My Dad (a retired aerospace engineer) works as a professional photographer taking pictures of local high school and little league sports. Although relatively new to the field, he is quite good - both technically and artistically. But he has not been "in the game" for a long time to know the ins & outs, and potential scams.
He found a web site that runs photo contests. It is photolaureates.org
. He submitted a photo, and they let him know he was a finalist for the $6500 prize. However, to confirm his entry he must pay a fee ($59).
Doing a google search on Photography Laureates resulted in a LOT of links to photography forums where people are asking the same question: is it a scam. And the concensus is, it is.
On the other side of the coin, I managed to find a link to a PR statement
from Photography Laureates saying that they they are legitimate company, don't believe what people are saying, blah blah blah.
My feeling is Photography Laureates is like "Who's Who". You pay a fee to be listed in the book, then you buy the book, and can show your friends that you're in "Who's Who".
One other data point... One of the forum links I found asking "Is it a scam" was a recent one. This guy was told that he had to respond by November 3 to enter the 2007 contest. My Dad just recently got his email, but it is also for the 2007 contest. And his deadline is 12/4. (One yearly contest/month??)
So... My question is not is this a scam (I am 99% convinced that it is). But rather, does anybody know anything about this company at all? How long have they been around? How often do they run contests? Stuff like that. Thanks!