If your four-legged friend has a face that melts hearts, then grab your camera and enter his mug into pet calendar photo contests. The prizes may not make you a millionaire, but the experience is priceless.
About Pet Calendar Photo Contests
Pet owners who have always dreamed of seeing their furry friends in pictures can make their wishful thinking reality thanks to the hundreds of pet calendar photo contests available around the world. Local animal shelters and humane societies run the majority of these contests as a means to generate revenue. Typically, the organizations hold an open call for pet photos and charge a submission fee per image. The money made from photo applications, along with the proceeds generated from the sale of the calendars, is used to run the animal shelter and care for neglected pets.
Tips for Entering Pet Calendar Photo Contests
If you think your pet has what it takes to be a cover cat or dog, then get clicking. However, before you randomly shoot hundreds of shots of Fluffy or Fido, consider the following tips:
Read the Fine Print
It's important to review the contest's guidelines to ensure that you will not get disqualified on a technicality. Some contests bury rules and other pertinent information deep in the fine print. For example, some contests limit entries to dogs and cats only, while others allow for exotic pets and farm animals. In addition, while some contests accept print photographs, others only accept digital entries in JPG or TIFF format.
Follow the Rules
If you are serious about making your fabulous feline Mr. August, then it's vital that you follow all of the contest's rules. The number one rule in most pet calendar contests is the absence of humans. Judges are looking for outstanding solo shots of a particular pet. They don't want to see images of your pooch giving your kid a smooch.
Basic photography rules apply when taking pictures of your pets. However, to further enhance your chances of landing the cover of a pet calendar, you should consider the following:
- Get your pet to look at the camera, preferably at eye level.
- Try to shoot in natural light instead of relying on your flash.
- Avoid heavily cluttered backgrounds; you want the focus to be your pet.
- Beware of shooting in direct sunlight as it increases shadows.
- If your pet is dark colored, take the photo in front of a lighter background.
- If your pet is light colored, take the photo in front of a darker background.
- You can better your chances of capturing a calendar spot if you take photos of your pet that represent different seasons.
Popular Pet Calendar Contests
The following calendar contests are among the most popular with pet owners:
- PETCO Foundation's Fundraiser Calendar: Your pet could be famous! Twelve grand prizes will be awarded to the 12 pets selected for the monthly pages. Winning pet parents also score if their furry family members win. Prizes include gift cards and bragging rights.
- Maryland SPCA's Pet Calendar Contest: The best photos will be selected for the cover and the Pet-of-the-Month pages. All other pet photo entries will be included in the calendar in a collage format.
- Carver-Scott Humane Society Pet Calendar Contest: Thirteen winning photos will be featured in this popular calendar. All other qualified photos will appear in a calendar collage. Entry fees include a free calendar.
The aforementioned contests are annual events, so if you miss the deadline for the current year, you can submit photos for the following year.