Enable your email to display images
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2009

Glenn Ruga, 978.453.2139, glenn@socialdocumentary.net
Barbara Ayotte, 617.549.0152, bayotte@socialdocumentary.net

Queries regarding media sponsorships:
Maria Judge, maria@socialdocumentary.net

SocialDocumentary.net Announces Photography Competition on Documenting the Global Recession

Call for EntriesSocialDocumentary.net (SDN) announced today a Call for Entries for a global documentary photography contest, "Crisis and Opportunity: Documenting the Global Recession." Entries will be accepted until December 1, 2009 on www.socialdocumentary.net. All entries will be viewable on the website. Judges include: Lori Grinker, Ed Kashi, Lucian Perkins, Shahidul Alam, Craig Cohen, and Whitney Johnson (see bios and more competition details on www.socialdocumentary.net/competition.php)

The grand prize winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, exhibition at powerHouse Arena from February 15-March 14, 2010, work printed in an exhibition catalog by Meridian Printing, and featured on the SDN home page. Other prizes include LowePro bags.

"In the spirit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the New Deal in the 1930s, when photographers documented the hardship and proposed solutions, SDN is issuing this Call for Entries for photo essays that provide insight into how ordinary citizens around the world are coping during these new "hard times" and how individuals, companies, industries, family businesses, communities, and governments are responding to the crisis," said Glenn Ruga, SDN founder.


First Place: One photographer will be awarded:

  • A $1,500 cash prize.
  • Exhibition of their work in a group show with other winners at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY, from February 15 to March 14, 2010. SDN to pay for all reproduction, and hanging fees.
  • Invitation to participate on a panel discussion at the opening night reception at powerHouse Arena on February 16, 2010. (photographer will need to cover their travel expenses).
  • Exhibit featured in exhibition catalog printed by Meridian Printing, the leading printer of photography books in North America.
  • A featured exhibit on the SDN home page for two weeks and features in email spotlights.
  • A LowePro Vertex 300 AW backpack.

Honorable Mention: Three photographers will be awarded:

  • Exhibition of some of their winning work at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY in a group show from February 15-March 14, 2010. SDN to pay for all reproduction, and hanging fees.
  • Exhibit included in exhibition catalog printed by Meridian Printing, the leading printer of photography books in North America.
  • Winning work featured on the website of SocialDocumentary.net and in email spotlights.
  • A LowePro Fastpack 350 backpack.

All the winning photo essays will be published in a catalog that will be available for sale at powerHouse books, launched at the opening reception on February 16, 2010.


Contest is open to all professional and amateur US and international photographers. SDN staff, volunteer, advisory committee members, judges, and their families are not eligible to enter the competition.

Entry Requirements

All entries must have between 6 and 36 photographs related to a specific story about the global recession, have an abstract to provide context (150 words maximum) and captions to accompany the photographs. Photographer may also submit additional text about the situation being documented, a bio, and information on organizations working with affected communities.

Photographs must have been taken after January 1, 2008.

All work must be submitted via the SocialDocumentary.net website at http://www.socialdocumentary.net.

All contest entries must be accompanied by full name of the photographer and contact information, including email address and phone number. Minimum of six images is required with abstract and captions.

Winning entries must be able to provide within 7 days of award announcement digital files of at least 3000 pixels in one dimension. Exact specifications on providing digital files for exhibition will be provided at a later date.

All entries and communications from entrants must be in the English language.

Winner Notification

Winners will be contacted by phone and email by December 11, 2009.
Tax liability in connection with any Prize is the responsibility of the winners.

Entry Fees

$35 for one exhibit entry of 6 - 36 images.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for residents of developing countries. To apply, the photographer must first create a free membership with SocialDocumentary.net. Send request to scholarship@socialdocumentary.net with name, email address used for membership, country of residence and country of citizenship. All requests for discounts must be submitted by November 1, 2009, and exhibits must be submitted by November 20. Expatriates from developed countries living in a developing country are not eligible for scholarships.

All fees must be paid using a credit card on the SDN website. International credit cards are accepted. All entry submissions and fees are final and non-refundable.

All entries are automatically and simultaneously submitted for exhibition on the SocialDocumentary.net website and must follow all rules and regulations regarding exhibits on SDN. See SDN website for further information. www.socialdocumentary.net

Exhibits on SocialDocumentary.net 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.

Photographers can submit multiple contest entries but individual photographs may only be submitted for one entry.

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

Important Dates

Entries accepted on SDN website: September 15, 2009
Entries deadline: December 1, 2009
Judging: December 6-13, 2009
Winners Announced: December 16, 2009
Opening reception & panel discussion: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Exhibition: February 15-March 14, 2010

These dates may be subject to change.

For more details on the contest rules and terms, please visit

Competition Sponsors

LowePro    Meridian Printing

About SDN

SocialDocumentary.net (SDN) uses the power of photography to promote global awareness. SDN's 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. SDN was launched in October 2008. Glenn Ruga is the founder. SDN is based in Lowell, MA www.socialdocumentary.net