to meet Patty of Patty Christopher Photography and Girls Empowering Girls. Patty is a passionate about capturing who her subjects really are and not just what they look like. Patty is also our fabulous photo contest judge.


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Contest Info

Who can enter? Girls ages 8-18 with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Where should girls submit photos? Send them to

Can participants submit more than one photo? Absolutely, please do.

How long does the #StrongGirlsCan contest run? From Monday, June 15 until Friday, June 26, 2015. The winner will be announced on June 29, 2015 on

What will the winner receive? The winner will receive a $10.00 Barnes and Noble gift card, a copy of the book Who Do You Say I Am? 10 Tips to Help Teens Be Real in an Artificial World, and the game Bean Boozled (yes, this is the game where you choose to eat jellybeans, which taste like lawn clippings, old cheese, and dog food! Imagine the fun).

Can you submit a photo for a friend? Nope, please only submit photos you take.

Does the photo need to include pictures of girls? No. Photos can include people, but photos can also be pictures of objects or situations.

Are photos allowed to be edited and enhanced? Sure.

If girls (or moms) are on social media, should they share the pictures they take? Please do! If you put the hashtag #StrongGirlsCan within your post, we can all follow along and peek at what other strong girls are doing.

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Other official info and what our judge wants to see

The winner will be judged based on merit by Patty Christopher. By participating, entrants agree to allow Amy L. Sullivan to share submitted photos via social media.

Our judge will  be looking to see if the photo fits with the #StrongGirlsCan theme? Does it capture the spirit of a strong girl? In addition to theme, color, composition, and light will all be factors in determining the winning shot.

And now a few photo taking tips from Renee.

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Dear Strong Girls,

Before you take your camera (or phone, or tablet or ipod) and start shooting, consider these six tips.

  1. Try a different perspective. Consider squating down, standing on a chair, or tilting your camera to a different angle. A new perspective makes photos interesting.

  2. Stay away from forced poses. Give yourself time to ease into situations. Observe first and think about the image you are trying to capture. If your shots are rushed, they won’t look natural.

  3. Keep clicking! A good photographer will take 20 photos and only get one or two good ones. Don’t be discouraged. Keep taking pictures.

  4. The rule of thirds. Every picture can be broken into thirds. Photographers mentally divide pictures up using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Then, they place important parts of the photo where the lines intersect.

  5. Stay away from the flash. When possible, always go for natural light.

  6. Use filters and graphics sparingly. There are so many fun filters and graphics available, but make sure enhancing a photo doesn’t take away from it.

Good luck!

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If your girl is still in need of inspiration, check out the list of 88 Acts of Independence and Adventure for girls.

Whew! I think we covered everything. Remember to send all entries to by Friday, June 26th. Now, get clicking. I can’t wait to see what our strong girls come up with!

Your turn: Do you have any questions about the contest? Hit me.


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