The Art Director
Challenge series hosted by jezsik. Challenges start on Wednesdays.
This series attempts to emulate the process that an art director goes through when choosing an image for a client. The challenges are designed to be realistic, but they're totally not real; no real client, no real magazine or campaign or billboard, etc.. The client may have very specific requirements or may need an image that conveys an emotion or evokes a feeling. Art directors are notoriously ruthless when it comes to choosing the best images to present to a client, but I'll not attempt to emulate THAT.
Finished (150 challenges)
150. Ad campaign: Closed
Winners announced: 27th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: closed and mute
The client seeks an image that gives the impression of something being closed. Not a closed door, but maybe a boarded up door. Specific signs like "Closed" are acceptable so long as they are presented with creativity.
Winners announced: 20th November, 2013 GMT
With the arrival of socially conscious street artists like Banksy, an urban life magazine is looking for creative images of creative graffiti. They're not interested in the graffiti by itself (they could snap a picture with their cell phone), but want something where the photographer has put a bit of work into it. Juxtaposition the art against something else, creative use of framing, special...
Winners announced: 13th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: Next Stop...OZ
A computer game publisher needs a photo of a dangerous or scary storm to serve as a background image for their upcoming title. The photo should have minimal large foreground distractions. The subject must be the storm and not some other feature within the image (edit as needed).
Winners announced: 6th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: Time at Sea
A firm specializing in luxury goods is looking for a photographer to photograph a line of high-end wrist watches. They want a photographer who can present the watches in a unique way, not just a photo simply showing the face of the watch. The watch can be old or new, just show your extraordinary approach to shooting.
146. Ad campaign: Rage
Winners announced: 30th October, 2013 GMT
The campaign attempts to capture people's feelings about hidden "gotcha" fees associated with some services. The advertising director needs an image that personifies the rage those customers (should) feel. The final image will be introduced in a humorous context but serious photos of rage are quite acceptable.
Winners announced: 23rd October, 2013 GMT
Winner: Bridge Runner
This magazine article recognizes that running makes a comeback in society every few years. The editors are looking for a good image to illustrate that point. They are specifically looking for an image of someone running or something to do with running (e.g., running shoes). They absolutely do not want high caliber athletes competing in a race and do not want any recognizable faces. They have...
Winners announced: 16th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
The client seeks a skilled underwater photographer for photo excursion in reasonably shallow waters. Submit a color underwater picture that shows your ability to capture an image with proper exposure.
143. Ad campaign: Five
Winners announced: 9th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: 5 of 5 in 5
A software company is about to releases version five of their flagship application. Their marketing department wants images of the number five to use in their upcoming campaign. Submit an image of five: a number five or five VERY DISTINCT objects that represent five.
Winners announced: 2nd October, 2013 GMT
A public interest group seeks to encourage citizens to drink more water (and less soft drinks). They want something that will make people long for pure, clean water and eschew sugary beverages.
Winners announced: 25th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Elemental Chemistry
A publisher needs an image suitable for the cover of a high school chemistry book. The client imagines beakers and test-tubes but is equally interested in images of elements and compounds. The most important consideration is that the book not be confused with physics, biology or geology.
Winners announced: 18th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Before the 1st bell...
To build on a conceptual design, the managers of an ad campaign have a vision of a fighter to be used in a product launch. They're not specifically set on a given type of image so they want to look at everything from a prize fighter in the ring to a scrappy street kid putting up her dukes. Submit an image that says "The Fighter."
Winners announced: 11th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: laundry day
A marketing director needs an image of laundry hanging on the line. It has to be idyllic, not Dystopian. That means no industrial city-scapes of buildings with clothes thrown over balconies or hung between grimy buildings. The image should evoke feelings of freshness and cleanliness.
Winners announced: 4th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Air Horn
When you speak about pollution, everyone immediately thinks of trash on the ground, smoke in the air and chemicals in the water. Few recognize that noise is also a pollutant. This article seeks to draw attention to the fact that background noise can be disruptive as well as unhealthy. The magazine needs a photograph to illustrate our noisy world.
Winners announced: 28th August, 2013 GMT
Winner: Beyond which, the Postman won't go.
Generations of people have cringed at receiving an invoice and thrilled at receiving a letter, but those days will eventually disappear. The mail service, according to this author, is unlikely to survive past the next generation. To illustrate the text, the magazine requires some images of traditional mail service. This can include letter carriers, post boxes or stamped envelopes, but feel free...
136. Album cover: Collage
Winners announced: 21st August, 2013 GMT
Winner: Music Collage
A musical act with an upbeat rhythm is about to release their first album, Collage. They need some original artwork for the cover and the obvious solution is a collage of images. Using your own pictures and your favorite editing software, construct a square collage for their cover. The image must appear to be a collage and not blended so well as to look like a single image.
Winners announced: 14th August, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
An advertising firm is looking for a joyful image to include on an upcoming campaign. They assure us that the product or service being advertised is irrelevant to the image as they're doing a lifestyle campaign. All they require is a photograph of something that will make people feel uplifted to see ... and hopefully associate that feeling with the advertiser.
Winners announced: 7th August, 2013 GMT
The magazine is looking at how North Americans call the most popular sport in the world soccer instead of football. To illustrate the article, the client requires pictures of those spheres used to play the world cup. The picture can be a close-up, an action shot, a cleated foot resting upon the ball, etc. American-style obloid balls are acceptable, but only if the traditional round ball is...
Winners announced: 31st July, 2013 GMT
A current events newspaper with an international circulation is preparing a set of stories on the mysterious disappearance of bees and how it might impact our world. They need a compelling bee photo to draw attention to the article.
Winners announced: 24th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: chained fist
A historian is preparing a book on the history of the raised fist emblem (first used by the Industrial Workers of the World in 1917) and how it has been co-opted by dozens of different organizations. The requirement is to provide an example of this raised fist, either in actual use (as in a parade or demonstration) or a creative re-creation with dramatic lighting, etc. The image must of of the...
Winners announced: 17th July, 2013 GMT
Everything is going wireless these days, but this editorial bemoans the fact. The author is sick and tired of trying to find a signal or having to replace batteries. Show us a photo of a clutch of electronic wires or connections or something to help illustrate this newspaper editorial.
Winners announced: 10th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: multiple winners
A healthcare organization is creating a new campaign for their services. They are targeting single people, old and young, so marketing is looking for an image of someone alone. The image must be a positive portrayal of an individual in a larger surrounding. An image where the person fills the frame is unsuitable. Subjects must look strong, comfortable or confident, able to look after...
Winners announced: 3rd July, 2013 GMT
Winner: Frey Wille
A custom jewelry manufacturer seeks a photographer to capture their latest line of jewelry. Submit an example of your work for consideration. The jewelry can be a single piece or an ensemble, on a model or on a suitable prop.
Winners announced: 26th June, 2013 GMT
Winner: This does not match
A well respected writer is doing a nostalgic piece on stamp collecting; the author spent years collecting volumes of stamps and now they just sit in the attic. The publishers need a image of something stamp related. It can be stamps in a book, stamps on an envelope, stamps under a magnifying glass, anything that clearly shows one or more stamps. They prefer stamps that look very old, but...
Winners announced: 19th June, 2013 GMT
A publisher requires a very compelling photograph of an apple to grace a full page of its latest cookbook. It can be on the tree, in a bowl or cut up, but it must be fresh (not cooked or blended). The apple must dominate the image, not simple appear in the frame.
126. Brochure: DJ
Winners announced: 12th June, 2013 GMT
A local DJ (they still call themselves DJ's?) wants to advertise his music service by creating a brochure to hand out at social gatherings. He figures this is a much more direct marketing strategy as he can specifically target people organizing dances and private parties. He has a photo of himself in action, but needs some background and filler images. Although his equipment is digital, he's...
Winners announced: 5th June, 2013 GMT
Advances in technology have enabled more people to take more photos than ever before. Photographers are looking beyond the everyday photos and creating images that require special lenses (e.g., shift/tilt) and/or processing techniques (e.g., HDR). The editors of this magazine want to explore this new world with a collection of images that are beyond human perception. They want images that can...
Winners announced: 29th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Summer Picnic
An on-line "gourmet" food shop produces a printed catalog twice a year to show off their products in a way that appeal to an older market. For the next Spring & Summer catalog, they want to include a line of items specifically created for picnickers. They need some terribly romantic images of picnics to use as backgrounds or space fillers in the catalog. Images of people picnicking are fine,...
Winners announced: 22nd May, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
A glossy magazine, known for its thorough examination of social issues, is about to print an article about faith in the twenty first century and requires an illustration. The tricky part is that the article does not focus on religion so they don't want a stereotypical religious image. The editors are hard-pressed to come up with solid examples of what they want, but images of people looking...
Winners announced: 15th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Calligrapher at Work
A textbook publisher is working on a science book for children of approximately 13 years of age. They need an image of a human doing something astonishing: something that requires great skill, training or physical ability. They're not looking for something that separates us from other animals, but something that demonstrates humans are capable of astonishing feats. We're not exactly sure of the...
Winners announced: 8th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: some glasses in a row
Curiously enough, the invention of glass was a breakthrough for human civilization. It greatly enhanced our ability to perform scientific inquiry and provided an astonishing new media for art and craft work. A journal, known for its thought-provoking articles, will examine all aspects of glass and requires a suitable image. Make us fall in love with this everyday item.
Winners announced: 1st May, 2013 GMT
A commercial studio is expanding its business by including food photography. Rather than have one of their current—overworked—photographers learn the trade, they figure they'll just hire someone new. Submit your best food photos and show 'em what you're made of!
119. Decorative arts: Red
Winners announced: 24th April, 2013 GMT
Winner: Red wall window
An interior designer is looking for red images to hang on a white wall. The image must be predominately red; not a bit red, not mostly red, but overwhelmingly red.
Winners announced: 17th April, 2013 GMT
A popular magazine is preparing an article on the deliciousness of the watermelon. Show us your best image of a juicy watermelon, but don't show any identifiable people.
Winners announced: 10th April, 2013 GMT
A small perfumery needs an eye-catching image to go with it's new perfume for women. The image must be of a woman, in whole or in part, and must be very glamorous.
Winners announced: 3rd April, 2013 GMT
Winner: Banasura Hill Resort
A hotel chain with an international presence seeks a photographer with a flair for shooting interiors and exteriors. They are re-vamping their marketing material and need lots of fresh images. They want one single photographer to travel to every location for the shoots. Show us a photo of a hotel interior or exterior and make it look amazing.
Winners announced: 27th March, 2013 GMT
A local yoga school needs an image to put on the cover of their advertising brochure. The client is quite inexperienced and is therefore open to just about any image that invokes the idea of yoga. For the sake of simplicity, though, we want to restrict the photos to adults performing some aspect of this exercise. You can show a person performing a maneuver or just a hand position.
Winners announced: 20th March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Soft & Silent
A textbook publisher needs an image of a feather for a high school science book. The image can be of a single, well-lit feather, or a good example of plumage—not a photo of a bird. The image must be illustrative so creative interpretations of feathers will be sadly disqualified. Show us a photo that really shows off the qualities of a feather.
113. Ad campaign: Dust
Winners announced: 13th March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Dust in everything
The client makes a home air filtration system and needs an image that reminds people how dusty our world really is. Submit a dusty image that does not include any sort of sunset.
Winners announced: 6th March, 2013 GMT
According to the author of this article, dancing is making a comeback (though we are not sure from whence it's coming back). The magazine publishing the piece needs a suitable illustration, obviously someone dancing. The client does not want costumed show dancers but regular adults (one or more) dancing wherever they happen to be.
Winners announced: 27th February, 2013 GMT
The client is a healthcare service provider with a family-oriented image. For their latest ad campaign, they require an image of holding hands. The image must be of hands, not people, so crop accordingly. The hands can be any color or age so long as they show some degree of intimacy.
Winners announced: 20th February, 2013 GMT
Winner: Wellsville, PA Rodeo
A popular culture magazine is preparing a story about cowboys and cowgirls (cowpokes). They need images of folks doing cowboy-like things including riding horses, roping cattle, fixing fences, ... all the usual cliches. Submit a photo of a man or woman dressing in appropriate cowboy attire doing cowboy things.
Winners announced: 13th February, 2013 GMT
The client is launching an advertisement campaign around smelling things. They need an image of an animal's nose. They'd prefer something a bit funny or silly or goofy, but are open to more serious images. The picture must depict an obvious nose (not an obscure olfactory organ), a nose used for sniffing. That probably restricts the animal candidates to mammals.
Winners announced: 6th February, 2013 GMT
Winner: Reading in Train
A well-respected writer of op-ed pieces is about to opine about the demise of the printed paper and needs a suitable image. This old dinosaur of a writer likes to wax nostalgic and so requires a nostalgic image that evokes feelings toward a paper. The image must be of a newspaper (including stacks of papers) or something newspaper-related (e.g. news-stand). We think he'd be happiest with a...
107. Ad campaign: Fast
Winners announced: 30th January, 2013 GMT
Winner: Fast is good
A service organization is planning a campaign that emphasizes the speed of their service. They need an image that really says "Fast!" Subject must not be a logo or organization name. Assume you have model releases for any recognizable, but not famous, people.
Winners announced: 23rd January, 2013 GMT
An interior designer with a knack for kitsch is looking for a photograph with a Mona Lisa style. The subject can be a man or woman so long as the lighting is similar (warm and soft overhead light with shadow beneath the nose and chin), the pose is the same, includes the enigmatic smile and the characteristic hand position. Submit an original photograph where you try to emulate this famously...
Winners announced: 16th January, 2013 GMT
A local portrait studio recently lost their highly acclaimed baby photographer. The other photographers employed there are unable to take on the additional work, so they are looking to add a new photographer with experience shooting babies and toddlers. Submit one or two of your best photos of a toddler or baby. The subject must be well lit but with no direct (on camera) flash. The subject must...
Winners announced: 9th January, 2013 GMT
The client is a manufacturer of photography accessories. They seek an image of a photographer "in action" to use in an upcoming magazine advertisement. The photographer must not be recognizable and the camera must be easily identified as an actual camera and not a phone or similar device. As they are targeting serious amateur photographers and not high-end professionals, they don't want images...
Winners announced: 2nd January, 2013 GMT
A major newspaper with a significant on-line presence requires an image to illustrate an article on college athletes. The article is something about athletic careers of students after they graduate. The image must be in B&W so no team colors are apparent and any logo or mascot must be hidden or obscured. Furthermore, the image must not include any identifying feature of the subject (no face or...
Winners announced: 26th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: The line
A publisher requires a photograph for the dust sleeve of a hardcover book. The book is a sort of philosophical essay (or rambling musings as the editor jokes). As such, there is not a specific topic or subject that requires illustrating. The thing is, whatever subject you choose must (MUST) be on the right half of the image and there must be space in the top third (of that part of the photo) to...
Winners announced: 19th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: loosened up
The client is a "gentlemen's club" in a large urban area that wants to attract new customers. We generally avoid accepting such clients, but in this case, the client wants a picture that is the antithesis of the typical advertisement of such establishments (usually semi-clad starlets). They assure us that they run a very classy place and want to attract a classy clientele. So, the challenge is...
Winners announced: 12th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: We are on green!
A contemporary magazine is doing an article on faces and how we rely on them to convey meaning in conversation. The editors want to emphasize this with an image of an adult where the face is partly obscured by some object close to the subject's face. They are very sensitive to the fact that an image of a woman in a religious veil will immediately bias the reader so they will accept no such...
Winners announced: 5th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: 223 Commonwealth Ave Boston Mass
The clients need a photograph of a doorway. The door can be closed or partly open (less than fifty percent open). We have no idea how they intend to use the doorway image, so feel free to be creative. Do not include people in the image.
Winners announced: 28th November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Mischievous smile
A commercial studio that specializes in weddings is getting strong demand for child portraits. They want to bring in at least one photographer who specializes in children's portraiture. Submit one or two of your best posed photos (no candids) of a child (not a toddler or baby) with the subject looking at the camera (or very close to the camera).
Winners announced: 21st November, 2012 GMT
Winner: little cottage near the beach
The client is a financial institution seeking to attract comuting customers. They want a vertical image that exemplifies wealth without being humorous, corny or "over the top." In other words, they're looking for a serious image that will encourage new clients to sign up for their services.
Winners announced: 14th November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Magazine article: Library
A popular press magazine is publishing an article about libraries and needs an appropriate image. The client prefers something that concentrates on the books, as their physical future is in doubt, but will accept images of libraries so long as the reader will immediately recognize the building as such. The client does not want images of computers or other high-tech features common to many...
Winners announced: 7th November, 2012 GMT
A group of promotors is looking for an image to put on a poster advertising a motorcycle show that will be traveling around the country. The show features street bikes, racing bikes, dirt bikes, custom bikes and antiques. The image must be of a motorcycle or a very obvious motorcycle component. The image may include a visible trademark, but the trademark must not be the subject (e.g., don't...
Winners announced: 31st October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Príncipe Felipe Science Museum
The client, an architectural firm specializing in cutting edge design, seeks a photographer to record some of their more recent constructions. They want to see an example of your work that showcases your ability to capture contemporary architecture. Submit one or two exemplary photos of recent architectural design (interior or exterior).
Winners announced: 24th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Rafi in Profile
A veterinary pharmaceutical maker needs an image of a house-cat for an upcoming ad campaign. The cat must be a typical house cat of any breed, but it must appear dignified and noble, not goofy and playful. The cat must also be healthy and attractive, the sort of animal you would want to enter in a cat show.
Winners announced: 17th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Tables and winds
A print publication requires a black and white image that captures the feel of and emotion of wind ... lots and lots of wind.
Winners announced: 10th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Baby G. in Color
A trade publication, Sound Authority, specializes in audio recording and engineering. The publisher is looking for a suitable cover photo for their next issue. Submit an image that evokes sound.
Winners announced: 3rd October, 2012 GMT
A magazine, specializing in model construction, is looking for some original examples of miniatures for their publication. This includes elaborate doll houses, dioramas, models and architectural mock-ups. The image must not be a straight-forward catalog shot, but show command of lighting and composition to make the miniature appear realistic.
Winners announced: 26th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: A pipe and brandy
The author requires a gentlemanly image for a book cover. The image must not be of a person, but of something that leads potential buyers to think of a gentleman when they see the cover. Some of the potential images discussed included a pocket-watch on a nightstand, a close-up of a pin on a silk tie, a pair of oxford brogues on a polished wood floor, a pipe resting in a heavy ashtray, and an...
Winners announced: 19th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: Touring the Lake
The local birdwatchers know their birds, but they don't know their photography. They want an experienced photographer to attend their next meeting and present some bird photography along with tips on how they might improve their own image taking. Submit your best wildlife bird photo.
Winners announced: 12th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: Riders In Limbo
A psychedelic-jazz group needs cover art for their new album. With a name like "Riders in Limbo," with no specific subject, they're open to any esoteric image. Be imaginative, but the image must be square.
Winners announced: 5th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: he is looking
A national magazine, specialized in in-depth analysis, requires an image for an article on education. They need a suitable image. The working title is "School Days." We're not sure what angle the article takes but the magazine rarely publishes "feel good" stories. Submit a photo of something school-related that can serve multiple purposes. This might include a child's hand gripping a pencil, a...
Winners announced: 29th August, 2012 GMT
The local sandwich joint is in need of a photo for their menu. They want a sandwich, naturally enough, a delicious looking sandwich. Submit an image to make their patrons' mouths water!
Winners announced: 22nd August, 2012 GMT
Winner: no winner
The author writes detective novels in the Raymond Chandler tradition and needs a jacket cover. The black and white image must be full of shadows, mysterious and high contrast to keep with the mood of the story. A face deep in shadow would work, so would a still life of a glass of whiskey and a few spent bullet casing. As a hard boiled detective novel, it needs a hard boiled cover, tough,...
Winners announced: 15th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Following the shadow
The client organizes unique holidays for well-off old people. Lately, they've had requests for wildlife "safaris" where the participants can sneak up on various animals (N.B. we're not talking about African safaris, but local destinations). Such trips are easy enough to organize, but the client wants to make things interesting by having a photographer who specializes in wildlife to accompany...
Winners announced: 8th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: The Numbers Garden
The client is getting ready to a launch a campaign entitled "Numbers game" and needs an image. They want numbers, lots of number, in sequence or jumbled up, so long as there is a lot of numbers. The numbers must be first and foremost in the image; a picture WITH numbers is not the same as a picture OF numbers. Be sure to practice your editing skills by giving the image sufficient contrast and...
Winners announced: 1st August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Hit It Right There
A large, family-owned, hardware store wants a billboard to advertise their business (and divert traffic from the nearby big box stores). The patriarch of the family had the nickname "Hammerin' Man" and they want to build on that. They need an image of a construction hammer that will fit the 16:9 ratio of the billboard (no, that's not the real ratio of billboards, but it's easier to manage for...
Winners announced: 25th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: I miss you! ...
The client thinks that people prefer to talk to real people and not to machines that just sound like people. For their next campaign, they want to highlight the fact that when you call, you get to talk to a human being. Submit a photo of a pleasant adult talking on the phone.
Winners announced: 18th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: KiteSurfer 2
The client is a regional publication that includes sporting events in its coverage. They're looking for a new photographer to cover some of the lower-tier sporting events in the area. Demonstrate your ability to capture sports by submitting one or two action shots taken at a sporting event. The publishers are not interested in your ability to capture children's events, but will consider your...
Winners announced: 11th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: Jet Engine Fan Blades
The editors of a technology magazine are looking for a suitable cover for their printed publication. [Yeah, I know. Right?] They need a SQUARE image of some technology or futuristic looking subject. The image must not include a brand name or trademark symbol. Show us a really good magazine cover photo!
Winners announced: 4th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: leaf colour
The clients are about to make major changes to their business and need an image for their campaign. They want a photograph of a leaf, a NEW leaf, not a dead leaf or a dying autumn leaf. The photo must be of a leaf, not a pile of leaves or a flower with a visible leaf, but a clear and obvious leaf. An image with a few leaves are OK, but the idea is to turn over a new leaf, not leaves. The leaf...
Winners announced: 27th June, 2012 GMT
The client is an advertising firm that has recently acquired the rights to put posters in urban bus shelters (small, three-sided, glass structures where riders wait for a bus). They need some really eye-catching images to alert potential advertisers to the potential impact of the advertising space; hence the "Stopping Power" title. Submit a vertical image that will cause passersby to stop in...
Winners announced: 20th June, 2012 GMT
The editors of a family magazine are preparing a story on baseball and need an image that captures the feeling of the game. They do not want a photo of a stadium or a crowd or a logo, but some essential moment or small detail that will tie in with the story. The photo must not have any publicly recognized figure, nor should it be a portrait of a ball player. They would prefer not to see a face...
Winners announced: 13th June, 2012 GMT
Winner: Forgotten where you live? Move to Smalltown today.
A small town is trying to attract business to their community by pointing out the downsides of big city life. They need images of imposing buildings towering overhead, seeming to oppress those beneath. While they have the idea of the claustrophobic buildings, they're willing to accept other images that get the message across, but they don't want pictures of crime or litter. Submit suitable...
Winners announced: 6th June, 2012 GMT
The client, a golf club catering to middle-class golfers, is creating a new brochure for their establishment. To supplement the text, they need a few photos to attract potential members. They want bold images with a lot of impact, images that stand out even when printed at a reduced size. The pictures must not contain any children, celebrities, recognizable logos, or product names.
Winners announced: 30th May, 2012 GMT
Winner: Spiral Shell
The client is introducing a series of print ads for beach destinations. The themes is "Shell game" and requires a photo of a seashell ... a really good photo. The shell can be on the beach or posed in a museum, just so long as the shell dominates the images. More than one shell is acceptable, but the shells must be clearly seen.
Winners announced: 23rd May, 2012 GMT
Summer, in most northern towns, sees the opening of seasonal or traveling carnivals. The editors of a print journal are preparing a story on these entertainment venues and are looking for photos that capture the essence of the carnival. The pictures should capture the modern carnival feeling without being too cliche. The image must not contain identifiable people or brand names.
Winners announced: 16th May, 2012 GMT
Winner: Luce Divino - Postacard
The client, a postcard publisher, was quite pleased with their recent photographer audition and now want to see examples of print-ready art. They want typical touristic scenes with appropriate titles and/or captions. Submit one or two postcard images from well-recognized location, complete with text overlays (in English). The image must be horizontal (landscape orientation) and 2:3 or 3:4...
Winners announced: 9th May, 2012 GMT
Winner: mulberry and milk
The clients are looking to make a splash with their latest campaign. It is likely that it will be a print run, but no ratio limitations have been set. Submit an image of a splash. Ideally, the splash should be of water, but they're willing to accept other liquids. The object making the splash can be visible or hidden, but there must be a very obvious splash evident ... not a ripple or wave. If...
Winners announced: 2nd May, 2012 GMT
Winner: Autumn Reflections
The client is an international publisher and distributor of postcards. They're looking for new photographers to capture touristic scenes for creating new postcards. They want to see examples from which to identify a photographer to engage. Submit one or two quintessential postcard images from any well-recognized tourism location (include the location in the title or description or risk...
Winners announced: 25th April, 2012 GMT
A large green grocer wants to drive more traffic to its location with a billboard on a major thoroughfare near its location. The image must be that of a succulent fruit (one with plenty of juice and pulp) in color. The format must be 16:9. The image does not require space for text.
Winners announced: 18th April, 2012 GMT
The client is creating a conceptual ad campaign on the theme of "Heavy." We don't know anything about the service or product offered; the client claims that it will bias our image selection. They are looking for weighty images that will evoke the "Wow, that's heavy" response from a viewer. The client is not keen on photos of heavy people ... unless you are able to make it tasteful. Note that...
Winners announced: 11th April, 2012 GMT
The clients, an interior design team, is tasked with decorating a broad and bright corridor in a home. They've decided to go with white images on a white wall. They require a selection of artistic images with an overwhelming degree of whiteness. A splash of color is quite acceptable, but a glance at the image should register "White!" in your mind.
Winners announced: 4th April, 2012 GMT
Winner: The Office
The client's is about to publish a sentimental article about days gone by. They need a *new* image that will evoke feelings of nostalgia in the reader. The image must not have any people included, but parts (such as hands) are acceptable. Photos of antiques are acceptable so long as it's something more than a snapshot of an antique. Black and white, tinted and full color images are all...
Winners announced: 28th March, 2012 GMT
A lobbying firm is looking for dynamic images showing the progress of industry. The pictures must be uplifting and powerful, not dystopian. The pictures must be of modern industry, not Industrial Age nostalgic images.
Winners announced: 21st March, 2012 GMT
Winner: What you lookin' at?
The client is looking for an image of a bird on wire for some sort of play on words about their service. The bird, or birds, must be clearly perched on a wire (such as telephone line or electrical line) and not a branch or other object. The bird and the wire must be dominant enough to see clearly, so no distant shots with distracting backgrounds.
Winners announced: 14th March, 2012 GMT
A conservation organization is looking for an image illustrating the tenacious nature of life. They quite like the flower poking through the asphalt cliche image, but are eager to see what other fresh ideas are out there. Show us your best images of nature clinging to life or taking over our artifacts.
Winners announced: 7th March, 2012 GMT
The client is a hair salon catering to kids. They want some really fun images for their walls. Since the theme of the salon is happy animals, they want images that will match. Submit images of animals that look happy. Feel free to edit the images to improve the happiness factor ... poorly edited images are subject to disqualification, so make them count!
Winners announced: 29th February, 2012 GMT
A service organization is looking for an image of a satisfied person to use in an upcoming ad campaign. No, we don't have much to go on with this, but the requirements are not difficult and this sort of image is used time and time again in so many campaigns. The client wants an image of an attractive adult, either looking directly into the camera or just slightly to the side (they have admitted...
Winners announced: 22nd February, 2012 GMT
Winner: The Needles
The clients offer customers a personalized service that, in their words, "enables them to navigate through difficult times or troubled waters." They are about to launch a web-based campaign and needs an image that aligns with this navigation theme. The clients have suggested creative pictures of maps (with the emphasis on creative), old astrolabes or telescopes, and a compasses. In our...
Winners announced: 15th February, 2012 GMT
Winner: Paromeos Monastery 2
The client, an interior designer, is looking for an image to hang on a wall, unframed. The image must be beige, a pale sandy yellowish-brown (not off-white or gray). The image must be predominantly beige and not have any startlingly contrasting colors (e.g. a blue window in a beige wall). Beige is traditionally associated with untreated cotton cloth and tends to have a warm tone.
Winners announced: 8th February, 2012 GMT
Winner: Under the Stars
A magazine catering to an urban population is preparing an article on camping. The article will not necessarily promote camping so much as the idea of camping. The editor wants an idyllic, fair weather, camping photo that will appeal to its city-dwelling readers. The image must be a typical camping image and not an image of things you do while camping. While people carrying overnight backpacks...
Winners announced: 1st February, 2012 GMT
Winner: Looking out...
A trade publication, specializing in small-farm equipment and country living, needs a cover for an upcoming issue. The magazine will contain a few equestrian related articles and requires a suitable cover: an image of a horse. The image must be vertical (portrait orientation) and clearly show one or more horses. The horse(s) must be quite predominant in the image, and not off in the distance.
Winners announced: 25th January, 2012 GMT
The client is a large local printing lab with an excellent reputation with amateur photographers. The owners see an opportunity to build on that reputation by providing customers with professional studio portraiture. To find a suitable photographer, they want to see an example of your portrait work. The images must look like they were shot in a studio, the subjects must be posed, well lit, and...
Winners announced: 18th January, 2012 GMT
Winner: Rough Life.
A magazine has an article, ready for publication, about how we spend our winter months: curled up in bed as much as we can. The editor needs an engaging photo, that will appear to a large audience, that illustrates the concept of keeping warm indoors during the winter.
Winners announced: 11th January, 2012 GMT
Winner: Midnight Smoke
A mid-market consumer magazine, specializing in cigars, is looking for a compelling cover. The client requires a very pleasing image in a vertical format (portrait orientation) and must prominently depict a cigar. The image may be of a lone cigar, multiple cigars or someone enjoying a cigar, so long as the reader can see the cigar quite clearly.
Winners announced: 4th January, 2012 GMT
A producer needs an album art image for an artist about whom we know absolutely nothing. The client does not want to reveal the performer's name and music style so as not to prejudice the selection options. All we know is the title: White Noise Whitewash. The client fully expects to get images of TV screens full of white noise. This sort of image might work, but almost any esoteric image would...
Winners announced: 28th December, 2011 GMT
Winner: Profile Of A Singer
Composition cards, or comp cards, are used by actors and models to showcase their look and serves as a super-size business card. They're typically made up of at least two photos on 8.5" x 5.5" (A5) card stock. Usually, it will have a portrait on the left and a collage of four images on the right. The client is a new modeling agency looking for a photographer with experience creating comp cards.
Winners announced: 21st December, 2011 GMT
The client is preparing an article entitled "The Joy of Getting Wet." It's about the many sports that take place on and in the water. By "sport," the client wants actual sports, not a kid splashing around in a wading pool or the like. By "wet," the client wants sports were people really get wet, not yachting where someone might get splashed a bit. To attract the readers' attention, the image...
Winners announced: 14th December, 2011 GMT
Winner: Moneyfall 2
A journal devoted to the study of currency is seeking an image for the cover of its quarterly publication. The image must clearly show money, in any of its popular forms. The ideal image would be a close-up, but other images are acceptable so long as it evokes the topic for the reader. Any form of currency is acceptable so long as it is primarily known as currency and not as something else...
Winners announced: 7th December, 2011 GMT
Winner: Firesteel I-70 Long Haul.
The client is a trucking company specializing in long hauls (long distance transportation). They're looking for a photo they can use for various purposes including their newsletter, their web site and on leaflets. The image should be bold and really speak to the idea of long haul trucking. They do not necessarily need a photo of a truck as they're open to the idea of something more conceptual...
Winners announced: 30th November, 2011 GMT
Winner: Structural Engineer
A service company needs an image of a young professional for an upcoming ad campaign. The subject must be young, neat, attractive and professional looking, preferably in a business setting. The client would prefer a smiling professional, but one engaged in deep thought or other worthy activity is quite acceptable. For the image to be accepted, the subject must dominate the frame, not simply...
Winners announced: 23rd November, 2011 GMT
Winner: Cool blue.
The client is an interior designer working on a new project. The color scheme for this new interior requires a series of images with predominant blue colors. The images must be blue, light blue or dark blue, but not violet or purple.
Winners announced: 16th November, 2011 GMT
Winner: Saharan Sands
The client is looking for images consisting entirely of texture. The texture will be used for trim on a web page and in a magazine as an ad border. The final image may be lightened or darkened according to their requirements.
Winners announced: 9th November, 2011 GMT
A publisher is looking for a jacket cover for an autobiography of a writer. We do not know the nature of the author, but we do know the person has been writing for more than fifty years and the title of the book is "The Writer." the client is open minded about the format of the book, but the image must convey a sense of writing; this can be anything from a closeup of a quill pen to a modern...
42. Editorial: Vote
Winners announced: 2nd November, 2011 GMT
Winner: Vote Now
The client is a newspaper looking for a B&W image to illustrate an article on voting and voting rights. The image must be about voting, not campaigning or protesting or related activity.
Winners announced: 26th October, 2011 GMT
Winner: A Moment with the Bridesmaid
The client is a professional photographer renown for her very stylish posing of the wedding party. She recognizes that she is missing many candid photograph opportunities. As a result, she has decided to take on a candid photographer to augment her wedding day packages. To facilitate the selection, she wants to see a sample of your work. Submit one or two candid (not posed) wedding photograph....
Winners announced: 19th October, 2011 GMT
The client is a urban newspaper about to produce a color insert for one of their weekend "magazine" printings. This insert requires a vertical image for the cover. The image must relate to harvest activities or products typically produced in Autumn. The client insists that the images be colorful. Halloween specific images are not acceptable.
Winners announced: 12th October, 2011 GMT
Winner: ARCHES TREE ROCKS H
The client seeks to position itself as an organization that stands up against the odds. It seeks an image that best represents this position. We do not know how the image will be used, so any format is acceptable.
Winners announced: 5th October, 2011 GMT
The client has an article on the benefits and perils of running and requires a suitable image for illustration. The subject must be an adult and either running or preparing for a run. The subject must appear to be exercising. Images of running details (e.g. a footprint of a running shoe) are also acceptable.
37. Ad campaign: Go!
Winners announced: 28th September, 2011 GMT
The client is a launching an ad campaign with the title "Go!" We know nothing about the product or service. The client is looking only for "lifestyle" images that can match the "Go!" theme.
Winners announced: 21st September, 2011 GMT
A stock photography agency requires a creative business card that showcases their collection. As one of their best suppliers, the agency wants to see what you can produce for a business card. The dimensions must fit the standard business card size (2"x3½") and have reserve a blank block of space for text consisting of no less than 25% of the image. The text area can be vertical, horizontal or a...
Winners announced: 14th September, 2011 GMT
Winner: Let's Talk
A local resto-bar is creating a promotional flier advertising their happy hour. The client wants images of adults having a great time in an indoor restaurant or bar environment. Assume that you have model release forms from your subjects.
Winners announced: 7th September, 2011 GMT
Winner: love is in the air
An on-line dating site is looking to spruce up their web site. They don't yet have a color scheme in mind, but need some images of couples. Submit an image of a couple being romantic, something that appeals to a broad audience and will make people use the dating site.
33. Ad campaign: Dry
Winners announced: 31st August, 2011 GMT
Winner: Saharan Sands
The client makes a moisturizing product and requires a image to remind people of the horrors of things drying out. They want a photo of something dry, something so dry it will draw people to the client's moisturizing product. The image will be used for print and on-line presentation so vertical and horizontal images are acceptable. The image must be suitable for a general audience.
Winners announced: 24th August, 2011 GMT
The client is a music promotion company from another city. They are planning a series of small jazz concerts in the area and are seeking photographers to cover the event. They want to audition the photographers by having them submit one or two excellent photos of jazz concerts. They want shots of the musicians and their instruments, not the audience. As such, they expect tightly cropped images,...
Winners announced: 17th August, 2011 GMT
Winner: At Church
The client is about to publish an article on the benefits of a sound sleep and requires a suitable image for illustration. As the article is geared toward adults, the subject must be an adult. The image does not need to include a person if you are able to create a compelling illustration of sound sleep without one.
Winners announced: 10th August, 2011 GMT
Winner: Summer Cruisin'
The client is a producer who has collected a dozen tracks from a variety of artists. The music, he claims, is excellent for road trips. All that is required now is a cover. The image must be square and have something to do with driving. The client is not interested in photos of stationary cars, but is open to car parts if it brings home the "Hard Drivin'" theme. Racing cars are also out as they...
Winners announced: 3rd August, 2011 GMT
Winner: Anonymously set free
An on-line magazine editor needs a photo to illustrate an upcoming article on anonymity on the internet. The image must show a person, but intentionally not show their features. The image should not be artistic, but more journalistic.
Winners announced: 27th July, 2011 GMT
Winner: The Shadow Knows
The client is a manufacturer of a product that can, uh, prevent an embarrassing situation (for, we assume, persons of a certain age). For their latest campaign, they're looking for photos of people doing something embarrassing. They don't want the person to be identified, though, so a black bar across their eyes would suffice to disguise who they are.
Winners announced: 20th July, 2011 GMT
Winner: All Alone
The client is an author looking for an appropriate cover for a soon-to-be-published novel. The story takes place around a beach, but not the fun sunny beach where you go with your family. This beach must be lonely and forlorn. The client has not decided if the cover should wrap around the book, so vertical and horizontal images are acceptable. HOWEVER, horizontal images must have the center of...
Winners announced: 13th July, 2011 GMT
Winner: Fusilli Bucatini Lunghi
The client is producing a cookbook and needs some fairly generic images for the inside. These photos will not be used to illustrate the recipes, but as decorative illustrations between sections. The images must be bright and crisp. The subject must be food or tools or kitchen scenes.
Winners announced: 6th July, 2011 GMT
Winner: Split Personallity
The client, a book publishing company, seeks a cover for an aspiring author's psychological thriller. We don't know the theme or anything about the story, but the client insists that this is not important. Their requirement is that the image be dark and foreboding with a sense of dread. The image must be vertical to fit the cover. Any people visible must not be identifiable.
Winners announced: 29th June, 2011 GMT
Winner: Careless afternoon
A city newspaper, that does a Sunday supplement magazine, is looking for a photo to illustrate an upcoming article. The article is titled "Dog Days of Summer" and is about the hottest, most sultry days of summer. The client wants something lazy and languid, but not a photo of a dog.
Winners announced: 22nd June, 2011 GMT
Winner: Red, Ginkgo, And Blue.
The client is a company that makes botanic products from the ginkgo tree. They are preparing an advertisement campaign and want some images of the ginkgo and its most unique leaf. The client has not yet settled on the types of ads they will run, so any format of image will likely inspire their campaign.
Winners announced: 15th June, 2011 GMT
Winner: no winner
The client seeks a silhouette of a human face, male or female, old or young, for an undisclosed ad campaign. The face must be distinguishable and separated from the background and must be facing to the right. The ideal image would have a blank background, but the client is willing to accept images with background elements so long as they do not distract from the silhouette; the emphasis is on...
Winners announced: 8th June, 2011 GMT
Winner: Poverty & Embarrassment
The client is a Western newspaper doing a feature on poverty. They seek a suitable B&W image to illustrate the story. Since the article is not about third-world poverty, they do not want images of mud huts, hand plowing, aid packages, etc., but of "civilized" poverty. The image must be bold and grab the attention of the readers, drawing them to the story. People in the image must not be ...
Winners announced: 1st June, 2011 GMT
Winner: Gavel_streaks_with_hand (1)
A magazine catering to employees of the judiciary system, not just lawyers, seeks a suitable cover. The image must be vertical and provide approximately 20% "white space" (blank area) for overlay text at the top of the image. Although "law enforcement" images might be acceptable, the client is really looking for courtroom life images. This can include a closeup of a gavel, a jury bench,...
Winners announced: 25th May, 2011 GMT
The client requires an image of a smile for a small counter display. We don't know the product or service being advertised. We don't know if teeth should be showing or what age or gender is best suited, but the smile had better be compelling and appropriate. The image must be horizontal with a standard 3:2 or 4:3 ratio.
Winners announced: 18th May, 2011 GMT
Winner: Potted Plant
The client is a new heath product manufacturer looking to improve their brand image with a "growth" message. They seek an image suitable for a billboard (16:9). The image must be of a plant springing up from the soil. The soil can be a garden or a potting bed. The plant must be on the far right or far left side of the image to make room for text. At least half the image must be dark or light...
Winners announced: 11th May, 2011 GMT
Winner: Sailing Life_IWR
The client is a writer looking to illustrate an article on sailing. The article is intended for an upscale publication so it needs slick, professional images. The photos must evoke the feeling of life in AND AROUND sailing boats. Although people can be in the photo, they must not be recognizable (dark glasses may suffice).
Winners announced: 4th May, 2011 GMT
The client is a snazzy coffee shop looking to update their decor. They're looking for a set of posters or fine art print they can put on the wall. The theme is, naturally, coffee. They do not want photos of coffee shops or recognizable individuals. Otherwise, anything related to coffee is acceptable: coffee beans, cups and saucers, sugar cubes, coffee pots, cake and coffee, a close-up of...
Winners announced: 27th April, 2011 GMT
The client is looking for a an image of water. The image must clearly be water and almost all water (no additional details). The image must be full of uniform water, not just a bit of water or water of varying wateriness (e.g. a wave breaking on the shore). The water image will be used as a background for a text display in the foreground. We do not know the product or service being advertised.
Winners announced: 20th April, 2011 GMT
The client is a health services office that needs a poster-size image to print health alerts (e.g.. dates of the next blood pressure clinic). The image must have a pharmaceutical or medical theme. The image must be vertical. The image must have approximately 50% blank white space onto which text can be overlaid.
Winners announced: 13th April, 2011 GMT
Winner: Exquisite Beads
The client owns a jewelry bead shop and requires a business card. The dimensions must fit the standard business card size (2"x3½" or 4:7) and have a block of space for text consisting of no less than 25% of the image. The text block consists of a blank area of the image with no distracting background. The text area can be vertical, horizontal or a rectangular block. Do not include any text.
Winners announced: 6th April, 2011 GMT
The client is a small dance studio looking to recruit new members using a circular (flyer or leaflet). It will be dropped in mailboxes, cafes, restaurants and community centers. The studio offers a variety of classes, so most any contemporary dance image will suffice for the circular. Ethnic costumes, on the other hand, are not acceptable. The client requests that there be no recognizable...
Winners announced: 30th March, 2011 GMT
The client is a magazine editor looking for a generic image that says "birthday!" The image must not show a face, but still convey the delight of a birthday or birthday party. The client is not interested in clever puns, but an image that will illustrate the magazine's upcoming story about birthday celebrations.
Winners announced: 23rd March, 2011 GMT
Winner: BAIL OUT!
An organization with a good sense of humor is looking for some de-motivational posters to put in their break room. They don't care about the theme so long as it mocks the traditional motivational posters. Your submission must include the theme and caption superimposed on a black frame over the image.
Winners announced: 16th March, 2011 GMT
Winner: Log Boom Park_No Watermark
The client seeks a suitable image for a new electronic device. The device is a oversize hand-held computer/communicator which uses icons and gestures for input. This enables the inclusion of a wallpaper image in the background. The image must be horizontal (although the device is used in both horizontal and vertical formats). The client wants a breathtaking image, preferably a landscape, that...
Winners announced: 9th March, 2011 GMT
Winner: Eyebrow Orange
The client, a seasoned humor writer, is looking for a photo for the cover of a new book. The title "Orange You Glad?" requires an orange theme. The writer is open to any idea related to orange, from fruit to safety cones. If the image is vertical, there must be room at the top for the title. If the image is horizontal, in order to wrap around the book, the subject must be on the right hand side...
Winners announced: 2nd March, 2011 GMT
Winner: Sunrise in the Sahara
An adventure travel agency has an idea for a new ad campaign. They are looking for photos of footprints as a clever hook to promote their services. They want one or more sets of footprints that could inspire a customer to seek out new destinations.
Winners announced: 23rd February, 2011 GMT
Winner: Softly Pink
The client has a line of floral scented oils and needs a counter display to attract customers from within a department store. The image needs to be bold enough to catch the eye of those passing by, but not so overwhelming as to detract from the products. The image does not have to be sharp; in fact, the client would prefer something very soft and romantic, but feels a super close-up might work...
Winners announced: 16th February, 2011 GMT
Winner: They stand together and face the bitter cold.
The client is a group of musicians who create "new age" compositions built on classical music. They are looking for a cover for their latest album, "Tranquil Moments." What appeals to them most are pastoral scenes. To fit the various album art applications, the image must be square.
4. Flier: Pizza
Winners announced: 9th February, 2011 GMT
The client is a local pizza parlor looking to create a flier for mailbox stuffing. The image can be vertical or horizontal, but must depict a tasty pizza in whole or in part.
Winners announced: 2nd February, 2011 GMT
Winner: Your Condominium Pool...
The client is converting an old office tower into condominiums. People can see the building quite easily from the road and there is one blank wall ideally suited for a vertical billboard ad for the developer. Rather than show images of the interiors, the client wants a lifestyle image: one that conveys living in a luxurious downtown residence. The image must depict urban life that will appeal...
Winners announced: 26th January, 2011 GMT
Winner: HamrAd Eggs
The client, an independent ad agency, is looking for a creative image for a business card. The subject of the image is not important so long as it really grabs the attention of the person receiving it. However, the client does not want a "sexy" image as this conveys the wrong message. The client specifically asked for a shot with "stopping power." The dimensions must fit the standard business...
Winners announced: 19th January, 2011 GMT
The client seeks an image that conveys the concept of patience ... and does so in a positive light (the virtue of patience). The image will be used in magazines in either a vertical or horizontal orientation. Depending on the image, the text will be superimposed over, or separated from, the picture. All that we know about the client's needs is that the ad campaign is for a service, not a product.
Have your say
Have Your Say: Best Product of 2016
- Fujifilm X-T223.6%
- Nikon D50025.4%
- Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E8.2%
- Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F47.5%
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-G857.2%
- Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art6.7%
- Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art5.1%
- Sony a63006.4%
- Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III3.7%
- Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V6.3%
Total voters: 3,528
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