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Red Bull Photo Challenge

Red Bull is looking for talented emerging US photographers to
participate in a Red Bull Photo Challenge.

Young professional photographers are invited to participate by sending in their portfolios.

Entry deadline is February 15, 2006




the idea:
We are looking for cutting-edge sports photography and about the photographers who create it.

Some of the world’s best free sports photographers started with the "Red Bull Photo Challenge": Christian Pondella, Flo Hagena, Alex Schelbert, Dean Treml, Geoff Waugh… and have continued to be important members of the Red Bull Photofiles team.

Now, young professional photographers are again invited to participate by sending in their portfolios.
Four participants will be selected for the shooting and will afterwards be evaluated based on their overall performance at the Red Bull Photo Challenge. Consideration for future Red Bull work will depend on each photographer’s performance during the shooting.

the sports:
The categories range from Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, FMX, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Running, etc. as the Red Bull Photo Challenge will cover both winter and summer seasons. To be confirmed depending on availability of athletes.

the location:
The landscape of Mammoth Lakes, California (USA) offers great diversity from snow to deserts and, allows the team to shoot winter and summer sports at the same time.  The Mammoth Mountain, Owens River Gorge, Buttermilks, Eureka Valley and other areas are destined to be the inspiration for the photographers to trigger their purest creativity.

the timing:
The Red Bull Photo Challenge will take place in Mammoth Lakes in April 2006.

Creative and focused professionals are invited to participate.  The whole process of the Red Bull Photo Challenge is divided into three stages:

1st step:    submit your portfolio. Deliver a creative portfolio; full of style and action.
>> APPLY NOW! e-mail to: markus.berger@redbull-photofiles.com

2nd step:     shoot four athletes in four different sports activities at Mammoth Lakes, California within a given time frame and after a detailed briefing, all expenses covered.

3rd step:    convince the jury with your creative work and your organizational skills.
The prize: becoming an official Red Bull Photofiles photographer and getting assigned for event and athlete shootings.

In the first round portfolios should be sent to the Red Bull Photofiles office either via e-mail to markus.berger@redbull-photofiles.com or with mail to the following address:

        Red Bull Photofiles
        Felderstrasse 12
        5330 Fuschl am See

Entry deadline is February 15, 2006. The applicants need to be professional photographers living in the US or in Canada.

The judges (Christian Pondella, US Head Photographer / Ulrich Grill, International Head Photographer / Markus Berger, Manager Photographers Service/Josh Kendrick, Red Bull USA Communications) will select four photographers by assessing all the portfolios brought in. Each of the four chosen photographers get to shoot with four athletes for half a day, ensuring plenty of time to do action, lifestyle and portraits.

After all the photos of the Red Bull Photo Challenge have been evaluated a final decision upon the successors will be made.

application of photographers    Jan. 3, 2006 – Feb. 15, 2006
selection of the best portfolios by the jury    Feb. 16, 2006 – Feb. 28, 2006
invitation of four photographers to the event    Mar. 10, 2006
briefing & photoshooting at Mammoth Lakes    Apr.  3, 2006 – Apr.   7, 2006
evaluation & decision on which participant becomes a
Red Bull Photofiles photographer    Apr.  8, 2006 – Apr. 30, 2006

general conditions:
The four participating photographers need to sign a copyright disclaimer before the event.  The photographers can use the images for their purposes and they will be paid for all expenses during the shooting (including travel budget of USD 1,200 max., + hotel, + food).

contact person:
For more details on the event please contact Markus Berger.

Markus Berger (Red Bull Photofiles)
phone: +4362268848-15
e-mail: markus.berger@redbull-photofiles.com

by balazs gardi at 2006-01-11 22:49:46 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Budapest , Hungary | Bookmark | | Report spam→

15 Feb 2006 00:02
I would advise everybody to avoid this competition like Bird Flu.

Red Bull had a similar competition in the UK and it caused a storm of protest from photographers – because its a copyright grab.

Red Bull simply wants to use photographers to build up a free promotional photo-library for themselves.

Their library offers photos for nothing – its obviously great promotion for them, and the photographer gets to be able to use their images…so I hear you saying: Whats the problem?

But magazines will of course use Red Bulls free images FIRST and ALWAYS – so why would any magazine pay a repro to any photographer with the same images? So the photographer works for nothing and ends up with their own library of ‘dead’ images.

To add insult to injury, the photographers have to show their portfolios before they’re offered the chance to ‘work for food’.

I have no issue with you Balazs, but I’ve raised this issue several times on LS, and would ask the LS moderators to consider whether highlighting competitions like this on LS is appropriate.

I think we’d all like to see LS as a community of professional photographers, or people who aspire to be – and not a pool of potentially exploitable free labour.

It’s competitions like this which devalue our profession, and makes sure aspiring photographers will have no sources of income to pursue in future. If they can get you to work for nothing, how do you think you’re going to get them to pay you to work in future?

I’m assuming the folks on LS want to make a living from this, right?

And if they don’t want to make a living from it – why do they want to screw the people who DO aspire to make a living from photography, by entering competitions like this?

by [former member] | 12 Jan 2006 04:01 (ed. Jan 12 2006) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Well said…Sion!!

by [former member] | 12 Jan 2006 07:01 | Buhl, Idaho, United States | | Report spam→
I remember that. STAY AWAY Y’ALL!

by Paul Treacy | 12 Jan 2006 09:01 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Balasz Gardi has a browser problem and is unable to post at present, and has asked me to post his reply for him.

Happy to oblige : )

"Wow, that was harsh…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting this contest at all but I think some of us might be find it interesting. Actually, I’ve never participated in any of their contests before but I can tell you that I’m working with Red Bull often.

That is true that they have the right to use the pictures for whatever they want related to promoting Red Bull but it is part of the deal. It isn’t a secret at all so the photographer can decide whether he/she will work with them under these circumstances.

By the way the copyright remains with the photographer, at least in my case, and I have to say in exchange they pay more than twice of the average daily rate…

What I like the most about LS is that it’s provide the possibility for everyone to add comments. So I guess instead of asking the moderators to consider filtering the content I would let the photographers to decide if they would like to participate or not.


by [former member] | 13 Jan 2006 12:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
it’s fine to post headlines about these contests, but i do think that the person who is doing the posting should know waht they’re posting and also make sure the fine print is not fine print but prominently highlighted otherwise you’re jsut helping these competitions mislead well intentioned entrants.

by [former member] | 13 Jan 2006 12:01 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→
I think we’re being a bit hard on Balazs and would like to reiterate that my posting was not having a go at him – in his defence, his posting did mention a copyright buyout in the competition.

All I’m asking for is for all of us just to be a little more savvy about the decisions we make when we enter these competitions, and to read the small print when we do.

For example, I posted several times a while back about a similar competition run by Medicins Del Mundo which I thought was dishonest and a rights grab – they even insisted on keeping any prints sent in.

Fast forward a month or so, and then I see a posting on LS by an entrant expressing concerns about where his prints had got to. I can only assume the entrant hadn’t read the rules carefully enough and so had ended up maybe being ripped off…probably along with others.

There are so many competitions like this now, its like our default position ought to be looking for the catch in the rules – and not just competitions…a recent posting on LS looking for contributors was actually a front for the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi looking for ‘content’ and paying far too low a fee for it.

The posting didnt mention this – but a few minutes searching on the internet brought forth the real picture – so I would agree with Jake that if it isnt acceptable to ask the LS moderators to monitor postings (and on reflection I must say I now agree with Balazs on that), then its incumbent on us to look into the small print of any approaches and to mention them when we post.

I posted a warning about the Saatchi and Saatchi thing…and still people have approached them looking for work.

It is, as Balazs says, peoples right to do so…but I would ask them to look at the big picture, for themselves and for the profession. If you work for free or a pittance for any organisation, you can essentially kiss goodbye to working for decent pay for that organisation in future – and so can everyone else, as the organisation will always go for the lowest bidder over anybody else charging the proper rate.

Thus are dayrates and fees for ALL screwed into the ground and nobody wins.

I completely understand that new aspiring photographers want to get a foot in the door and make their mark. But some potential employers smell this like a shark smelling blood in the water and will screw them for every penny, drop them, then screw the next wave to knock on the door.

I’m concerned that some potential employers are looking at LS as a database of potentially exploitable labour, and would suggest that instead of this, we can use LS as a constituency to turn that around.

After all, unity is strength, and the strength of LS is the community spirit engendered here – and I would hope, a willingness to raise the bar (and the bank balance…why the hell not?) for everyone.

by [former member] | 13 Jan 2006 14:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Good points all.  And remember, it was a huge discussion on LS that eventually led Getty to modify their contract for the Getty grant, so obviously (1) discussion among us is good; (2) some of these orgs appear to listen to us now; (3) we are lucky to have informed readers among us who comb these "prizes" for potential problems; and (4) LS indeed is an example of unity as strength, and may well become more so as time goes on.  I do think that LS is going to become a force to reckon with. 

Of course the inexperienced photographers among us who jump on these false promises of glory have the opportunity to review these proposals and analyze them so they dont make that mistake — that is, if they take the time to read these threads and join in the conversations.  But we cannot compel their attention.

We all need to be more savvy,  savviness is probably your most basic survival skill, not only in terms of business practices, but just in terms of being safe out there, knowing who you are travelling around with, knowing who you can trust, and so on.  My most important skill, in this context, is my ability to judge character, to size people up quickly.   But savvy is learned with experience, it cannot be legislated, so while it is fair to ask posters to review these things before posting and point out potential pitfalls, there are going to be posters who err on the side of enthusiasm and ignorance and will simply neglect to do so.  That is why we have these forums, in which the more sober among us can cry foul.  But it means more work for those with a conscience.

I have seen what might be characterized as dicey attempts to recruit LS members for dubious enterprises, but I think it is up to the more experienced among us to raise the alarm, because there are just so many students and young people here who are rarin to go but havent got a clue, so they sure as heck are not going to read the fine print, particularly if they dont know it even exists.  I have noticed also that a lot of editors are signed on now, and occasionally they call for submissions, but the photographers dont always respond to these calls in a very professional or even logical manner.  If legitimate editors want to tap into LS for the talent they may find here, then it behooves all  of us to work with them in a business like manner (nothing heavy duty, of course, I am not suggesting we all grin, grab, and wear ties, just a modicum of intelligence).  Again, though, I think it is up to the more experienced members to show the way and the rest can learn by example.

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jan 2006 18:01 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
hi, just as a point of clarification — there are no lightstalkers moderators.

by teru kuwayama | 14 Jan 2006 14:01 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Exactly, there are no moderators, nor should there be.  That is what the forums are for, to discuss these matters amongst ourselves and bring our various experience to bear on them.  That is the best that can hoped for, and frankly it is all I would ever ask for.  There are too many rules, regs and moderators in the States and other developed nations these days, anyway.

by Jon Anderson | 14 Jan 2006 16:01 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
" After all, unity is strength, and the strength of LS is the community spirit engendered here – and I would hope, a willingness to raise the bar (and the bank balance…why the hell not?) for everyone."—Sion Touhig

.HERE HERE!!!……..I couldnt agree more with Sion’s sentiments, that’s should be on the LS masthead! :))))


by [former member] | 14 Jan 2006 17:01 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Balazs, have you called Roberto yet?

by teru kuwayama | 14 Jan 2006 17:01 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Sion’s point is good (and funny in the beginning), but I’d like to share a quick perspective; While covering the Red Bull Divide & Conquer challenge (not for Red Bull), an event held in Colorado, USA, I had the oppurtunity to meet Christain Pondella, other contract photographers and staff hired by Red Bull. These people were working in good conditions for presumably good pay. I was impressed by Red Bull’s efforts and the stories I heard from the staffers who travel the world to work for them. They seemed to be treated really well.  This may be nieve, but I just got the impression that Red Bull was behind these alternative sports and the art of covering them for all the right reasons. It seemed like a good gig, and this contest could put you there.

by Brett Butterstein | 14 Jan 2006 22:01 | COLORADO, United States | | Report spam→
I checked out Red Bulls website and had a look at Christian Pondellas site. Its not my thing, (gravity has never been a friend of mine and theres a reason why people jumping off cliffs call it ‘terminal velocity’, know what I mean?) but his pictures are great, and I do get the impression as you say, that the Red Bull photographers are working for good pay, so if extreme sports is your bag, its probably a dream job. As you say, they’re staff or contract shooters, so maybe I should clarify – staff or regular contract shooters quite often don’t own the copyright to their work. However, they haven’t given it away – they’ve traded it for something equally valuable to them, which is the security of a well paid job. I was a staff photographer for a few years and it was worth it to me at the time. What I’m arguing against isn’t trading your copyright, (freelance images are defined as Rights Managed, so lets manage them carefuly) but giving it away for nothing, or less than its worth. This competition IMO asks people to do that. If it is an audition for a staff or contract job, they could just as easily ask for portfolios and interviews. That’s how I got my staff job – portfolio review and (presumably) convincing them I could do the work. Then they put me on trial as a freelance for a few weeks, on freelance day rates, so they were paying me while we all tested the waters. But Red Bull is asking people to work for no pay…and to hand over their images into the bargain. By all means go for it if you like, but perhaps like Brett, you’d be better off covering such events for yourself, and leveraging those images (which you’ll own) for decent money as a freelance.

by [former member] | 15 Jan 2006 01:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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balazs gardi, balazs gardi
Dubai , United Arab Emirates
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Brett Butterstein, Photographer Brett Butterstein
Colorado , United States


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