Call for submissions: PhotoZAP

Our panel of critics praises and pans your photos

Think you’ve got the photographic chops? Ready to take some constructive criticism from a trio of photo experts who will pull no punches? Jump into the fire and send us your near-perfect shots!

PhotoZAP: The first 50 photos to be ZAPPED! Will yours be next?


Welcome to Photo ZAP! This is where we zap your submitted photos with praise or criticism—or, sometimes, both. This is also where your peers—fellow readers and photo enthusiasts—can weigh in with their opinions. The goal, of course, is to help everyone improve their photography by dissecting, dicing and slicing your photography.

If we like your work, we won’t just praise it—we’ll explain why we think the photo you’ve submitted succeeds visually.

If we don’t like your work, we’ll explain why, and what you could do to improve it next time.

And we may disagree with each other, because criticism is a very subjective thing. Here’s some interesting reading about that.

Think we’re full of rubbish, that we don’t know a decent photo from Squirrel droppings, and want to tell us off? Bring it on—leave a comment!

Let’s say I submit a photo. What’s in it for me?

If we choose to critique your photo, we’ll give you a $25 coupon code that you can use for your next order at (sorry, no AdoramaPIX or rental orders).

If we do not critique your photo, you get bupkis. We decide which photos go in, and those decisions are final.

If your picture is picked, we’ll post it and our team of experts will weigh in with opinions, then we'll open it up so anyone can leave a comment. Kinda like the photo on the right. (Yeah, one of our critics shot it. Other than wishing to remain anonymous, he has no shame.)

How do I submit a photo?

That’s easy: E-mail PhotoZAP editor Jena Ardell with the words “Photo ZAP submission” in the subject line. Please send just one photo per person per month, and set the image size at 595 pixels at its longest dimension. JPEGs only, please. Many images may be submitted, few will be chosen. (NOTE: Photos larger than 595 pixels wide or long may be eliminated from consideration. Photos that have not been downsized may be deleted immediately since they would clog up our server. Don't know how to change the dimensions of your photos? Learn how here. Thank you for not wasting bandwidth.)


Deadline is the 15th of  the month before the photos will be posted. Images may be posted at any time during the next month. So photos that are submitted by October 15 and selected, may be posted at any time in November. Sorry, we can’t let you know if your image has been rejected due to the expected deluge of images, but we will be in touch with you if we plan to publish your photo so we can get the technical data.


Image manipulation: Manipulated images are permitted, but be prepared to clearly indicate that the image has been modified in Photoshop or whatever software you're using, and what you did to it, when we ask you for image information if your photo is selected.


By submitting your photo, you are giving Adorama non-exclusive rights to publish your photo electronically on the Adorama Learning Center, for as long as we wish, and to use your image in email or other marketing campaigns to promote PhotoZAP. You also are giving us permission to critique the photo any way we wish and that you’ll happily accept whatever we say in the spirit of fun and constructive criticism. VERY IMPORTANT SMALL PRINT! You retain all rights to the photos you submit to us, even if we publish ‘em, because that’s the way it should be. By submitting a image to us, you affirm that the work is original and does not infringe on any trademark or copyright.


Who are we, anyway?

While we may, occasionally, invite a guest panelist, our regular critics are:

Mason Resnick: Mason is the editor of the Adorama Learning Center, and has been an avid photographer since he could walk. Before becoming the editor of the Adorama Learning Center, Mason spent stints as the managing editor of Popular Photography, the webmaster for Photo District News, and the associate editor for Modern Photography (where he served on photo critic panels for the popular "Hard Knocks" feature). He has been doing street photography since 1978, when he studied under master photographer Garry Winogrand.


Russell Hart: Russell Hart has joined Adorama as the latest chapter in his distinguished career as a photographer, editor, and writer. He has penned Photography for Dummies and co-authored Photography, a popular textbook for photo students. He has spent stints as the Senior Editor of American Photo magazine, and is an exhibiting photographer.


Jena Ardell: PhotoZAP editor Jena Ardell is a retro photographer and freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Jena's photography has been exhibited worldwide and has been published in Rolling Stone; multiple issues of Elle Girl Korea; and her work can be found as the cover art to a handful of novels. She earned second place in the online feature category at the L.A. Press Club's National Entertainment Journalism Awards 2011 for her contribution to L.A. Weekly's Coachella coverage. Jena was one of the 160 featured photographers in The Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) 2010. She is a regular contributing writer and concert photographer for L.A. Weekly.

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