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For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

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Announcing The PFRE Photographer of The Month Competition

Published: 07/02/2011

Long time PFRE readers will recall the PFRE Idol monthly contest we use to do every month. It was named after the American Idol show. Turns out that's a pretty cheesy name. I haven't run the competition since Nov of 2009 but several members of the PFRE flickr group suggested that we start something like it up again. So we are but we're going to overhall the way it works and call it the PFRE Photographer of The Month competition. Brian MacLochlainn has graciously agreed to help me run this competition.

Here are the general guidelines and structure of the competition:

  1. We'll have a new contest each month. For this first one since we are already part way through Feb we'll run it till the end of March.
  2. To submit a photo for the competition send your photo to: In the subject line put "contest" and the month you are submitting for.
  3. Submitted photos should be a JPG with maximum of 2000 pixels on the longest edge with quality 9.
  4. We are accepting photo entries for this contest through mid-night 2/21 (UTC/GMT)
  5. Please only submit one photo per month.
  6. Each month there will be a different theme for the photo. Themes like twilight shots, living rooms, master bedrooms, front exterior shots etc. The theme for the month will be announced in both the PFRE flickr group discussion and the discussion section of the PFRE Photographer of The Month group. The first theme will be twilight exteriors.
  7. All the submitted photo will be posted to the flickr group PFRE Photographer of The Month. So at any given time all the current contestants will be viewable this flickr group. You can submit at any time during the month but you'll get more votes if you submit early in the month.
  8. Voting starts at 0000 2/22 (UTC/GMT)
  9. A comment of any kind on any photo will be a vote for that photo.
  10. You can vote (comment) on up to 2 photos.
  11. I will reserve my vote for tie breaking.
  12. At the end of each month all photos in the group will be deleted and the next month photos will be posted to the group.
  13. Each winning photographer will receive:
    • A free PFRE real estate photographer directory listing
    • A large Photoshop file of the real estate photographer of the month logo (see above) for use on your website and advertising.
    • A link on the front page of the PFRE blog (along the bottom right side bar) to your web site.
    • An entry on the PFRE Best-of-the-best page.
    • A PFRE post that features your business similar to this.

The whole idea of this competition is peer recognition. I am purposely staying away from traditional contests and giving way large value prizes because complying with contest law in all states and countries is fraught with legal problems. BTW this contest is void where prohibited by law.

Brian and I will be refining and evolving these rules and operation as we go. Thanks again Brian for the help!

Update Feb 8: We've added a couple of additional refinements above... cut off for submittals, start of voting, size of photos.

Larry Lohrman

13 comments on “Announcing The PFRE Photographer of The Month Competition”

  1. To enter a photo, this blog says to email, but may we just post directly to the group? Can a photographer enter more than one photo per month/contest?

  2. As we are trying to make the competition as fair and impartial as possible we would like to post all images from one account so that they are anonymous. With this in mind it would be great if you could remove copy right marks, or your logo and for Photo shop wizards like Dan no dropping subliminal messages or images of yourself being abducted by aliens into the background :).

    As for how many images you can enter, I believe that previous competitions were limited to one entry per month. There are a limited number of themes so we will have to recover themes as we go so you will get to enter your best work, you may just submit one image one month and then the other image you like the next time we cover that theme. But as Larry said, "Brian and I will be refining and evolving these rules and operation as we go" so if there is a strong enough call for it we may increase the number of entries to something like 2-3 images or even unlimited.

    The cheezy Polaroid picture is not a monthly prize but may be considered for a prize for the best of the best competition.


  3. Since the photos are anonymous, one of the rules should be that photos previously posted on our individual photostream or in the group pool would be ineligible, right?
    Thanks, Brian and Larry for doing this.

  4. @Amy - Yes, ideally photos submitted to this contest should be new or recent images. Someone in the PFRE discussion group suggested that photos should be from the same month as the contest but at this point we haven't established that as a contest rule.

  5. Larry, that was me. I think it would add an element of chance, as we do not know what sort of houses we get to photograph. Otherwise I fear it will just be a competition around who has the deepest and diverse portfolio of images. It is a good start and I hope people make use of it as an additional learning tool.

  6. @Andrew- I'm concerned that having to shoot it in the same month as the contest is too restrictive. Perhaps in the last few months before the contest month makes sense. Also, the logistics are a nuisance... We are working just to have people submit 1 photo, get them the size we ask for. The more constraints and restrictions the more work this is to run. Besides, any one can strip the EXIF and say it was shot anytime.

  7. Hello!

    This got nothing to do with this competition, but I have many times thinked, how you could take photos from the houses and interiors, which looks like a cr*p.

    I'm a real estate agent and 80 % of the houses in my area looks like rats are living there, but you have to photograph them also. I mean, the REAL challenge would be trying to photograph that small old condo with ripped wallpapers and making something decent with that.

    I understand that every photographer wants to showcase only his/hers best works, but it would be really interesting to see what kind of magic some professional photographer can do with those not-so-wanted houses and interiors.

    Have a nice tuesday everybody,


  8. I'd suggest having a deadline to submit images and posting all the images at once to eliminate unfair advantages to those posted early in the month. Images submitted after the deadline could be held until the following month...

    Great job guys! Looking forward to the whole thing....


  9. Thank you, Ashley, for your nice example.

    It seems that my original post was deleted, but I have a quick question about that styling. What percentage of time you usually use for styling and actual photographing?



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