8 Photo Contest Ideas for Magazines

by Liz Huff Second Street

Summer Photo Contest | Rhode Island Monthly

While seasonal photo contests are great all year round, summer is perfectly poised for camera-ready moments. With people going on vacations, staycations, and simply enjoying the warm weather, everyone’s phone has a summer fun photo just waiting to be shared.

Rescue My Grill Contest | The Memphis Flyer

A home improvement photo contest is a fun way to give away a new appliance or a partial home makeover. Asking readers to submit photos of their old, dirty barbecue grills shows exactly who in the community is in need of a new one – a perfect opportunity to identify qualified leads for your advertiser.

Cutest Pet Photo Contest | Kern County Family

People are passionate about their pets – of all shapes, sizes, and breeds. Kern County Family made their Cutest Pets Contest with three categories for dogs, cats, and others. You can always give this traditional idea a fun spin by doing a doggie dating profile photo contest around Valentine’s Day, a Halloween pet costume contest, and more.

Cover Model Search | Spacecoast Living

One of our favorite magazine-specific photo contest themes is a cover photo contest. For Spacecoast Living, their Cover Model Search landed 72 photo entries and more than 400 votes. This contest gave the community a chance to vote on their local modeling talent. Being the cover photo of your magazine is a great honor and readers will jump at the chance to win.

Best Dish Photo Contest | St. Louis Magazine

This contest was tied together with the St. Louis Magazine issue which highlights the top dishes to eat in the city. To encourage participation, the magazine offered a prize of $100 to a local restaurant. This contest not only showed off the variety of foods from local area restaurants readers could try, but was a great way to uncover popular foods and restaurants to feature in their special issue.

Best Dad Ever Contest | Baystate Parent Magazine

On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, people love an opportunity to share about their loved ones. For their Best Dad Ever photo contest, Baystate Parent locked in a local mall as their sponsor. Not only did the mall provide a great prize package for the winner, but with custom lead-gen questions, the mall was able to identify potential customers for the mall as well. Plus, to drive participation, the magazine also offered a prize to a random voter too.

Cover Kid Contest | Tulsa Kids

Like I said, cover contests are a big hit for magazines. This family magazine was searching for their new “Cover Kid.” A local pediatric orthodontist sponsored the contest. By including an email opt-in for the dentist, the business was able to identify leads for parents in the area whose children may need orthodontic services. It’s a win-win for both the sponsor and the publication.

Show Us Your Best Costume! | What’s Up

This Halloween photo contest was fun and unique because it wasn’t just a traditional kids Halloween photo contest – this one was open to kids of all ages. The contest was sponsored by a local shopping center and offered a $300 grand prize. With 44 photo entries and 750+ votes, this contest had great engagement around the holiday.

Photo contests are great for any holiday, cutest kids, cutest pets, and more. And don’t forget about the potential that advertiser photo contests have as well. See what holidays and events are coming up on your calendar and work with your team to build a photo contest around it.

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