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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer to your question below, please contact us.

Why is Best Shots being run for the charity you have chosen?

Actually, Best Shots has been organised by The Station Charity to support its own activities. In this sense, Best Shots isn't really different from any other charitable fundraising event that exists solely to improve the profile of the charities that run them and of course to hopefully earn essential income. The Station Charity is completely self-sustaining and receives no regular financial support from any external funding organisations. Public engagement with this wonderful heritage facility is what keeps the charity ticking-over.

Has the charity which is running Best Shots staged similar events before?

Yes indeed. The Station Charity has run many highly successful fundraising events since the building reopened to the public on 9th November 2007. Probably the biggest fundraising campaign the charity ever organised was to round-up £2.7M to undertake the complete restoration of the disused railway terminus which took place from 2002 until 2007. Nothing seems too daunting as compared to that challenge.

Some of the most popular activities that The Station Charity has hosted have been 'open entry' events for artists and photographers. We are hoping that Best Shots will also be a huge success, with both photographers and visitors to The Station.

The extra element of Best Shots that the charity hasn't organised previously is the extended exhibition tour around some other wonderful heritage properties across the UK. This will take place during the latter half of 2013 and has been designed to allow a much wider audience the opportunity to see the winning photographs.

What percentage of my entry fee is the charity going to receive?

The Station Charity is very fortunate to have been able to underwrite a large amount of the costs associated with staging Best Shots. We have many individuals, businesses and organisations to thank for their generous support of the competition and touring exhibition.

In percentage terms we are hopeful that over 80% of the entry fees which are generated will be surplus to any expenses that are incurred.

It is the intention of the charity to publish the final financial results of the event at the end of 2013.

How many photographs are likely to be entered into Best Shots?

What a great question. In order to make Best Shots successful as a fundraising event, we are hoping (fingers-crossed) that a few thousand photographs are entered.

As this is the first year that the charity has run the event, it is quite difficult to predict how well it will be received but as the concept has come together over the past twelve months, the reaction to the idea has been extremely positive. Once again….only time will tell.

Why has Best Shots capped the number of photographs that any one person can enter if your charity could raise more by simply allowing unlimited submissions?

Very interesting point. Perhaps we should have sought your advice earlier. Actually, the charity did consider taking unlimited entries but the organisers felt that this would discourage many photographers from getting involved. By restricting the number of photos one can enter to five, we hope everyone will feel that they are competing on a more equal basis.

Can I submit a photo that I have entered in another competition into Best Shots?

Absolutely. There is no problem in submitting work to Best Shots that you may have entered into other competitions. Even if you have made a successful entry into another event, you can still submit the same photograph into Best Shots.

The only thing that you must consider, which is mentioned in our Terms and Conditions, is whether you have assigned the rights to your photograph to a third party. This could conceivably be the organisers of a different competition. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue but you'll need to make certain that no one else has been granted usage rights to your photograph(s) that would conflict with the usage rights Best Shots have stipulated you must grant The Station Charity.

Can I enter the same image into more than one category?

Yes. Often it is quite difficult to know the best category in which to place a particular photograph and for this reason we are happy if the same image is submitted into more than one category. You will however incur an entry fee for each of the different categories you select.

If I submit five photos, one at a time on five different occasions, how much will my entry fee be?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Your five photographs can be submitted individually or they can be grouped together. If you make separate submissions, you will be charged £10 for each photograph you enter or £50 in total.

However, if you submit all five of your photographs as a batch, you'll only be charged £30.

There can be advantages to 'drip-feeding' your photographs into Best Shots, however this isn't going to be the most economic solution if making your entry for the least expensive fee is your principle concern.

What happens if I experience technical problems when submitting my images?

Hopefully you won't have any problems in uploading your photographs online, but if you do, you'll simply need to contact the Administration Team at Best Shots, either by email or phone. We will help you to sort out whatever difficulty you have encountered.

The uploading process is very straightforward provided that you follow the 'on screen' instructions and are patient. The website will resize the photographs that you submit if they are more than around 2MB in size. This process can take a few minutes for each picture you enter.

Can you tell me why there is an extra handling charge for dealing with postal entries?

When photographs are sent in as prints or in a digital format the Best Shots administrative team has to process these entries manually. This involves, setting up an account, processing the photographs so that they are ready to be judged, clearing payments, issuing receipts and organising the return of the original work. The handling fee helps to cover the additional costs associated in performing these tasks.

I live in Canada and I'd prefer to mail my photos to you rather than uploading them online. I understand that there is an extra £10 fee for processing entries this way, which is fine but I don't know how to supply you with a pre-paid envelope so my photos can be returned to me. Can you explain what I need to do?

If you are sending your photographs from abroad and want Best Shots to return them to you, here's what you'll need to do. When you complete your Entry Form, which can be downloaded from the site, just note on the bottom of your application that you want us to organise the return despatch of your images. We will arrange to do this and debit your credit card for the extra costs we incur. You will receive an invoice/receipt that annotates the cost of your entry, the £10 handling fee and the extra postage and packing charge.

I am 12 years old and want to enter Best Shots with more than one photograph. Am I permitted to do this?

To encourage younger photographers like yourself, Best Shots has created a FREE TO ENTER category called Young Snappers. You can submit one photograph of any subject matter into this category without incurring a charge. If you have other photographs that you'd like to enter, you can do this too. However, the normal entry fees will apply to any subsequent submissions you wish to make. These extra entries must be placed into one of the other nine categories and the fees will be exactly the same as those levied on all other entrants. In other words, £10 per photo or £30 if you enter five photos at one time.

What do I have to do to win some of the 'extra prizes' that Best Shots are giving away?

Everyone who enters Best Shots is in contention for the cash prizes or cameras, (if the submission is made into the Young Snappers category), as well as a place in the Best Shots Touring Exhibition… But there's more!

Throughout the entire entry period of the competition, every participant will also be able to win a host of extra prizes, including photographic software, tripods, boxes of processing paper, camera bags, magazine subscriptions, memory cards, flight cases, outdoor clothing and a whole lot more.

Our judges will be awarding these extra prizes on a regular basis from now right up until the 30th April 2013 when all entries must be in.

Here's an example of how it works. If your entry is made during the first month of the competition, you could win a boxed set of Corel Photo Editing Software.

We have three sets of PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate and three sets of AfterShot Pro Photo Management Software to give away.

At the end of November, the six photographers who have submitted the highest scoring images, as determined by our judges, across all ten categories will each receive a version of either PaintShop Pro or AfterShot Pro; both are suitable for Mac or PC users.

To qualify to win any of these Extra Prizes, you simply have to have made an entry into Best Shots during the promoted time period for the current offer. Information about all of these Extra Prizes will be publicised on the website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. If you register to receive our email newsletters, we'll let you know about what special offers are coming-up.

I'd like to know what price the selected photographs are going to be sold at during the exhibitions and online?

There are two factors that will determine the selling price of the winning photos. The first of these is the 'fee' that the entrant wishes to be paid for their photograph. The second consideration that will impact on the selling price, is the size of the print we are able to offer the purchaser.

When you enter Best Shots you will be asked, "What fee do you want to receive for your photograph(s)…" assuming that they get selected. You can choose one of three fixed fees which we've set at £35, £60 or £100.

To the amount that you choose, the charity will add a 'mark up' plus the cost of making the transaction (credit/debit card commission) and having the photograph printed and despatched.

It is our intention to offer prints that measure 18 x 12 inches (457mm x 304mm) if at all possible.

The Station Charity recommends that if you wish to make sales of your images that you are realistic about the fee you decide to receive for your work.

We anticipate that regardless as to what fee you opt for that the retail price of the photo will be approximately £50 more than the figure you set. So, the selling prices are likely to be, £85, £110 or £150. Based upon a great deal of past sales history, we believe that the public will respond favorably to these prices for photographs that have been judged to be the very best that were entered into Best Shots.

Will I be able to contact the judges directly after receiving their critiques?

The judges who will be assessing your photographs are not able to enter into extra correspondence with participants after they have judged your work. The judging is done anonymously at each stage in the competition. The decisions that each judge makes are final. In fact after they have submitted their assessments, they can't make any revisions to their original decisions.

Are the photographs that I submit into Best Shots going to be shown on the website before the winning entries are announced?

Yes. The photographs that we receive will be featured on the Best Shots website. But, no indication of the first round 'scores' will be posted online when the images appear. That information will only be shared with you. However, we do intend to inform all participants and followers of Best Shots, how the event is progressing and what the general 'spread of scores' are as well as the level of interest that's being shown for each of the categories.

Once the shortlist of entrants has been determined, this will also be published online.

Assuming I am deemed good enough to win one of the cash prizes, how will I receive my prize money and will I be taxed on it?

Do you want the good news first or last? The good news is that prize winners will receive their money when the exhibition opens in Richmond, North Yorkshire on 14th July 2013. This will be paid directly into the winners' bank accounts if they are based in the UK. If you live abroad, you will be sent a Sterling cheque or the charity can arrange to make a credit transfer into your bank account. Winnings sent abroad will be made net of any exchange rate commission and transfer fees.

You will need to check with your tax authority to see how they intend to treat your winnings. If you pay tax, it might be that your prize is considered to be income which would incur tax. It is best to take advice on this matter to know where you stand.

Will the winners be required to attend the exhibition and/or go along to any of the tour venues?

No, although of course you will be invited to see the Best Shots Exhibition while it is on tour if this is convenient or something that you'd like to do. However, there will be no requirement for you to participate in any aspect of the tour.

Will I be able to follow Best Shots on Twitter and Facebook?

For sure. There will be an active presence on both Twitter and Facbook so that participants keep in touch with what's happening day-to-day if they wish. There will also be regular updates on Flickr and via an email newsletter. Just sign up for the feeds you wish to receive and participate when you can.

Can I vote for my own photographs in the Best of the Best element of the competition?

You can vote for your own photographs, if you are selected for the Touring Exhibition, as often as you like. As Best Shots is a charitable fundraising event, everyone will be charged £1 to cast three votes on any one occasion. But there is nothing to stop you from trying to improve your 'odds to become the most popular' photographer. Who knows… self-belief in your own photograph(s) could prove to be a very good investment. The photograph/photographer that clocks-up the most votes will win the £1000 Best of the Best prize.

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Welcome
From Joe Cornish, Chair of Judges

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