Just wanted to share some info with you guys about photo contests. Several years ago, I used to enter these photo contests which are usually promoted by manufacturers. I won a few of them, and I have to say it is very exciting and a great ego boost. For some, it is also a great incentive to work harder and to sell bigger and better jobs in an effort to get those great photos for the next contest. Today, one of my employees was at the fairgrounds where he saw a relative new-comer to the landscape lighting business: a landscaper who had branched off into lighting as well. His truck and trailer was parked there, all dressed up with the latest graphics and "wraps" just like my vehicles are. What caught his attention was the giant picture of the home on the side of the trailer. It was the same home that is on the home page of my web-site. Now, before I go laying blame I want to make it perfectly clear that I haven't gotten to the bottom of this yet. However, it should be known that whenever you enter a photo contest your photo then becomes the property of whatever organization that is putting on that contest. In my situation, I believe that this new comer was in need of some marketing materials so he contacted the manufacturer and the manufacturer gladly obliged. I knew this going into the contest, but I was assured that no one from my area would be receiving these photos. I really have no problem if someone far far away uses my work, but this guy is in my front yard and is advertising my home page of my web site for crying out loud! I guess I was naive to think that this would not happen, but let this be a warning to those of you who like to enter these contests. You are giving up your rights to your work. Do you really want to do that? As I said, you will get a short term sense of accomplishment and some bragging rights for a while, but in the end your work will become public property and you will have nothing to say about it. What's worse than that? Even if you don't win, they still own your photos!