Visual Storytelling Awards 2015
Please make sure you are using an updated version of Safari or Chrome
The majority of issues our users encounter are caused by using an old version of Safari. If you are using Chrome, it updates automatically. Firefox is OK, but we recommend Chrome or Safari.
How do I enter the competition?
First, you'll be prompted to join LensCulture for a free account to upload your files (or you can just sign in if you have an existing LensCulture account). Then follow the simple instructions to upload your images and to provide all the proper information for each.
What are the photo specifications for uploading?
For best results, upload the highest-quality JPEGs, sized a minimum of 1200 pixels on the longest side but up to 2000 pixels is even better. Maximum size is 10MB. The file name should be under 50 characters.
How do I add photo captions or titles?
Click the area designed for Photo title and add title there. It will be auto-saved when you finish typing.
I can't login to my account
Go to https://www.lensculture.com/forgot_password and enter the email address you think you signed up with. We'll send you a password reset link.
What forms of payment do you accept? Do you accept PayPal?
You can pay for your entry with PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express. We're sorry, but we cannot accept bank transfers or payments by check at this time.
Can I replace or re-arrange my photos after I've submitted them?
Yes! You can now edit your entire submission up to the deadline. This means you can replace or remove images, rearrange images, edit the photo captions (titles), entry description, and your submission statement.
How can I access my submission?
It's easy! From the homepage (www.lensculture.com), hover your mouse over your name in the upper right hand corner (make sure you are logged in). From there, press "My Submissions." Here you can see all the submissions you have made to LensCulture competitions. You can see which have been submitted and which are still pending. Click on whichever submission you would like to edit and follow the instructions from there. Remember, you can edit your submission all the way up until the deadline!
Can I submit diptychs as one image or 2?
You can submit diptychs as one image. But keep in mind the maximum pixel length of 2000.
I would like to submit two series of photographs, can I upload both series into one submission or do I need to make two submissions?
Each series should be in a separate submission so that you can write a description for each one and so as to allow the jury to view your entry as a single body of work. Of course, we understand this would be twice the submission cost. In case of doubt, please submit only your strongest work.
We are two photographers working as a team, can we make one submission?
Yes but please provide background info on both of you in the bio so we know it's a team.
How many times can I enter?
You can submit as many times as you like — assuming you have lots of great images and you can afford to pay the entry fees for all of them. We suggest, however, that you edit your photos wisely and send us only your very best.
If I live outside the United States, am I still eligible for this competition?
Definitely! Our competitions are truly global, drawing submissions from over 140 countries.
What is the best way to submit my entries, digital or print?
Digital. The jury will review each of the photos on screen only. We cannot accept photos as prints or CDs in the mail.
How do I know my work will look good on your jury's computer screen?
Our editors are accustomed to evaluating photography via computer monitors. This is quickly becoming standard practice for more and more juried competitions and reviews. If your scans are good quality, we will easily be able to imagine the actual work from the image on the computer screen.
Are there restrictions on when a photo was taken for a competition?
No, there are no time-based restrictions concerning when a photo was taken.
Are there restrictions if I've submitted a photo to a different competition?
No, there are no restrictions. You are free to submit photographs that you have submitted to different competitions—or even previous LensCulture competitions. There is ONE exception: if you have already been named a Winner or Finalist in a LensCulture competition, you may not submit the same photograph/series to win another award. You are free to submit non-prize winning work multiple times but once a photograph/series has been recognized by LensCulture, it is not eligible to win again on LensCulture.
Can you explain the usage rights issues if I enter a competition?
I hereby authorize LensCulture to display, print, and distribute in any manner any photographs that I have entered in this competition to conduct and promote LensCulture competitions. Each photographer retains copyright of his or her images, and proper credit lines will be attributed to each photographer when used in any publicity of LensCulture.
I submitted my work to the competition, why don't I see it in the Competition Gallery or on LensCulture's Facebook page?
Every day, our editors look at competition submissions and select some for inclusion in our Competition Gallery and social media channels. These are curated selections, meaning only a small selection of photos entered are featured. These selections are not related to the final judging by our international jury. If you do not see your photos featured, please do not worry—the judging for the competition will not start until after the deadline. Finally, a few more points: • Even if you do not end up winning an award, we invite a number of the top-rated photographers to have a free, invitation-only portfolio account where you can upload as many projects as you wish. • Our mission is to provide exposure to talented photographers that can connect them to valuable opportunities. The Editor's Picks program during the competition is just one more way we try to accomplish our mission. That said, we also are strong believers in curation. We can't show every single entrant. Strong curation is a key reason why LensCulture is one of the top web sites for contemporary photography.
How can I get more exposure for my competition submission?
It's easy! Every entrant has the ability to share their entry via Facebook. Once you have completed your submission, simply go to "My Submissions" (available under your profile dropdown menu, in the upper-right hand corner of any LensCulture page) and click on a completed submission. There, you will see a "Share on Facebook" button along with instructions. Thus, while not every photographer can be selected by LensCulture's editors for the competition gallery, every photographer does have the ability to get exposure for their work regardless.
If an entry is featured in the Competition Gallery or on Facebook, does it have any effect on the final judging?
No. Every day, our editors look at competition submissions and select some for inclusion in our Competition Gallery and social media channels. The jurors do not begin looking at work until after the competition deadline has passed. The jurors' decision is independent of LensCulture's editorial selections.
Can I have an extension on the deadline?
At this time, we are not offering any extensions. The deadline is FINAL.
I just started taking photos. Do I have a chance of winning?
LensCulture competitions are open to all photographers — from students, to emerging artists, to established professionals. We are also interested in all kinds of photography — from sophisticated to quirky to wildly experimental to hard-edged realism.
When are the prizes awarded, and when do the winners get featured in LensCulture?
The judging will be completed sometime after the competition deadline and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. You will be notified via email during the judging process if you have been selected to receive a prize.
If my entry is accepted and you are hosting an exhibition, what will you use for reproduction?
If your work is accepted, we will request the necessary reproduction materials at the time of organizing the exhibition.
If I am not a winner, will I receive feedback and suggestions on my work?
Due to the large number of entries, it is not possible to provide personalized feedback for every entrant. But if you enter a *series* of photographs, we are happy to include a free Submission Review with your entry. We believe that every photographer who enters a body of work in one of our competitions deserves thoughtful feedback on that series. We have recruited dozens of top photo editors, portfolio reviewers, gallerists, curators, and other industry professionals to provide you with critical and constructive feedback on your photography. You can learn more at www.lensculture.com/submission-reviews
Can I get a refund?
No, entry fees are non-refundable.
Can I get an invoice for my competition entry fees?
Once your entry is submitted, we automatically email you a confirmation invoice indicating payment details, including the competition you entered, the category, the amount you paid and how you paid it (credit card or Paypal). This is the invoice and is consistent with how other online purchases send order confirmations.
This all sounds too easy. Where's the fine print?
It really is that easy! You can find the competition rules link next to this FAQ link. Here are some, but not all, of the basic rules that you agree to: • By submitting these photographs to LensCulture, I authorize that these are original works of art that I personally created. • I am releasing LensCulture and its agents, principals, employees or contractors from any liability regarding the display of work that I have submitted to them, including any liability for redisplay by individuals making copies of the display made by LensCulture. • By agreeing to this release, I authorize that I am 18 years of age or older. • I hereby authorize LensCulture to display, print, and distribute in any manner any photographs that I have entered in this competition to conduct and promote LensCulture's competitions. Each photographer retains copyright of his or her images, and proper credit lines will be attributed to each photographer when used in any publicity of LensCulture.
Besides the competitions, does LensCulture cost any money? For example, how much does a photographer's profile cost?
LensCulture is free for people everywhere in the world to discover and share the best in contemporary photography. There are no fees involved — anyone can view all content on LensCulture for free. Highly qualified photographers are selected and invited to show their work on LensCulture in their personal photographer's profile. These are also free, for life, but they are by invitation only.
If I have more questions, how do I contact you?
For technical questions related to uploading your photos, sizes, entry forms and credit card payments, use the support button at the upper right of the Awards page. If you can't find the answers to your other questions here or at the upload site, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Please recognize that a support request sent right before the deadline might not get immediate attention. Do your best to submit your work before the last minute to avoid any anxiety!