Official Rules and Details:
Donna McVicar Kazo's Model Search Photo Contest


"A Different Kind of Photo Contest!"

Download Printable Version (pdf)

What makes my photo contest different from the rest?

  • Four contestants will each win a nicely framed original work of art by yours truly, either in oils or pastels, based upon their own photograph of their pet or favorite animal, painted with care, love and all my skill. They will be similar to those on my website, which sell for upwards of $500.
  • Each painting will be at least 12" by 16" or larger, but not smaller.
  • I will personally review and briefly critique every photo submitted and respond to the photographer by email (preferred) or by note via US Mail (if the contestant sends me a self-addressed stamped envelope). I want you to know how to take great photographs of your animal friends! Then you may enter again!
  • You may enter every category with only one $5.00 entry, just specify this on your entry form.
  • You may enter as many times and in as many categories as you wish, but must adhere to the $5 per entry rule as above.
  • You can be a winner years after my Model Search Photo Contest ends! Even if you don't win one of the major prizes, if I ever use your photograph to create a work of art, even if it's years later, and we are still in contact, I will send you a print of this artwork suitable for framing.
  • I will always be personally available to you via email (just give me a few days to respond).
  • The photos don't have to be the best ones ever taken by the photographer with the most expensive equipment or even the best sense of composition.
  • I am not concerned with the background, only a well-lit, well-focused animal that is not distorted or too blurry to see its details.
  • Model releases are not necessary as I have no interest in any humans within the photographs.
  • Color photos only are eligible. NO FLASH PHOTOS. I won't look at them for more than two seconds.
  • Amateur and professional photographers of any age may submit their photos of animals.
  • Although you have to own the rights to use and share this photograph, if someone in your immediate family, such as a deceased parent, took the photo, you still may submit it.
  • Photos that have previously been published or have won awards may be submitted, as long as you have retained the right to do so.
  • Your photo can be taken at any time and in any location, as long as it is primarily of an animal, and you own all rights to the photo.
  • You will retain copyright to your original photograph.
  • You don't have to be a citizen of the U.S., or a permanent resident, or even live in the U.S. to enter your photographs into my contest. You just have to love animals and want to share some of your favorite photographs of animals with me.

The purpose of this contest:

  • I have made it my goal to draw every type of animal on the planet, and appreciate your help in my quest!
  • Therefore, my primary reason for this contest is to find models for my art of only animals (not humans!); the photograph is not the end result, only a means to the end.
  • My secondary reason is that during my career as an animal portraitist, I've seen far too many terrible photographs of beloved pets, or have discovered that when the pet is gone, the owner had not a single decent photograph of the animal. For this reason, I have written a guidebook called How to Take Great Photographs of Your Pets, which is available as a free ebook on my website. Download and read it!
  • Third, there's a wonderful little publication deserving of recognition: The Pet Planet Magazine, published four times a year here in Florida. The folks involved are dedicated to bettering the lives of pets everywhere. They publish first-run, high-quality articles on animal behavior, health and nutrition, rescue and adoption, and support many rescue organizations with free "personal ads" spotlighting pets in need of their forever homes. PPM is available by subscription, but is distributed for free through Publix Supermarkets throughout South and Central Florida. I am proud to be their Contributing Editor. They are helping me to get out the good word about my contest, and are publishing the finished portraits in their next Winter issue. Advertising rates are reasonable, so if you have any type of business and want to reach a quality audience, I advise and invite you to contact PPM and get on board this magnificent magazine. Click above to visit their wonderful website, where advertisers get live links to their own websites!

Details/How to Enter:

  • There are four categories: dogs, cats, horses, and "other animal." "Other" means just that: your pet bird, snake, guinea pig, fish, cow, scorpion, etc.! This category also includes photos taken by you of wild animals, whether in a zoo or out in their habitat, which can include underwater photographs. I suppose, to be fair, microphotographs could be included of unicellular animals such as amoeba and so on.
  • There will be one winner in each category.
  • You may enter 1-5 photos-and every category-for only $5.00, using my entry form.
  • You must use my entry form each time you enter.
  • Entry forms are available as a downloadable .doc and as a pdf, and may be photocopied. Download the .doc here and the pdf version here.
  • Entries received without forms and/or fees will be disqualified, and no notice sent of such.
  • If you are unable to download an entry form, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to:
    D. Kazo Model Search Photo Contest
    2165 SW 83 Ave.
    Davie, FL 33324
    and a blank entry form will be mailed to you. Do allow 2-3 weeks in case of postal delays.
  • Email your entries to: photocontest AT and attach the photo files as high-quality JPEGS, TIFFS or PNGS and the completed, SIGNED entry form to your email.
  • The entry form may be signed electronically, or if on a hard copy, in blue or black ink. Either one attests that you have read and are in agreement with all rules of this contest.
  • If you are sending a hard copy/photographic print, it is to your benefit to send one of high quality. One printed professionally by a photo lab is preferable to a color laser copy or from a home ink-jet printer. The photo can be just about any size: prints may be up to 8" x 10" as long as you have taken care to package it safely, in a padded envelope with cardboard stiffener and a plastic sleeve. Mailing flat is preferable (and less expensive) than mailing it in a tube.
  • When emailing digital files, the larger the better (within reason!); try not to send JPEGs less than 1024 pixels per inch by 768 pixels per inch, at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch. Do not resample images. 300 ppi/dpi is the preferred resolution for TIFFs. Please make sure your image will print out well. I may request that you send a larger file size if I really love your photo!
  • Minor digital enhancement is permitted, but images that have been significantly modified or appear unnatural will be disqualified.
  • Do not send CD-ROMs. Only hard copies (photographic prints) and emailed digital images may be entered. (If your CD could not be opened by my elderly Mac, it would be a difficult situation for us both!)
  • You may securely pay your entry fee online with any credit or debit card by using the designated PayPal button at the bottom of this page and your payment will be acknowledged by an email from PayPal to your email account. Do NOT send your credit card information directly to me.
  • You may also pay your entry fee the old fashioned way, by mailing me a check or money order to the address above, in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank, made out to Donna M. Kazo. The entry fee may accompany your prints and entry form, or you can email me your photos and snail-mail me the check or money order. Remember, you will be disqualified if you do not remit your entry fee!
  • Sending a hard-copy print is okay (but not if it's your only copy!) and once I scan it in, I will mail it back to you via US Mail: but only if you send me a self-addressed, stamped, padded envelope containing some sort of protection (see above) for your photo. And it will take some time to do so.
  • No SASE, no return of your photo, sorry.
  • If you send a hard-copy print, write your name, address and email address on a label and affix it to the back of the photo when the ink is dry. Do NOT write on the back of your photo with a ballpoint pen or pencil as it will show on the front as a raised line. If you use a marker on the back of the photo, it will probably smear, hence the label. (Voice of experience here!)
  • If submitting a hard-copy print, non-U.S. contestants should write on the envelope, "Materials for Contest Entry, No Commercial Value" to facilitate passage through U.S. Customs.
  • The four winners will receive an original full-color portrait painted by me, in pastel or oils (my choice of medium), valued at over $500. Portrait before framing will vary in size but will begin at around 12" x 16" depending on size of animal. See typical examples on my website.
  • I seek only reference material of animals. If there are any humans in these photos, I will not use their images for any purpose whatsoever.
  • If I do reprint your photograph, any humans in it will be removed/blurred digitally, their resemblances made unrecognizable, unless you have given me express permission to print their faces.
  • My choice for the winning photos will be entirely subjective: the photo must inspire me to leap to the easel and create a painting!
  • The only other judge will be my daughter, a superb artist in her own right, Christianna R. Cannon.
  • All entries must be received by August 15, 2010; this includes those sent by U.S. postal mail, so please make note of the deadline!
  • Winners will be notified by August 31, 2010.
  • The winning portraits will be published in the next Winter edition of The Pet Planet Magazine.
  • You may be a winner even years later, as described above! So, I suggest that you and I keep in touch (email is best) in case I use your photo as a reference for a work of art, so I can send you a print; and that you allow me to occasionally email/mail you my own special offers and/or newsletters.

What makes my photo contest similar to others?

The Legal Stuff!

  • By submitting your entry form, signing either electronically or in ink on a hard copy, and paying your entry fee, you are legally agreeing to all of the contest rules specified herein.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you must have your parent or guardian sign the entry form(s), signifying that they are aware of the entry fee, all the rules of this contest, and that if your photograph wins, that they may have to bear part of the cost of shipping of the painting (if that is required to get your painting to you).
  • The portraits I paint of the winners will be published in The Pet Planet Magazine, on my website, and to use in any way I see fit to sell/promote my artwork, and may (or may not) include your original photo only as a reference (just so people can see how close I came to capturing the likeness). If I publish your photo in the foregoing media, I will always give you credit as the photographer. I, my heirs and/or assigns, will respect your copyright on this photograph, and acknowledge at all times that you have granted me this limited use as specified in this contest.
  • I will not use your original photo as it is to gain profit, only as stated above: for my resource material, and for demonstration/educational purposes.
  • Entries arriving without the entry fee will be disqualified.
  • Entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • Framing: As it's important to protect a work of art by framing it, I will also frame the artwork before shipping; I will collaborate with the winners on choice of framing but as the professional artist and custom framer, the final choice will be mine. It will suit the artwork and look nice, don't worry!
  • Pickup/shipping: There is no way to predict the location of the four winners, so pickup or shipping will be discussed after the winners have been selected. Of course, I will collaborate with the winners on shipping but expect the winners to bear part of this cost.
  • As designated by the U.S. Copyright Office, as the creator of the four portraits, I will retain copyright of these works of art and no one else is allowed to duplicate them in any way whatsoever without express written permission of myself or my heirs and/or assigns.
  • Speaking of heirs and such, members of my immediate family are not eligible. They can likely wheedle a painting out of me any time.
  • I promise that I will never share nor sell your personal information, to include email address, with any third party, to include The Pet Planet Magazine.
  • Although The Pet Planet Magazine is helping to promote this contest, the publishers/owners/staff are not responsible in any way for providing prizes, accepting, judging or critiquing photographs.
  • Please do not send photographs to The Pet Planet Magazine as they will have to only send them on to me. Do not contact The Pet Planet Magazine by any means of communication regarding this photo contest. Although they are in support of this contest, they have enough to do publishing their magazine and do not want photographs meant for my Model Search Photo Contest to become mixed up with photos sent in by their readers for publishing within their pages.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
Hopefully, this takes care of any questions or concerns you may have!

Now that you've read the rules, pay your entry fee below using PayPal!

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Pay your $5 entry fee here!
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Double-check multiple entry fees!

Any more questions?
Best to ask by email: Donna AT DonnaMcVicarKazo DOT Com

Good luck and may the best photos win!

Your friend in art and nature,




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