if you want to make a contest and you only want paintings -- then say so in the title - paintings only this way i can skip right past it, instead of seeing a long list of rules saying you only want paintings.
furthermore, that little picture you can upload too -- DO NOT POST A PHOTOGRAPH THERE, especially when it may not be yours. but mostly that box is to show people what you want. so if you post a pile of fruit as a photo, then that's what people will give you. show us an example of what you want in that box. not a random image, not one of yours, not your avatar, but an example of exactly what your looking for. many do this right, but i find batches of weird things and i can guess what it is you actually want.
i guess this is more of a statement than an actual question. unless others have peeves. sure ok, list your peeves in general.
People that ask for critiques that are only looking for compliments. Add to that the people that compliment them and then turn collectively on someone giving an actual critique. OK, one more, people that say "I love it!" really?
Don't start a contest with a limit of three and a voting limit of three. Everybody is of course going to vote for themselves. I only enter unlimited votes contests or at least where there are several more votes allowed than the number of images you submit.
I agree with Jessica J. I've learned to avoid contests with 10 entries permitted. IMO 1-5 is plenty.
And yes, Mike, I have the same pet peeve about contests. In fact I have had to emailed contest organizers to ask if it's "photos only" or all media.
Of course my BIGGEST P. P.s is ...(that doesn't look right does it?) :O)....when a contest lists in it's rules (and this goes for Discussions too) plainly list "PHOTOGRAPHY ONLY" or "NO PHOTOGRAPH" and there is always someone who posts a painting/drawing or a photo in the second example. Please READ THE RULES.
Full disclosure: yours truly has been guilty of the last one when I didn't THOROUGHLY READ THE RULES. But to be clear I am referring above to a very clear statement at the head of the rules that states what the medium is or isn't that's allowed.
1 to 3 entries is the right number. if buyers do look at these to buy, then overwhelming them isn't the answer. just a few from each to grab attention. it would also force people to show only their best stuff. after like 8, the quality may go down.
and yeah, there are some contests with 2 pages of rules. it makes it impossible to read.
all i want to see is-
post pictures of barns.
anything is ok
and that's it. anything else is just clutter.
or when it says, photos, digital art, paintings... but no editing or no manipulation or something that involves editing.
i base my entry on 2 things only.
and the picture example
if you make your title vague and post a picture of a toilet, it will be very confusing what to enter.
The whole point of contests is to get people’s work seen so to say no vote solicitation is pointless. If everyone posts the contest to their social media following (general public) there is more chance of making a sale.
For members only contests you are only advertising your work to other artists.
If the rules are too complicated or they ask for more than 5 images I never bother with them.
The hassle of vetting wrongly categorized artwork in contests could be eliminated if FAA enhanced the contest mechanics so that:-
- Contest makers would see a set of checkboxes indicating the FAA categories permitted in the contest. (Photography / Painting / Drawing etc)
- Artists could only submit artworks whose FAA category matched those selected by the organizer.
Yes ! We are probably all so visual so a photo of what the contest would be about helps a lot.
The description needs to be short and sweet.
As far as 1-3 images - I ran several contests and that's really a lot of photos to view so 1 photo per entry is what I requested.
I managed a few groups and found it was overwhelming so now I just have one group and its easier to manage, but haven't had any contests in a while because I was so burned out of viewing images I thought my eyes were going to bug out of my head !! LOL
I think the more specific a contest the better - like blue barns or red doors or pink flowers.
I don't enter contests anymore unless they are very specific and are groups that I love.
As for rules what the heck we are here to have fun right ! ;)
agreed with every point. I hate the contests with 1,000 rules or the requirement you go and like and/or comment on the owner's images. I dislike those who have groups of "vote for mine and I'll vote for yours" behind the scenes. It isn't exactly voter solicitation but it is manipulating results. You see the same winners or high finishers quite often.
I don't enter to win and am quite surprised and happy on those rare occasions when I do. I am grateful for all votes. I just enter to help Google see my images (and I have no idea if that really happens or not). No sales since June 3 and hits down by 25-30% in the same period tells me not much is happening right now despite posting in groups and contests.
John made an important comment about hits being down. I have designed several different websites. I have one on photography and I have done everything I can think of doing to get it noticed by search engines, but I can't seem to get good placement. I have noticed that the photography websites at the top of the search all have bought "Ads". Sorry to say, but I think getting good placement in the search is going to cost money.
prizeless is fine. in fact if they offer money prizes they are often removed because it makes it look like the site is giving money. and you know heavy cheating will happen in many of those.
mostly i like to not waste time, which is why i don't like vague titles. groups are guilty of this too, they don't say paintings only on the thread, and your supposed to some how remember that NATURE group is about paintings. where as the NATURE group is about photos. i'm using it as an example, but i've seen people do that. like they were the only group.
Appears I have company.
I avoid contests that
-allow too many entries (ironically, I find that in those there's way less chance of visitor traffic which tells me virtually no one is looking at any of the entries)
-are juried, esp with a one person jury (though I know there are a few excellent reasons for hosting one occasionally)
-limit votes (or if I do enter, I simply vote for as many of mine as allowed and then move on - takes way too long to select and vote on my favorites (even if there are under 100 entries . . . even if there are only 25 entries!
-have too many rules
-are obviously created specifically to allow the contest administrator to get some traffic on one particular piece of his/her own . . . or even a very limited cluster of such pieces (something like "single male cassowary perched on top of something in nature (not man-made) with no surrounding or background distractions")
I enter contests having more than a trace of cynicism, mainly because I have never noticed much of a correlation between contests and sales. Contests, be they voted or "judged" (note the quotes) mainly consist of insiders judging other insiders and never have a trace of neutrality. Let's face it...no offense intended, but I'm going to vote for my images and probably not yours. I just look at them as a minor time-passing activity if I feel so inclined today. If I get some votes, I might take a second look at that image and check against other feedback, but otherwise I don't pay much attention. I also see many of them in person at my local photo club and those suffer from a high dose of pretentious judging by self-appointed experts.
In short, it's like a lot of things in the art world....no objective criteria, a whole load of personal opinions stated as though they were fact and often very disconnected from people who actually might buy something. Over the years, I've lots of in-person experience with friends and family in the art business and it's a very strange place. I've always been glad to only have one foot inside the door.
"single male cassowary perched on top of something in nature (not man-made) with no surrounding or background distractions" - Damn....I didn't know that somebody put that in a contest...missed my chance. I have a whole flash card full of those.
1. Very good point Mike (as always)! I noticed that in some contests too, and found it to be very confusing if not irritating.
2. To me allowing VOTING SOLICITATIONS doesn't make sense, because those "family and friends" asked to give votes will only look to the respective member's work, and will disregard the others. It will NOT bring more viewers to the contests, increasing our exposure.
- On the other hand, by asking for NO solicitations, may increase the chance for honest results.
3. I agree that too much text can get confusing and annoying. I will reduce mine in the next contests. However, the thing is that some people still don't understand what to do or what not to do. I often have to go back and add some "not too's" after I see what it has been posted :)
Pet peeve? Ok, so today (I'll choose from many) it's vague or completely useless topic titles for new posts on the Discussion Board like "Help!!!!!" , or "What is this?????" , or "My Art". Also use of multiple ?????? or !!!!! for emphasis really grinds the gears.
At least give us some idea what your question is regarding in the title. It helps when people go back and SEARCH the previous posts on the board to see if something has been discussed before.
There's a difference between voter solicitation, where people advertise that they are in the contest, and "ballot stuffing" where they have a regular group of friends and relatives who they ask for votes from in every contest.
Unfortunately there really isn't a way to stop it short of of the contest creator keeping track of them and banning them by removing their images when they post them.
it is a pain that if your entering to see if your images are better than others. you vote, you get 5 votes. and the top 3, by the same person, has 68 votes. and the avg amount is like 7. hopefully the image looks good, it just makes the site look bad if the winners were actually losers.
My pet peeve is people getting so angry over contests, both those hosting and entering them. I've seen hosts cancel contests because they were angry that some people are not following the rules or deleting entries when they were either not clear what the rules were or made the rules way too complicated. My thinking is that unless you are offering a real prize, why get so upset about it? On the other hand, I've had those who have entered my contests get angry, because they were caught obviously soliciting votes when it was clearly stated it wasn't allowed and I had to delete them (Got the the top 3 spots in a matter of hours and other contestants brought it to my attention) or thought that they should have won and questioned the winners. I had one contest called Through The Eyes Of A Child for children's art, which clearly stated it would be voted on by my child as juror. One contestant messaged me questioning me on the child because his artwork wasn't selected. It's made me rethink whether I want to deal with hosting contests anymore. I also agree with those above that the whole point of contests, if there is not a prize, is exposure, so I'm not sure why some don't want them shared or voted on by the public.
in the forum, i never liked it when someone asks for advice, especially detailed advice. and they never come back. never chime in, never say thanks. and worse they close the thread to make sure they can't go back in. then have the nerve to ask another question.
or ask basically the same question again a year from now. not changing a single thing in their gallery and wondering why they aren't selling, even though we told them why.
I scroll on by for contests with paragraphs of rules, and those that do not make it clear what the contest organizer is looking for....I vote only for my own entries, but use my voting power on contests that I do not enter...great pieces to view!
i'm going to say her pet peeve is moderating and tech support. or at least it follows under that.
the problem with the rules in contests are - some of them don't make sense. some contradict the other rules. some whine and complain about what things they don't want, but getting late into the game of what they do want. and others have so many rules, that have nothing to do with the contest, that it looks like a legal document. then i click on who entered what and just go with that theme.
many take the contest way to seriously when they make it, making the rules impossible to follow. i never understood the - work in progress contests.. like what is the point? what do we vote on? how does this help a customer? what is the point of having contests where you put your worst artwork up? how do you think that will make you sell?
I've been here officially 10 years now, since FAA took payment the other day (which reminds me, I have to go change that card, it's disabled now), and I've always thought about hosting a contest but, you know, it's blatantly obvious people don't read. In any case, I WOULD keep it simple, but I don't know if I want to go through the hassle of moderating what gets added.
I did take the plunge into hosting a group a little while back and I told them it would be a "non-aggressive requirement" group. I don't even send out group emails, because I'm with Mike about the email after email after email, but I don't mind it in a couple groups I'm in where the host wants to know what theme we suggest. That kind of email doesn't bother me. I have had to reject two or three images, but I get the impression on one of them, the person just clicks the wrong box when adding their work. Maybe they mean to click on a group above or below mine, because what they have posted has absolutely no relation to the theme of the group.
Anyway, I agree that the contests with 20 obscure rules and requirements are irritating. Like "must be taken on a full moon in August when the temperature is below 80 degrees" types of descriptions. Or stuff you can't prove anyway.
I don't so much have a peeve, but an observation and suggestion. Being a new member of FAA I've looked at various contests and noticed that the requirements for each are so varied and there doesn't seem to be any continuity to the rules/guidelines etc which might lead to confusion for the entrants.
I haven't tried to setup a contest, so not sure what the process is, so something like the following might be in place, but I'm thinking not.
If there was a 'template form' that the contest host had to fill out, giving option fields for the requirements, this may make it more streamlined and organised. It would also assist and guide the host, taking a lot of the thinking out of what needs to be provided for the contest.
1. Upload photo (make sure it's relevant to the contest).
2. What medium is this for...with a dropdown or tickbox for 'Everyone, Photography, Digital art, other, etc...
3. How many entries - 1-3, 1-5.
4. Description....Limit this to so many words.
etc, etc....plus it could include a tickbox for reading the rules/regs before the form is submitted.
I know this would take quite a bit of work, but it might tidy up the whole contest arena and stop some of the confusion that seems to be an issue.
Yup, I am with David Smith on this: "My pet peeve is that I can't post my pet peeve without someone inferring that it's about them and complaining that what I'd written is a violation of a forum rule.
My second peeve IS PEOPLE WHO USE NEARLY ALL CAPS IN DESCRIBING THEIR CONTEST. There is a certain posting decorum that should be followed in any professional website - basically, amounting to proper posting manners. To do less causes a loss of credibility for the entire site. There really are some people who do pay attention to the "conventions" of writing.
I do post images in contests. Why? Because I have had a couple of sales shortly following a contest entry. Coincidence? Maybe, but in one case it was an image that I thought would NEVER sell. (Note: Capitalization of one word for emphasis. LOL)
people that rip work off from the internet to use as their example picture. i've seen that a number of times.
and i also really can't stand contests that are isolated to the one image they took...
monkey's with a peg leg
a pig with a bow tie
a sunset with 2 water towers
a guy with a beard holding a flamingo
and the really weird thing is, the thing that probably bugs the person that made it -- people actually have those things. the contest becomes a weird scavenger hunt.
and any contest that tells me to look for my best, look for an emotion? and i don't usually add that to my keywords. the contest search box is garbage, i don't know why it doesn't share the same ability as the current search. phrases are never found unless it was already a phrase. and all my work is the best.
i just had a sale of something i know i posted the other day. couldn't say which contest i enter all of them
Show me: a sunset with two suns (photography only, no double exposures, no photo manipulation)
Show me: Your photos of Pluto when it was a planet
Show me: neutral colored walls (paintings only)
Show me: Wind (not the effect of wind, actual wind... all media welcome)
Show me: Your interpretation of "paltry" (charcoal drawings only)