Wanna pit your skills against tens of thousands of other photographers... for free? You'll soon have your chance. The 2018 Photo Contest by Shoot & Share—which bills itself as the world’s only free & fair photo contest—will start accepting entries on January 8th.

What sets this particular contest apart is the voting process. No hoity-toity group of judges sifting through your entries, the whole system is democratic.

Every entrant is allowed to submit up to 50 photos in a total of 25 categories, and those photos are voted on by everyone else (including you). Photos are shown to you at random, and you vote for your favorites. As Shoot & Share explains it, "No one knows who took the photos, but everyone votes for the winners. The photos with the most votes win!"

Here's a fun intro video Shoot & Share put together:

The democratic draw of this contest as summed up best, perhaps, by DPReview Editorial Manager Wenmei Hill:

"It's huge, it's free, and it's a big ego boost (or destroyer, depending on how good a photographer you are) for tons of photographers."

Prizes for the 2018 contest haven't been revealed yet, but all 25 categories will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, in addition to a Grand Prize Winner for the contest as a whole. According to the contest site, "Last year, there was over $1,200,000 in free memberships, software, credit, gifts, workshops, and more," given away.

Not bad for a totally free and extremely democratic contest.

To learn more about the 2018 Photo Contest or see last year's winners, head over to the contest website. And if you plan to participate, you have just over a week to curate your best shots for submission.

UPDATE: Several readers have expressed concern about some of Shoot & Share's terms and conditions for this contest: specifically, the part that says you allow them to use your images with photo credit.

To clear up any misconceptions, we reached out to Heather Keys, the company's head of Marketing and Business Development, to ask how contestants' photos have been used in the past. Here's what she said:

In the past, the photos from the contest have been used to promote various community activities as well as used to promote future contests (always with photo credit included).

At times, we have reached out to those photographers that submitted images during the contest to request to use certain submitted photos in promotion of some of the products we offer (PASS.us and Agree.com ). With that said, we've always requested permission and offered compensation if we ever used submitted photos for promotion of our software tools.