"The Photo Contest Process" by Gary Cole


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If you want to join the world's largest e-mail discussion list for face painters  then enter your e-mail address in the box to the left. Get connected to beginner and professional face painters from all around the world. Ask literally any face painting question you want and get real answers to help you progress as a face painter. It is free and you will receive tips on how to paint a particular face, how to stop the line when its time to go home or how to build a successful face painting business. Share your photos with others or if you have a need ask for help and the painters will e-mail you a face painting idea for your upcoming event.

We now have well over 8,000 photos posted at www.snazaroo.us and hundreds more are posted almost every month. People want to know the process so I'll make this a faq since this is a common question. The THEORY is no photo should stay longer than two weeks in any one location. The entire process should take a maximum of two months but preferably an average of three weeks. They first come to me. I make an initial review on size of image and if the submission is accurate. "Accurate" entails quite a bit. The general photo submission rules are posted at www.snazaroo.us/photos.htm and also www.snazaroo.us/upload.htm but those that enter contests often fail to read (or follow) the rules. If you send in a photo over 350kb in size it is returned with explanation to resize and resubmit. I do not follow up. If you do not resize and resubmit it is never processed. If you send in with more than one painted face it is returned. If you do not state what contest it is for in the subject line, it is returned. Do not leave it to us to decide what contest you think you should enter it into. Look at all of the open contests and then enter it into the contest YOU THINK would be best for you. Each contest has a closing time. Sometimes it is based on a given date and other times once we receive a certain count of entries. If the contest is closed, it is returned. If I notice anything else rather obvious, like it being a nude and noncompliance on the PG13 rule it is returned and no further action is taken unless corrections are made and it is resubmitted. I do not follow up. It is the submitter's responsibility to make corrections an resubmit. 

I then send the photo to the person who is responsible for that particular photo contest. The processing of photos is a daunting task. Those that process photos do this as a volunteer. We try not to overwhelm anyone and some of these ladies spend literally hundreds of hours each year processing photos. I copy Paula Moors who tracks all photos ( paulamoors@gmail.com ) and I copy the person who submitted the photo. You should receive fairly regular updates on the flow of your photo. As I said earlier, it should not set at any one location longer than two weeks. The person in charge of the contest then reviews it according to the rules of the contest and the guidelines at www.snazaroo.us/faqphotos.htm Each contest has rules some of them are quite specific so make sure you are looking on the contest page for specific guidelines.. If you do not follow those rules the photo is returned to the artist with a reason for the rejection. If those corrections are made it generally is processed. It can be rejected for many reasons. All of the following can also get it rejected at this stage... Poor quality photo, glare, too light, too dark, not original, more than five submissions by that individual for that contest, too small and other issues as listed at www.snazaroo.us/faqphotos.htm will also get them returned.  I should put an emphasis on two areas... General quality and original works. We have been accepting photos for Snazaroo contests for going on ten years. Our collection has well over 8,000 photos. The focus should be that the photo offer a standard for other painters and offer something new. If, as an example, the base is poorly done, it could be rejected. We try to let the submitter down easy but if the painting does not meet basic professional standards it is declined and not accepted. Also with over 8,000 posted photos I have been putting more and more pressure on those that process photos to turn away photos that do not add to the many photos already posted. The purpose is to show a standard AND something new. I expect the photo queens to get even stronger in turning away a photos in the future for photos or faces we have seen so many times before. We only need so many Mark Reid tigers or Wolfe skulls. 

The photo queen ( the person in charge of the contest) then crops the photo to a uniform format, resized it and then sends it back to me. She will copy Paula as well as the submitter on the move. 

I then send the photo to Pam, here at the Snazaroo office, and she posts it to the photo page. She notifies me of all posting and I notify FPHQ of the final posting. The final step is to announce it to the discussion list for face painters. We do not send an individual email to the person submitting the photo.

If at any time you think your photo has gone missing in action contact Paula first. She keeps good tracking records. It does you no good to email me as I do not track photos and I do not have time to research for your photo. If it has gone missing Paula or I have always been able to find it. Again, contact Paula if you have a concern. GENERALLY, right before we prepare the contest for voting we announce a "last call" and this is your change to speak up if your photo is not posted. Once we start the voting it is too late. The individual submitting the photo has a responsibility to make sure their photo is posted and speak up if there are any concerns.

If for any reason you think the rejection has not been fair or consistent then you can challenge that action to Helen ( helen@catswhiskers.biz ) or myself ( garycole@mindspring.com ). I'm telling you we often find in favor of the challenge. We try hard to be fair and also be very consistent. 

We encourage all to enter as many contests as possible. It is to your advantage in many ways. Some are listed below...
A) It can stretch you to new great faces.
B) It can spark your creativity.
C) It allows you to get your URL posted up to five times per photo page and this will increase your position in the search engines.
D) Even if you only win an honorable mention you can claim in your marketing you are an "award winning face painter in an international face painting contest".
E) If you are in the top three you get a cool certificate with your name on it for bragging rights.
F) Some contests offer hundreds of dollars in prizes.
G) It will get you recognized. If you think it is "glorious" to teach face painting classes MOST face painters have been "discovered" here at www.snazaroo.us 

I encourage you to think ORIGINAL. It does not take a lot to make a new twist to an old design. Make it yours. I strongly encourage you to keep it REAL. In other words focus on painting three to seven minute faces you will actually use and not focus on the thirty to sixty minute designs.

The exception to all of this is the popular king and queen of the hill contests. These have a long queue and it can take over a year so you must be patient. Kristi  ( kristi@kcmo.net ) posts as her time allows and lately she has been falling very much behind. If you do not think this is processing fast enough send her an email push as I get tire of nagging her myself.    

Gary Cole
SNAZAROO USA Inc. / Party Faces Inc. 



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