Wait,  a photo contest?

Today I received an e-mail about a photo contest, with the final deadline quite near.

I thought ‘hey, maybe I should apply’ and then spent a few hours getting ready and making sure I followed the rules.  Sure, it did have a $75 entry fee, but there is a guarantee that you’re images will be seen and evaluated by a professional.  That seemed worth the price.


As I read on the rules, the whole picture became clear.  The top 200 entries will move on to the final round, and some finalists will end up in one of several galleries.  All good so far.

But then, I saw some of the fine print.  The top 200 will need to pay an additional $200 to keep moving on.

This feels slimy, and the kind of ‘pay to win’ that has infested other industries.  But just as importantly —



That’s a Lot of Money

That’s a lot of money!

If you are selecting the ‘Top 200’, you must assume that the majority of applicants will not make it.  The ‘Top 200’ paying an extra $200 means the final round earns the group running the contest $40,000.

If we work off of 2000 in the first round (probably a low estimate), that’s makes the first round $150,000, or about $190,000 for both rounds.  Does it really take $200,000 to run one of these contests?

Does it take $200K to run a photo contest?  This sounds like it could be profitable.

What am I missing?

I’m very confused by this discovery, which is why I did not name the contest.

Does it really cost $200,000+ to run one of these photo contests, is this a fund raiser for the non-profit running the contest, or is this a giant scam.


Our Portfolio

Anyway, here are the images I was getting ready for the contest, but ultimately never entered

Until next time!

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