WCCC Photo Contest 2019

Break out your cameras! I thought it would be a good idea to hold this photo contest earlier this year. It gives me more time to put the 2020 calendar together, and since it’s summer, it’s probably the best time to get out and snap some photos of your Cougar! Cue the graphic:

By now, most of you are probably familiar with this contest and the WCCC Calendar (see 2019 version), which features only 1967-73 Cougars. The goal of this calendar is to be a high-quality piece of wall art that showcases a variety of classic Cougars. Anyone with a good eye for photography and a classic Cougar has a chance. Some past entrants have even hired photographers for this contest, which is fair game as well.

The winners will be featured in the 2020 Calendar published by WCCC. You’ll also get a free copy of the calendar itself, and all the bragging rights that go along with it. We also reserve the right to use your pictures for future marketing materials.


  • Minimum resolution: 12 megapixels (4200x2800) - but bigger is better. I shoot 24mp.
  • File Type: RAW or JPEG (You can either send in the original unaltered files, edited versions, or both. I’d like to be able to touch up your photos to match the overall style of the calendar, but kudos if you have editing skills.)
  • Camera type: DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot. No smartphones unless new models from 2018 or newer, 12mp resolution or higher. Phone pictures will still be at a significant disadvantage compared to “real” camera photos.
  • Obviously, photo subject matter needs to be a 1967-1973 Mercury Cougar.
  • For best chances, include exterior glamour shots, interior and engine bay shots. Please also include written details about your car and its story.

Send photos to media[at]cougarpartscatalog.com (change [at] to @). You can send as many as you like, but please limit it to your best few shots. If your files are too large to email, write in and I’ll set up a Box folder for you to upload to, or you can use your own favorite file hosting service, such as DropBox, Google Drive, etc. If you’re a finalist, I may ask you for additional shots (engine, interior, wheels, other details) to use alongside the main one, so keep this in mind when shooting. Entries must be received by 7/31/19 to qualify.

No repeat submissions - You can enter again if you entered in previous years, but please submit new material, not the same pictures as before.

Note on smartphone pictures: I’ve stuck to my guns in the past on not accepting cell phone images, but I’m cracking the door open this year. Smartphone cameras keep getting better and I think MAYBE we’re at a point where the newest, best phones can produce printable images. Still, they are at a significant quality disadvantage compared to regular full-size cameras. Be advised that if you choose to use a smartphone instead of a camera, you are taking a risk that your photos won’t make the cut.


  • The Whole Package: If you’ve seen our calendar before, you may have noticed that we include a couple of smaller pictures below each main one. These usually show the interior, engine, or alternate angles of the car. Please keep this in mind, and include multiple shots for us to consider. We also write a short paragraph about each car, so if you include some interesting information about your car, that gets you brownie points.
  • Environment: Location is pretty important. It should be somewhere scenic or interesting to compliment your car. Yes, you should leave your driveway to take these pictures! Avoid clutter as much as possible (i.e. other cars, power lines, porta-potties, etc). One tip is to go somewhere at a higher elevation, or to the middle of nowhere so that you have open sky and horizon all around, and reflections in the paint will be very clean. You may have to get out of town and into the countryside to find enough open space. Try to stay on pavement if you can, since its the natural habitat of the car. Grass, dirt, or gravel can look odd in some cases.
  • Staging: For wheels, the rule of thumb is to either keep them perfectly straight, or turn the wheels away from the camera, so that you see the wheel and not the tire tread. Make sure windows are either all the way up, or all the way down. For convertibles with the top down, always roll all the windows down. Make sure any personal items are hidden from view.
  • Lighting: The important thing here is that it’s consistent. The car should either be completely in sun, or completely shaded. Partial or blotchy shade doesn’t look good (parking under a tree usually doesn’t work out too well). You’ve probably heard of “golden hour” - it’s true that when the sun is low (early morning or late evening) the lighting is more compelling than it is at midday.
  • Composition: The main point here is that the car needs to mostly fill the frame, but with enough “breathing room” around it. This is partially aesthetic and partially practical. When this goes to print, some of the edges get trimmed away in the process. If the car is too close to the edge of the frame, it won’t look right, and may even get cut off. Also, try to look at the whole scene when shooting your car. Include interesting background elements, but be strategic about avoiding undesirable clutter and unsightly reflections.
  • Focal length: When shooting car exteriors, it’s generally best to stand further back and zoom in, rather than standing close to the car and zooming out. Being too close causes a “fisheye” effect that makes the car look bulbous and out of proportion. Standing back and zooming in will give the car truer proportions.

    I think that’s all for now, I look forward to seeing some great pictures! Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll update this if I think of anything else. Thanks for looking, now get those cameras out!

Here is my submission! https://www.flyingaphoto.com/p562294512 One free calendar? That’s it? Lame… Do I at least get a deep discount on 10 more calendars? Shouldn’t a winner also get the T-shirt that most resembles their car?

Good point Don! Yes we definitely do quantity discounts on 10+ calendars and can absolutely throw in a free T-shirt of the winners’ choice. Should we give them $50 in store credit while we’re at it?

This is an example of what a typical page in the calendar looks like. Keep in mind the square format when framing your shots.

Man I was hoping to get in on the calendar this year. I have even been scouting locations for good pictures but I was thinking this was a little later in the year then July. I don’t think I’ll have my interior done in time.

Maybe next year I’ll get in on it! I do love the pictures that come out of this contest! I know some grumble about the requirements but I think they are needed to produce quality content for such a quality calendar each year.

Yeah, we’re doing it earlier this year to make sure we can get the calendars out in a timely manner. In past years when we did the contest in September, we didn’t get the calendars in hand until late November or early December. Also July seems like a good month for people to get outside and take photos.

And thanks, I know I’m a little picky, but this is a photography contest after all, and I want to keep the calendar at a high standard. It’s just one more way to demonstrate that us Cougar owners are better than the rest. :smiley:

Well! I know I’m a bit late in saying anything about this, but the deadline has come and gone. We got a lot of great entries. This might be the hardest year ever to narrow down the winners.

People always want to know when the winners will be announced. Generally what I like to do is to keep it a secret until the calendar actually comes out. That keeps it a surprise for everyone, and a little more fun I think.

I’m in communication with a few of the entrants to get extra shots, etc. but overall I think I have what I need to put together another great calendar! Unless any more of you 71-3 owners want to step up, that category might not get represented. If there’s anyone with a 71-3 who was on the fence about entering, I’ll give you some extra time if that helps.

Anyway, thanks as always to everyone who got involved. I’m going to put together an album of contest highlights soon so everyone can see the great variety we got this year.

I dropped the ball on this one! Really wanted to enter this year but time got away from me. I still don’t have any quality shots of my car. Next year is the year!

Oh, you’re killing us!
My son and I went out each night trying to get the perfect shot. Can’t wait to find out how it goes.
Either way… loved doing it and we had a blast.
Good luck!

Andrew, As my 71 was in last year’s I am not going to submit it. Good luck and as always I can not wait to see next year’s calendar.

Wish I had read the small print and read how Andrew was waffling on phone photos, might have pushed me over the edge to get a new phone :laughing: Oh well maybe next year :smoke:

I keep explaining to my wife that it’s only going to take about $10,000 in paint and body work to finally get us a free calendar. She’s not following my logic.

I was not ready for good photos this year but I will be next!

Highlights gallery is up! It’s on FB but you don’t need an account to view it. Link: https://www.facebook.com/WestCoastClassicCougar/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157386187354087

The sneaky thing about this gallery is that while it includes the winners, I didn’t necessarily show the actual shots I’ll be using in the calendar. Trying to keep it a fresh surprise when it comes out!

Lord, it must be difficult for you to pick Andrew!

Those are wonderful to look at.

  • Phillip

You’re not going to have to worry about making any wrong choices for the calendar this year. You’ve got a host of beauties to choose from.

Man there are some great photos in there !

Wow, some beautiful cats!!!

Nice work as always Andrew!

This picture needs some explaining as to how it was made: it looks like a time-lapse photo.