Documenting What Matters

Photo by Carolina SandrettoThank you everyone who has entered the Call for Entries

Winners will be announced by February 22.

First place winner will be featured in the spring 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine and receive a $1000 cash prize.

All submissions are exhibited on the SDN website and are eligible to be featured in ZEKE magazine. Select entries will be featured in our monthly Spotlight, and promoted through our social media.



First Place: One photographer

• Featured in the spring 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine as one of three main articles in the magazine.
• $1000 cash prize.
• Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 9,500 followers.
• Featured on SDN’s home page.
• Featured on SDN's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.

Honorable Mention: Four photographers

• Presented in the spring 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine along with other Honorable Mentions
• Receive 100 "frames" from SDN to be used for new exhibits or renewals. ($85 cash value)
• Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 9,500 followers.
• Featured on SDN’s home page.
• Featured on SDN's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.


Barbara AyotteBarbara Ayotte 
Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences Health, a global health nonprofit organization that has worked in over150 countries to help leaders, health managers, and communities in developing nations build stronger health systems for greater health impact; Director of Communications, Social Documentary Network. Former Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights.


Dimitri BeckDimitri Beck
Director of photography of Paris-based Polka magazine and has been part of the executive management since 2008, contributing to the development of the magazine, gallery and website, including the magazine’s new feature-rich iPad version. Dimitri gives lectures on photojournalism at conferences and educational institutes and school such as SciencesPo in Paris. He also speaks about images on France Info in a weekly radio column. Prior to working at Polka, from 2004- 2006, he was the Director of the Aina Photo Agency based in Kabul and the editor-in-chief for the Anglo-French feature magazine Les Nouvelles de Kaboul - New Afghanistan. Prior to that he was the editor-in-chief of Reza's photo agence Webistan. Dimitri started working as a freelance journalist abroad and regularly across Central Asia and Caucasus mountains. Photo of Dimitri © Alizé Le Maoult.

Andy PatrickAndy Patrick
CEO of VII Photo Agency. Andy is a serial entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in new media and e-commerce, and has worked with leading global brands, such as Apple, Virgin and Patagonia. He served as President & CEO of liveBooks and created and led FiftyCrows Foundation. He also has deep roots in the culture of documentary photography and the promotion of social change.


Nicole WebeckNicole Werbeck
Senior photo editor at National Geographic where she works with photographers and editors to conceive story ideas and commissions photographers to cover stories for the National Geographic website. Positions Werbeck held before joining National Geographic include homepage and multimedia editor at NPR; deputy news editor and photo editor at the Washington Post; adjunct professor teaching graphics and photography at the University of Maryland; news and sports editor at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina; copy editor and designer for sports at the Greensboro News & Record; and sports slot, copy editor, and designer at the Shreveport Times. Photo of Nicole by Becky Hale.


Entry Requirements

All entries must have between 6 and 30 photographs related to a specific theme. The submission may also have a multimedia component to supplement the still images. Submissions must have an abstract to provide context (180 words maximum) and captions to accompany the photographs. Additional text about the situation being documented may also be entered, as well as a bio of the photographer, information on organizations working with affected communities, and other relevant information. Photographs must have been taken after January 1, 2010 unless the work is part of a long term project that began prior to 2010 and continues to the present.

All work must be submitted via the Social Documentary Network website at For specific image specifications, see: Images must be a minimum of 1500 pixels in one dimension.

All entries are automatically and simultaneously submitted for exhibition on the Social Documentary Network website and must follow all rules and regulations regarding exhibits on SDN.

Exhibits on need to be approved before going live (click here for more information). In the event that an entry to the Call for Entries is not accepted for the SDN website, the photographer may make changes to their exhibit and re-submit, at no additional cost, up until the entry deadline. Greater than 90% of all exhibits submitted to SDN are approved.

Photographers can submit multiple contest entries.

All entries will be viewable to the public on the SDN site.


Contest is open to professional and amateur US and international photographers. SDN staff, volunteers, advisory committee members, judges, and their families are not eligible to enter the competition. Previous SDN Call for Entries first-place winners in the past five years are not eligible to enter. There is no restriction for honorable mention winners from prior years.

Important Dates

  • Entries accepted on SDN website: November 25
  • Entries deadline: Midnight EST, January 22, 2017
  • Judging: January 30-February 13
  • Winners Announced: By February 22
  • Published in ZEKE: Spring 2017

Use Rights

All entrants and winners retain copyright of their work. By submission for jurying, photographers whose images are chosen grant SDN a royalty-free license to use their images for the purpose of subsequent display on the SDN site, in SDN promotional materials, and in ZEKE magazine. Entries grant SDN the right to use their name for promotion in any medium including radio, newspapers, publications, television, videotape, and/or distribution over the internet. Samples of the winning work will be released to the press for promotional purposes. Photographers grant use of their images as stated without further contact or compensation from SDN other than the prizes listed above. Photographer’s credit will be provided with all use.


Entrant acknowledges that SDN may not be held liable for any loss, damages, or injury associated with this contest. Entrant agrees to indemnify SDN for all costs, damages and attorney fees resulting from any third party claims, including copyright infringement, arising from entrant’s participation.

SDN reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant that fails to comply with contest and website rules and guidelines.

About SDN

Social Documentary Network (SDN) uses the power of photography to promote global awareness. SDN members include photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students who create and explore documentary websites investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored oil workers in the Niger River Delta, male sex workers in India, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece.


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