Avant Guardian 2015 Official Rules

1. Sponsor

Surface Media LLC, 601 W. 26th Street, Suite 1507, New York, NY 10001 ("Sponsor" or "QM").

2. Term

Entry into the Avant Guardian Photo Contest (the “Contest”) begins on March 31, 2015 at midnight (12:00:00 a.m.) Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) and ends on June 1, 2015, at 5p.m. ET (the “entry period”). The Contest consists of the phases set forth below, as described fully in the following official rules (the “Official Rules”.)

3. Timeline

The deadline to submit applications is June 1, 2015 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Winners will be announced on June 29, 2015 by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

4. Eligibility

The Contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who have not had a cover photograph published in a national print magazine prior to March 30, 2015, who are residents of the United States, and are at least eighteen (18) years old (19 years old if a resident of Alabama or Nevada; 21 years old if a resident of Washington, DC, New York, or Michigan). Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsor, their respective parent and affiliate companies, and advertising and promotion agencies, as well as members of the immediate families (spouses, parents, siblings and children, and each of their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) of any of the above are NOT eligible to participate. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void in Rhode Island, void outside the 50 United States, and void where prohibited. entrants are responsible for complying with these Official Rules.

5. How to Enter


To enter, visit surfacemag.com/avantguardian, and follow the links and instructions to complete the registration form.

An entrant may only submit one time during the entry period. Each contestant must pay an entry fee of $25.00 in order to submit a portfolio, and the portfolio may contain up to 10 images. Entry fees are used to cover all administrative costs related to the processing, handling, and review of submitted portfolios.

No photos will be acknowledged or returned. By entering a portfolio in this Contest, entrant grants a non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to the Sponsor to edit, adapt, and publish any such photo in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest. Sponsor may use the photo in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes in commerce and in any and all media now known or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity, without attribution, compensation, permission, or further notification to the entrant, his/her successors or assigns, or any other entity, unless prohibited by law. Except for the foregoing license, Sponsor does not claim ownership of any copyright in contest submissions.


By entering a portfolio in this Contest, each contestant warrants and represents that all necessary personal releases and/or applicable licenses have been secured from (1) all persons who appear in the photo submitted (or their parents or legal guardians if such persons are minors) and/or (2) the copyright owner of any sculpture, artwork, or other copyrighted material that appears in the photo entry, authorizing use of the photo to Sponsor and their respective designees’ editorial publications, advertising, marketing, and promotions in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest, in any and all media now known or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, permission, or further notification to said copyright owner, unless prohibited by law. Sponsor may request evidence of such release and/or license at any time, and failure to provide such releases upon request will result in disqualification of contestant and the related entry. If a potential Finalist (as defined below) fails to provide evidence of such release in a form that is acceptable to Sponsor, s/he will be disqualified and an alternate Finalist will be selected in accordance with the procedures described herein.


Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, damaged, misdirected, blurred, or otherwise indiscernible photos, which shall be disqualified.

6. Photograph Requirements.

Each entry must comply with the following requirements (the "Photograph Requirements"):

  • Photographs must be in digital format. 

  • No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this Contest.

  • The photograph need not be taken with a digital camera; scans of negatives, transparencies, or photographic prints are acceptable.

  • Portfolios may contain up to 10 jpegs, compiled in a single PDF document and accompanied by a contact sheet with thumbnails of each submitted image. Portfolio PDFs should be named with the following convention: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_2015.pdf

  • The photo must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement.

  • The photo must not contain brand names or trademarks.

  • The photo must, in its entirety, be a single work of original material taken by the contestant.

  • The photo must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsor, contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortuous, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous.

  • The photo must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsor, contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.

  • The photo must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where photo is created.

  • If requested by Sponsor, the photographer must provide High Resolution images

  • In accordance with the Judging Criteria as defined below, all entries must be submitted and received by June 1, at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Proof of submission is not proof of receipt. Sponsor reserves the right to examine the original photograph/source material in order to confirm compliance with these Rules.

7. Contest Prizes

TEN (10) FINALIST PRIZES: The ten finalists of the Avant Guardian Photography Contest will have their work featured in the October 2015 issue of Surface magazine. All images published will be selected by Sponsor from among the images submitted in the PDF portfolio; finalists will be contacted with a request for print-quality, hi-resolution imagery closer to the date of publication. No additions or substitutions are allowed.

Each finalist will also receive a complimentary year long subscription to Surface magazine, along five copies of the October issue featuring the finalists’ works.

8. Winner Determination

During the Judging Phase, qualified judges determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion will select the top 10 entrants (the “Finalists”). Each Finalist will be notified on or around June 29, 2015 and each will be deemed a Finalist subject to execution of an Affidavit of Eligibility, License, and Liability Release. The finalists will be selected and determined by Sponsor and its judges from among all qualified entrants.

9. Winner Requirements

If a potential Finalist cannot be contacted, fails to execute and return the Affidavit within the required time period, or the prize is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner forfeits the prize. If a Finalist is disqualified for any reason, the sponsor may elect to replace the Finalist at its sole discretion. Acceptance of any prize shall constitute and signify Finalist’s agreement and consent that Sponsor may use the Finalist’s, name, city, state, likeness, Contest entry, and/or prize information in connection with the Contest, in commerce and in all media worldwide, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment or consideration, except where prohibited by law.

10. Limitation of Liability

By entering this Contest, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless Sponsor, and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Contest. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any of the following in connection with the Contest: any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or votes; or alteration of entries or votes. 

Sponsor is further not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry, or vote to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, fraud by any entrant, Finalist or vote, or any combination thereof, including without limitation any injury or damage to entrants', voters’, or any other persons' computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading, or downloading of any materials in this Contest.

11. Conditions

THIS CONTEST IS VOID OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND WHERE PROHIBITED. This Contest shall be subject to and governed by the laws of the State of New York, and the forum for any dispute related to the Contest shall be in the State of New York. To the extent permitted by law, the right to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights. 

Certain restrictions may apply in some jurisdictions. Entries void if the Sponsor determines the photograph to not be an original, or if the entries are illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error, obtained through fraud or theft, or otherwise non-compliant with these Official Rules.

By participating, entrants and voters also agree (a) to be bound by these Official Rules and (b) that the decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters relating to the Contest. By entering this Contest, each winner agrees that Sponsor may use each winning photograph and each winner's name, photograph, likeness, and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Contest without further compensation or approval (except where prohibited by law).

The Sponsor reserves the right to verify the validity and originality of any entry and/or entrant (including an entrant's identity and address), and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Official Rules or who tampers with the entry process. Failure by the Sponsor to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

12. Right to Cancel or Suspend Contest

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If Sponsor elects to cancel or terminate the Contest under any of the circumstances described above, Sponsor will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs and will return all entry fees.

13. Winners List

A list of winners' names will be available online at surfacemag.com/avantguardian on June 29, 2015.

14. Data Privacy

By entering, entrants agree that personal data, including without limitation name and email address, may be processed, shared, and otherwise used for future marketing purposes, within the context of the Contest and any other purposes outlined in these Official Rules. The data may also be used by the Sponsor in order to verify the participant's identity, postal address, and telephone number or to otherwise verify the participant's eligibility to participate in the Contest. Participants have the right to access, review, rectify, or cancel any personal data held by Sponsor by writing to the sponsor. Personal data will be used by Sponsor and its affiliates exclusively for the purposes stated herein.