Friday, July 07, 2017

Want to enter photo competitions for free?

If you are photographer (and I am guessing many of my visitors are), then you have probably dreamed at some point of winning a competition with one of your images. Be honest now, we all would love to win something!

Well, entering photo competitions can be an expensive business. That's because many charge an entry fee and the more you enter the more you have pay. These fees can be quite large. For example, here are some entry fees for recent or current competitions:

Fine Art Photography Awards

Entry Fees:

Amateur: $20 per single entry, and $25 per series.
Professional: $25 per single entry and $30 per series.

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2017

Entry Fees:

A single sum of £30.00 is required per adult entrant and allows up to 5 photographic entries. Further entries may be submitted at an additional fee of £6 per entry.

The exception being for entries to the Food Sn-apping category, the fee for which is £6 per entry only, £2 of which will be given as a donation to Action Against Hunger

To enter the category unearthed® Food in Film, the fee will be £30 per video submitted.

Once entered, images cannot be withdrawn unless the Organisers are notified that there is a permissions issue, in which case the images will be withdrawn on request of the copyright holder / entrant but no refund will be payable.

Payment is made online using Paypal.

Entry to the Young (under 18) categories is free of charge. A maximum of three entries may be submitted to the Young (under 18) categories.

International Photographer of the Year

Entry Fees:


Amateur: Single Entry - 15 USD
Amateur: Series - 20 USD
Professional: Single Entry - 20 USD
Professional: Series - 25 USD


Amateur: Single Entry - 20 USD
Amateur: Series - 25 USD
Professional: Single Entry - 25 USD
Professional: Series - 30 USD

So, as you can see, the cost of entering can quickly add if you enter more than one category or enter more than a single image.

However, there are plenty of free competitions to enter. Below are some suggested sites to check out.


Photocrowd is an online community for photographers and it's free to join. They also have subscription accounts, offering a range of additional benefits such as additional entries to otherwise free competitions and the option of selling your work online. Here is a chart with all the features for each tier of membership.

As you can see, even with the free membership you can enter competitions they host (such as the POTY one mentioned in my previous post) but the paid memberships give you additional entries. So, with Challenger membership for £2.50 pcm, you can submit an extra image into competitions, whilst Pro Membership at £5 pcm allows an extra two entries into competitions. The most expensive plan, Master, costs £10 pcm and allows an additional three entries into competitions.

All plans allow you to sell prints via the site, though you are limited to just 20 with the Free Plan. Your share of the sales commission also goes up with each plan, so with the Master Plan, you get 80% of the sales commission. Also, with all but the Free Plan, you can set your own prices for your images that are for sale.

Printing off your prints is also offered and even with the Free Plan, you get a 5% discount of the cost of printing Lumijet prints. As you go up the tiers, this discount grows, so with the Master Plan, you get a 20% discount on Lumijet prints of your own images.

As I said, Photocrowd is an online community so you can also rate images by other members, leave comments and leave comments. However, we are really interested in the competitions side of things, so how does Photocrowd measure up?

Currently, as I write this post, there are 46 competitions open for entries. of these, 19 are prized and 21 are Community Competitions. More on that in a moment.

Prizes range from discounts on products (up to 100% e.g. 'free') from partner companies, to a $100 voucher from ON1. Other prizes include a $300 prize package from Lexar, to the £1,000 Sigma prize package in the AP POTY competition.

Community competitions are ones organised by members of the Photocrowd community. These are a way of gaining exposure on the website but don't offer cash, vouchers or specific prizes. They are still worth entering, as they will raise your exposure on the site and social media.


Viewbug is another example of an online community that also offers competitions. Again, there is a mix of free to enter competitions and paid ones. Currently Viewbug has 88 competitions listed, of which just 16 are free. There are 39 Pro competitions and 33 Premium ones. The difference between the last two is that Pro ones are open to Pro members, who pay $11.55 pcm (annual plans, otherwise $13.99 pcm) and Premium ones are open to Premium members who pay $4.92 pcm (annual plans, otherwise its $6.99 pcm).

The prizes you can win in the free competitions range from accessories to evcn a Nikon D3300! In the Pro ones you can win a mystery prize, accessories, instant camera or even a Fuji X-T1! Premium competitions offer prizes such as 1TB portable hard drive, a flash unit or even a Canon 5D Mk III!

Like with Photocrowd, you can also rate other people's images and leave comments, follow other photographers and generally contribute to the community.

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