2018 Focus on the Story International Photo Festival Call for Entries

MAY 10 UPDATE: Congratulations to Alain Schroeder and James Whitlow Delano, the co-winners in the Best Series category. Alain is also the winner of the Best Single Image category. To see their winning entries and the runners up, CLICK HERE.

The Focus on the Story International Photo Festival is looking for images that tell compelling stories in two categories:

  • We want to see single images that explore the human condition, which allows for a broad interpretation of the emotions, struggles, conflicts and needs that shape human existence.
  • We also want to see a series of up to 8 related images that tell the story of an individual or group struggle against challenges, whether they are natural, political or economic; shine a light on marginalized or disenfranchised segments of society; or bring attention to people, places, events or things that are making a positive difference in their communities,  region or the world, in general.

Focus on the Story will award $1,500 to the overall best series winner and a $1,000 award to the overall best single image winner as picked by an independent jury in a blind selection process. Winners and finalists will also have their work shown during the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival, published in our upcoming “best of” yearbook and exhibited at Gallery O on H Street in D.C. for three weeks in June.

(This competition is hosted in a partnership between LensCulture and Focus on the Story International Photo Festival. Once you start your entry, you will be redirected to the LensCulture website so that you can sign up for an account and submit your entry through the online entry portal.)

 Entries deadline April 17 • Winners announced May 3 May 10

Competition Gallery

Here's How to Win

Explore the human condition, shine a light on marginalized communities or spotlight those making a positive difference in the world.

Enter a series of up to 8 related images for $25 or enter five single images for $20, with $5 for each additional image.

Focus on the Story will award $1,500 to the overall best series winner and a $1,000 award to the overall best single image winner.

Winners and runners up will be displayed or projected at the festival and published in the Focus on the Story magazine.

Our Jury

Svetlana Bachevanova

Svetlana Bachevanova is a long time photojournalist and the publisher at FotoEvidence, a publishing house and activist … MORE

Ed Kashi

Ed Kashi is a photojournalist and filmmaker dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times … MORE

Elizabeth Krist

Elizabeth Cheng Krist was a long-time photo editor with National Geographic. She curated Women of Vision, and is working on … MORE

Terms and Conditions

  1. By entering this contest, you attest that you have full authorization to enter the submitted images i.e. you took the image and own the copyright.
  2. You attest that you are 18 or older.
  3. Entries with watermarks will not be considered.
  4. The winning entries will be selected by jurors independent of the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival. Employees and contractors of Focus on the Story are prohibited from entering.
  5. Focus on the Story will award $1,500 to the overall best series winner and a $1,000 award to the overall best single image winner. Winners will also have their work exhibited at the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival.
  6. Entrants remain the owner of all rights to submitted images, including all copyrights.
  7. By submitting your image(s), you agree that Focus on the Story may promote your work on websites and social media networks, and you grant Focus on the Story the right to use your submitted image(s) in promotional materials related to its photo contests. If your image is selected as a winner, runner-up or finalist, you grant Focus on the Story permission to publish your image in its contest recaps that appear in its quarterly or annual magazines. All images used in this way will, whenever possible, be duly credited to you, including a link to your relevant social media account or website. If your work is selected as a winner or finalist, you also agree that it may be exhibited at the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival.
  8. You waive any right to bring any claim against Focus on the Story on the ground that its use of your images constitutes an infringing or otherwise unauthorized use under the laws of any jurisdiction in which your photographs are published under this license.
  9. By submitting images to this contest, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of this contest. You also agree to receive occasional emails from Focus on the Story, which you may unsubscribe to at any time.