RANT: Photography contests

Can't win them all…

Starting off this week with a rant... sorry! About a month ago my soon to be father-in-law brought this to my attention: a Swiss photography contest called "The look of Switzerland".

The idea is interesting: during one week-end pro and amateur photographers get to take pictures of models in Switzerland in order to determine what is the look of our country. As I like to photograph people, I checked out the website and especially the participation conditions. The following clause (translated from French) caught my attention:

«By taking part in this contest, photographers accept that the pictures they send may be used for editorial and commercial purposes without them being paid».

Sure, prizes for winners of the contest are interesting (meeting a famous photographer in London, some gear, etc.) and of course exposure, your images will be seen. However, I have the feeling more and more brands endorse these types of contests because it's a good deal for them. Indeed, they get huge creativity going on and are finally presented with hundreds, if not thousands, of images to choose from for their next campaigns. And because it was a contest, they are allowed to use said images without paying any licensing/creative fees. Pretty smart isn't it! Makes you wonder who the real winner is...

Finally, I decided not to participate in this contest mostly because of this clause.

May your Monday be brighter than today's sky over Geneva!