In late 2018, two blog articles published by Marcus McAdam (t/a Skye Photo Academy) concerning Nick Hanson’s disqualification were shared widely across social media. The contents of the articles were false and as a result, the Competition and its founder raised a defamation action in the Sheriff court against Mr McAdam. The Competition places on record that shortly before the action was due to proceed, the action was settled out of court on 6th August 2019 and a substantial damages payment was received.
Nick Hanson’s fraudulent use of SLPOTY titles
[UPDATE] Throughout 2021 reports persist that Nick Hanson (trading as “Nick Hanson Photography“) continues to refer to himself as the Competition’s winner. The Competition wishes to remind the public that Mr Hanson was stripped of his award for cheating and is not authorised to refer to himself or his business as an award winner. Mr Hanson is fully aware that using the Competition’s title to promote his business is fraudulent.
Update on Nick Hanson’s disqualification
The Competition wishes to make it absolutely clear that debate & speculation on social media has been misreported and grossly distorted. Mr Hanson did not dispute the reasons for his disqualification and did not appeal against the decision. Evidence was presented for testimony in court that every effort possible was made to work with Mr Hanson and avoid his disqualification, but Mr Hanson would not respond. Mr Hanson made clear via social media that he did not care what the rules said and refused to abide by them. Only two reasons for Mr Hanson’s disqualification were made public. Two additional incidents of a serious nature were not made public.
Clarification of Rule 14 (ii)
Conspiracies theories circulating on social media that rule 14(ii) was invented and changed to disqualify Mr Hanson are absolutely false. In order for the above legal action to procced in court, the Competition had to provide evidence that the rule was correctly applied. Rule 114(ii) requires each entrant to warrant that they are the sole author of their work. Questions have been asked by numerous entrants since 2014 whether images captured on workshops or 1-2-1’s were eligible and it has been made clear on every occasion that they are not for the overall title.
Nick Hanson fully aware of rule 14(ii)
Nick Hanson was fully aware that his images were not eligible under rule 14(ii). Prior to the official press release, the overall winner takes part in an interview to go over the rules, complete a checklist and prepare for press interviews. Mr Hanson’s interview was recorded and at his insistence, he demanded that each rule was explained in minute detail. Mr Hanson gave a cast iron guarantee that none of his images were captured on a 1-2-1 workshop, and backed this up in his official descriptions. However, he gave an entirely different account of how his images were captured in a news article that was published about him later. Specifically, that he paid another photographer to take him to the locations and capture his images as part of a 1-2-1 workshop.
Commercial Gain and Profiteering allegations
Allegations have been made on social media against the Competition and it’s founder (Stuart Low), that the purpose of the Competition is for financial gain and are therefore “making a fortune” from entrant’s images. This is absolutely and demonstrably false.
It is a matter of public record that the Competition is run on a not for profit basis and that every penny is reinvested to promote photographers. All entry fees are used to fund the annual yearbook, cash prizes, exhibitions and prints. There is usually a shortfall which Mr Low meets with his own money. The panel of judges and others involved with organisation are all volunteers. No one has ever received payment.
The book is sold only via the Competition website and in independent shops who suppport local business. All profits from sales are reinvested for the next Competition. Indepoendent book shops retain their profits.
Exhibitions and print sales
The exhibitions are fully funded by the Competition and sponsors and provide the platform for photographers to showcase and sell their work. All profits from prints sold at exhibitions are retained by the photographers. Where exhibitions take place in commercial galleries, it is standard for galleries to charge fees for print sales. The galleries deduct their standard fees and photographers retain all profits after fees are deducted.
The Competition also provides a cost price print service and a facility for entrants to advertise their workshops or their own books on the official shop for all entrants. Photographer s who use these services keep 100% of the profits.
Founder’s and Sponsor’s contributions
Without the contributions of the sponsors and the personal contributions of the founder, Stuart Low, the Competition would not exist. The Sponsors and the founder wish to promote photographers using the Competition as a platform to allow photographers to exercise their talent and publish their work to as wide an audience as possible. Mr Low is a passionate photographer and recognises that there are not enough platforms to promote many talented photographers.