Make a photo book about your favorite person – you could win $2,500

Make a photo book about your favorite person, share it with us, and you might win up to $2,500!

Make a photo book about your favorite person, share it with us, and you might win up to $2,500!

(This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.)

Blurb wants to meet your favorite person and in turn you could win $2,500! All you have to do is make a book about a loved one filled with all sorts of kind words, creativity and insight, and if selected, you could win $2,500! For every book you make (there are seven different categories, so seven different chances to win) you will receive a 30% discount on the printed product. With so many special people in your life (Hint: Mother's Day is coming!), why not make a book for a few of them! With that much love to share, everyone is a winner!

Go to Blurb to check out the details of the contest to see what the categories are and when the entries are due. The 30% discount on My Favorite books will be applied at checkout when you use the promo code: MYFAVORITE.

Have you ever made a photo book for someone you love? What was their reaction? Please share it with a comment!

Northeast Ohio amateur photographers could win big bucks

You're a winner!”

Yes, those could be the words that a few lucky Cleveland area photographers hear after judging is completed for three amateur photo contests – one local, one national and one international.

The local contest is the “Photo Safari at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo here you can try your hand at animal photography. All photos must be taken on zoo grounds between April 1 and October 31, 2013 and submitted to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on photographic paper on or before October 31, 2013.

The Best of Show winner will get a Behind-the-Scenes Zoo tour, Adopt an Animal package courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society and a Polaroid PoGo Photo Printer. Other prizes include Zoo family memberships, 18-hole rounds of golf at any Cleveland Metroparks Golf Course, $25 Discount Drug Mart gift cards and much more.

Get contest details at

Next up is the “Olive Garden Picture Perfect InstaGram Contest.” And no, you don't have to be an Olive Garden fan or even eat there to be eligible to participate. Of course, I LOVE their Eggplant Parmesan so I'll grab a bite there in your honor.

There are 42 prizes with the Grand Prize winner receiving a $500 prepaid credit card.

The contest is open to lawful permanent residents of the United States (including D.C.); between the ages of 13 and 18 years old as of April 1, 2013, and have an active InstaGram account. The contest ends on May 14, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. so you better hurry!
Get contest details at

Finally, there's the “The Art of Photography Show 2013.” There are $10,000 in cash awards with the first place winner receiving $2,000 and fourteen others grabbing lesser cash prizes.

This contest is geared for aspiring photographers who are ready to invest $25 for their first entry and $10 for each additional entry. Entries must be received by May 18th at 11:59 pm PDT (California Time) so time is of the essence.

Get contest details at

Have you ever wanted to create a book of your favorite images to share with family and friends? Or maybe you would like to offer your book for purchase to the general public for a little extra income.

I've create two books using a pretty cool company called Blurb. One is a pictorial celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and the other is a collection of unique images of Picturesque Olmsted Falls, Ohio.

Now you can create a book for yourself or your mom for Mother's Day and save 20% off through May 10, 2013. Simply enter coupon code LOVEYOUMOM at checkout to claim your discount.

So what's been your experience with photo contests? Please comment and share some contests you've entered and what you thought of the judging.

Do you like this article? Please share this article with you friends on Facebook, LinkedIn or via e-mail.

Our unusual artwork accepted for exhibition at prestigious Westlake-Westshore Arts Council show

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Golden Gate Bridge viewed from Alcatraz by Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography of North Ridgeville

Golden Gate Bridge viewed from Alcatraz. See this image larger or order it online at

WOW! I just found out that three unique pieces were selected from my digital art collection for exhibit at the prestigious 13th Annual Community of Fine Arts Show presented by the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council. The juried art show runs from August 6 – 18 at the Westlake Porter Library at 27333 Center Ridge Road in Westlake.

Red Buggy at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls by Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography

Red Buggy at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls. See this image larger or order it online at

My entries include a fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge taken from Alcatraz, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island appearing as if it were taken in a by-gone era and a unique rendering of a horseless buggy at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls.

Over the past three years, I've developed a proprietary digital process to meld photographs into faux paintings. I’ve always wanted to create beautiful images of landscapes and unusual architecture. Unfortunately, I never did well in art class as a child. I had an idea of what good composition was but just couldn’t draw a stick figure to save my life! I then fell in love with photography and was finally able to capture amazing scenes with a camera where an artist brush failed me. However, my images still looked like pictures. The digital process I now use has elevated my photographs to look like the paintings that I sought since I was a little boy.

Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island by Mark Madere of SpectraLight Photography of North Ridgeville

Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island. See this image larger or order it online at

I also discovered a really cool, unique way to “print” my art. Instead of standard photographic paper, I have them embedded into aluminum panels. There’s nothing as captivating as a photo that shines on aluminum with a bright, clear, glossy base with brilliant color that pops. Two of my pieces in the show will be presented on these panels.

See more of my work and order prints for your home or business or give as gifts at

Your pet’s photo could be on AAA’s Petbook AND win prizes

Monet - Cairn Terrier
Monet was one of many cherished pets in our home. She didn't do well in a car so she never went on vacation with us.

Do you love your pet so much that you take him on vacation? If you answered “yes,” do you have some really cool or crazy photos of him taking in the sights?

Even if you don't have pet photos from past vacations, there's still time to squeeze in a trip and grab some cute photos of Fido or Tabby to enter in AAA's PetBook Photo Contest. Entry deadline is November 30, 2011.
Two winning pet photos, chosen in January 2012, will be featured on the cover and spine of the AAA PetBook, published in May 2012.
The first place winner, featured on the back cover, will receive $300, a $150 Best Western Travel Card (valid at any Best Western Worldwide), pet treats and five copies of the book. The second place winner, featured on the book's spine, will receive $150, pet treats and two copies of the book.
Check out the Photo Gallery to see who the winners and runners-up were for 2010. For information on how to submit your photo, visit AAA's PetBook Photo Contest page.
Entries are judged on such artistic qualities as photographic composition and ability to convey the joy of safely traveling with a pet. Candid compositions are preferred over posed, and studio photographs or those determined to be significantly altered will be disqualified.
What kind of pet would you enter? Do you have something unusual like a snake or frog? Please leave your comments on this post.
Good luck and let us know how you do!

Your “One Day” photo could land you a trip to Paris

My "One Day" moment - my daughter

My "One Day" moment - my daughter's birth

From the movie – One Day

After one day together, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime.

What’s your One Day? Your college graduation? Your first kiss? Your wedding day? A visit with your mother? Share the memorable moments of your life with a snapshot.

Enter the One Day Kodak Photo Contest for the chance to win a trip to Paris planned by STA Travel. Get details and enter now.

My One Day moment was when my daughter, Jacqui, was born. Like most first-time parents, I was in awe of the responsibility that this beautiful little baby brought. As she cried while the nurses cleaned her up, I trembled at the thought of how my wife and I could raise her to be the best Jacqui she could be. Moments later, the nurse handed this amazing, red-faced, wailing newborn to hold. As I took her into my arms, I asked God for the strength to handle my newest role – that of a father. Almost instantly, a calm came over her… and then over me as I gazed into her tiny, angelic face.

What a wonderful sign my heavenly Father gave to me in the peacefulness of that moment.

What One Day moment would you enter in this contest? Please leave a comment on this post.

“I finally got him” wins Lakewood Photographic Society top prize

I Finally Got Him by Lucian Bartosik

"I finally got him" by Lucian Bartosik wins Lakewood Photographic Society contest

“Click, click… did I get it?”

Fast moving, candid wedding moments are often like that. In the case of Lakewood Photographic Society (LPS) member, Lucian Bartosik, capturing his wedding photo, “I finally got him,” was a two shot moment. He took top honors in the Photojournalism category at the LPS photo contest on Tuesday evening with that image.

“The groom was in love with Classic American cars and his new bride surprised him with this red and white beauty and driver to whisk them away from the church,” says Bartosik. “There was just a few moments to freeze time, as they were about to head off to the reception and I managed to get two shots at this point. The first shot I took included the entire car with everyone looking forward, but for the second shot I zoomed in and just for a moment the bride glanced my way and I pressed the shutter button. I knew that the judges of a competition might give lower marks for not being able to see the entire car, however, I felt that the look of the bride would over ride the fact that only part of the car was in frame, and chose that particular image to include in my entries.”

Bartosik, who is originally from Wales in Great Britain has lived in Lakewood almost 5 years. Of his relocation, Bartosik said, “My brother and sister had married Americans and were living in Ohio and during our many visits up here, my now wife, liked the feel of Lakewood, with it's many unique coffee shops and eclectic restaurants, so we decided to move north. We both ski, therefore enjoy snowy winters and the summers are not as hot or humid as Kentucky. Having the lake so close means we can do some sailing in summer too, therefore enjoying the best of both seasons.”

Bartosik produces fine art photographic works and has prints on sale in a few galleries in and around Cleveland. He also take a limited amount of wedding and portrait commissions each year and his winning photo was a result of such an occasion.

Did you have a professional photographer or just a friend take your wedding pictures? What was that experience like? Please leave a comment on this post.