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first prizeWant some recognition for your photo talent?

Online, a growing number of sites are featuring contests where anyone can submit their photos for a shot at Web stardom.

Some offer cash awards or other tangible rewards, while others showcase your photography. All are great if you're looking to beef-up your professional or amateur photography resume.

How to enter and win photo contests

Read the rules. Many photo contests have residency or age requirements. There may be a specific theme that you have to stick to or, in more serious competitions, rules prohibiting doctored or heavily edited photos. Oh, and did we mention deadlines? Yes, they're important!

Don't leave the rules & regulations page without searching for wording like "all entries become the sole property of the contest owners" and if you are happy with that, fine. If not, find another contest where -- win or lose -- you retain all rights to your photographs.

Hit them with your best shot. Needless to say, don't submit any fuzzy, out-of-focus, or badly composed photos no matter how "cutting edge" you think they may be. Also, be sure your subject matter perfectly matches the theme if any. If the rules allow, don't be afraid to use your editing software to bump up the contrast or the color intensity of your photo for a more eye-catching, dramatic shot.

Be bold. This is a contest!

Finally, be sure to check the rules to see how many photos you may enter, and then submit the maximum. If the photo contest allows up to three, enter three. If the rules say "as many as you like" collect all your best, photos and keep hitting that upload button. You never know which one might be the winning shot!

Good luck!

More about photo contests & competitions around the Web:


Proof Positive - Monthly and Ongoing Photography Contests - Listings of all major online photo contests with warnings on rights given up in exchange for entry. Many have no entry fees and are open to amateurs.

Workbooks - Mega-listings of contests, events and conferences for photography mixed with graphic design and advertising.

Women In Photography International - You'll find information on competitions and other organizations in their resources section with information on related scholarships and grants.

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