Why Iowa Aviation Photography Contest is not for me

There is many photography contest around the web (and in real world, too)…… Many of those contests have the rules which do not have the photographer’s best interest in mind. The subject is not new, and Jim Goldstein had a number of posts on his blog couple of years ago, exploring different pitfalls of contest rules. And even the contest you would think are organized by well-known brand with reputation to spare are not any better. Just check here what the rules are for National Geographic contest. Another well-known blogger, Scott Bourne at “Photofocus” makes the argument that entering contest like that takes away your chances of licence the image as exclusive. While it might not be my biggest concern at most times, I have my limits to what I would agree to give up. And was faced with the decision very recently.

I was told by several people in the aeroclub that they enjoy my images from the club events. And that I should send some for the Iowa Aviation Photography Contest. The deadline is at the end of the week, so I had a strong will to pick some and prepare the submission this last weekend. But first, I went to their website to check the submission types and glance over the rules. And here I stopped. The rules are simple:
All entries are subject to unlimited use by the Office of Aviation, and may be used without permission or credit.
And you can submit up to 20 pictures. All you get for it is the “recognition” on the web site and the “certificate of recognition”. Seriously?
Well, it has to work, as it doesn’t look from the galleries that they do not have sufficient amount of entries each year. Now, that is the cheapest way to build stock library to promote your organization I have seen. And they have a lot of good photos to choose from!

What is your opinion on the issue? Do you have the limit of “rights grabbing” when you eneter the contests? Or the possibility to win cool price makes it OK for you to give them up? Which contests do you enter?

Comments are closed.