Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Photographer On The Web - PART 5 – Contests

Contests post special problems

OK, just another warning here. There are many web sites that offer contests with prizes and such. Some of these sites are nothing more than scams.

Some sites will tell anyone that enters a contest that they have won. The prize is that they get published in a book. They will demand money for a copy of the book and then more money for shipping. What they do here is once they have enough people that have paid, they use a book publishing service to publish one book for everyone and then send them out. They make a profit on this and that is why they do it. They have not actually ‘published’ a book. Again, they are praying on photographers dreams of wanting to be published.

Other sites will tell you that you have won and then will want you to pay $15.00 or so for shipping the award and certificate. The award is usually a cheap $2.00 item and a cheap paper certificate. Again they make money on this.

Some sites pose as Magazine/News sites and suggest that you send them photos for publication. Here they are not after money, but rather after what the two other scams are after, your photos. Yes, with many of these sites, once you submit your photos you give them full rights to all the images you have sent them!! They can sell and re-sell your images at will with no credits or royalties to you. How’s that for a prize.

Now, not all contests are like that. Take a look at National Geographic for example. There are many great magazines and large well known companies that have great contests and offer great prizes. The lesson here is as I mentioned above. Read all the rules, all the agreements and all the fine print!

Pros: Can be Great Exposure, Learn from Judges Comments, Win Prizes and Get Published

Cons: Cons & Rip-Offs, Legal Theft of Images and Rights

Sites: (

© 2008 Francois Cleroux

(Version 1.00 - November 2008)

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I value thoughtful comments and suggestions. If you like or dislike this post, please let me know. If you have any ideas or suggestion, comments or corrections (I do make mistakes) please also let me know. Thanks.

- Francois Cleroux