I am a hobbyist photographer. Some days ago, I was contacted via Instagram by a representative of 1340art.com who asked me if a specific image was indeed made by myself and that their site features artworks like this. He provided a link where I should upload the image if I was interested in collaborating / getting the image featured with them.
After I submitted the picture, I received an Email from another representative:
I was just reviewing the Instagram submission you did recently. Based on the quality of your artwork I would like to invite you to enter our magazine competition!
This means you will be entered into the next and final selection-round of our competition to be featured in the printed version of the July 2018 edition of the magazine. You can view our last 4 editions by clicking here.
Please send me more samples of your work as soon as possible using the form in the link below.
Behind the latter link is a website which informs me that I was preselected by the jury to be featured in the next issue of the 1340art print magazine. They ask me to submit one to four images, and to pay an entry fee of 20 $ for one image or 30 $ for four images.
Now I know that such fees are regularly asked for in competitions. The fact, however, that it was them contacting me through two stages; and that it was only on the last site that I was informed that I need pay a fee for submitting my art which was called for by them, makes me wonder if this is but a scam.
So, long story short, does anyone have experiences with this organization or a similar one? Is this normal business conduct and am I safe to consider participation?