Pet Photo Contest Rules


A week or two ago, I decided to look up photo contests for dogs. Because Buster and Penny are outrageously cute and the world needs to know about it. Since there is a brewing controversy over concert photography contracts, I made it a point to read the photography contest rules.

The first website I came across, is currently running a popularity based dog photo contest. The previous week’s top-voted dog as Dog of the Week on the homepage. If you dog wins this contest, your beloved canine has a chance to appear on the cover of Modern Dog Magazine. Sounds like fun, right? Then I read their contest rules and cringed.

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Perpetual, royalty-free license to use the images submitted, and not just the winning ones,Every image submitted falls into this assignment of rights. In fairness, they did include the warning stating if you do not agree with these terms, don’t submit a photo. Of course, I did not submit a photo and will not until a more equitable assignment of rights is put forth by Modern Dog Magazine.

Next I surfed over to HealthyPet Photo Contest. The photo rules are presented in a less draconian manner, but they do state every image submitted can be used by HealthyPet in their marketing outlets.

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Submit a photo but don’t be surprised if you open a HealthyPet magazine and see your dog advertising pet food they don’t eat.

Finally, I found a dog photo contest with surprisingly equitable photography rules. American Kennel Club photo contest rules stipulates photographers may be paid in accordance with AKC standard photo fee for any use of the winning photos outside the previously stipulated promotions. Wow! Of course, I submitted a photo to this contest. Wish me luck!

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It is important before submitting a photo to a fun dog photo contest to ALWAYS read the fine print. If you are not comfortable with releasing all rights to your photo to the contest organizers, do not submit a photo. Support contests with more equitable rules for the creators of the photos, even if you are not successful. I know I have a very slim chance of placing in the AKC photo contest but I would encourage everyone to submit a photo to this contest. I hope this post help illuminate what is going on with photographers rights in pet photo contest.

As always, Happy Snapping!



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  • rochester_veteran

    I hope Penny and Buster win! Please keep us tabbed.

    • Tania

      I won’t know about the AKC contest until April of 2016. Doubt she’ll will, Penny does not have AKC papers. Not that it matters a whit to me.