Monthly Archives: August 2013

What’s Wrong with the Chicago in Focus Dream Town Photo Contest?

What’s Wrong with the Chicago in Focus Dream Town Photo Contest?

Copyright is paramount to photographer. As a photographer here in Chicago I considered entering this contest. That is until I read the ‘Official Rules’. Here is an excerpt from the Official Rules for the Dream Town Photo Contest.

‘By entering this Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries a perpetual, irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicense able and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display the Entry in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any purpose, including but not limited to Sponsor’s photo contest, and the advertising and promotion of such photo contest.

You acknowledge and agree that Sponsor may use your Entry in any manner, including but not limited to: selling and distributing publications containing the Entry, changing or reworking the Entry by making color or size changes, making derivative works of the Entry, and using the Entry on the Sponsor’s website and on promotional material for Sponsor’s website or publication. 

Entries must be original. Entries must not contain third party materials or images violating any rights of publicity, trademark, or copyright.  Entrant grants the Sponsor (except where prohibited by law) the right to use and publish Entrant’s name, likeness, city and state, biographical data, and/or any information contained in an Entry in print and/or other media in connection with this Contest, including on the Internet, by the Sponsor, its partners, and third party entities, without additional compensation, notice, review, or approval.’ 

And for the winners…..

‘Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor and its designees to use winner’s name, city and state of residence and/or likeness, and any winning photograph, for purposes of advertising and trade; in any and all media now or hereafter known worldwide in perpetuity, without limitation or further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. By participating, the Entrant further agrees to release and hold Contest Parties harmless from and against any and all claims, damages and liability of any kind arising from or in connection with, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, the acceptance, possession or use/misuse of the prize, participation in the Contest or in any prize-related activities, and assumes all liability in connection therewith.’

Yes, they can use the photos of all contestants forever in any way they see fit and can collect compensation for use of your photos and you get nothing.

Definitely read the rule before entering this or any contest. Seems like they are paying $4,000 to collect hundreds, maybe thousands of photos that they can market in the future for their own compensation and cut you out, the original photographer.

The Annual Chicago Police vs Chicago Fire Charity Baseball Game

Every year in the city of Chicago the Police and Fire Department’s baseball teams come together for fun and to engage in a charity baseball game. The game is played to honor those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. This year’s game was played at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox professional major league baseball team, located on the south side of Chicago.  Also in attendance, as always, were members of the Warriors Watch whose mission statement is “THE WARRIORS’ WATCH RIDERS ENVISION A DAY WHEN EVERY MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES, AT HOME AND ABROAD, AND THEIR FAMILIES, FEEL APPRECIATED, HONORED, RESPECTED AND LOVED BY THE CITIZENS THEY RISK THEIR LIVES TO PROTECT.”

Here are a few photos from the game. Check out the Events gallery on my website for more.

Annual Chicago Police, Lodge 7, and Chicago Fire, Local 2, Chari



Warriors' Watch Rider - Chicago, Illinois



The Color Guard at the Chicago Police vs Chicago Fire Charity Ba

Food Photography Tips

Foot traffic is good. Especially if you are on a well travelled thoroughfare. But what if you are not. How will you be discovered? How do you get people in your restaurant? Sure hire a PR person, advertise on a food website or have your own website. What will people see when they come across your restaurant? How will your food presentation appear to your would be customers?

Let’s pose this question; how do people shop today and how do you think they will shop in the future? Regardless if it’s for a plumber, electrician or a restaurant, etc., they will more likely search via the Internet. And there’s a good chance they will be searching via a mobile device, via a tablet or phone. Locals, tourist, travelers will more likely shop via the Internet. The question is, are you and your business findable or discoverable? Are your pictures optimized to link your business to the pictures? Or are they just an image sitting on the Internet. Well the Internet via the search engines cannot see images or pictures. Search engines only read code. So if your images are flat, without code, the search engine will never find your images. Not to mention being able to link the image to your business.

Regarding restaurants, you can have the best food and service, however, if you are not findable or discoverable you will not fill the sets to be profitable or perhaps break even. Here’s where having optimized photos of your food offerings and your restaurant for that matter helps. First back to visual acuity, would this photo entice you to dine at this restaurant?

Would you want to eat this?


Or what about this item;


If you are just putting up mediocre images like this and hoping for the best good luck. The aesthetics of your food presentation may be putting people off.

Perhaps something more like this may help,

Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert

Or this;

Quince and Pistachio Cake Molasses Ice Cream


Or this;

Braised Pork Shank, Roasted Quince, Prunes, Black Kale

Would be a better presentation.

Furthermore, and back to optimizing your images, with the right optimization the last three photos would link to your website, social media and your restaurant. The images would be findable and discoverable on the Internet. Again, the Internet does not see images it reads code to identify your image and associate the image to your restaurant.