I found a photography game via Facebook ad and joined it.
Simply: There are a bunch of contests with themes. You enter one or four photos (depending on the rules of the contest) and other users vote on them. Whoever created the contest also chooses their favorites. They run between two and eight days.
The catch: photos have a limited viewing window, but you can buy “boosts” to gain more viewing time. (There are a couple of ways to get boosts without purchasing them as well, but they’re not quick to come by.)
So part of it is having a good photo, and part of it is gaining more views.
I posted a few photos and they got some votes and my ego was stroked a little. And then I tried one of the boosts and the votes nearly doubled. At which point I was disenchanted.
Sure, the photo still has to catch people’s attention (I’ve put boosts on a couple photos that didn’t gain a ton of votes after), but it’s a game.
And yes, it’s supposed to be a game.
Each contest has several levels, and you have to gain a certain number of votes to move up levels. The third level has been pretty easy to get to, and I haven’t had many photos that stayed in the second level. (None of mine have stayed in level 1.) Getting to the fourth is common for me but not guaranteed, and getting to the top level happens maybe 20% of the time. I’m still happy when I get that far.
Once I ended in the top 30% (it told me), and once in the top 20%. Those were both pretty cool little things, even if some of it is visibility manipulation. I have ended in 900th place in my level, so there are a lot of people.
One I entered was labeled “exhibition” which I didn’t worry too much about. Much like I don’t expect to win any of these—there are professional photographers in the app, and some of the photos are just amazing—I didn’t think anything of the label. The contest runs the same as the others and I had a few photos I thought might do well.
Except I got a lot of votes. Enough votes that I qualify for the exhibition.
A picture I took could be in a gallery for a weekend!
Now, there’s an application fee (it’s only $8, but they’re taking photos from hundreds of photographers, so…), and the gallery is in Slovenia, so there’s no chance that I would actually be able to see it. But I’m pretty stoked that I have the opportunity.
As for the app… I have four days left in the contest that expires the latest of the ones I’m in, and then I’m deleting it. It’s pretty attention-consuming (for me) and I have other things that I want to spend my time on.
But it’s been a fun little stint with it, and I’m glad to get some validation on some photos.