Facebook is like the movie "Mean Girls" where there is always that one group of popular people on there who have 2,000+ friends and just look for ways to win and immortalize their pets. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. The only disadvantage is that the people who are not part of that circle lose out on the popularity votes even though their pet's stories are incredibly heroic or just plain adorable. That was exactly the reason why I chose to pick the "photo of choice" winners, it's like I'm being able to find the runts of the litter and saving them and making everyone else envious of them.
I get a little frustrated because I only just starting telling my friends on Facebook what happened on the last contest, but it really was not right what some of my contestants did. There were a handful of people who entered their pets photo's and stories into my "Amazing Pet Story" contest who did not follow through with the rules of the contest. No one knew that I was going to surprise the whole group who entered the contest with a free pet portrait, but there was something about the timing and what was happening in my pet portrait career that I felt I owed it to my fans to give them a HUGE surprise. And I did surprise them! Almost all of them were in shock and were just so excited. Reading their emails really made me feel fantastic about my choice to surprise them all. I mean who could really choose one amazing rescue story over another- no one! But the part that upset me was that the rules of the contest, should you of won, was to pay for the S&H. I made sure to get all quotes, with tracking, with insurance, without anything and I gave them their choices of what S&H fee they felt most comfortable with. I proceeded to start drawing the portraits, which take a lot of time and energy and when I completed them, I emailed the contestants their final drawings and they were all enthusiastic about their specialty portraits. However, I had a handful of people who did not pay for the S&H....instead they copied the ink drawings I made of their pets and posted it on their Facebook wall as their profile pic. Now I am not a bitter person, but I felt a little robbed. Seeing as how my portraits are usually paid commissions, and I was only asking a small fee for shipping ($3.00-$8.00 within the US, the international fee was a bit more) I thought it was really unfair what they had done. (Oh and you won't know who those bad contestants were because I deleted them from the album and black listed them from my fan page- it was only fair)
This is why I tried to make sure to post all my rules for this contest everywhere and above the entry form because when you enter, you are agreeing to the rules above. Don't you read a contract before signing for an apartment, a car, insurance, etc...well, this is the same thing. And although it is fun for me to draw and paint my fans pets, if someone is not willing to play by the rules, I think it is really unfair to their fellow contestants to lose an opportunity for something they are willing to pay a small fee for. I just ask that everyone be fair and read everything before committing. Thank You!
*The images to the right are just some of my favorites ;) I loved them all!!! You can see them all on the "Amazing Pets!" page.