The Prehistoric Way to Run Photo Contests (Vs. The Pongr Way)

What were photo contests like for your parents? No need to speculate. They looked exactly like this. (Double click to enlarge).

I’ve been in the process of digitizing my family photo archives, a laborious process of sorting through shoeboxes of tattered prints and slides — but also a journey of AMAZING discoveries. Like the photographic relic above.

This is what photo contests looked like back in the Summer of 1968. I found this entry form — which I assume was never mailed in — in a box of unorganized slides that hadn’t been touched in at least 30 years. I never even knew this box existed (so go see what your parents might be storing in the attic).

Here are the steps my father took to take his shot at fame and glory…


1. Buy slide film at Zayre’s, a discount department store similar to Kmart. (We miss you, Zayre’s!)
2. Take photos you think will impress the contest judges.
3. Get slides developed at Zayre’s, which at the time usually took 7-10 days.
4. Drive to Zayre’s to pick up your pics.
5. Fill out an entry form and mail it to Minnesota.
6. Wait by your mailbox for news about the winner.

I’m always curious about What Might Have Been so I scanned my dad’s scenic entry.

Did Dad ever win that 1968 Dynachrome Photo Contest? He never found out…. because he forgot to send in his entry!

It’s not a bad shot. Well framed. Love the juxtaposition of dirt, gravel, asphalt, grass and mountains. I have no idea what his competition might have been, so I’m not going to judge his selection.  But I do know this: Thank Heavens for the Pongr Way.

1. SNAP — Take a pic with your mobile phone.
2. SEND — Email or picture text to (brandname)
3. INSTANT GRATIFICATION — Get an immediate direct response by email or text letting you know if you won, are still eligible to win, or you may receive an exclusive offer only for contest participants.

Make no mistake about it, the Pongr Way is not the way most brands, businesses and bloggers are running their photo contests (yet). Many Facebook and blog-based contests still involve a laborious process — perhaps even as time consuming as the snail mail method.

Consider all the work that a social media manager must do to currently keep track of photo contest entries and to display them. Photos sent in by email or posted on the Facebook page must be curated, sorted, categorized and constantly updated.

Pongr’s free Photo Widget tools does all that for you and presents everything in a live streaming gallery that your business would otherwise have to pay a developer to create.

Check out how Miles High, a start-up organic clothing and lifestyle brand, recently used the Pongr Photo Widgets to automate their fan photos and run an ongoing series of contests.

In addition to using their Pongr brand page for managing photo contests, businesses can also embed Pongr’s live streaming photo gallery on their own Website using our free customized widget tools.  Double click to sort Miles High fan photos by Most Recent or Most Votes on the clothing company’s embedded Pongr gallery.

Want to run your next photo contest the Pongr way?  Please drop us a line at and share what you’re up to!

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