Create an online photo contest (old gallery)

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In this guide, we’ll walk you through how you can easily create and run your own online photo contest with Qualifio.

⚠️ This version of the photo contest gallery is listed as an "old" feature. This means that you can still use it, but it will stop working in the future, although we don't have an exact date yet. We recommend you use the new "Beta gallery" instead, which we have redesigned with a more modern style and new configuration options. 

Why you should run a photo contest

Running a photo contest is an amazing way to engage your customers, boost brand awareness, inspire people with user-generated content and capture valuable user data.

Take a look at this demo we put together:

Create a photo contest: a step-by-step guide

In this guide, we'll cover:

  1. Configuring your upload campaign to collect submissions
  2. Showcasing photos in a gallery and inviting users to vote
  3. Choosing the winner with judging, voting or random drawing

Step 1. Set up your photo upload campaign

You can use our upload campaign types to let users submit photos, videos or texts to enter your contest. Visit this guide for a step-by-step through setting up a photo upload campaign with Qualifio.

Step 2. Set up your photo voting campaign

To create a new photo voting campaign, click the Votes campaign type.


You can decide if participants can vote anonymously or if a form or login is required. If you set up identified voting, you’ll be able to collect voter information through a registration form. Note: It is not possible to prefill participant details from the upload form to the voting form.

If not done in your upload campaign, you can then decide on things like

  • whether to enable the voting system,
  • how the gallery will look,
  • if vote counts should be public,
  • how you want to sort your gallery,
  • if you want to limit voter participation. Check our participation limits to prevent multiple votes and mitigate fraud by using options like one vote per IP or email address.

In the Votes step, select the campaign that your photos have been (or will be) uploaded to. This will automatically create a gallery with thumbnails configured to expand into a “zoom” preview, showing a single image view.


Activate the voting system

By default, photo voting campaigns come with the voting system disabled. Your participants can look at pictures, but you decide whether to enable the vote function in your photo contest.

To allow voting in your gallery, all you need to do is click to activate it. You will find this setting in step Votes > Voting:


Gallery view options

In this section, you will find the following options:

  • Slideshow only. Activate this setting if you want to create a gallery without thumbnails and only with a slideshow of the photos (zoom preview).
  • Display the participant’s name in the gallery. This option allows you to choose how you want participants’ names to be displayed in the gallery.
  • Gallery type. Our presentation formats allow you to create a professional-looking gallery to showcase your photo contest submissions.
  • Thumbnails per page. This option allows you to set up the number of pictures displayed per page within the gallery.
  • Show vote counts. This option allows you to decide if you want to publicly display the vote counts.
  • Search option. The search option helps voters find their favourite submissions quickly.
  • Default photo order. This option allows you to set up how you want to keep photos organised in the gallery:
    • most recent first
    • oldest first
    • randomly
    • most voted first
    • least voted first

Add sharing options

By enabling sharing, participants will be able to share individual gallery items through an array of platforms. They will simply have to click on the corresponding share icon at the bottom of each item (zoom preview).


Step 3. Publishing your photo contest

Once you created the gallery with Qualifio, you can embed it on a page on your website or you can use our dedicated minisites. In case you created both an upload and a voting campaign, you should publish the latter.

Check out an embedded photo contest

Allowing upload campaign access from your gallery

Once the upload campaign and the gallery are linked, you can show a button that allows users to access the upload from your gallery – and the other way around.


All you need to do is check the Enable double access option in the Welcome step of your vote campaign.

Step 4. Track or export results and pick winners

You can measure the success and impact of your campaign using campaign statistics and Global Stats.

Explanation of the export

To export the files only, do the following:

  1. Select the upload campaign from the Campaigns tab in Qualifio.
  2. Click the Statistics button on the right of the campaign title.
  3. Select Detailed report from the dialogue box.
  4. In the Participations section, click Download all


You can also select the image (or images) that you want to export. The more data you are exporting, the longer this process can take.


  • File naming: The file names contain a unique ID. They don’t include the campaign name, date or any other data. There’s currently no option to override this and change the file name.
  • Image sizing: You will get each image in its original size as well as a compressed version.

Lastly, our platform also includes the possibility to export participant data as CSV or Excel for future marketing purposes. In that case, you’ll notice that this works a bit differently, as each photo gets its own unique URL.

Of course, Qualifio does not receive any rights of use for the photos! We will never use pictures for our own purposes nor share them without permission.

Decide how to pick your winner

Once your photo contest has wrapped up, you can pick a winner. There are three ways to identify a winner for your photo contest, and you should be clear in the contest rules about what that process can entail.

You can

  • choose a panel of judges for selecting your photo contest winners, which can offer more legitimacy and allow you to reward skill or merit,
  • allow voters to choose a winner, which is more interactive and fun but can leave the door open to online cheaters who might try to rig the system, make sure you set participation limits accordingly
  • randomly draw a winner, which is entirely impartial but can be classified as an illegal lottery in some countries (winners are chosen only by the luck of the draw). Learn how to draw winners in this tutorial. 

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