Winning Digital Photo Contests

Thursday, August 12, 2010

National Geographic Photo Contest: Win $10,000

The annual National Geographic Magazine photo contest, easily one of the most prestigious contests in the world, begins accepting submissions on September 1st and ends November 30.  You can enter images (there is a $15 per photo entry fee) in each of three categories: people, places and things. There is a first prize of $2,500 in each category and one Grand Prize winner gets an additional $7,500. Plus, bonus of bonuses, your winning photos get published in National Geographic. I can't imagine that there is a photographer in the world that hasn't daydreamed about getting published in National Geographic magazine--so here's your chance!

Winners will be announced in early December. There is an entry fee of U.S. $15 per photo.You can read the official contest rules here.  There is also a FAQ page. And to get some inspiration and see what others have done, there are galleries of previous winning shots on the National Geo site.

You have three months to go through your very best images, or perhaps shoot new ones (perhaps you have a trip planned?) so no excuses! Just think: people, places and things and you're on your way. How cool would it be to get a call in December telling you that one of your photos is going to be published in National Geographic?

Contest Tip:  I've interviewed a lot of contest judges in the past few years and one of the things I hear them say most often is: "Show me something different--or from an unexpected viewpoint." Keep that in mind, especially when you're shooting familiar subjects. If you're photographing a chateau in France, for example, why not take a hot-air balloon ride and shoot it at sunset from the air? If you're photographing deer in a nearby park, think about setting your tripod in a stream and photographing them from water level as they come to drink. Surprise and entertain and you'll get lots of serious consideration from judges.

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