Why not enter a photographic competition?
  • Entering a competition sets you a challenge
  • It can expand your photographic horizons
  • The process makes you think about what you want to achieve or to say with a photograph
  • You can compare your work to other entries
  • You could win an amazing prize
  • Not to mention the glory
  • And something good for your CV.
But, be careful. Read the rules and conditions very carefully. A surprising number of photographic competitions take 'all rights' to all entries.

Here's an example from the rules of the 'PictureYourself' competition, currently being run by the UK's National Trust:

"If you submit any material to us, you agree to grant The National Trust a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive licence to use your contribution in all media. This includes the right to copy, edit, publish, grant sub-licences and exercise all other copyright and publicity rights over the material."
(Full terms and conditions here)

What this means is that, by simply entering, you give your photograph, to the National Trust. Effectively they own it.

Now, if you win first prize (which in this case is a camera worth £230) you could could argue that you've been paid for your image. Fair enough ... although that's a very low price for selling the copyright to a high-quality image.

But in this case, as in far too many other competitions, the National Trust take all the rights to all entries.

In other words, if you have a magnificent photograph - and doesn't everyone submit their best? - which doesn't win, the NT gets it for nothing.

Is that fair or reasonable?

Look at the quality of some of the images that head the competition page. They're pretty good photos.

If you think the terms of a photo competition are not fair or reasonable, here's an image you can submit:

The original is available from the Pro Imaging web site here. This web site also has further information on suspect competitions and how to spot them.

And, by the way, no need to submit this to the National Trust Competition. It's already been done. At least twice.

Be careful out there and, if you're tempted to enter a photographic competition by some fabulous prizes, read competition rules carefully before you submit anything.

1 comment:

Alistair Scott said...

Checking on this competition a few months later, I see that the Terms and Conditions have now changed quite significantly.

I hope that this was because of pressure from photographers.