Photography competitions can be a great way to get your work out there. Many are free to enter, and could result in some exposure (no pun intended) for you and your work. If you are entering competitions it makes sense to review previous winners, check the rules – e.g. must have been shot within the last x years, you may even be able to find out who the judges are and research their likes/dislikes. Above all, it is essential that you read the small print and understand what it is you are giving when you submit an image. Some competitions are noble in intent and really about promoting photography, others seem to be just collecting royalty free images. Competition small print may require you to give up the copyright to your image (don’t), they may require you to sign away any and all rights to the image except copyright – i.e. the promoter can use the image wherever, whenever they won’t and sell that right to others (not advised – it depends how much you value the exposure), or the promoter may only require use of the image to promote the competition and are not allowed to use the image for any other purpose. Key words – COPYRIGHT – yours by law in the UK, most companies are aware that most photographers won’t give it up. LICENSE you may grant use of your image(s), the terms of the license should include what, where and for how long. E.g. for any purpose, in the UK only, for 1 year. ROYALTY/ROYALTIES if you grant a license to an image, you may be entitled to a small sum of money for each use. I do not intend to put anyone off entering competitions – only to ensure that you know what you’re getting into and that the competition suits your needs.