August 1st, 2021

Shawn King: ‘Be Wary of the “iPhone Photography Awards”’

Shawn King, writing for The Loop regarding last year’s iPhone Photography Awards:

But I remember having my spidey senses tingle last year with these awards so I did some digging into it. The first thing I noticed was you have to “pay to play” — that is, it costs $5.50 to submit a single image with “discounts” given for multiple image submissions. Paying to submit images to a contest is not necessarily a bad thing but it always raises concerns for me.

Next up was the judges — or lack thereof. In an interview with Input, the founder of the IPPAWARDS Kenan Aktulun (whose Twitter account is protected) wouldn’t say who the judges were:

I asked Aktulun to share some details behind the curtains about the judging process. Though he wouldn’t say specifically who the panel of judges was for the 2020 winners, he said they were made up of a diverse cast of visual storytellers including photographers and designers.

That’s always a red flag for me. Every reputable photo competition, from Apple on down, lists the names of the people doing the judging.

The prizes are sort of shitty too.


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