Please help me get the word out on this years photography contest! We put a tremendous amount of time and money into making these special events and want to continue to do so. The best way to make these bigger and better each year (more prizes and sponsors) is by increasing the number of contestants. I would eventually like to get to the point where we have age categories, with each winner getting a Brand New SLR camera. BTW- (I am going to hold off on the Cell Phone Contest until early spring. It will be its own separate contest.)

Michael The Maven’s 2011 International Photography Contest Information

(Please Read this VERY carefully. Failure to adhere to rules will result in disqualification from contest. I know some of these rules may seem a little harsh, but we expect between 5,000-10,000 entires this year. Last year with just 2,500 we had a lot of problems of organizing everything, so if we have a rule it is for a very particular reason that helps everyone have an enjoyable experience. 🙂

I normally prefer to give out a single camera as a grand prize, the first year it was a T1i, the Second Year it was a 7D and a T2i. I was considering a Canon 5Dii this year, however, I realize that there may be a replacement coming very soon. I also considered Canon 60D’s for each category, however, I also realize there are many photographers out there who may not want another camera, but would prefer a lens or other nice piece of gear. I also realize there are some people who would just like some $$. So, I thought we would try this to see what the response will be:

6 GRAND PRIZE AWARDS – $1000 Each!!

Contest open to anyone in the world

Image size no more than 5mb

(We are still looking for sponsors in the TBD slots, if you are interested or know someone who is, please contact me at:

Prizes per Category:

1st Place – $1000 CASH!! (Or Gift Card in restricted areas)
2nd Place – $300 Coupon to Michael’s Online Store –
3rd Place – Photography Business Crash Course DVD Set
(a $250 Value)
4th Place- $150 Coupon For Michael’s – Canon Training Download Video Store
5th Place- Think Tank Digital Holster (Thank you to Think Tank for Sponsoring!) – ($60 Value)
6th Place- TBD – $50 Value
7th Place- Custom Michael The Maven 16GB Bamboo Thumb Drive
8th Place- Angelina Hills Matted Print (Her Work is outstanding, I have it hanging in my own home.)
9th Place- Ocean Waves Relaxation DVD by Heath Snow
10th Place- TBD $15 Value
Honorable Mentions (2) – No Prize

All Winners will receive a PDF Certificate of their Achievement

Main Categories:-

Portraits –
Abstract / Textures-

RULES (Rules are subject to change, but for now this is how I would like to run it this year) – READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING!

1. There are no entry fees, however this is a family friendly website and we reserve the right to disqualify entries for any reason. This includes but is not limited to any image which may be deemed as inappropriate, offensive, pornographic, poor taste, cruel to animals, advertising, spam etc. We are looking for fantastic imagery that inspires all of us to get out and shoot. If you are under 18, you must obtain your parents permission before entering.

2. Entrants may submit up to 2 photographs in each category on the following condition; One image was taken in the last year (From the Period of October 9th 2010 to October 9th 2011) and a second image being taken during the duration of the contest submission dates, from October 9th – December 1st 2011. The whole idea of the contest is to get everyone out shooting, but I also recognize you may have some great shots taken earlier in the year. Contestants may submit only one image from either of those periods if they choose. This is an honor rule (meaning we expect you to play fair on this), but if we have evidence to the contrary, we will have to disqualify the entry.

3. Once your images(s) are submitted, these are your final entries. Contestants sending in multiple images, or changing submissions are disqualified. You should receive a confirmation email after submitting your images. Note; do not wait until the last day, it crashed our email account last time. 😉

4. Contest is open to all ranges of experience of photography, from beginners to amateurs, semi-pro or even professionals, however, we ask that semi pro and professional photographers do not submit images for the contest in the category in which they specialize. For example, if you are a wedding or portrait photographer, you may submit images in any category but “Portraits”. This is also an honor rule.

5. Images which have been submitted and placed into other contests are not eligible.

6. By submitting your images for either division, you give Michael The Maven and its representatives, permission to reproduce & show on websites, social media or other materials for promotional purposes. We also reserve the right to print your image to inspect image quality if necessary. Copyright remains property of photographer of course.

7. We reserve the right to expand the number of winners and make adjustments to the rules and prizes at our discretion.

8. You can use any type of camera, dSLR, Point and Shoot, Cell Phone etc. (Photoshopping is allowed, HDR is allowed, presets/actions are allowed, heavy compositing is NOT (this is where many images and components are assembled together into one image.) It should pretty much more or less look like a single image. Please make sure it is a JPEG, and properly submitted & you are good to go!

9. There will be an initial selection process by Michael, which will narrow contestants down to 20 or 25 per category. The Final round of voting will be done by viewers (1/3), Our Judges (1/3) and Michael (1/3)


A. –> Entries must be submitted digitally as a JPEG image by email to All other formats (RAW, TIFF, PNG, ETC)will be disqualified. Be absolutely sure to include the Category in the Title. We are not accepting prints this year.

B. —> Very, very important: Please submit only one email with per Category, with the year and Category division in the subject of the email. For example, if you are entering 2 Portrait Images, we would ask that you submit both together, and title the email “2011- Portrait . This allows us to organize submissions and greatly speeds things up.

If you have questions, please ask below in the comments box and I will update with answers.

Even if you are not interested in entering, please help me get the word out because I do all of the marketing for this on my own, sometimes people would love to enter and just don’t about it.

These contests take up a tremendous amount of time and money to put on and I would like to make it a yearly event, getting bigger and better each year. This is the 3rd year and so far we have done this. We are super lucky to have the following celebrity photographers on board to help with judging and I am extremely grateful to them for offering to help:

Judge Panel-
Michael Andrew
Shannon Morgan – 2009 Grand Prize Winner
Fely Simion – 2010 Grand Prize Winner
Angelina Hills – World Class Maui Portrait and Wedding Photographer
Arden Ward – World Renown Alabama Portrait and Wedding Photographer

BTW- If you are feeling intimidated, Fely won last years contest. She was 16 years old at the time and won a Canon 7D Kit. If I am not mistaken, it was her first contest as well.

We must have your submissions no later than Dec 1st, 2011 at midnight Hawaii Standard tIme! Thank you for your support!