| Competition Entry

Call for Entries: Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth

Are we in a new era of post-truth where facts and truth are no longer a universally accepted norm?

We are seeking stories that strive to tell us the truth about what is going on in the world today. All subject matter is encouraged providing that the objective of the work is based on telling a story as truthful as possible with un-manipulated images and information.

As long as there remains a committed voice for truth as practiced by photographers, journalists, writers, and artists of all types, post-truth cannot find ground to become the definition of our age.

SDN calls on the global community of documentary photographers to fight back and enter this Call for Entries on Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth. We welcome your stories and will do our best to have them seen to counter the creeping narrative of post-truth.

Questions about what we mean by post-truth and this Call for Entries? Click here.

Deadline for Entries Extended to Wednesday, July 18

11:59 pm (Eastern Dayiight Savings Time)

Entry Fee: $30 for up to 30 images

Other benefits of entering Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth.

  • Your work will be carefully looked at by a panel of expert judges. While you won't get personal feedback, you will be sure that they will take notice of memorable work. (See below for bios.) 
  • Your work will be eligible for all future issues of ZEKE magazine.
  • All entries are considered for our email Spotlight and in our social media.
  • All entries remain live on the SDN website for one year and can be renewed. The SDN website is viewable and searchable by the thousands of people who visit the SDN website each week.
  • SDN periodically produces other special online publications, including InFocus, that your work is eligible to be featured in.

Click here to enter >>


First Place: One Photographer

  • Featured in the fall 2018 issue of ZEKE magazine.
  • $1000 cash prize.
  • Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 8,500 members.
  • Featured on SDN’s home page.
  • Featured on SDN’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.

Honorable Mention: Three photographers

  • Presented in the fall 2018 issue of ZEKE magazine.
  • $200 cash prize
  • Receive 100 "frames" from SDN to be used for new exhibits or renewals. ($85 cash value)
  • Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 8,500 members.
  • Featured on SDN’s home page.
  • Featured on SDN's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.

Other  photographers will be selected from both the Call for Entries submissions and from the entire archives of SDN to be included in two other articles in ZEKE magazine.


Barbara Ayotte: Barbara Ayotte has managed the communications departments of leading global health and human rights nonprofits including Physicians for Human Rights and Management Sciences for Health. She is also an editor for ZEKE magazine and Director of Communications for Social Documentary Network.  


Alice GabrinerAlice Gabriner: Alice Gabriner is a freelance photo editor, consultant and mentor who was formerly the International Photo Editor at TIME magazine, a position she held previously from 2003-2009. Prior to rejoining TIME, Gabriner was a Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic magazine, and before that, she was the Deputy Director of Photography in the Obama White House. During her ten-year tenure at TIME from 1999-2009 she led the photo department during the election of Barack Obama, oversaw the magazine¹s award winning coverage of the Iraq War, and she worked with TIME’s notable team of photographers during the 2000 Presidential election.

Kurt MutchlerKurt Mutchler: Kurt Mutchler is a senior science photo editor at National Geographic magazine. He was awarded the 2016 Pictures of the Year International (POYi) Magazine/Media Visual Editor of the Year. His work has also been recognized by the Overseas Press Club of America, The Association of Magazine Media, Society for News Design, and World Press Photo. He is a former adjunct professor at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC, where he taught photojournalism. Prior to joining the magazine, he was the photo and graphics editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La..

Quentin NardiQuentin Nardi: Quentin Nardi is Chief Photo Editor for Smithsonian magazine. With more than 17 years experience in the industry, she has worked for various national titles including: AARP The Magazine and Ski & Outside.


Niami SandyNiama Sandy: Niama Safia Sandy is a New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, and essayist. She sees her role as that of an agitator - one who endeavors to simultaneously call into question and make sense of the seemingly arbitrary nature of modern life and to celebrate our shared humanity in the process, while developing critical and creative modalities grounded in histories of the global Black Diaspora to enable others to do the same. She is fascinated by the ways in which history, economics, migration and other social forces and constructs have shaped culture and identity.  


How to Enter

Create and submit an exhibit of your work on the SDN website. When submitting, you will have a choice for a standard exhibit or competition entry. Choose competition entry. The remainder of the process will be identical to creating a standard exhibit, but your work will be entered to the call for entries. Click here for details on how to submit your work to SDN.

Entry Requirements

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 not accepted.

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, 2008 unless the work is part of a long term project that began prior to 2008 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.

Converting Existing Exhibits to Call for Entries Submission

Existing exhibits on SDN can easily be converted to a Call for Entries submission by logging into your account, going to the exhibit you want to convert, and click a button at the top of the page to convert to the Call for Entries.


The Call for Entries 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.

Entry Fees

$30 for one exhibit entry of 6 – 30 images and one multimedia piece. All fees must be paid using a credit or debit card on the SDN website. International credit cards are accepted. All entry submissions and fees are final and non-refundable.


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 with an explanation of your need. Requests for scholarships must be received one week prior to submission deadline.

Important Dates

  • Entries deadline: Extended to Midnight, July 18, 2018
  • Judging: July 21–August 4, 2018
  • Winners Announced: By August 12, 2018
  • Published in ZEKE: Fall 2018

Use Rights

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 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.

About SDN

Social Documentary Network (SDN) uses the power of photography to promote global awareness. SDN members include photographers, editors, NGOs, journalists, curators, and students who create and explore documentary websites investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored discrimination against the Rohingya, sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece.

ZEKE Magazine

Published by SDN, ZEKE magazine is the best of global documentary delivered to your mailbox and inbox twice a year. If you are not already a subscriber of ZEKE magazine, click here.


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Photo credit: Bente Stachowske.