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July 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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What to Know About Photo Contests and Contracts

from the July, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Wow, the National Geographic Society has really done some cost-cutting. Not only did it fire its veteran staff underwater photographer, David Doubilet, so it could outsource photos, it's asking people to pay money to submit photos for contests, then asking them for the right to use those photos however and whenever they want, free of charge.

That's why Undercurrent subscriber Kandace Heimer (Houston, TX) says she'll never send photos to its magazine again. "In 2010, I sent an underwater photo to its 'Your Shot' contest. It became popular and was picked as Editor's Choice. Afterwards, I started seeing my photo used in several advertising campaigns for National Geographic's online magazine. Of course, I was shocked, so I looked up the 'Terms and Conditions' you must sign to enter. It states that you agree your photography can be used for advertising, third-party placement, etc., without compensation or recognition." Gina Sanfilippo (San Francisco, CA) received an honorable mention in another National Geographic contest but didn't win anything or even get notified. "I found out only after I saw the photo posted on a third-party site. Another one of my photos showed up on a different organization's website."...


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