A growing number of aspiring photographers wish to have their work reviewed and take part in competitions on a regular basis. These pros, enthusiasts and even photo beginners feel they need a little approval for their work from time time and most would probably not mind being rewarded for a winning image.
There is a wide range of different competitions available – if only you look hard enough. Some may come free of charge but just do not offer any prizes worth mentioning. This might be a deal breaker unless you want to participate just for honor`s sake. There are only very few contingencies that consistently offer great prizes. A lot of photo competitions also have great restrictions or special rules that have to be observed.
The I SHOT IT internet photo platform seems to offer a great alternative (if you do not mind the required entry fee). I have not tried it myself but it looks like they are offering very attractive prizes and that there are no notable restrictions. Each entrant has the same chance of winning. According to Hardy Hennige, founder of I SHOT IT, the “jury members, all independent, acclaimed photographers, know nothing about the entrants or the camera they used to take the pictures.”
Although they do offer a few free photo competitions at I SHOT IT, a small fee has to be payed to take part in the themed or premium competitions available on a regular basis. The fees currently range from $ 3.00 to $ 20.00 depending on the chosen competition. Needless to say the rewards vary accordingly. Winners can get cash prizes that bear relation to the total number of fee-based entries plus a special Leica camera or other Leica product depending on the chosen competition (e.g. Leica V-LUX 40, Leica X2, Leica M MONOCHROM). There are 16 categories to take part in (birds, landscape, macro, sports – to name just a few).
It is not too surprising the booty comprises a Leica camera each time. Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder of the Leica Camera AG, recently acquired a 25.1% stake in I SHOT IT.
There are a lot of creative photographers that still are very reluctant to enter a fee-based competition. This may change over time. IMO big prizes can only be offered if fees are taken or if there is someone sponsoring the contest.
The I SHOT IT logo suggests they offer “The Best Photo Competition”. That may be up to others to decide – but why not give it a go yourself?
Here is a link to the current competitions at I SHOT IT.
I bet the recent winner of the “Black-And-White Photo Competition 1 2013” did not really mind the $ 25,370.00 plus the Leica M MONOCHROM that came with the cash 🙂 .