Photography Contests harmless fun, or something sinister?

Bright Pink Water Lily
Colorful water lily on a serene pond

Time was when you could enter an occasional photography contest, share your work publicly and have an opportunity to win a little something at the same time.

Nowadays there is a little good news / bad news scenario surrounding photo contests. The good news is there are still some nice opportunities to participate in photo contests without having your images stolen out from under you. The bad news is, you have to be careful because many of these so called “contests” are simply image grabs designed to yield the promoter a nice cache of stock images.

Before entering any photo contest carefully review the fine print. More and more of them are now stating that any entry becomes the sole exclusive property of the contest sponsor! Some even have the nerve to charge an entry fee, while taking ownership of your images. It is not just the “winners” that they claim right to, but all entries.

If you live in Metro-Detroit, The Six Rivers Land Conservancy is sponsoring a good contest in the area. Their rules clearly state that you, the photographer, retain ownership of your intellectual property. That is a very good thing. Even better, they do not charge an entry fee. You can learn more about the contest here.

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