About the Contest
The Annual Photographic Awards is a competition for photographers and videographers - professionals or amateurs, organized for the first time by Photo Forum and Pro Photo Forum. It aims to celebrate the achievements of Bulgarian and foreign artists throughout the year to show their creativity and professional success.
The Annual Photographic Awards is a prestigious photographic event, to which a large jury of over 30 professionals assesses nominations.
By applying for this competition you get the opportunity to promote your work by presenting it to some of the best professionals, both in Bulgaria and global-wise. Your participation in the Annual Photographic Awards of Photo Forum and Pro Photo Forum provides you with media attention and can be an important stage in your future career. Additionally, you will receive an important link to your own website or project that will increase your online popularity.
The first places winners in the categories will receive specially made bronze statuettes and diplomas, which will be awarded to them at an official ceremony.
The competition consists of 12 categories - 6 professional and 6 amateur ones. The photos are selected by jury members invited by Photo Forum team.
The competition will be open from 26.11.2018 and the photographers will be able to apply until 15.02.2019 inclusive.
The jury will be able to vote in the period 18.02.2019 - 28.02.2019. The voting is in two stages. In the first stage the jury will select 3 nominated projects from all the ones that have been included in the competition. In the second stage, only the nominated projects will be voted for and they will be ranked from 1st to 3rd place in their category.
Audience voting – Audience voting will take place between 18-28 February 2019.
Portrait and body
Free category Free license - Creative Commons
The winners of the jury vote will be announced and awarded at a special ceremony which is going to be held in Sofia in March (date and place to be specified). They will receive bronze statuettes and diplomas.
About the Organizers
Photo Forum is the most popular and proven over the years Bulgarian site for photography and it is an online photography society, which this year marks the 15th anniversary of its creation. More than 45 competitions, even more exhibitions, more than 12 photographic festivals, many trainings, courses, lectures, presentations and partnerships with popular Bulgarian photographic projects and Bulgarian institutions have been organized over the years on behalf of Photo Forum.
Pro Photo Forum is a new project the main aim of which is connecting photographers with their clients. Any current and future user of the Photo Forum can make a profile in this site-catalog and can take advantage of the professional tools which offer photographic services by types of photography and location.
How I can participate in the competition?
In order to participate in the competition you need to register. Your registration can be done by following this link.
Fill in the registration form carefully by selecting the category you want to take part in. There is no limit to the number of categories you can participate in. You cannot make registrations at the same time, but one after the other for different projects.
What Photos I Can Upload?
You can only take part in the competition with photos taken by you. In each category you can apply with 1 to 6 photos. The technical requirements are described below in the text.
Conditions for participation
The cost of registering a project in one of the professional categories is € 35..
The cost of registering a project in one of the amateur categories (with the exception of CreativeCommonsC license category) is € 20.
Participation in "Free category Free license - Creative Commons" is free of charge.
For each subsequent registration of your project in the categories you will receive a discount of 20% of the announced participation fee. One participant can apply in both types of categories simultaneously - professional and amateur.
All participants in:
* Photo Forum's Annual Photographic Album
* Authors included in Top 50 of Photo Forum 2 years ago (from 2016 to January 2019)
* Authors included in "Best Pictures and Authors for 2017" and those who will fall into the new chart at the end of the year.
* Editors in Photo Forum Editor Gallery
* Speakers participated in Photo Forum Fest
Receive a 15% discount from the registration fee in the first category and an additional 10% (30%) of the registration fee for the next category.
The cost of registering a project in one of the professional categories is € 25.
The registration fee for one of the amateur categories is € 13.
Students do not benefit from the additional 20% discount for additional categories.
As a student we will consider a person who is up to the age of 25 (including) and who may provide a valid student document.
1. When registering a project, you acknowledge the accuracy of the information provided in your application and agree to the terms and conditions set out in the application form. You acknowledge that you are the sole author and the copyright owner of the photographs provided. In case the work has other authors (e.g. in case of works with several authors in the categories "Video" or "Advertising Photography") you declare that you have the right to post the work on behalf of all authors. In this case it is necessary to list their names and role in the creation of the work, e.g. who the writer is, who the author of the music is, and so on.
2. Evaluation. The voting will be implemented by more than 30 experts in the photography and visual arts fields who will declare their non-alignment and unbiased evaluation.
The voting will be held in two stages. In the first one the jury will select 3 nominated projects from all the applications. In the second stage only the nominated projects will be voted for and they will be ranked from 1st to 3rd place.
Audience voting – anyone willing to vote for the participating projects in all categories will be able to do it. By voting the audience will choose the audience’s favorite projects which will then be awarded in the respective categories.
3. In case of suspicion about the authorship of a photo, the Organizer may request the original files of the candidate and /or previous and subsequent frames of the full EXIF photo session. The original files and /or adjacent frames of all the nominated photos will be requested. If the participant is not able to provide them, the project will be disqualified and the next one in line will take part in the distribution of the prizes. The participation fee for such a project cannot be refunded and the participant agrees with this.
4. The photos must not contain watermarks, logos or signatures. The author's name and URL address will be written together with the photos.
5. To participate in the categories with a declared participation fee, you need to pay this fee. Without fulfilling this condition, your photographs will not be admitted to a later stages of the voting and nominations.
6. Materials contrary to the Bulgarian legislation and internet ethics cannot be published in the contest. Such ones are materials containing slander, pornography, insults and threats to life and the inviolability of a person, calls for violence and racial, ethnic and religious enmity, violating the rights and the legitimate interests of third parties, materials that contain trade or business secrets or other confidential information, materials that are the subject of copyright to third parties, and materials containing false information. You have no right to present yourself on behalf of another person. In such cases, the organizer has the right to delete the registration and all materials and automatically terminate the offender's candidacy, without refunding of the paid participation fees.
7. Participants retain the full copyright of their works. The copyright holders of the photographs included in the list and winners agree to grant the organizers the right to unrestrictedly and non-exclusively use their high-resolution images for the purpose of advertising activities in various types of media, including social, online and print media, in connection with advertising and promotion of the contest, the exhibition, yearbook, public archive and all other promotional and educational activities for and under the auspices of the Organizer and the competition, without remuneration. The name of the author will necessarily be mentioned together with their work.
8. Copyright holders ensure that submitting photos do not violate any law and /or third party rights. The participant agrees that all claims by third parties to the Organizer regarding the works they have published in the contest are to be regressively transferred to the participant. A participant's obligation is arranging their relationships and rights with the models they have shot before publishing the works. The latter is especially valid and necessary for the categories "Portrait and body" и "Wedding photography".
9. Photographs that are published in the categories are copyrighted (© All right reserved) by their authors, which are inscribed with their names with the exception of the photos published in the category "Free category Free license - Creative Commons". It will be explicitly stated under which type of license they are published in relation to what their author has stated.
10. People who participate in the organization of the event, their spouses or children, and members of the jury cannot participate in the contest and cannot win prizes.
Technical requirements for the photographs
The photos you upload at registration must be JPG format and have a minimum of 1920 (px or pixels) on their long side. If you upload bigger photos, we will save them, but the files we will use for the site will be automatically reduced to 1920 points on the long side.
Images should not have a watermark.
It is desirable your photos to have an EXIF.
Description of the categories
Photojournalism – This category includes photos that track events and processes from various topics in life such as social and documentary topics, sports, disasters, natural cataclysms, politics, etc.
The allowed photo editing includes edits that do not manipulate the rendered reality - cropping, contrast and brightness adjustments, color correction, full desaturation in black and white.
Wedding photography - includes photos taken during a wedding, such as portraits of the bride and groom or other interesting moments during the wedding. Please note that photos taken during stage photo sessions and workshops will not be accepted or will be disqualified subsequently.
These photos must be taken not earlier than 2016 inclusive. Allowed photo editing includes: cropping, contrast and brightness adjustments and color correction, full desaturation in black and white, moderate retouching, dodge and burn tool brushes. Items from other photos are not allowed to be imported.
Advertising photography - includes photographs or a series of photographs taken for the purposes of advertising campaigns, advertisements in magazines, prints, web, billboards, television and other media or channels. In advertising photography, it is important to control the lighting on the whole scene, the preliminary idea, the preparation of the objects, their location, the post-processing and many other factors. We do not put any restrictions on the processing of the photographs and the jury will evaluate the suggestion and idea they will see in the frames.
Videography - this category is intended for short films or video materials presenting a product, service, cause, or event. It is desirable the films to be up to 12 minutes long. They must be uploaded onto YouTube and shared together with their address.
Portrait and body - The purpose of this category is to present people in a close-up portrait or in more general way. The category includes portraits of people in their natural environment, like people at work, everyday situations, studio portraits and other similar to these.
Photographs should be taken no earlier than 2016. Allowed photo editing includes: cropping, contrast and exposure changes, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white, dodge and burn tool, retouching. You are not allowed to include elements from other photos.
Aerial - this category includes camera-taken pictures that are attached to different types of flying objects, most often drones. Typical of this category is the high point of the captured object.
The following photo enhancements are allowed: cropping, contrast and exposure change, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white, HDR, blending two or three frames in one, but from the same place and same timeframe. You are not allowed to include elements from other photos or the same scene from another day.
Travel – this category includes documentary and artistic photographs of landscapes, people, cultures, traditions and history. This category may include frames associated with a certain time or place recreated in the way they were felt by the author, and reflect a place, a natural scene, people or animals represented in their everyday environment and their own culture. There are no geographical restrictions. Pictures from specially created performances or photographers' scenes are not eligible for participation. Close-up photos of people or objects should include items that are specific for the location.
Techniques that add, remove, move or replace objects to original photography are not allowed. Allowed corrections include cropping, contrast and exposure change, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white, dust removal, color noise.
Nature - This category includes all photos of landscapes, animals, plants and natural processes. It is allowed to include buildings and people who, with their purpose and location, fit into the landscape but do not dominate the picture.
The following photo enhancements are allowed: cropping, contrast and exposure change, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white, HDR, merging two or three frames in one, but from the same time and in the same timeframe. You are not allowed to include elements from other photos or the same scene from another day.
Street - Street Photography is a skill to capture and recreate the moment. To tell stories about street photography, you do not necessarily need a street or urban environment, but people are often directly involved. We leave the choice to the author.
Allowed photo editing includes edits that do not manipulate the rendered reality - cropping, contrast and brightness adjustments, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white.
Experimental – This category covers the most diverse spheres of life and can include different interpretations of scenes, people, products, and more. In this case the author's vision and suggestion the author aims to achieve is important. There are no editing restrictions.
Free category Free license - Creative Commons – in this category photos of different genres, artistic or documentary, can be published. What they have in common is that they are published under a CC-free license, which must be specified by the author at registration. The purpose of the category is to draw attention to the possibility of publishing photographs under the CC license at https://photo-forum.net and their free use when mentioning the author. The introduction of a photo portal page under this license and its easy search is forthcoming.
Debut – - a category in which photographers who started their creative path 2 years ago can take part in. There is no genre limitation. Processing limitations are applied to the photographs in the category they are included in and the restrictions we have described for the category mentioned above or below.
Allowed photo editing includes: cropping, contrast and exposure changes, color correction, complete desaturation in black and white, dodge and burn tool, moderate retouching. You are not allowed to include elements from other photos.