Scams: Avoiding fake photography contests

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Amateur photographers are suckers for scam artists who run photography contests. In this article, I'll talk about the most popular scams and how to recognize and avoid them. Don't give your photographs away for free or worse - pay for the privilege of seeing them in print!

Scam 1: Stock photography for nothing

Ever wonder how you can buy a CD-ROM full of royalty free stock photography for $4.95 at the local OfficeMax? In this scam, the contest organizers announce quite splendid prizes (a new digital SLR or lens, etc.) or sometimes even cash. All you have to do is just send in your photographs with the attached release form and sometimes a small cash processing fee.

If you read the fine print of the release form, you would blanch. By submitting the entries, you have granted the contest organizers the right to use your photographs in any way they see fit in perpetuity without recompense. To make things worse, you indemnify them against all liability -- so if you shot something you shouldn't have (violating, for example, a copyrighted building profile or someone's privacy) and someone decides to sue the stock photo company, you've agreed to pay all of the legal fees and damages. Sucker is just written on your forehead.

Here's an example from the National Geographic "Your Photo" competition:

By submitting a photograph for consideration... you grant to National Geographic Society and its subsidiaries and licensees (the "NGS") a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute and reproduce the Photograph, in whole or in part, in any medium now existing or subsequently developed for editorial purposes without further review or participation from you.

Translation: By submitting your photo, you give National Geographic all rights to your photograph, they don't have to pay you anything to use it in any media they want, and they do not have to consult with you on any use they might have for it. In other words: SUCKER!

Many pet calendars are produced this way. On the back of each calendar is an invitation to send in your entry for the next calendar. The prize might be $50 or $100 or even just a free calendar next year. But people still send in their material for free and include the handy release form. What a great deal for the calendar makers.

Scam 2: The Coffee Table Book

In this scam, the organizers emphasize that you retain copyright over your photographs through the whole process. You send in some photographs and they write back with a gushing letter saying how wonderful your photos are, and that you've been selected as the cover artist for the 2007 Best New Photographers in the USA book.

Of course, you're very honored and send in your credit card to order ten copies of the $60 book. When you get the book, you find that you are indeed the cover artist, but the cover is a flimsy sheet of paper that looks like it could have been done at the local Kinkos color copier. Google for "International Library of Photography" if you want to see some complaints along this line.

How the scam works: This is a variation of the Poetry Contest where everyone is a winner -- and eligible to buy overpriced editions of books with their works in it. If you really want to see yourself in print, save yourself some money and order a custom book through iPhoto -- you'll save yourself $50 and a lot of grief.

Now there are a few legit photography contests -- usually run directly by Canon, Nikon, or Fuji Film. Read the fine print, know what you're getting into, and don't send in your best work unless you're sure that you can retain copyright over it. Never license anything in perpetuity.

Comments and feedback are always welcome. I haven't talked about other scams including fake modeling sites (TPO scams), fake press certifications, and so forth. If you've been ripped off, post your narrative here. The web form below asks for your handle and e-mail address for anti-spam purposes but the actual post will be anonymous unless you use your real name in the form.

156 Comments

Read the fine print in the annual United Nations nature and environment photo contest, it's not worth entering either. Rights grabs abound.

Thank you for taking the time to provide this information to those considering some of the many "scamish" poetry and photography contests. I hope the more people that write about these scammers means less artists and aspiring artists will be taken advantage of.

(The only bad thing is that your Google ads provide legit looking links to the same scam artists you mention in your post).

Thanks! I received a letter from a fake photo contest involving adorable pets. I was considered a semi finalist but I would have to pay almost $50 bucks for some book with my dog in it. I also had the choice of buying a certificate.

I should have been more concious of the website. But the envelope I received was the kicker. There was only a PO Box listed and had the website in large print over the top. The letter had a the feeling of populated entires rather than a personally typed letter with my info.

I emailed the contest person and opted out of the contest. Be careful. You should love your pet but don't be a fool.

April -

I'm sorry to learn that you were almost taken by the usual pet photo contest scam. A true contest shouldn't involve you signing away your rights unless and until you win the prize offered. And certainly no contest should involve you paying to enter, unless it's the lotto (although the exception is some juried competetions, but those are usually clear about this and the names of the juried evaluators is made public). - Karen

Though I have never been scammed by a poetry contest ( although one did try), I would very much like the chance to fight against these sickening abuses ( some target young children, can you imagine the effect that might have on some talented but naive child, what if Sylvia Plath had have sent the poem she wrote when she was eight in?) The names they give themselves, their committees and the "acceptance letters" I have read on the internet make me shudder, their not just killing poets, their killing language! Where do I sign up? any suggestions?

I really appreciate the info! I am a photographer that hasnt seen much of his work printed or even as other than a negative...I have been scanning my negs with a neg scanner and have alot of good work...some I like to call my Ansel Adams stuff!! I wouldve probably submitted some of those now I will be very leery. I want to either make money from them or NO ONE does!! Thank You very much for the heads up! David Penick

P.S. Instead I am going to get a website built and display them watermarked , right click blocked and reduced...I will send you a link when I do.... Happy picture taking everyone

oh by the way I started out a FILM photographer to all you digital guys/girls... film has more creative aspects, no computer needed. I do do digital thanks to Canon and a 20D... snap snap....

I submitted a photo to picture.com and recieved a finalist letter in my mailbox about a month after submission. They are offering the same thing as you guys had talked about, a coffee table book for 60 bucks and a copyright. Not a week later i recieve a letter in the mail asking me to come to vegas and attend some fancy schmancy get together for 600 bucks and i can have a freind come with me for 300. I'm very very leary about this and i'm considering tossing this whole thing in the garbage, but before i do i wanna know for sure if this is a scam or not so i can bust them bastards wide open. Anyone know anything differant please let me know.

Wes -

Given that you could attend the annual Photoshop conference or CES or other industry conference in Las Vegas for much less, I'd say to toss both offers. But it does feel nice to be in print, I guess it depends on how much a little bit of ego boosting is worth.

I personally wouldn't do it.

Karen

I recently submitted pictures into "contests" on both picture.com and circleofphotographers.com, I feel like an absolute fool now realizing that both of these contests are probably scams. I haven't received any offers from either of the websites yet, and when they do come I will most definitely reject them. However I'm not sure what my rights are to the photographs that I submitted are now. Are those pictures still mine to enter into legitimate contests if I so choose, or did I toss away my rights to them by falling for this scam?

Also, thank you for posting this information on this website. It has been extremely helpful and certainly opened my eyes a bit.

Lexi -

I checked the two websites:

Picture.com is part of the International Library of Photography, which is a standard #1 coffee-table book scam. If you go to their website and click on the list of "winners", it is incredibly long. That being said, their terms of service appear to be fair. They only ask for the right to use your pictures in their website. Of course, they'll most probably try the coffeebook scam on you.

Circleofphotographers.com is a classic scam. Their terms of service say: " I understand that [my photo] might be published by Circleofphotographers.com on the Internet or as part of a manuscript. " By manuscript, they mean coffee table book. At least, they also retain copyright.'

Please note that most legitamate contests will only accept unpublished new material. By submitting your photos to these sites above, you've effectively published them (on the internet).

Karen

Thanks for the reality check on picture.com. I too was suckered in to the "finalist" scam. Thanks for saving me lots and lots of money. I'll still try another venue for my photo. I think it has a chance somewhere.

I am curious about photographs in clubs. What are the legal issues of this. I see cell phone camera all the time and even several smaller digital cameras, but do the people at the club (nightclub NOT a "Gentlemans Club) Anyway, do these people have the right to privacy.

Dan -

Assuming you're just talking about normal photos (not upskirt or downblouse) then it's a public space and the usual rules apply. The management could however, have their own policies which are more restrictive. And a complaint from a patron could easily get you bounced out.

You won't, however, be able to sell the photographs (or submit them to contests) unless you have a model waiver from the subjects.

Karen

I send picture.com bad pictures, just so they will spend the postage to tell me how wonderful my pictures are. It would be good if they could get bombarded with more bad pictures.

PEOPLE, THANKS A LOT FOR THE INFORMATION, WELL, I WAS ABOUT TO SEND THE 60 DOLLARS FOR MY COFFEE TABLE BOOK, JUST ON TIME, I DID MY HOMEWORK, JUST TO FIND OUT THAT "CIRCLE OF PHOTOGRAPHERS " WAS A NASTY SCAM, I FOUND A LOT OF IRREGULARITIES, FOR EXAMPLE, I EMAIL COP ASKING FOR A PHONE NUMBER AND I NEVER GOT BACK FROM THEM, SECOND, I SUBMIT THE INFORMATION IN THE WEB AT CANADA YELLOW PAGES, AND I DIDN'T FIND ANY COMPANY WITH THAT NAME (COP) AND THE LAST IRREGULARITY WAS 3 OF THE SATISFIED MEMBERS
(David Stein, California, Igor Strupp, Washington, Francois Siquard, New York, Lisa Smith, New Mexico) DOESN'T EXIST! I SPEND 3 HOURS IN GOGGLE WITH THE 3 NAMES, AND NOBODY HAVE THOSE 3 NAME AS PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS.

I came very close to falling to the picture.com scam. I've submitted probably the best picture I've ever taken to them in hopes of that $10,000 prize money. I'm glad when I didn't give in to the temptation to buy the book or go to Vegas, the letter they sent out just smacked too much of a scam when they wanted $160 for the silver award trophy. Since I'm brand new to the whole on-line contest scene my question for everyone is where can I submit my work that is a legitimate site?

I entered a picture into the International Library of photography. I was extremely happy when I received a letter stating that my photograph was being sent to the semifinalist. I was deeply disturbed to find out that I had to fork over almost $1000.00 to go to some convention even to be entered for the prizes or get any awards. I entered the contest because it states free that’s false advertising their doing. I'm attending college write now and would have liked to show my photography teacher my award. But I can't now. Don't join or enter the international library of photography you'll make a big mistake.

I posted a photo on picture.com and got sent all of their emails and lush mail but luckily I didn't fall for it. However they are still sending me mail and emails that I can't reply to and tell them that I want out of the mailing list. Does anyone know where/who I can email to be taken off this list??

All I can say is, buyer beware. This is not really a scam. Just questionable marketing.
The books are real, and your photo will be in it. You get the book eventually (sometimes as much as two years later)as long as your mailing address does not change in the interim.

The generic pre-publication name for all ILP books is "Endless Journey". When it is actually published (after enough people send in their $69.95 plus s&h), the title will be different. This is all explained in the fine print on your "artist's proof" and in the contest rules.

The quality of the books depends entirely on submitted photos. Every photo is published. The submitters determine quality. And some people will submit crap just to test the system. Consequently, most are extremely amateur and poor quality. Some people need an ego boost, and just want to see their own photo in hardbound publication. For them, it's probably not a bad deal. If you are looking for an entire book of high quality photos, you will be disappointed.

Used copies of these books are also readily available, for those skeptical of buying from ILP. Amazon usually has them for about 40 bucks plus s&h. However, be aware that used books will not show up for several years after your photo "won". You will also have to spend countless hours on pictures.com, and check frequently to find out which book your photo is actually published in.

Bottom line: How much is it worth to you?

Thank you for posting about this.Today's Woman Writing Community has received, and continues to receive, numerous complaints regarding this company. See warnings regarding this company at http://www.todays-woman.net/poetry-scams-34.html

I submitted a poem to International Library of Poetry through Poetry.com, knowing it's a vanity press. But I was amused to receive a second come-on asking permission to "professionally record my poem ' ' for the Sound of Poetry album." And yes, as those empty single quotes suggest, they hadn't bothered to apply the edits I sent back in the first go-round.

So, perhaps photographers can use their very medium to tweak ILP the way I did the other ILP in my response letter: I wrote more doggerel poking fun at their business and their oversight, and rescinding their rights to use the poem. Of course, to do it right I should have submitted that doggerel for publication. Why do snappy comebacks usually come slowly?

I was going to enter the international library of photography contest. Once I enter what happens to my photo? Is it really a scam?
I would like to participate in a legitimate contest but now I am not so sure.
thanks for posting all the info I had no idea!!!!

"Thank you for posting about this.Today's Woman Writing Community has received, and continues to receive, numerous complaints regarding this company. See warnings regarding this company at..."

Ah, Rosie, I see you're still spamming others' comments with links to your site just to raise your page rank.

Max - I was concerned that she might have been a spammer, but the linked page has information that might be of interest to my site's readers, so I'm keeping it. I'm adding a rel="nofollow" tag to the HTML to make sure it doesn't increase the pagerank.

Is the website "Betterphoto.com" legit?

From what I can tell, Betterphoto.com looks legit. The terms of service:


Copyright of the image remains the property of the photographer. A photo credit with copyright symbol will be provided under your image.
By uploading, you are allowing BetterPhoto to publish the photo on our Web site. If we ever consider publishing your photo in any print media or on another Web site owned by BetterPhoto, we will contact you first for permission.


are relatively benign. Be aware that terms of service can change without notice, so check them on a regular basis.

so WHERE ARE the legitimate photo contests!??!?
any links or web sites you know of? pet ones?

Found a place called photolaureates.org out of Quebec. They seem similar to picture.com. Do you know if they are legit?

I entered a photo about 3 years ago and received "the letter" that it was going to be published in the book titled "Passing Memories". I was tempted to purchase it at the time but thought that I would wait until it hit the bookstores that it said it would. Well now 3 years later it is still not in any store that I have searched nor was it on Ebay, but last week a copy of it finally was so I bought it. For $25.00. Glad I didn't spend the $60.00 earlier, because my picture which was suppose to be in it WAS NOT! I think only the people who actually pay for a book through them are published. I think this because the publishing date got put back for several months. If not a year or more. It is a scam. I have the letter proving that my picture was in the book when in fact it isn't. They should be shut down. What does it mean if you have a picture published in a book that you basically paid to be there?? Nothing. By the way, the same photo that I submitted also won a photo of the week at Minolta's website. Hmmmm.... Minolta or International Library of Photography??? Minolta!

When I was considering entering a photo contest I came upon International Library of Photography. Just the name itself rose red flags because I had entered a poem to the same sounding poetry site and got scammed. I bought a $50 book w/ my poem in it. I was embarassed to read the other poems that were also "winners."
How awful for photographers and poets alike to go through this. I did get invited to Vegas ect, but stopped participating after I got the book.

I almost fell for the ILP scam along with the Photo laureates scam. I haven't found one legitimate contest yet. It really sucks that good people who enjoy what they do can't even feel confident that there work won't be stolen when entering a contest or websites that state your photos will critiqued by your peers. My advice don't submit your photos to anyone until you thoroughly check them out, we work to hard to get taken by these lowlife scam artists. Good Luck to all.

What info do you have on the "deviantArt" site, which reserves the right to use galleried material on its site (and related sites) but which allows copyright to remain with the original artist?

Mark -

Sounds a bit like what Google is doing (see my recent blog entry here). The problem is that the Terms of Service are usually written so liberally that they could use your photograph for just about anything without compensating you. Even a royalty free CD-ROM of clip-art might be OK if they said it was the "Best Google/deviantART Photos of 2006" since it would be part of the same company.

Thanks for your information. I made the mistake of enering this so called picture contest, do you have any suggestions on how I can get it off their site?

So if I did submit my photo to one of these contests does that mean I gave up the rights to that photo? I really wished I looked at this website before making such a mistake. I just really wanted to believe that I was good.

Genevieve -

You need to check the website you submitted the photos to. Usually when you agree to the Terms of Service or contest rules on the website, you agree to allow them to use your photograph in perpetuity without compensation.

This doesn't mean that you can't use your photographs for your own purposes (you didn't transfer copyright), but you may run into difficulties if you ever want to sell your photographs to someone who wishes an exclusive license or submit them to a contest that requires that the photos not previously be published.

You may also encounter some chagrin if you see your photo being used in an advertising campaign without credit, or on a "royalty free" CD-ROM without credit.

It's not the end of the world, and certainly not for an amateur -- who are usually happy to see their photos in print.

Karen

Just another one to watch out for:

The following is an excerpt from kirklands40th.com’ “Rules for a art competition to win $5000:
All Contest submissions become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned or acknowledged. Void where prohibited by law.

By submitting your artwork you grant the Sponsor and its agents the right to record, copy, publish, edit, exhibit, distribute, merchandise, license, sublicense, adapt and/or modify your submission in any way in any and all media, without limitation and without any further compensation. Sponsor at its sole discretion reserves the right to post your submission on the Kirklands.com website during or after the Contest Entry Period. This posting does not deem your entry a winner or correlate the score given to your entry in the Contest. You agree to abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges, which are final and binding in all respects.

oh dear. i sent in my picture to picture.com and received a notice saying i was accepted into the semi finalists or whatnot but luckily i didnt reply. however does this mean they have all the rights to my photo? is there anyway to get completely off their database or something? i really dont want anyone else using my photo. please help!

you are right all the way not only the contest organisers the others who are mediating to sell your work they are also cheeters.

so, if i did submit a picture or two to picture.com and i was told it would be in a coffee table book.. will there be a coffee table book or not?

nicole - eventually. some people have had to wait a year or two or more after sending in their money. What we suspect they are doing is waiting for enough people to send the money before printing the book, so it could be a long wait!

I was extremely disappointed to discover that Picture.Com was a scam. I uploaded the photo for fun and when the letter arrived this weekend I was so excited that a panel of judges selected my photograph for "its unique perspective and artistic vision". Luckily my gut feeling paid off and I checked this out - as the converted rate of exchange on the book price and International postage would have been a total waste of money. I would far rather donate the money to a worthy cause!

I almost fell to the photo laureates contest. bastards, and we all know there is nothing we can do about them. I NEED HELP FINDING A LIGIT CONTEST!!!!!!!! DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A LIGIT CONTEST FOR AMATEURS? thanks guys, that was a close one!! haha

I got a letter from . com for the same and I thought nothing about it. I'm not a photographer nor am I a aspiring photographer I just submitted a photo that I took while on vacation of a cemetary that I liked. Unfortunatly before I found this site they sent me a letter with he release and I sent it back. The good thing is I'm to cheap and not that into myself to want to buy a book with a photo I already own so I did not order anything from them. Today they sent me another letter asking for me to license my photo for royalty payments that's when I goggled them and found this site and to order a plaque with a picture I already own yet again (I am too cheap for that, and proud to say it). If the photo was so great I would of thought twice about it but it's not really that serious to me the only thing I'm concerned about now is what you mentioned "To make things worse, you indemnify them against all liability -- so if you shot something you shouldn't have (violating, for example, a copyrighted building profile or someone's privacy) and someone decides to sue the stock photo company, you've agreed to pay all of the legal fees and damages." Hopefully I didn't as the military uses the cemetary often for services of veterans or my fallen commrades in arms. I don't even remember the name of the place to be honest with you. So I guess that's something I will be looing into now. Thanks for the heads up.

Does anyone know if Banana bana baby contest is a scam. I have been told by one person it is, but I dont know if she knows what she is talking about. I sent the photo in, and got a email about buying a 50 dollar book featuring my photo and alot of my friends from the same message board did also. I am not buying the book, but I would just like to know if it was really a scam. I didnt even realize there were "photo contest scams" untill now.

Here is that contest website..

http://www.bananabanababycontest.com/

I bought a Coffee Table Book for $70.00 dollars or so that The International Library Of Photography published in 2000. It was available in Amazon.com bookstores in around 2005 for $35.00 or so! They said it would be published in 'Tapestry Of Dreams' and the name was not changed. My advice...Enter your favorite photo for free, remember the name of the book that they say will be published,9ignore all the other 'conventions'and things they try to get you to pay for and buy it a few years later at a book store!

Hello I am invited to the 2007 internation society of photographer
Symposium and convention march 22-25 in las vegas. Some peple say it was great and injoy the experience and would do it again. I don’t know what to do please help.

I entered a photo into the International Pet Owners Club contest.
I paid 54.95 for the coffee table book after receiving the letters about my being a semi-finalist. Actually, they said that i would be eligible for a larger reward if I purchased the book (and that's why I did). Several months later I made three calls to the company which were answered by a woman's voice saying I had reached the corporate office (didn't even say the company's name!). On the third message I left i made it really nasty...said I realized that i'd been scammed for 55 dollars and that all i wanted was my original photo back (I'd sent it in by regular mail). Finally someone called me back and said they were going to send it back. Then I asked for a return of my money for the book saying that I didn't even want to be in it. She told me it hadn't gone to print yet (not for another 4 months or so) and then because "publishing a book of this size" takes time it would be another 6-9 months before I would get it. She said she was only in charge of taking orders and that I could send a letter to their business office requesting a refund. She said there was no one person i could contact, no phone number for the "business office" and no one person I could put my letter of complaint attention to!
i ended the conversation not knowing where to go from there,
She called back a few minutes later and said she had spoken to her supervisor (forgot to ask for the name) and that apparently their terms of agreement for refunds are that if I am not happy with the product then I could return it for a full refund.
Once again, i hadn't read far enough on this helpful site to know what to say next. i am now going to call her back, insist that I not be published in their book (after all, this was one of the those contests that says I retain full rights to my photograph) and then ask for a full refund immediately.
We'll see what happens.
So you all know....I found the contest on Cutestpetphotocontest.com
of course, all they have on any of their forms is a p.o box in Pittsburg, KS. I called information and they had no listing for any of the given names.

live and learn.

I bought a 'medal' and 'pin badge' from the international library of photographers for my Dad's birthday (it was his photograph that I entered on Picture.com) and 5 weeks later have received nothing. Could someone please give me a telephone number where I can complain.
In answer to the question "Is there any good legit photography contests out there?" the answer is happily "Yes". I found a site called www.dailyawards.com which is excellent.
Thanks

Hi Everyone,

I entered my photo on www.photolaureates.com and of course it was selected as a finalist... hahaha

Foolishly, I paid $32 up front and now they are asking for the rest, which is roughly $55.

Reading this site I will just cut my losses and move on.

Anna

I have entered a picture of my Granddaughter to Picture.com. They said that I was a great photographer and I would be published in the so called coffee table edition. I also was invited to Las Vegas. What can be done about this form of false encouragement. And where can you enter photos to a real site? I also thank you for the information

Hello!

I'm glad I found this usefull post. I was just about to fall into photo.com scam. Luckily, I had the inspired idea to search on a search engine about this site.

I get suspicious about it when I read the faq - it says there that you have to buy the book with your photo in. Well, that sound fishy because I don't find very normal to pay for something I should get for free.

Besides, they say that photos are evaluated by a group of specialists. Well, they don't say who they are those guys, theyr names, theyr abilityes etc. In short, I don't know why should I think this comitee is the right one to evaluate my photos.

And they don't tell nothing about the criteria of selecting photos. They pretend theya re proffesionals. Well, they should show a short list of the points they evaluate.

All this made me wonder: what if...? And I made this google search. Now I'm glad I did it before getting scammed. I remember a cupple of years ago I allmost got scammed with poetry.com. I got the same inspirate luck and made a search about it, and fount out the truth.

So, my advise for all of you is this: when you think of jouning some contest, you know nothing about, first do a search! You'll avoid much desolation!

I only wonder why are this scammers let free?! Is the justise sleeping?


Looks like I'm in good company! I too sent one of my best photos to picture.com. A few months later I received my congregations e-mail, shortly there after followed by a little metal in the mail (they didn't charge me for it).

Of course I've received tons of emails trying to sell me canvas versions of my picture. Also they sent me a release form for publication... I kind of forgot to fill out. ;-)

I've had a bad itch about the company, but couldn't put my finger on it... until I received my invitation to attend the 2007 Las Vegas Convention. Why would hundreds of dollars for an award???? This caused me to start researching using the key word 'scam'. Looks like my hunch was right. Good news - I'm not out any money and my little metal was a short term ego booster.

As for Vegas... think I skip them, take that money and have some fun shooting pictures of the strip. Who knows... maybe one day I might even get published for real. ;-)

I too have been "taken" by the international photography contest. I paid them in Feb of 06 and still don't have a book. I called today, after 6 calls all last year, they said it wouldn't be published until April. Funny they won't give me the name of the owner and only told me the first name of the editor = how insulting

jpgmag.com


the best photography page out there

Where can a person get a list for legit phpto contests?

This is a reply to the post about Banana Bana Bay photo Contest. My significant other and I eb=ntered our daughter in the book twice and won. We paid for one book and have not received the book as yet and that was last year. I have sent emails and I have left messages on the answering service no one has returned my calls. Now, I am thinking that this is a scam. I am looking to find out more information and maybe get other people who have been fooled by this scam and take legal action.

This is a reply to the Bananabana Baby photo contest. I too sent in a picture of my son, he "won".. this was last October or November.. I've sent numerous emails, with the same bologna replies. They keep telling me that its 'coming'...now into March and they said soon.. feb..then march..etc.. I would like to know if this is a scam, as I have NOT received the 2 books I paid for yet. Anyone would like to pursue this?

This is also in response to the Banana Bana Baby contest. My daughter's photo was selected to be in the "Miracles" book and we ordered 2 copies in Nov. 2006, under the impression that they would arrive before Christmas. I have been corresponding with them by email and they keep telling me that the books are on the way but I have yet to see them. Has anyone actually received anything from them yet? I checked them out on the BBB and they have had 6 complaints since oct 2006..but that is about to be 7 when I file a complaint.

I also ordered a book and it was supposed to be shipped for Christmas. I got a letter saying it was delayed twice. Well this week and two months later I finally got it! So, I’m thinking you folks will eventually get your books if you haven’t already. I don’t think they are a scam, I just think they should have told us they were going to be delayed two months. By the way the books are adorable and there are some really cute photos. Good luck

I entered a photo at picture.com and they said that I was going to have my picture published in a beautiful book. Well I looked online and saw all the posts about the company and how it was a scam. I also entered several poems at poetry.com and they sent me similar letters saying that my poems would be published. Is any of this for real? Are my photos and poems really copywrited? Some people are saying it's a scam, some are not. Does anyone know for sure?

The picture.com contest isn't really a "scam.' Basically they are just making you pay $600 for the convention expenses as well as $169 for the trophy if you want to go. I say it's not a scam because there actually is a convention. It's not like you show up and the building is empty. They are just not going to be out any money on it and pass the costs off to you!

I to entered my daughter in the banana baby contest. I have sent them numerous e-mails regarding my books. I ordered 4 BOOKS at 49.95 a book. They keep telling me its coming. It was suposed to be here before christmas. We are now into the end of March, im getting worried I fell into a scam. Anyone else out there?

Re: PHAKE PHOTO CONTESTS
The selection board of picture.com accepted me to be placed in their "collection" and recognition book. But thanks to your blog, I got a reality check. For just a brief moment, I thought fame and fortune was just around the corner with my photographs. Alas, it was not meant to be. Fortunately I did not upgrade my camera equipment with the award money I was expecting. Just as well. I have three(3) more disposable cameras left in my photo arsenal.

I too was taken by Banana Bana.Com. It is now March 31, 2007 and still have not received books. Only empty email promises. I later submitted two pictures that had nothing to do with babies. Really horrible pictures. Guess what they were selected to be in their book. Scam?? You decide. We need to get word out and put these people out of business. I have contacted the BBB in Atlanta and plan to follow with the GA's State Attorney Generals Office.

I ordered books from Bana and actually received them this week. I think they are adorable and I don’t agree it’s a scam. You send in a photo they put in their book and if you want to buy a copy great, if not that’s ok too. . I feel as long as you get what you pay for and your happy with the product I have no problem. The books make a great keepsakes and I’m glad I have mine. They are a little on the expensive side.

whats the go with picture.com i live in australia and i was invited to las vegas for the awards but due to cost could not go ,i was just wondering if this is a scam or not as we are planning on traving to the usa next year about the same time as the awards nigths can any help as it is not cheap to fly from australia .
thanks

we too are very upset at bananabana baby we are still waiting on the miricle book and all they tell me its on its way we are so angry we need to do something about this its not right

Hey, i was almost scammed by picture.com. I sent a picture in quite awhile ago, and they sent me a letter at home saying that i had photographic genius. it was quite obvious my letter was not original. They also offered me a chance to get a book with my picture in it. I never did send anything back. Since i am luckily disorganized i lost it and forgot about it. Then they started emailing me, saying it was my last chance. Now they are inviting me to a conference in Nevada where they will be showcasing my photo. They are asking me to sign a release form, but I have not and will not sign it. They want to sell me an award for my picture, somehow i find that selling me a 300 crystal award for that photo is just a wee bit of a scam lol. Im glad that i was suspicious and never fell for the scam.

YES!! I am very interested in going after Banana Bana Baby. I am so pissed right now. I paid for "fake book" in Dec and now it's April. It had been "delayed" this whole time, and I have an email from the other day telling me it has been shipped. When I emailed back that I still don't have it, they advised again, that it had been mailed. A Paula K. and also has been emailing me about this issue. I emailed them a very nasty letter and was told that I could have a refund, but I told them I wanted my book! I have just emailed them that I am taking legal action on this and will be contating the BBB today. Whomever wants to pursue this, just email me.
veryirish78@hotmail.com

-Jamey A

For all those parents out there right now taking action agaist the Banana Bana Baby Contest Go get them. Make them Pay. I didn't pay for a book but I was getting ready to when my husband found this link. My daughter that I submitted is dead. I wanted something special for her and now I feel if she was the one scamed. I am so glad that I didn't pay. Thank you so much for posting this and helping other parents and familys. I wish you luck!! Godspeed on getting something done!

I have been a SUCKER! known as soon as I was informed that I could BUY my Editors Choice award from www.picture.com. When was that last time anyone had to BUY an award? I asked myself that, and simply deleted my photograph knowing that somewhere in the fine print hidden among the countless Praze was a disclaimer that would prevent my future use of ANY and ALL photographs submitted to them. Lucky for me, it was only one.

Hi my name is amanda and i posted my babys pic on bannana bana and was wondering if it was a scam please help me i gave them my money and if they are a scam i would like to no so i can fight to get my money back

If you had or having problems with Banana Bana Baby, please email me regarding your problems with the company. I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Atlanta District Attorney's Office and the state AG.
simonsez2003@hotmail.com

I too ordered the BANANA BANA BOOK AND HAVE NOT RECECIVED IT. I HAVE CONTACTED BBB IN GA AND MADE A COMPLAINT AND ASLO THE GOVERNORS OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS. PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THIS FURTHER. mommytobe32@yahoo.com
Serae Church

I'm very worried right now.
I've recieved an email from picture.com saying i won a crystal trophy of some sort. Ofcourse, i fell for it and instanteously used my Credit Card.

It's been 10 days, and it has not arrived yet.
I'm waiting til monday to call this: 410-363-4800.
Do they actually ever pick up the phone?
also am i able to get a refund?
DO people actually recieve this prize?

Recently received a letter from The International Library of Photography (picture.com). Guess what...my photo won and will be moved to the next level, etc, etc.

This would be the first time I was asked to pay for a publication containing my photo. Usually, I get paid and receive a complimentary issue.

Scam for sure.

I guess I'm one of those suckers too. I also entered my baby girl's photo in the banana bana baby contest last oct./nov. 2006. I've been emailing them at least twice a month. At first I was getting bs response emails from Paula saying "oh, i'm sorry, we must have forgotten to include your email address on our update mailing list, but there is an unforseen delay with delivery and you should be getting your book soon". And then I would email again and she would promise that they are being shipped and I should be receiving my copy soon, just allow 10 days for delivery. I got so fed up with them that I sent an email to banana bana the being of this month (april) stating if they can't guarantee me receiving my book by the 15 of April I want my money back immediately. Paula swore up and down that she veryified with the shipping department that it was in the mail on its way to me as we speak. That was two weeks ago and I still to this date have not received it. I again today demanded them to issue me a check for a refund. I then searched the internet and found their phone number. I left them a message on thier voice mail. I won't hold my breath for them to return my call. I'm interested in going after banana bana to get my money back. I will be contacting the three emails that you have posted.

I too entered the photo.com contest, mainly to gain points through this reward program called My Points. I received an email also inviting me to come to Vegas for a sum of $600. That raised a huge red flag with me. I thought if it was legit, you wouldn't have to shell any money. I unsubscribed to their email list, only to get a letter in the mail telling me that my photo had been chosen to be put in their "Coffee Table Book" called Endless journeys. Before I sent the form back, I talked with my sister & her comment to me was research it more. I googled picture.com, & this site was the first hit. I called picture.com & asked to be removed from their mailing list & the contest. They said I would be removed. Thanks for posting this information about this picture.com scam.

I had posted a coment when I wasn't registered that I was headed to the I.P.O.C (Int. pet owners club) convention this year! I know received there info packet and let me tell ya this isn't a scam at all! I think they have been doing this compatition since 2005, I looked up who won for 2005 and a Miss Suzanne P. La'Forte won the $5,000.00 I haven't found out who won 2006 grand prize yet though. Any way I hope this helps someone who was invited to the covention this year, I know I'll be there!

So, now that we know that Picture.com is a scam, how do we remove our picture from their site?

Yes, how do we remove our pictures from their site or prevent them from using our submitted photos?

Yes, BananaBanaBaby contest is a scam. I to sent in my $50.00 check ( the special price) to them in hopes to get the book. I got a reminder email that there were limited supply and if i didn't hurry my request that i may not get a book. Since then I have tried to contact the supposed to be President of the company CINDY FLOWERS. I never get a response from her, but one from a person calling themselves Paula K. after not getting the book for 2006 holiday's i checked status. Each time I ask status i get the run around. Saying please be patient there was a delay with publishing... then a delay with the shipping company in Florida. Now I have asked again and she is asking for me to return the book before I can get my refund. So she pulled the old switcher-roo on me and made it seem as if she mailed me the book and would need it back in order to get me the refund. I too have left messages and none of them have been returned.
This is very disappointing that people would really stoop so low to play on new parents emotions in hopes of seeing there child in this book. I will never participate in something like this again. And hope you never do either!

Cerissa

People, it mat be a scam, but note those company are using the similar name or similar URL to trick you.
Examples, the National Geographic issues that the author said before, is a FAKE contest. The real National Geographic Magazine contest is actually "Your Shot". Just go to http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/yourshot/ to find out what is the truth.

I was scammed by Banana Bana Baby contest to. I have filed several complaints under the BBB about this contest and also a complaint through paypal. I told that *Paula* woman she better issue a refund or she'll be seeing her butt in court.

I stumbled upon your impressive site/community and would like to ask a question that may be a bit off-topic:
I am an amateur photographer considering posting/selling some of my work online. I see that some of the popular services such as Shutterfly offer such a relationship but I am seeking advice as to which service may be best in terms of price and quality.
If this is not the best forum to seek such recommendation, please feel free to refer me on.
THANKS!

I also fell for the Banana bana baby contest scam. I however actually received the books, very poor quality and they obviously let anyones crappy picture in (not a "contest"). The only problem, other than the price, was the fact that my daughters picture was not in it! I ordered two of them, one for mom and one for myself. I emailed them and they said they would refund my money if I sent them back. I sent the books back and have yet to receive my check. I have been emailing back and forth with paula. She claims to have mailed the check, it never showed up though. Surprise, surprise! So I have been emailing for her to resend the check and I have yet to get a response! I just tried to go to the website today and it didn't work.

DO NOT EVER ENTER OR BUY FROM BANANA BANA BABY!!!!! I received an email stating that my son's picture had been added to their most recent book. This was last September. So I thought it would be a cool idea to get 3 for the grandparents. So I purchased them and waited. And waited and waited. I continued to send emails to them to find out where the books were and I continued to get emails back stating that the books were being held up at the publisher. Fine, understand that, but when Feburary came and no news and no books I wrote back. This time I was told that they couldn't find my order. Luckily I save those things and sent them my paypal receipt. Still nothing.......Finally I get an email back stating that my son's picture never got into the book, this was in April so they offered to give me a full refund or new books with my son's picture in it. I asked for the refund. It's been a month since this happened. I continue to email about my refund and the last thing they told me was that I had to RETURN the books!! I'm still waiting for my refund and a repsonse. I have contacted the BBB also. STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also purchased a coffee table book at pictures.com and got nothing...:(

I finaly got my books from Banana and think they are realy cute. It did take a long time. But, im pleased with the books.

I too entered the Banana Bana Baby contest back in December of 2006 and was supposed to get the book in January 2007. Well I waited and waited, and months passed. All the while receiving emails about "Oh the books just arrive, give 3-5 days for sorting and an additional 7-10 days for delivery". Well after 3 or 4 of those emails and more and more time passing, I got really upset and felt very taken advantage of. I FINALLY received my book at the End of April but only after filing a complaint with the BBB, requesting a refund, and doing anything I could do to get their attention. The book was DEFINITLEY NOT WORTH THE $50 I PAID FOR IT, but it did finally come. Something I didn't believe would ever happen. To all other mothers out there that considering entering your baby's picture in the "contest" DON'T DO IT! It's not worth it, AT ALL!

The Banana Bana Baby contest terms are quite severe: Should my entry be selected I also grant to Banana Bana Baby my permission to publish and reprint my submitted photograph for any legal purpose including publication in books made available for sale to the general public. ... I also understand that I’m not entitled to any compensation of any kind.

In English, this means that they can use the photograph of your baby in any way that they see fit,. This might conceivably include selling it to advertisers and you won't see a penny!

For the folks who are interested in contacting Banana Bana Baby, here is their corporate filing information from the Georgia secretary of state:


BANANA BANA BABY LLC Current Name
Limited Liability Company - Domestic - Information

Control No.: 0667658
Status: Active/Owes Current Year AR

Entity Creation Date: 8/22/2006

Jurisdiction: GA
Principal Office Address: 10 Glenlake Parkway
Suite 300
Atlanta GA 30328
Last Annual Registration Filed Date:
Last Annual Registration Filed:
Registered Agent

Agent Name: JACKSON, TONYA G.
Office Address: 935 Rafington Drive
Lawrenceville GA 30045
Agent County:
Organizers

Title: Organizer
Name: Cindy Flowers
Address: 10 Glenlake Parkway
Suite 300
Atlanta GA 30328

DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH BANANA BANA BABY CONTEST....THEY TAKE YOUR $$$$ AND DON'T GIVE YOU THE BOOK....THEY ARE SCAMMERS...IAM EXPERIENCING IT NOW, WENT TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

I have also purchased and received books from Banana Bana Baby. We are pleased with them and our baby is on the first page of Miracles. I understood the rules when we entered. Personaly I would never enter a photo of my child without reading all the terms FIRST! Sorry some of you have had problems. There are alot of these companies out there. I don't think they are a scam if you understand what they do. It states very clearly on there site that they sell books. You just have to take the time to read the fine print. Just my opinion.

BananaBanaBaby is a SCAM site! I entered the so-called baby contest back in JAN 2007 only to receive a confirmation that my child's photo was chosen for the book. I was then asked to order "advance copies" at $50 a pop. I ordered three. Six months later they still haven't delivered and they only refunded me a portion of what I paid them. I am in the process of filing criminal charges against them because they still owe me $100. They leave me nasty e-mails and call my house and make prank calls because I keep requesting my money. If anyone else has been scammed by these people, I urge you to contact me. I will give you the owners name, address and phone number as well as the Police Dept. you need to deal with.

Stephanie Falardeau
JohnandSteffie@aol.com

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN SCAMMED BY BANANABANANABY PLEASE CONTACT THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AND FILE A REPORT USING THEIR COMPLAINT FORM. I DID, AND WAS TOLD IF THEY HAVE ENOUGH COMPLAINTS THEY CAN PROSECUTE THIS WOMAN AND GET EVERYONE'S MONEY BACK.

UPDATE:

One day after filing a complaint against BananaBanaBaby with the Federal Trade Commission I received a FULL refund from this Paula K. woman. I would urge those of you who want to get your money back to contact me as I have a great deal of information on Cindy Flowers herself as well as whom you need to contact within the police dept in GA to get results.

I would also suggest that you bombard BananaBana with calls and e-mails as they stated they wanted to refund my money just so they didn't have to hear from me again. LOL

I hope this helps!!!

Contact me @ JohnandSteffie@aol.com for details.

Stefanie, thank you so much for the information. I have just filed a complaint with the FTC and will send an update when I hear something.

EVERYONE, please, please, please do not ever fall into this trap with anything!!

I'm curious about this BananaBanaBabyContest.com site. I'm interested in purchasing one of their books. I don't want to send in a picture or actually enter a child into the contest. Just thought the book might be a cool book to have. If anyone has a copy of the book can you please e-mail me at trishnab@gmail.com and let me know what they think. I'd love to know some more details about the book and how I can purchase one.
Thanks!
Trishna

Ok, so been a photographer ( mostly for family, friends) for about 20 years +?
I was bored one afternoon, and took one of what I thought was one of my absolute WORST shots ever, at least according to me, all my family members think it is great, and entered the "Picture.com" contest. I too, recieved the sweet talkin letter, the ego building "Oh your photo is so great it is going into the next stage of the ....blah, blah, blah.
I was invited to Viva Las Vegas (happens to be one of my favorite places to visit), and the more I read the email, the more my gut said."I don't think so". I live by, "if it sounds too good, it isn't real".
Well, the "moving up to the next round.." and the ivites to Vegas, and the Crystal and Marble award, along with the bronze medalian, ok, ok..I wanna be a star, but if I have to pay well over $1000.00 to go to Vegas to see my photo in print, don't think so.
One possitive that all this scam did for me is make me beleive in myself, I now have a small wall in a quaint hotel in a town I lived in designed just for my photos. Haven't sold any, but I am "out there now".

WOW - i too signed up and enetered for "picture.com" is it really a scam??? WOW thanks guys!!! i would have given the money and everything!!!! gosh i feel so stupid now...
does anyone know any LEGITIMATE photograophy websites?

I ordered a coffee table book w/published photo from picture.com. Also sent one photo to photo laureates who got my name wrong and after numerous attempts to correct this I decided to just cancel my registration. Two other sites I'm curious about are IPA International Photography Awards and DPChallenge. If they're all phony-baloney, then are there any legitimate online digital photography sites? What about photojournalism sites? There has to be something out there in all this mess!!!

If you are interested in finding out how to go about getting a refund from BananaBanaBaby please contact me at my NEW e-mail address.

Thank You.
Stephanie F.

JustaStingyHag@aol.com

Just got my books today from
Banana. After reading some of the posts here I was getting concerned. I actually think the books are sweet and there are some realy cute photos. I do think it should not take so long for them to finish and ship though. (about 4 months) No sure why some of you are having problems. It looks like everyone who is wanting a refund are the people having problems.

thank you for the info on picture.com my ego was inflated when I received their mail this morning,but you brought me back down to earth.
I will now not be giving my consent to publish my pic,or buying their overpriced book.
I only wished I had known about this site before I'd sent my pic to them.

Has anyone else noticed about some of the photos on picture.com that they are done by professional studios? I read on another complaint site that many people noticed that. I know I saw 3 or 4 last night that you know were done by professional studios. One looked like it came from Sears. I've seen that same type of picture there. Someone stated they saw one photo clearly said on the front Olan Mills.

Besides the International Library of Photography getting in trouble, the people that submitted those copyrighted photos should also be in trouble. They lied and said they are their own original work.

I am so glad I didn't have the money at the time to order a book that my photo was going in. My photo is still online after many years. The company says I never signed an Artist's Release, which I sent in to them. I never could get it straightened out over the years so I am glad I didn't. They probably still have an old address for me too.

Every time I try to e-mail them, I get the e-mail back stating that it doesn't exist. And I've read that same complaint from others.

One writer says this company has been on shows like "60 Minutes". The BBB knows about them, why hasn't something been done about them? How are they getting by with all of this?

And Thank You to everyone that has posted your comments. You definately are keeping that scam of a company from doing more business. I was wanting to find a copy of a book that my picture is in but after seeing hundreds of complaints against them, I will Not be buying anything from them!!!!

A good photo site... professionally done is...

BetterPhoto.com

Check out www.LULU.com
If you want to keep your photos copywritten and under your name and have them published, LULU is the best place to go! You decide what you will charge for them how much royalty (if any) you receive.
As for contests, there aren't many good ones, but always no matter what read the fine print! know what you are getting into! This is a great post, I just wish there was more that could be done to get rid of these people scamming.
Thanks,
David

How do the people who run these scams sleep at night? This is insane, look how many people have been scammed into buying fake, poor quality and expensive so called "coffee table books".

Hi i'm from aus n i've been sent the letter from Picture.com or the International Library of Photography. I too have received numerous emails saying how wonderful my photography is, inviting me to Las Vegas and I'm sitting here so excited. I then received a letter last week about the "Endless Journeys" book. I personally think it's ridiculous how much money they want you to pay for a book. I was convinced that this was very authentic. It obviously is not! So now i've still got the letter but i am not agreeing or sending anything back to them. So in this, does this mean that all the prizes are bogus as well? It does say on the Artist's Proof that your money can be refunded, is this true? That's a real let down for me. ILP should be ashamed. Thanks so much for this article!

Has anyone ever heard of Banana Bana Baby Contest? I may have a 'hoax' contest that we have supposedly won and they want me to purchase a book...does anyone have any tips??

Left Wondering,
Texas

I did get my book order from B Baby this week. It took forever. They are cute, cute, cute! I don't think they are a "hoax". It just takes a long while for them to get the books done and ship. If you are willing to wait the books do arrive.

Florida

These scam artists need to be reported to the Better Business Bureau, all the search engines, Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov), and all other government agencies available. If you have MySpace pages, personal websites, or any other web page that you have control over the content, put up a warning, and let's beat them at their own game.

I got pulled in by Picture.com to...

Sadly...I thought my photo was good.. :(

I just wanted to say to everyone that I had entered a picture in photo.com
A friend told me about how some companys scam people.
I looked in to it and found out it was a scam!
Be careful!

Dido,received E-mail telling me how great I was from picture.com after consulting a few of my intelligent friends (something I seem to be lacking)I googled it and came to this site.Unfortunalely I downloaded an image that has won legitimate photo comps but every dog has its day & theres is coming,thanks to all for commenting.I will be recommending to all legitimate sites that I display my work to read articles cheers & BEWARE

OKAY I gave them my Visa and Registered with another site conected to Picture.com, ephotograph. so now they can sell my son on coffee mugs, totes, cards, etc.. and I'm out 78.00 altogether! HOW DO I GET MY MONEY BACK?????

Please file complaints at;
National White Collar Crime Center
www.nwc3.org
www.ic3.gov
and for whatever reason I can't open the site but was given by the FBI this address to file complaints www.ifccfbi.gov and URGED by them to do this against Picture.com and it's affiliate sites so that they may file fraud, internet crime, and in many cases although posted innocently, child pornography against these sites and hopefully remove them. We will also be organizing a class action suit against Picture.com, etc, please respond to clearylm@hotmail.com regarding legal action, I am sorry but this suit will be limited to U.S. victims. Please do what you can for yourselves and others in your country.
Thank You,
Lorenna Cleary
One Pissed Off Mother Out Of Many.

In a recent reply I suggested something along the lines of my plea, for those of you out there who aren't sure what to say when you file your complaint, here is what I wrote to the media department of the National White Collar Crime site, www.nw3c.org., (this is a correction from the error site address in the above post):

Please help stop Picture.com,a.k.a. International Library of Congress,International Library of Photography. Affiliate sites; ephotography.com, BananaBana.com, and looking into, but not confirmed; ClubMom.com. We are instructing amateur and Professional photographers as well as families to cancel/destroy credit cards used for fraudulent contests through Picture.com as well as other sites listed. Please help. This is too big for just the victims alone to deal with. Many families are disturbed if not devistated that they cannot get pictures of their children removed from these sites and stop these sites from selling the pictures of their children to other sites through a loophole called "sister sites". Many amateur and professional photographers are also having copyright infringement issues as their photos are being used on totes, mugs, advertisements of all kinds without permission, credit, or royalties from sales. Billions of dollars are being scammed out of families for these fraudulent contests. This is not an American issue it is an International issue. Please help advise people to file complaints at Scam.com, ic3.gov, and most importantly ifccfbi.gov, as well as your own site. We are in the process of compiling U.S. victims for a class action suit against Picture.com and it's affiliate sites on the basis of fraud, copyright infringement, and in many cases child pornography, e.g. a grandmother posts a picture of her grandchild in the bath on a baby contest site, unaware of the ways in which this photo can and will be used. As we all try to fight internet scams and fraud as well as internet child pornography, it happens according to the FBI in the U.S. alone at a rate of "1,000 cases of internet crime/fraud per minute". PLEASE HELP US STOP THIS SITE AND IT'S AFFILIATE SITES FROM CONTINUING THESE ASSAULTS ON INTERNET USERS. I myself cannot find help in getting what was an "innocent" picture of my 4month old son being given a bath by his grandmother, off of these sites and keep them from selling the picture to other sites. Fortunately the picture is from the waist up, unfortunately that's enough for child pornography site to post it.Please respond to at clearylm@hotmail.com. Thank You.

i too fell for picture.com...and of course they contacted me telling me that not only did i gain semi finalists, but they liked my picture so much, they wanted me to submit a second one which would be accepted into their coffee table book on the basis of my first photo. i have not bought anything from them and dont plan to nor, if offered do i plan to go to any convention...as to earning money, i am not in this to earn money...just to share my pics. but i did notice that they have no online contact info...just a thought...

I'm so glad I found this website. I had been wondering for months if bananabanababy was a scam, and apparently it is. My nephew's picture was supposedly published in their newest book, and I asked for 5 books to give to my family. That was in May. I have emailed Paula K numerous times always getting the run around. It's the end of August now, and I still have not received any books, or been given a refund for the $247.50 I gave them. I just got off the phone with my credit card where I charged the books, and they are confident they will be able to get my money back for me. It's so sad that bad people are out there, but I thank all of you for warning others about this scam. It's SO IMPORTANT to research companies online before giving them your money. I have absolutely learned my lesson.

Thank you for your informative post. I get tons of photo contest e-mails that look a little too shady for me (and of course I never enter).

Now that I hear this, I am more careful with these "opportunities." But the sad thing is that these scams can turn honest and aspiring photographers from wanting to expose themselves. These scams are a nuisance that need to be stopped.

Thank you and all the best.

Hi, I was wondering if most or every photo contest online are scams? If not how can I tell if a contest is real? Alot of them say free photo contest and then try to make you buy more and more and send money for conferances you didn't atend and bla bla bla bla bla.
and Also, I read an article once that if you want to get your photo published, send it to a magazine, and ask them to use it. But isn't that what They have professional photographers hired in for? And if its true that they will use it, say I took a pic. of an adorable little girl drinking a pepsi? what magazine do I send it to then?
I'mk just confused with how to get this whole thing started. Any sugestions??

Well, I entered a pretty good photo in a picture.com contest, and I am wondering if I don't buy anything whether I get any prize money.

I too am having issues with Banana Bana Baby. Bought book in May and got several e-mails saying that it was on the way. Book should have been delivered by 8-20 but it's now 9-11 and nothing. Last communication was 8-01-2007. I have e-mailed several of you that have been helpful. I am not able to get Banana BB to call me back or respond to my e-mails. PLEASE e-mail at
JimmyJohnson26@triad.rr.com with advice or suggestions. At this point just want the money back.

Thanks Jimmy
JimmyJohnson26@triad.rr.com

I too sent a photo of my son into Banana Bana and was selected to be in the book titled A Wonderful World of Baby
We ordered 2 copies and were promised late May delivery. When we checked on them in June we were advised they were still shipping and would have within 2 weeks. It is now 9/12/07 with no books and no replies from banana bana. Thank you for all you comments we will be in touch to take the proper actions to go against this company. And yes I am interested in fighting them!!

I bought a wonderful world of baby book also and have never recieved my book i want to fight this heeelp - vtecmissy@aol.com

The last e-mail from BANANA BANA was tellimg me they have added my e-mail to the spam filter. Clearly they have no intent of giving me a refund.
I would ask that we have our friends and family and flood them with e-mails and phone calls.

e-mail
info@bananabanababycontest.com

Phone
(678) 222-3425

There is also a news story from Fox News in Austin about them.

Thanks
Jimmy
JimmyJohnson26@triad.rr.com

I also was scammed by Banana Bana Baby. I purchased the book Feb. 9th 2007 and still no book as of Sept. 23rd 2007. I emailed them often and they always had excuses. I was told the publisher had caused a delay in getting the books to them to be mailed. Then they told me they would mail the books in 3 weeks. That was in July. Still no books and no response from them. I asked for a refund several times and they just ignored my request. Please do not waste your money on this book offer. I hope everyone takes the time to turn them in to the Federal Trade Commission. Go to the Federal Trade Commission sight and fill out a complaint form... (These people will reap what they sew). Thanks and Good Luck To All. Dean
dblas954@aol.com

I entered photos's on picture.com, and photolaurettes, and i now know they are a scam after being extreamly excited, and now just embarassed, and i would like to know i i can use those photo's for anything else, or have i screwed myself over and lost my best work?

I too sent a photo of my son into Banana Bana and was selected to be in the book titled A Wonderful World of Baby. We ordered 1 copy and were promised late May delivery. When we checked on them in June we were advised they were still shipping and would have within 2 weeks. It is now 10/2/07 with no books and no replies from banana bana. Yes I am too very interested in fighting them!! I have sent them numerous emails and received no responses now-the last response was on 8-15-07. I just sent them another email to 3 different emails.

www.bananabanababy.com


I got scammed big time. I submitted my daughter's picture to the website above and they told me that daughter won a cutie contest and that her picture was going to be in book.. What a lie? I lost $49.50 and I never received the book.. I'm so disgusted I could scream. I'm thinking about reporting them to "HELP ME HOWARD" on ABC news. Maybe that will get the word out that these people are crooks!

Hi I'm an amatuer photogragher from midwest Illinois. I have taken many photos of nature and wildlife hoping to become professional. I recently entered 1 of my photos to photo laureates. I recieved a reply about a week later saying i have been chosen for publification in their 2007 coffee table book.The book will cost me $50 and it looks like a pretty cool book. I'll probably purchase it, for it is my 1ST publication in this wonderfull world of photography. I would like to get paid for my photos in the future but feel this is a good beginning for getting my work out. I have several buaetiful pictures and so what if i gave my picture "Ducks on the Lake" away. My name is Jason D. Birdsell and you all will see my artwork in the future. Peace, Love, and Empathy, Jason D. Birdsell

I too was scammed by Banana Bana Baby. I have been emailing them for over 6 months asking where my book is, and have gotten no responses since the initial one saying my book was on its way. I emailed this company before purchasing anything asking some questions about the order process, etc and they always responded back...so I thought they were legit. But once they get your money...it is a total scam and you get nothing for your money! I too have filed a complaint with the BBB against this company. For anyone that has filed a BBB complaint, please let me know what the outcome was. What did the BBB do for you? Banana Bana Baby's website should be shut down!

BanaBanana received my money in November, 2006, for an "early release" of the (wonderful world of baby) book that my girl's pic is supposedly in. They replied to every one of my emails with numerous reasons as to why the book hadn't shipped to me yet. They stopped replying to my emails when I accused them of being a fraud. i am emailing everyone who posted their emails here and I am a soldier in the fight against this company. I dont want any money or compensation, just what is owed to me. i want the book I paid for or a full refund. I will never trust an online transaction again. email me at Chertsy1@hotmail.com use the subject "Banana" or else it will be deleted. Good luck to all of you!

I MYSELF ENTERED MY SON IN THE CONTEST FROM BANANABANABABY AND HE WAS CHOSEN AS A CUTIE PATUTIE AND I PURCHASED A BOOK HOWEVER HAVE BEEN EMAILING THEM FOR MONTHS AND THE SAME THING OH ITS DELAYED THEN IT IN THE MAIL. ALL A CROCK OF ...... I ONLY WANT MY MONEY BACK BUT DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET IT. THESE SCAM ARTIST HAVE TO BE STOPPED. THIS IS JUST SO UNFAIR TO DO THIS TO PEOPLE.

BananaBana's Website has now been suspended. There is a civil investigator in Georgia who has a pending investigation against the company. Please contact me for details.

JustaStingyHag@aol.com
10/19/07

I TOO SENT MY PICTURE INTO BANANA BANA BABY PHOTO CONTEST AND HAVE NOT RECIVED THE BOOK AND I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE SOMEKIND OF LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THEM IF ANY ONE WOULD LIKE TO JOIN AS I AM VERY UPSET THAT SOMEONE IS IGNORANT ENOUGHT TO TAKE MY MONEY AND SCAM ME OUT OF A PRECIOUS BOOK THAT HAS MY BABY IN IT . SO IF YOU ARE UPSET LIKE I AM I AM FOR SOME HELP IN THIS SITUATION. KEEP IN TOUCH MY EMAIL IS ANANDA_65@YAHOO.COM EMAIL ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS

Banana Bana Baby has either gone out of business or left town with your money. The only option you have now is to contact the civil investigator who is working on the case.

Good Luck!

JustaStingyHag@aol.com

I also entered picture.com the same as many of you, but after they asked for money I opted out of the whole deal and told them I wanted my money returned to me. They had no problems with that and refunded every penny I spent with them. I still get emails, I still look to see when the book "Endless Journeys" will be released. I has been 4 years now and the book has never been published. Picture.com even has a new web site. I learned a valuable lesson and hope that websites like this will help other people learn before they get burned.

I actually paid money to Photolaureates for my photos to be published. This is definitely a scam. For the information of other scamees this is what I did about it. After several attempts to contact them and receiving automated replies, I threatened to report them to the Fair Trading Authority in my country (Australia) and guess what............the money was credited, in full, to my bank account within days. Maybe I was just lucky but it pays to try.

Picture.com otherwise known as international library of Photography is a real scam. They hit my credit card for $394 last may for a photo I never submitted. For six months have tried to get the refund and are only patronized by idiot representatives who hang up or disconnect you.
i must have made 30+calls to them with no response. They should be reported to better business bureau and shut down and fined severely.

I am so glad I stumbled across this site. I also entered a couple of pictures into the picture.com contest and received the 'finalist' email this morning. I was so excited, I typed picture.com into my google seach bar and the first thing that popped up was picture.com scams. I thought my pictures were really good too and all though I haven't spent any money on this company my ego is definitely deflated. I really do wish there was something we could do to shut people like this down. Thanks for heads up everybody.

I was ALSO scammed by the Banana Bana Baby company, or whatever they really are. What can I say? My husband and I are proud new parents, and gladly sent in our check to these people after receiving numerous e-mails saying that our "cutie patootie" would be featured in their coffee table book, due out in 2007. I sent several e-mails requesting my money back (after I received the run around of excuses on why the book never showed up), which of course have been ignored. Please, report this fraudulent activity to Federal Trades Comission...it seems this is the only way to stop these online scammers.

I submitted a photo of mine to picture.com...got the usual "semi finalist" bs...the "endless journeys" book, which since they wanted me to pay for it I DID NOT buy it. I continued getting emails and I got one saying that I have been invited to Las Vegas for some competition. Again, I am NOT going, because the actual conference is $600 plpus hotel and flight. Outrageous. I unsubscribed through hotmail, and changed my email on my picture.com profile. HOW CAN I REMOVE MY PICTURE FROM THE SITE?!

Hmm, I did enter picture.com along with 400 other people. My photo was selected at the convention where I won 500.00 dollars taking 4th place. I watched the other seven contestants win money as well as much as 10,000.00 dollars. The convention was everything that it said it was suppose to be. So I am not sure who got scammed but I was a eye witness and it has help my photography credibility very much. As for what they did with my image afterwards I don't know but if you go their site and look up the photo I submitted, it says copyright Tracy Ann Kimmons 2008.

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?cat=560&photoID=5509748

These people are using my copyright name to photo's I have not taken.
How can I nail them?
regards

I sent in a photo to the Banana Bana Baby Contest of my granddaughter, of course, she won a spot in the book "Wonderful World of Baby". I paid for the book and never received it. I ALSO received emails from them stating the book was 'on it's way'. After sending them letters, email, and a certified letter, no response. The certified letter came back to me as 'undeliverable as addressed, not able to forward. I also called the phone number on their web site but this number is for the Star Rate Consulting office. I am contacting the United States Postal Inspector's office as this so called company actually used an address for correspondence. This is POSTAL FRAUD and a SCAMMING Operation. I am out $49.50 for the book I ordered.

Photo Laureates got me too! I was suspicious but I took a chance and did it anyways...however, I did find a wonderful photography site called viewbug.com. You can upload as many photos as you want and you can even include videos and music recordings. Every month or so there is a new contest, each time there is a different subject, for example the last was a humor challenge. Winners are selected and paid various amounts of $ through paypal.com. There are also weekly winners (I was one of this weeks) so I know its not a scam, I received 15$ in my paypal account the very next day! Hope this helps!

The major issue I have with Picture.com is that I first found it in a Photographer's Market book I just bought. I plan on contacting the editors of the book to let them know about the possibility of the scam.

When I first saw Picture.com, it raised red flags right away since it's so similar to Poetry.com.

I too submitted a photo onto Picture.com and got all excited to be a semi-finalist etc. I cottoned onto the scam the minute they asked for money for my 'award'. I have replied to their emails so many times, but nothing. All I want is to have my one photo removed, and be done with them. When nothing worked I typed up a notice in red asking them to remove my photo, took a photo of it, and posted that on their website! It was there for a while but I notice it has now been removed. But NOT my original photo!!! Aargh! What do I do to get my original taken off??????

Hi guys, Im from Australia and I too uploaded my photo to their website and got duped. However I knew something was fishy because they kept on persuading me to order their many watches, pens, rings etc. but I did not send any money. What im worried about is my original photo that I sent. -I haven't retained copyright over it.

Pro-Imaging Rights Off List is a list of contests that take away photographers' rights by joining the contests:

http://www.pro-imaging.org/content/view/188/132/

As one of the Pro-Imaging people behind the Bill of Rights campaign many thanks Angelo for picking up on it and publicising it. We already have had one camera manufacturer change their rules in response to our campaign. In another the legal services section of a government agency wants to involve us in the drafting process of IP T&C's for future contests.

The campaign is all about education, educating entrants, and educating contest promoters and sponsors. We are expanding the range of competitions being reported through a new fast track process here -

http://www.pro-imaging.org/content/view/212/132/

We want contributions from everyone about competitions they encounter, both good and bad. We especially want to know about good ones, the more of these we can list the better - people will tend to go there instead and the people running bad competitions will be starved of submissions.

Competitions can be notified to us at competitions@pro-imaging.org Thanks for your help.

Thank God I seen this. I almost got caught up in the hype in being a semifinalist or finalist in both picturelaureates and picture.com. I am going to have my name and photo removed from both their publication and from their scam contest. This has saved me some money and heartache. Again thank you.

I went to the convention/contest in vegas. twice. It was well worth all the information I gained. I picked the brains of some successful photographers about everything I wanted to know. It was worth the cost. by far it was worth the cost.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on May 7, 2005 2:25 AM.

News: ASIAN POP: Blogging Asia was the previous entry in this blog.

Link: Yet another film vs. digital article (Clarkvision.com) is the next entry in this blog.

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