Accounts & Profiles
Eligibility & Entry
Pricing & Payments
People's Vote Award
Winner Services & Awards
Usage & Copyright
Submission Rules & Requirements
We welcome participation by any individual content creator at least eighteen (18) years of age older
Professionals and non-professionals will be judged separately. We define “professional” as those who, at any point in time, have earned income from photography. A “non-professional” includes those who have never, at any point in time, earned income from photography.
While you have the option to save an incomplete submission to finish at your convenience, once you have completed the check out process you can no longer edit your entry.
You can submit your images to as many reFocus contests as you’d like regardless of whether they have previously been awarded or submitted. reFocus also does not require images to be exclusively entered into our contests.
We do not have any restrictions on where your submitted images may have also appeared. Images that are on your website, have been featured in a publication, or have won other awards are welcome.
Eligibility is not dependent upon having created the artwork during a specific time period.
AI-generated images are not admissible in any reFocus contest. We reserve the right to request proof of the image not being generated by AI as well as for proof of ownership of the original files.
Entries must be submitted using the following format. Any images that do not adhere to the following format will not be accepted as submissions.
Do not watermark or add a logo to your images.
Image size/ type: Jpegs or PNG files with a minimum dimension of 1500 pixels on the longest edge and less than 5 MB file size.
If you need to resize your images, you can do so in Adobe Photoshop. However, there are services, such as tinypng.com that are readily available.
We accept images created on film, digital camera or your mobile phone, in any orientation such as square, portrait, or landscape.
You are not required to name your image files in any particular manner prior to uploading.
Sepia photos are acceptable for entry in the Black and White Photo Competition or in any black and white category.
Entry Title & Descriptions
During the entry process, you will have an opportunity to add some brief information about your work such as a title or description. While a title is required for each entry, the description field is optional and you will not be penalized for leaving these fields blank. However, if you feel that text may add value to your image(s) for the sake of the judges, please be sure to add it.
Certain contests accept 2-9 images as a series. Images submitted as a series should all work within a single concept, idea, or framework that binds them together, even if their subject matter or other elements within the images vary.
Text Limitations for All Entries
Title: (maximum 40 characters per image
Description: (maximum 500 characters per image OR 500 characters per series)
No priority is given to either series or single image entries, regardless of the contest.
Judging is done blindly in a two-step process in which a select number of entries are nominated for awards in each category via a preliminary round.
In subsequent judging rounds, each judge's rankings are aggregated to determine the category and overall contest winners.
Contacting or lobbying judges is strictly prohibited and may lead to disqualification. Any associated entries belonging to a participant who contacted or lobbied judges will be disqualified.
People's Vote Award
After judging is completed but before the winners are announced, all entries nominated by the jury will automatically be entered into the People’s Vote Awards where the public will vote on their favorite images within each contest category. The winners of the People's Vote Award will be based on the number of votes received by the general public relative to the other entries in their respective categories.
The opportunity to win this honor is included at no charge and is in addition to competing for the title in your entry’s category as part of your submission. Winners receive a public profile in our Artist Directory, a featured location in our Winner’s Gallery, and other benefits as outlined in each contest page’s Awards & Benefits Chart.
With tens of thousands of people visiting the reFocus website and People’s Vote Award Gallery during the voting period, this unique honor is one of the many ways we aim to increase the chances of our artists, like you, being discovered and getting well-deserved recognition.
Please note that in order to maintain the most positive experience for all nominated artists, the number of votes each entry receives during the public voting period will not be visible.
Read more about People's Vote Award.
Awards & Benefits
If you received a custom press release tailored to your achievement as part of your awards package, you will find a link to download it in the “My Awards” tab of your artist portal.
If your award or honor earned you a digital badge, you can find various versions customized for your personal use available for download in the “My Awards” tab of your artist portal.
Public profiles are for contest winners and category winners. Other awards and honors may be included in the artist directory depending on the contest. Please refer to the awards and benefits section of each contest to see which honors will have their profiles featured in the artist directory.
Trophies and Winner’s Certificates
If your award or honor earned you a trophy or a printed and embossed achievement certificate, or if you purchased a trophy, it will be sent to you in the months following the announcement of winners at the address submitted during checkout.
If your award or honor earned you a printed and embossed achievement certificate, it will be sent to you in the months following the announcement of winners at the address submitted during checkout.
If you received a digital certificate, you can download it through the artist portal.
If you received a published interview as part of your achievement, you can expect to be contacted via the email address you used to register in the weeks following the winner’s announcement. If for any reason you did not hear from us but were supposed to receive an interview, please contact [email protected] to make sure we have the correct email address on file.
Premier Artist Placement
If you receive Premier Artist Placement as one of the Awards and Benefits from your win, it means that your work will appear, for a period of time, in highly visible locations on our website such as our main menu, the featured block of our Artist Directory, registration pages, and more.
Cash Prize Distribution
Once contest winners have been announced, our staff will reach out to entrants who have won a cash prize via the email address associated with your artist profile to arrange for payment.
2023 Black & White Photo Contest Cash Prizes will be distributed as follows:
1st = $1,500
2nd = $750
3rd = $250
1st = $900
2nd = $400
3rd = $200
2023 Color Photo Contest Cash Prizes will be distributed as follows:
1st = $1,500
2nd = $750
3rd = $250
1st = $900
2nd = $400
3rd = $200
2023 World Photo Annual Cash Prizes will be distributed as follows:
International Photographer of the Year = $3,500
International Discovery of the Year = $1,500
Free Entry Award
Free entry will come in the form of Reward Dollars being deposited into your account. This amount will be equivalent to a single-image entry submitted into one category during the early bird period for the next reFocus photo contest.
If your award includes a trophy, certificate, or cash prize that will need to be sent to you either physically or digitally (i.e. wire transfer), please ensure you provide us with the correct delivery information. We will not be responsible for any fees associated with resending such items. We will resend the prizes won at your cost, less any fees which may have been incurred by reFocus for the initial delivery attempt. Please note that if you refuse delivery or to pay duties or taxes, or if you claim to have never received your prizes even though there is proof of delivery, we will consider our obligation to you as fulfilled, and will maintain no further responsibilities for issuing replacements or refunds.