Pin Me

Entering Online Photo Contests to Win or Improve Your Digital Photography Skills

written by: Larry M. Lynch•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 3/12/2012

Have you ever entered an online photo contest? If you haven't, now might be the perfect time to start entering to improve your digital photography skills. There are general online photo contests, specialized online photo contests (children, animals) and even online photo contests for professionals.

  • slide 1 of 8

    Entering Online Photo Contests

    Every practicing digital photographer should start entering online photo contests, digital photo contests and exhibitions - lots of them as often as possible. One way to find droves of online photo contests is to do a Google search to find free or low entry fee contests. You can submit some of your best digital photos, but you must be sure to read the entry rules very, very carefully. Some online photo contests will attempt to strip away your intellectual property rights by making your photo entries their property. By all means you should avoid this, as you then cannot sell, rent, distribute, share, post, upload or even use your own images for any purpose.

    Aside from being cautious about this, you should join and actively participate in digital photography forums, online user groups and digital photography interest group sites related to your specialty. General online photo contests frequently offer multiple categories in which to enter your prized images. The act of seeking out and refining your photographic skills to enter photo contests will invariably sharpen your skills. Seeing the work of others often stimulates you to develop new ideas and techniques or perhaps even to delve into a new digital photography genre.

    Here is a listing of online photo contests organized by category:

  • slide 2 of 8

    General Online Photo Contests

    General online photo contests accept digital photos in a wide range of categories from both professional and amateur photographers. Winning entries from the previous period’s contest are usually available for viewing and you’ll be spurred on to expand your photographic vision and improve.

    http://www.proofpositive.com/contests/photocontests.htm

    http://www.betterphoto.com/contest.asp

    http://www.picture.com/contest/enter.asp

    http://www.photocompete.com/

    http://www.theeveryman.com/

    http://photocontest.smithsonianmag.com/v6/index.html

  • slide 3 of 8

    Child Photography Online Photo Contests

    These online photo contests feature digital images of the “wee ones" from newborn and older. The cut-off point is typically somewhere in the early teens, but each online photo contest has its own rules, so be sure to read, copy and observe the contest rules carefully. Remember, if it’s a “baby" photo contest, you can’t submit photos of your 25-year-old “baby", no matter how cute she (or he) is. Yup, you’re right; everybody is somebody’s “baby".

    http://www.americanbabycontest.com/

    http://www.kidkontest.com/

    http://www.thecutekid.com/

    http://www.contestformoms.com/babycontestphotos/

    If you'd like to brush up on your child photography skills before entering any of these contests, be sure to check out the following photography tutorials:

    Child Photography - 5 Tips on How to Take the Best Pictures of Children

    Baby Photography - 7 Tips on How to Take the Best Baby Pictures

  • slide 4 of 8

    If you'd like some resources to pet/animal online photo contests and specialty online photo contests, such as macro, underwater, sports and environmental, please continue on to page 2...

  • slide 5 of 8
    This is page two of a digital photography article which details how entering online photo contests can help better your photography skills. You will be provided with photo contest links, photography tutorials to better your skills and more!online photo contests, digital photography contests, learn photography,take better pictures
  • slide 6 of 8

    Pet / Animal Online Photo Contests

    If it creeps, crawls, waddles, trots, canters, lopes, swims, climbs, flies, dives, hovers, wriggles, glides or slithers, consider entering your digital images of it into an animal online photo contest. Also, if it barks, bleats, whinnies, chirps, howls, whirs, hums, hisses, chatters, bays, grunts, snorts, meows, trumpets, brays, snarls, oinks, cackles, crows, clucks, whistles or even talks, it’s eligible for entry in pet or animal online photo contests as long as it’s NOT human (Yes, this does eliminate Aunt Maude, no matter WHAT she might occasionally do). Some contests allow humans to be IN the photo, others do not. (OK, so maybe Aunt Maude might have a shot)

    Here are good starter online photo contest options.

    http://www.equinephotocontest.com/

    http://www.animalattraction.com/PhotoContest/tabid/287/Default.aspx

    http://www.photocompetitions.com/2008/international-wildbird-photographer-awards/

    To learn photography tips, tricks and techniques to take animal pictures you'll love, please click here.

  • slide 7 of 8

    Specialty Online Photo Contests

    There are some very specialized online photo contests that might be worth a shot if you’re into a particular digital photography genre. These genre-specific online photo contests typically require very specialized photo equipment and accessories as well, but recognition of your skills can boost you quickly into the well-paid ranks of the professionals if you win or place well in one of these types of contests. Try these online photo contests for openers:

    Macro / Close Up Online Photo Contests

    http://www.nikonsmallworld.com/

    (Click here for tips on how to take excellent macro photos)

    Underwater Online Photo Contests

    http://www.underwaterphoto.com/

    http://www.underwatercompetition.com/

    (This article will provide you with tips and techniques for taking great underwater photos)

    Sporting Events Online Photo Contest

    http://canoekayak.com/whitewater/rafting/onlinephotocontestjanuary2008/

    Environmental Online Photo Contests

    http://www.epa.gov/earthday/photocontest/winners.html

    http://www.earthshots.org/enter/

  • slide 8 of 8

    Use Online Photo Contests to Build Digital Photography Skills

    So use online photo contests to build your digital photography skills, generate new ideas and expand your digital photography. Improve in a specialty or just have fun while you practice with these or dozens of other online photo contests. And by the way - Good luck!