Are you sure you are entering photography competitions that are legitimate? We've found one that doesn't seem so and we contacted some of the "judges" who turned out to be unaware of it.
"International Photographer of the Year 2017" contest sounds big. It sounds legitimate when you see that the judges are real working photographers. The fee is reasonable. What could have gone wrong? According to the majority of the "judges," this competition used their names without their consent. The contest ended, and the organizers even elected a winner, but the supposed "judges" didn't even know about it.
We have contacted Jessica Auer and Naomi Harris, who were listed in the "jury," and they told us their story. The so-called "judges" have sent messages to each other asking the other party if they were aware of this competition and if they were a legitimate part of it. All 11 of the photographers confirmed with us they didn't even know about the contest. They have since sent a collective email to the organizers asking for an explanation. More than two weeks after that they still don't have an answer.
It is clear that selecting a winner in this competition was not accomplished in an honest manner. Someone got money from the participants, used a fake list of photographers as judges, and chose a supposed winner.
We were also informed that one of the 2017 "judges" was indeed judging the 2015 IPOTY competition. They didn't assume their name would be used for profit several years after that. They did not receive any compensation back in 2015, and there hasn't been any account of how the money has been spent.
We were told that the contest's media partners and even some of the winners made an attempt to contact the IPOTY, but they did not receive any answers yet. Recently, the competition deleted its Facebook page, the announcement for their 2018 competition, and the page with the current list of judges. We tried to contact the organizers, but have yet to receive a response. This sounds like a big scandal in the photography community and raises lots of questions for the legitimacy of any other competition out there.