Category Archives Contests

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably recognize both of the guys in the photo above. If you’re kinda new here, that’s Alex Walker (left) posing with my buddy, pro sports photographer Mike Olivella (Photo by Melina Vastola).

Alex won a contest last year that we hosted here on the blog called “Shooting on the Sidelines with Scott & Mike” which was a sports photo contest only open to non-pros, and the winner would get to shoot a big time College football game from the sidelines with Mike and me. Sadly, it turned into a huge debacle (in short, a group of sports photographers got up in arms over the contest and they got Alex’s sidelines pass revoked—-you can read all the gory details here—it’s one of my most commented upon posts ever). As it turned out, although he got his College game pulled out from under him, we were able to get Alex on the sidlines of an NFL game, to make up for his missing the College game (you can read about that here).

Well, Mike being the big-hearted guy that he is, never got over what happened to Alex, and earlier this month arranged to have Alex get his rightful prize,as he got to join Mike for a sidelines shoot during the ACC Collage Championship Game, where the photo you see above was taken. Anyway, I just wanted to share a shot of two really good guys (above), and another happy ending for Alex—-a really great guy, a super dad, and a top notch photographer.


First, ya gotta know, there’s a photo involved, but it’s not a photo competition—so anyone can win.

Here’s the scoop: For the month of July, Lexar Media is holding a ““Take the Next Shot” Sweepstakes, and the winner gets their choice of either a Nikon D300s or a Canon 7D, along with a Lens and a Lexar 600x memory card (plus runners-up get 300x cards).

All you have to do is follow Lexar on Facebook or @Lexarmedia on Twitter and then just email them a photo. This makes you eligible for the drawing for the prizes (they’re not judging the photos, just using that as an entry into the contest). Click either one of those links above for more details, or to enter.


Our friends at Adorama just launched a contest for photos taken with your iPhone, and I gotta tell ya—the prizes are just incredible. They are giving away:

  1. The Grand Prize winner gets a $1,000 Adorama Gift Card
  2. Ten second place winners win a Wacom Bamboo tablet
  3. 15 Third-place winners will receive a Canon wireless printer
  4. Thirty fourth place winners get a $100 Adorama Gift Card
  5. And 25 Fifth Place winners get a $50 Apple App Store Gift Card

The winners are chosen by a panel of celebrity judges (including yours truly), and well….ya just gotta enter because there are so many prizes, how can you not win!!!! (of course, in reality you might not win, but it sounds lame if I say you might not win, even though I just said it).

Here’s the link with more details, and how to enter. Congrats to the crew at Adorama for coming up with such a way cool contest! Now go enter, now!!! :)

You’ve gotta watch the short video above for all the details, but here’s the quick scoop:

(1) It’s a raffle I’m using as a final year-end fund raiser to help feed the orphans at the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage

(2) There’s more to it than just winning a cool guitar, so you have to watch the video.

(3) The raffle tickets are $25 each, and you can buy as many as you’d like to increase your chances to win. (Once you add your ticket to the cart, just click the “add another”  button as many times as you want).

(4) All the money, every single penny from every raffle ticket goes directly to Springs of Hope Kenya to feed and care for these wonderful children

(5) We’ll choose the winner at random on Monday, January 4, 2010 so enter now (or at least before that Monday. If you win—what an awesome way to start the year. If you don’t win, all your raffle ticket money still goes to feeding orphans. There is just no way to lose on this one).

(6) Here’s where you enter (link)

(7) This is my last fund-raiser for the year, so please help me spread the word through your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, carrier pigeon, etc..

(8) This is the stuff that Christmas is really all about. Well, not necessarily guitars, but you know what I mean. :)

Thanks you guys for helping transform an empty plot of land into a place where homeless children are homeless no more, and they’re loved and cared for by two of the most wonderful and genuine people I’ve ever known—Molly and Joseph Bail.


I know the prize package for the winner of the World Wide Photo Walk was pretty amazing, but of course, with 32,000 photographers who could enter up to two photos each, the competition was pretty amazing too, and your chances of winning were….well… can do the math.

That’s why I think the best opportunity for some killer prizes and big time recognition may be entering the Photoshop World Guru Awards competition (sponsored by, and competing to win the “Vincent Versace Award for Excellence in Digital Imaging” (which is a sub-category of the photography category. Everyone that enters the photography category is automatically eliglible to win the “Vinny” award, which is chosen by Vincent himself).

This contest was created to honor the work of Photoshop World attendees, so only other attendees to this year’s conference in Vegas can enter, and not of all them: (a) are photographers, and (b) will enter. In fact, only a few hundred people will actually enter the competition at all, but the list of prizes for just the Vinny alone are pretty staggering.

For example, the “Vinny” winner gets:

  1. An Epson 3880 printer
  2. A Wacom Intuos 4 tablet and wireless pen
  3. The Entire collection of Nik Software Photoshop Plug-ins
  4. Two (2) 8 gig 300x UDMA flash cards from Lexar
  5. An Induro 314 carbon fiber tripod
  6. An Xrite Color Munki
  7. The entire collection of OnOne Software’s Photoshop Plug-ins
  8. All of the Acme Educational titles
  9. An Expodisc and an Expoaperture
  10. A one-year subscription to Kelby Online Training
  11. A signed copy of David Duchemin’s “Within the Frame”
  12. A signed Vincent Versace print

That is just an amazing prize package, plus you get the Vinny Award itself (which Mr. Versace presents himself during the Guru Awards ceremony).

Best of all, there’s no entry fee (again, this competition is only open to registered Photoshop World attendees). Here’s a link with details on how to enter the Photoshop World Guru Awards and take your shot at winning “The Vinny.”

My thanks to Vincent for putting together such an amazing prize package, and thanks to Wacom, Lexar, OnOne Software, Nik Software, Xrite, Epson, Induro, and all the sponsors of this year’s Vincent Vercsace Award for Excellence in Digital Imaging.

Hi gang:
As I’m reading this, I can see some of you are blaming FSU for pulling his pass, but you need to read Mike Olivella’s comment from this morning (which he posted this morning here as a comment, and I’m reprinting below), which explains the issue in better detail.

I had never intended to point any blame at FSU whatsoever, but Mike does a better job of explaining it than I can, so please take a few moments and read Mike’s response below.

Mike Olivella says:

This is not FSU’s fault. Please do not misdirect your venom at FSU or its staff. This was all my fault for not having thought that it would be necessary for me to get approval from the Athletic Department to use my assitant’s credentials as a prize for the contest winner.

I receive 2 sets of credentials for each FSU home game. I am allowed to pick whoever I wish to fill the role. FSU has always trusted me to pick a responsible individual and so I did not think I needed to obtain approval from certain folks at FSU. I thought that by limiting the contest to folks 21 and over, and by picking someone who knew his or her way around photography, they would make a suitable assistant that would make the selection process irrelevant.

The problem is that the SportsShooter guys were fed a bunch of inaccurate info as to what the winner would be doing. They were not told that the winner would not be taking anyone else’s place on the sidelines, i.e. that regardless of whether I picked my assistant through the contest or through my normal means, I would have an assistant with me. They were also not told that the winner would be working, heling me shoot the game by carrying some of my gear and staying by my side.

Because they were not given all the info, and becasue I am not a member of SportsShooter, the SportsShooter guys assumed the worse and went off. With the pressure exerted by some of them, FSU asked me to pull the plug and I had no choice. Had it been properly vetted by me through the chain of command at FSU, they would have been prepared for the possible firestorm and not been caught unaware.

If you want to blame anyone, blame me. I dropped the ball.

So, I tried to work with Scott so as to create a wonderful opportunity for somone to experience something they might never have a chance to do. In return, I have been embarrassed in Scott’s eyes for starting something and then not being able to deliver; I have embarrassed myself in front of all of you, who entered the contest assuming I would deliver; I have embarrassed myself in front of FSU and have apologized to every member of the Sports Information Department and other Departments for having caused them unnecessaru grief. I received countless hate e-mails from Sportshooter members and was called every name in the book (and told by some that they would “look me up” on their next visit to Tallahassee).

It hasn’t been a good last couple of weeks. But it starts and ends with me, not FSU. My humble apologies to all of you for my having let you down.