2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography
Photo by Nicoló Filippo Rosso, Honorable Mention Winner, 2020 ZEKE Award/
How to Enter
Entering the ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography is identical to creating a standard exhibit on the SDN website, except that it is flagged as an award entry for the jurors and you pay the submission fee after submitting your project. Click here for details on how to prepare and submit your work to SDN. When you are ready to enter, click the Enter Now button below.
Entries must be documentary. We define this broadly, but an important quality is that the intent is to tell a visual story about the subject of your photographs. If the work is more about you as an artist, then it would not be appropriate for SDN or ZEKE magazine. Composited photographs (photo collages) are accepted only if all elements come from photographs that you have taken.
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, 2012 unless the work is part of a long-term project that began prior to 2012 and continues to the present.
All work must be submitted via the Social Documentary Network website. For specific image specifications, click here. 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 the SDN website need to be approved before going live. 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. The most common reason that an exhibit is not accepted is because it is not documentary.
All submissions will be viewable to the public on the SDN website. Once your exhibit is accepted, it will remain live on the SDN website for one year. You may choose to hide your entry from the public, but if you hide your entry prior to the completion of judging, you will also hide your site from the jurors.
Converting Existing SDN Exhibits to an Award Submission
Existing exhibits on SDN can easily be converted to an awards submission by logging into your account, going to the exhibit you want to convert, and click the blue button at the top of the page to convert to the awards. You will be prompted to pay the fee at that time.
The ZEKE Award 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. 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.
Scholarships are available for photographers from countries without access to credit cards or where there the submission fee would be prohibitive. To apply, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with an explanation of your need. Requests for scholarships must be received one week prior to submission deadline.
All entrants and winners retain copyright of their work. By submission for jurying, photographers grant SDN a royalty-free license to use their images for the purpose of subsequent display on the SDN site, in SDN & ZEKE 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. Entrant must have rights to publish images.
SDN reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant that fails to comply with contest and website rules and guidelines.