Enable your email to display images


First Place:
One photographer will be awarded:

A $1,000 cash prize.


Exhibition of their work in a group show with other winners at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY, from August 20, 2011 through September 16, 2011.


A featured exhibit on the SDN home page for two weeks and featured in email spotlights.


Five copies of exhibition catalog.     


Other prizes as they become available from sponsors.


Honorable Mention: Three photographers will be awarded:


Exhibition of their work in a group show with other winners at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY, from August 20, 2011 through September 16, 2011.


A featured exhibit on the SDN home page for two weeks and featured in email spotlights.


Two copies of exhibition catalog.   


One of the following:
1) Adobe Photoshop CS5, 2)Adobe Lightroom, 3) $200 gift certificate to powerHouse Books


Other prizes as they become available from sponsors.






Make Your Media Matter 







Ten Years After Nine Eleven: Searching
for a 21st Century Landscape


Begin accepting entries: March 1, 2011

Deadline for entries: May 31, 2011


Call for Entries

 The 21st century arguably began on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked and brought down the World Trade Center in New York. As the world approaches the tenth anniversary of that cataclysmic event, SDN invites photographers from around the world to submit photographic essays offering us glimpses of the visual landscape of the 21st century.   


We encourage photographers to think broadly about the term "visual landscape". We are interested in how the world looks different today than it did on September 10, 2001, particularly as a result of the political, cultural, economic, and interpersonal changes brought about in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.   


The world, and particularly the West, is experiencing existential challenges unknown in our lifetime. Nearly ten years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a coalition led by the U.S. is fighting an elusive enemy in Afghanistan and extracting itself from a devastating war in Iraq. We are experiencing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s, and recovery is still not in sight. China is quickly becoming the new world economic powerhouse. Global warming is creating environmental catastrophes around the world. Extremist political parties are taking root in the U.S. and other developed nations. HIV/AIDS continues to take its toll throughout the world with the highest infection rates in Africa and parts of Asia, compounded by increasing chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.  

Yet the world is also undergoing technological change as radical as the first industrial revolution. Genetic sciences, robotics, medical science, and computer-aided everything are changing, often improving, and sometimes damaging, how we live in every manner. Green technology, renewable energy, and alternative energy sources may offer solutions to the problems of the 20th century.  


What does this new century look like and feel like? What new visual metaphors will help us to understand this landscape? Does still photography continue to offer meaningful insights into our world, and, if so, how?  


These are just some of the challenges and questions SocialDocumentary.net would like photographers to consider as they prepare work for this Call for Entries. 


Note: The term landscape is broadly defined as a visual exploration. Entries do not need to be landscapes in the traditional sense. If photographers are not sure if their stories fit into our definition of landscape, they are encouraged to inquire at info@socialdocumentary.net 


How to Enter

Beginning March 1, 2011, you can submit your entry via the standard online tools available for submitting any exhibit on SDN. You can also convert any existing exhibit on SDN to a competition entry simply by pressing a button in your exhibit edit page and paying the competition entry fee.

Entry Fees

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


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 on fees.


Exhibits on SocialDocumentary.net 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.

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.



A limited number of partial scholarships are available for residents of developing countries. To apply, photographer must first have or create a free membership with SocialDocumentary.net. Send request to scholarship@socialdocumentary.net with name, email address used for membership, your country of residence and your country of citizenship. All requests for discounts must be submitted by May 15, 2011. Expatriates from developed countries living in developing country are not eligible for scholarships.


Entry Requirements

  • All entries must have between 6 and 36 photographs related to the theme of the Call for Entries, 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 September 10, 2001.
  • All work must be submitted via the SocialDocumentary.net website at 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. 

Printing and Mounting of Exhibits

Winning photographers must choose one of the following:

  • Prepare work for exhibition and ship to powerHouse Arena, arriving between August 12-17, 2011. Exact number of prints, size, and framing requirements to be determined in discussion with SDN staff.
  • Pay a printing and mounting fee for SDN to produce images suitable for exhibition. Photographer will own the work following exhibition. SDN will discuss with photographer the exact cost of this service.

Traveling Exhibition

SocialDocumentary.net may select winning work for inclusion in a traveling exhibition.   



SDN reserves the right to use alternate judges if necessary. The decision of judges is final. Judges will give equal attention to the photographs and the text. . 


Nina Berman
Internationally renowned documentary photographer
Member of NOOR Photo Agency

Lori Grinker
Internationally renowned documentary photographer
Author of Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict
SDN Advisory Committee member

Ed Kashi
Internationally renowned documentary photographer
Member of VII Photo Agency
SDN Advisory Committee member

Fred Ritchin
Professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and director of PixelPress

Glenn Ruga
Founder and Director of SocialDocumentary.net and Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University

Tomasz Tomaszewski
International renowned documentary photographer and first place winner of SDN 2009 Call for Entries on the global recession.

Amy Yenkin
Amy Yenkin is the director of the Open Society Institute's Documentary Photography Project, based in New York City.



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.  


Winner Notification

Winners will be contacted by phone and email by June 25 2011.
Tax liability in connection with any Prize is the responsibility of the winners.  


Important Dates

  • Entries accepted on SDN website: March 1, 2011
  • Entries deadline: May 31, 2011, midnight, EST.
  • Judging: June 16-23, 2011
  • Winners announced: June 27, 2011
  • Opening reception: Saturday, September 10, 2011
  • Exhibition: August 20-September 16, 2011  

These dates may be subject to change.

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 or in SDN promotional materials. 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. Winners grant SDN the right to use the work in a related exhibition gallery book and in a possible traveling exhibition.  


Print Sales

Winning photographers must provide a list of work and sale price. For the first exhibition at powerHouse Arena, sales of prints will be split 50% to photographer, 40% to powerHouse, 10% to SDN. Sales are arranged through powerHouse, and the work sold will be the exact work on the wall. SDN will pay the photographers. Other sizes can be negotiated with the buyer.  



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 rules and guidelines. This Contest is void where prohibited by law.  


About SocialDocumentary.net

SocialDocumentary.net (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.


Questions? Email us at info@socialdocumentary.net.   


Click here for complete information and to enter competition.