Photography Contest FAQ’s

Over $250,000 Cash Prizes Awarded Since 1980!

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Is there a limit to the number of photos I enter?
No. Entry fees are per photograph and you may enter as many as you like.

What are your categories?
Subject matter is open, and we have no categories. You must indicate for each photo entered whether it is a black-and-white photo or color; however, the judges and publisher may move it from one color to the other for judging and, if chosen, for publication in the hardcover book.

Does Photographer’s Forum require a model release of the people who are subjects of the photograph?
We encourage you to obtain a model release if possible whenever the subject’s identity is recognizable. We do not require that you submit this with your photos, but it’s good for you to have for your own files. We recognize that this is often not possible with street photography.

Do you accept photos shot with a digital camera, or digitally manipulated?
Yes. We accept both digital and traditional film photography. Digitally manipulated photos are also acceptable. In other words, the use of Photoshop is fine.

What about copyright?
Rights remain with photographer. By entering this contest, you understand that we have one-time rights for publication of all finalist photos in the hardcover book "Best of College & High School Photography" (for the College & High School Contest) or "Best of Photography" (for the Spring Contest). First through Fourth Place winners will also be published one time in "Photographer’s Forum" magazine.

Who are the judges?
To determine the Winners and Honorable Mentions, we employ a panel of three judges, changing judges with each contest. Our judges are always professional photographers who are also college-level photography instructors.

Do my photos need to have been shot with a sponsor’s equipment?
No, you may use any make of camera/equipment for any of our contests.

DIGITAL :: UPLOADED ENTRIES

What are the image specifications to enter online?
• Image Size: Image must have a long dimension of at least 1000 pixels and less than 3000 pixels
• Save file as (JPG) with maximum quality.
• Color Space: Adobe1998, sRGB or untagged color space.
• File Size: The file should be no more than 4 Mb

I am getting an error message when I try to upload my photos. What can I do?
A "runtime error" or "server error" does not indicate a problem with the contest website. It’s just the system’s way of letting you know the photo(s) cannot be uploaded for some reason. First, be sure that your files conform to the Image Specifications. If they are too large (4 Mb file or larger, or one side with 3000 pixels or more) or too small (less than 1000 pixels on the long dimension), the system will not be able to take them and you will see a "Run-Time Error" message. However, this is easily solved: just re-size them and try again. Sometimes if you’re too close to 3000 pixels, the system might still "choke" on the file because other data is sent with it during transmission, so in that case just make the longest side closer to 2900. If you do not know how to use your image software (or app) to re-size your photos, consult your program’s "help" function, or the manual that came with your software. You can also google the question "How do I resize my photos in name of your software or app, such as iPhoto or Snapseed?" You do not have to register again; please simply log in as an “already registered” contestant.

I paid for my entries online just now but I do not see the page to upload my photos.
There may be a delay with your entry fees reaching our account. Most of the time, this is instant. However, sometimes there is a short delay between your payment into the system, for which you receive a receipt from PayPal, and the funds arriving in our account. Until the funds are in our account, the system will not accept your upload. Please wait 24 hours and try to upload again. This is especially common on deadline days. To avoid this, please try and enter several days prior to a deadline. If this is a deadline day and you are running into this problem, please let us know by emailing us at admin@serbin.com.

I paid for my entries and was taken to a page that has buttons that say SUBMIT IMAGE and codes next to them. Does that mean some photos are already in those slots?
Ignore the codes; they are not photos. They are simply our internal codes that will be assigned to your photos once they are uploaded. To begin the upload process, click on a SUBMIT IMAGE button and you will be taken to the page where you will upload your photo(s).

Do I have to go through the registration process again if I have already paid and want to upload additional photos?
No. If you have already paid and registered FOR THIS CONTEST you may bypass the registration process. Look for the line that says “Already a Registered Online Contestant in This Contest? Click Here ” To get to the upload area, you must use your user name and password, so be sure to write them down when you first register. Please note: Each of our contests is maintained in a separate database. If you have entered previous contests of ours, you WILL need to register again from scratch the first time you want to get into the current contest.

I uploaded my photos but did not receive an email confirmation. How can I be sure you received them successfully?
You can simply log back in to the contest and see your photos. If you can see them, then we have them!

SPRING CONTEST

Who can enter the SPRING Contest?
The Spring Contest is open to all amateur photographers, both student and non-student, in the United States, Canada and worldwide. There is no age limit. (If you make your living as a professional photographer, you may not enter.)

When and how are the finalists, honorable mentions, and winners notified?
Finalists in the Spring Contest are notified by letter around the third week of July, via regular US Postal Service mail. We do not mail to every contestant, only to those who were selected as a finalist. The notification letters to the winners and honorable mentions are mailed in mid-August. All finalists, winners and honorable mentions can be viewed online in our Winners Gallery, after the winners have had time to receive their notification letters (generally on or before August 22nd each year.)

COLLEGE & HIGH SCHOOL CONTEST

Who can enter the COLLEGE & HIGH SCHOOL Contest?
The College & High School Contest is open to all high school, college, and university students in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Both full-time and part-time students may enter. You are also eligible if you have graduated within the past six months. (If you are an amateur photographer but not a student, you may enter our Spring contest. Please watch for it beginning in January of each year. )

When are the finalists, winners and honorable mentions notified, and how?
Finalists are notified by letter around the third week of January, via regular US Postal Service mail. We do not mail to every contestant, only to those who were selected as a finalist. The notification letters to the winners and honorable mentions are mailed in mid-February. All finalists, winners and honorable mentions can be viewed online in our Winners Gallery, after the winners have had time to receive their notification letters (generally on or before February 22 each year.)


Will I or my school automatically be sent a copy of the book if my picture is in it?

No. Each instructor or school that would like to have the book must also place an order. About a month after notifying the finalists, we send a notification letter and order form directly to their instructors. Therefore, it is important that you fill in your instructor’s name and the complete name and address of your school on your entry form.

PRINTS OR SLIDES :: MANUAL ENTRIES

I will be sending my prints and slides by mail. How large do they have to be?
For details about how to submit prints or slides, please download the manual entry form. All the specifications and guidelines are on the entry form. Just go to DOWNLOAD MANUAL ENTRY FORM on the pulldown menu under PHOTO CONTEST on our home page at www.pfmagazine.com.

Will I get my photographs back?
If you are entering prints or slides, we will return them only if you include a STAMPED, self-addressed envelope large enough to contain them and with sufficient postage on it. Keep in mind that U.S. postal rates may change between the time you submit your photos and the time we will send them back, so you may wish to consider putting on extra postage. All photos not returned after six months of the closing of the contest will be destroyed.

FOREIGN SUBMISSIONS

Do you accept photos from photographers in foreign countries?
Yes. You may enter online or mail in prints or slides. If sending prints or slides that you would like to have returned, please include a self-addressed envelope and an international postal coupon for return postage. Funds for payment of entry fees must be in U.S. dollars. If you would like to have us charge the return postage and are paying your entry fees with a credit card, please include a note on the entry form that asks us to add the cost of return postage to the amount we are charging for the entry fees.

How can I pay for entering my photos if I am a foreign entrant?
Payment of entry fees must be in US dollars. If you are entering online, the PayPal system that manages the online entry fees will take care of it automatically. If you are mailing prints or slides, include a check or international money order in U.S. dollars, or supply your credit card information on the entry form. We do not accept Western Union, debit cards, or wire transfers.

35th Annual Spring Photography Contest sponsored by SIGMA

WINNING PHOTOS

WINNING PHOTOS will be published in the November 2015 issue of Photographer’s Forum Magazine and exhibited at Brooks Institute. All contest finalists will be published in the hardcover book Best of Photography 2015.

EARLY ENTRY: April 13, 2015
Early entry fee is $4.95 per photo entered (all entries must be uploaded or postmarked on or before April 13, 2015).

FINAL ENTRY: May 18, 2015
Early entry fee is $5.95 per photo entered (all entries must be uploaded or postmarked on or before May 18, 2015).

No Limit to Quantity of Entries.

• Rights remain with photographer
• Subject matter is open
• Finalists notified by July 27, 2015
• Winners notified by August 10, 2015

ELIGIBILITY
This contest is open to all amateur photographers in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

PRIZES

FIRST PLACE GRAND PRIZE
$2,000 cash award from Photographer’s Forum PLUS
• Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM | Art lens ($899)*
• Chimera OB2 PRO Kit #6024 (Octa 2 Beauty Dish reflector and Versi Octa
Speed Ring) ($399)

SECOND PLACE
$1,500 cash award from Photographer’s Forum PLUS
• Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 DC HSM | ART lens ($800)*
• Manfrotto Pro Light Camera Backpack: Bumblebee-220 PL ($279.99)

THIRD PLACE
$1,000 cash award from Photographer’s Forum

FOURTH PLACE
Five $125 awards

100 HONORABLE MENTIONS
All Honorable Mentions will be listed in the November 2015 issue of Photographer’s Forum magazine and will receive a gold embossed certificate of outstanding merit from Photographer’s Forum.

* Lens award for US residents only. First and Second Place winners in all other countries will receive additional award of $500 in lieu of lens.

Win a SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Lens

SIGMA_35mmF1-4

A classic focal length reimagined, the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens is sharp and fast with beautiful bokeh. MSRP: $899.*

* Lens award for US residents only. First and Second Place winners in all other countries will receive additional award of $500 in lieu of lens.

Win a SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art Lens

SIGMA_18-35mmF1-8

The world’s first 1.8 zoom, the 18-35mm 1.8 Art lens is renowned for its sharp and beautifully contrasted images. MSRP: $800.*

* Lens award for US residents only. First and Second Place winners in all other countries will receive additional award of $500 in lieu of lens.