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Deadline: June 1st, 2015
Winner is: Judged
Entry: Free Entry

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

IAFOR-Documentary-Photography-Awards-Black-Text The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is committed to supporting quality photojournalism, imperative storytelling and the international exchange of information. This award seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists.

The judges want to see original work from around the world, with the emphasis being on quality content. There will be no prejudices or biases based on production value or budgets. In supporting emerging professionals, there are no entry fees.

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is held at The European Conference on Arts & Humanities in Brighton, England. The award follows the theme of the conference, with 2015’s theme being “Power.”

Photography can have the power to manipulate memories, encourage thought and stimulate emotion, it also has the power to do these things across languages and cultures. The skilled photographer must hold power over their camera and manipulate the power dynamic between photographer and subject. Pointing a camera at someone can be seen as an act of power in itself.

The study and analysis of different expressions of power can move from serious existential questions at the personal level to complex social and even political problems at a wider level. Photography can depict the powerful and those moments when they fall from power, but it can also expose the powerless to the world. The dynamics of power resulting from wealth and status make rich documentary subject as do the struggles for power among the disadvantaged and marginalized. Power is also exerted in issues of censorship and publishing — which photographs make the front pages and which cannot be published?

We hope that the broad nature of the theme will encourage photographers to submit work that explores ‘Power’ from a variety of perspectives.

Contest Prize & TERMS


£1,000 cash award
Mentorship sessions from an experienced professional
Exhibitions in the UK and Japan
Invitation to an IAFOR conference in Asia, Europe or North America*
Certificate of achievement


Exhibitions in the UK and Japan
Invitation to an IAFOR conference in Asia, Europe or North America*
Certificate of achievement

The jury will award first, second, and third place prizes. The first place winner (the grand prize winner) will receive a cash prize of 1000GBP as a contribution towards the completion of a body of photographic work, and an official certificate of achievement. Second and third place will receive an official competition certificate.

In addition to the cash prize, the first place winner will receive a series of mentorship sessions over one year with an experienced industry professional via Skype meetings. It is difficult for emerging photographers to find good, sustained critical feedback; this mentorship will allow photographers to strengthen their craft, explore new subject matter and learn more about the business side of the industry.

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award will also provide a platform for showcasing the winning photographers’ work. The photography of the winners will be exhibited at IAFOR’s international conferences in the UK and Japan, with the potential of further exhibitions in Singapore and Dubai. Eye Magazine, IAFOR’s in-house magazine, will publish the finalists’ work in a special edition of the magazine.

*First, second and third place winners will receive an invitation to an upcoming IAFOR conference of their choosing in Asia, Europe, or North America. This invitation includes a waiver of registration fees, a conference dinner, and a reservation on the pre and post-conference tours (accommodation and airfare are not included). ELIGIBILITY: Worldwide Not eligible to enter? - Find contest where you are.

COPYRIGHT: Images that are submitted must be the entrant’s original work and shall not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Contestants agree that they have obtained all required permissions regarding images presented in their submitted portfolio / photo-essays. By entering the competition, the entrant agrees that the IAFOR Documentary Photograph Award will not be held liable for any copyright infringements perpetrated by you or your photographic work, IAFOR Documentary Photography Award absolves itself from any subsequent action or actions resulting from any violation of copyright made by any person.

By entering the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award, contestants agree to accept and be bound by the decisions of the competition and its judges, which are final and binding in all matters. Entrant agrees to be bound by all terms of these official competition rules and regulations as established herein.

All photographers submitting to IAFOR Documentary Photography Award agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless IAFOR Documentary Photography Award, its board, judges, employees, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from all claims and demands, losses, damages, costs and liabilities relating to any images or work submitted to this award and its connected festival/s and conference/s.

Winners will be required to sign an affidavit confirming that their work is original and he/she holds all rights. Failure to sign and return the form within the required time period (30 days) or provision of false information may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. All affidavits are subject to verification by the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award and its organizing committee. USAGE RIGHTS: IAFOR reserves the right to use any part of any images submitted for promotional purposes. Entry constitutes permission to use winner’s name and likeness for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Entrants retain all ownership rights to their images submitted.

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