Photography Laureates - info please
November 29, 2007 10:09 AM   Subscribe

Is anyone familiar with the web site Photography Laureates?

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 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!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
If it looks like a scam, smells like a scam, and walks like a scam...
posted by zeoslap at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2007

It's a lottery, but you don't know the odds. It's a scam if they don't really pay anybody. If they do pay somebody, then it's just a waste of money.
posted by smackfu at 10:16 AM on November 29, 2007

BTW... I did a sample run of some rough numbers. Let's say they get 3000 people for their 2007 contest. At $59 each, that's $177,000. If they give out one grand prize winner ($6500) and several "runner-ups" (say $5000), that's $11,500. So they keep $165,500. Pretty good scam business.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:46 AM on November 29, 2007

However, to confirm his entry he must pay a fee...


The "submit your photo first, then we tell you that you've won something (the hook) but you have to pay to redeem the prize" structure is a scam. Legit photo contests are up-front, explicitly detailing fees, schedules/deadlines, reputable judging panel with clear judging criteria, publication information of winners, and so on prior to submission. This should all be posted in public with no contradictions (especially when it comes to deadlines and fees). Also, look for corporate sponsors.

The main differences between these photography scams and unsolicited Nigeran scams are that first, here photographers bait the hook themselves; and second, photographers are easily exploited for being notorious seekers of external validation for their craft.

Lastly, the path to photographic legitimacy/reputation lies not in contests, but in academia and gallery shows organized by the right names.
posted by DaShiv at 8:19 PM on November 29, 2007

Definitely a scam. I wouldn't go near it.
posted by sully75 at 9:16 PM on November 29, 2007

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