Photographers beware of photo contests

Photographers beware of photo contests. Make sure you read the fine print.

For example Peregrine Adventures (here in Australia)

has a contest that takes the exclusive rights of all the photos submitted to their contest. Now you might think that giving away the rights is worth a chance of winning a prize but take into consideration that there is more chance that you will be exploited with nothing to show in return. Check out the terms and conditions (particularly the copyright section 7)

Basically they are taking the exclusive rights to any photograph submitted to use anyway they like, including commercial use, without any mention of payment even if you don’t win. They won’t even guarantee attribution.

This is one of the problems with photography, many people think of it as a glamorous (glamour is all about illusion and working in photography is real work, very stressfull and is hardly that much fun with huge overheads) occupation and think that any chance to get into photography professionally or to make money from photography is worthwhile. There are lots of people out there who are willing to exploit the keen and unwary.

I’d like to offer some advice to any person wanting to make a living at photography. Go to art college (or something similar) and study photography. If the work load and cost doesn’t turn you off, get a job as an assistant for the best photographer who will hire you (with the side benefit of finding out what real exploitation is like, as in very long hours and very low wages).

By all means enter photo contests, I do every now and again and I even won a trip for two to Mexico many years ago, but always, always read the fine print first!

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