Photo contests that I WILL NOT enter…

Contests. Everybody is competitive to one degree or another. Bigger. Better. Faster. Stronger. The best!

There are competitions for almost anything and everything that you can think of. Do competitions in photography really prove anything? I doubt it. It’s very much like when I was back in photo school thirty years ago. I had a choice for my photo assignments. I could shoot for myself and hope that my instructor had the same sense of aesthetic as I did or guarantee myself an excellent grade by shooting the way that I KNEW he liked. It worked too. I seldom had below a 90% when I shot to the instructors tastes.

What did that prove? As a photographer, absolutely nothing.

There is no such thing as the best when it comes to photography. All the people in the world telling you that you’re great or that you suck means nothing. It is YOU that must be happy with what you shoot, or so I believe.

Some contests serve a useful purpose for photographers. For example when you see those advertising awards once a year, it’s not really about who is the best, it’s about getting your name out there to potential clients. Contests can be great advertising if you shoot advertising for example and a campaign that you worked on wins awards. It encourages other clients to seek you out.

So you see, I am FOR contests when they favor the photographer. Some contests are nothing more than a money grab or a means to get your photography for free.

How about this? You submit your best photos to me, even though you don’t win anything, they automatically become the property of me. I can use them any way that I see fit. Sound fair? Absolutely not.

Or how about this? Enter my contest, first entry costs thirty dollars, every subsequent entry will cost you only fifteen dollars. BTW, we will also give you, actually you’re really buying it, a subscription to our magazine for a year and even if you don’t win anything, our magazine has the right to publish your picture once in our magazine. BTW, first and only prize is one thousand dollars.

Sounds like quite the deal for the magazine and not so much for the photographer.

Any person with common sense I think could see that this isn’t much of a contest, rather it’s a way for a magazine to get more paid subscriptions so when I see “professional” photographers endorsing such things I get suspicious. Why would they do something like that? Do you think that maybe they’re hoping that a little good will rubs off on them and that they’ll get a few assignments from that magazine? Probably not. It’s just me being overly suspicious I suppose.

Anyway, I am enjoying printing photos on the new printer. I am starting to rebuild the old website and still waiting for the winter that came early and then left.

Happy shooting and keep your money in YOUR pocket,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on January 14, 2012.

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