How the contest works

The Short Version

  • Register for the contest. Even if you've entered or won prizes from this contest in previous years you must register for the 2018 contest if you will be participating again this year.
  • Add entries to your account. Select how many entries you would like to enter and pay for your entries. Remember each entry is a image portfolio which allows up to 10 images.
  • Upload your photography.
  • Optional: Share your portfolio at your personal URL, You can opt-out of People's Choice portion of the contest by choosing "private" as your image-policy in your profile page, in which case your images will not be seen by the public and only rated by the judges.


More Detailed Version

1) Who is Eligible to Enter?

One Life is open to photographers 18 and older from anywhere in the world! We are looking for all types of digital and film photography, including: people, places, things and ideas. We are looking for compelling images that tell stories as you envision them.

2) How do I submit work?

One Life only accepts submissions through our quick and easy online form.

The entry fee for The One Life Award is $30/series (up to 10 images).

3) The Awards:

The One Life Award is granted by our esteemed panel of judges, comprising industry experts.

Prizes are specified on the home page of the website.

4) Judging:

The One Life Award will be selected by a panel of qualified judges, based on a rating system that considers uniqueness, skill and ambition. The entrant who submitted the entry receiving the highest score, as determined by our judging panel, will be The One Life Award winner. One winner is also selected by People's Choice public voting process. That winner will be included in the online winners' gallery.

5) Use of Entry & Respecting Image Ownership:

PHOTO+ will not re-sell your work, or use your images for any commercial purpose outside the terms of the contest and the exhibition prize. Every image you submit is yours and you retain all rights to your images.

Your images may be selected for special promotion on PHOTO+ and other press/partner outlets. For example, in the past, major magazines and television outlets have run features on our photographers and we have facilitated that connection. If a major press outlet approaches us to feature your work, we will contact you and work with you to craft the story to the highest benefit for you and your career.

Your images will never be sold to a 3rd party.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the FAQ section for answers to your questions. If your question is still unanswered, our contact information is below.

Q: What's this open call all about?
A: One Life is an international call for photography that delves into the lives of the global community. The world is changing, but the power of images is constant.

Q: What is the deadline for entry?
A: The Standard Entry Deadline is November 8, 2018 11:59 PM PST. The Extended Entry Deadline is November 27, 2018 11:59 PM PST. A $10 per entry late fee will be applied to all submissions added during the extended deadline period.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries that I can enter?
A: No, you may enter as many entries as you like.

Q: Can I enter if I live outside of the U.S.?
A: Except where prohibited by law, international entries can be submitted.

Q: What type of photography do you accept?
A: We are looking for all types of digital and film photography including (and definitely not limited to): people, places, things, ideas. If you have any questions regarding the type of photography accepted, please contact our staff directly by emailing us at

Q: What is the submission fee?
A: The fee to submit your work for The One Life Award is $30/series (up to 10 images).

Q: Are transactions on your website secure?
A: Yes. We use the latest encryption technology and trusted processors to make sure your personal information is kept confidential and private.

Q: Who owns the work/copyrights after it is submitted?
A: You do, of course. We have no intention of owning your work. Everything you submit is yours. Outside of the main prize, we look for unique opportunities for every artist who submits work into our system. We have developed an incredible network of media/gallerists/buyers and we want to put that to work for you. So far artists have gotten international media attention, gallery shows and sales through One Life. We want to be connectors and to put our connections to work for you.

All entries may be posted online so that viewers may view all competing entries. And winning entries may be used in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest for a period of 24 months from the date winners are notified.

Q: Can I submit a hard copy of my work? Can I mail in a CD of my work?
A: No. Submissions are only accepted online.

Q: What size and type of image files can I submit?
A: Digital images should be high resolution suitable for print and minimally have a long dimension of at least 2,000 pixels. They can be saved at 300 dpi (Around 7" or larger) jpeg. We recommend the compressed file size not be larger than 20 megabytes to ensure a faster upload experience. Images may be color profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998, or can be accepted without a color profile (not color-managed ).

Q: Who is eligible? Do I need to have shown work publicly?
A: Entrants must be 18 or older. We accept work from artists who have had public shows and also from those who are yet to be discovered. We aren't interested in your work history; we are only interested in the quality of work you are producing now.

Q: When is the decision made?
A: The winner will be announced in January 2019.

Ok I'm ready!


OFFICIAL RULES: The detailed version for the lawyer types


The sponsor of The One Life Photography Awards is Emerald Expositions, Inc., 100 Broadway, 14th floor, New York, NY 10005.


The Standard Entry Deadline is November 8, 2018 11:59 PM PST. The Extended Entry Deadline is November 27, 2018 11:59 PM PST.


Employees of Photo District News®, or and each of their affiliates, subsidiaries and agents, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such individuals, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win a prize. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of entry. CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.


To enter electronically, please visit to register. Once the registration process has been completed, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. Simply log onto the website and follow the online instructions to upload images from your computer. Digital images should have a long dimension of at least 2,000 pixels and be saved at 300 dpi (Around 7" or larger). We recommend the uncompressed file size not be larger than 4 megabytes to ensure a fast upload experience. We can accept images that are up to 50 megabytes (uncompressed) if you do not have the ability to downsize the images. (Uncompressed is the size you see in Photoshop's "Image Size" display which represents the count of pixels in the image. It is not the file size on your computer's hard drive viewable on your desktop.) Images may be color profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998, or not color-managed. For more information on electronic submission guidelines see our FAQ.

You may enter any number of entries in any of the categories listed below.

No mail-in entry is available for this Contest.

Each Entry consists of an entry form, a single image, portfolio or photo essay and an entry fee.

Each submitted photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that he or she has full power and authority to enter the photograph, and that the photograph does not infringe any copyright or violate any other intellectual property rights. The entrant agrees to indemnify The Photo Group from any and all third party claims arising from the photograph.

Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud, provided that entrants must be prepared to provide a release form as described below in "Third Party Releases/Licenses." When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close up of another person's art.

If the Photograph includes other people, you must be prepared to provide a signed written personal release from all persons who appear in the Photograph submitted, authorizing use of the Photograph as provided below in "Third Party Releases/Licenses." If you are unable to provide a personal release, upon request by Sponsor and in the form provided by Sponsor, then your entry may be disqualified. You do not need to send the release with your entry. If you win, we will contact you if a model release is needed.

The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined below. The photograph must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsors, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified.

On-line entries must be made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. "Authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, internet domain owner, or other person or organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.


Prizes are specified on the home page of the website.

  • Contest consists of two (2) rounds of evaluation. In Round One, a panel of PDN experts in photography (the "Judges") will each review a portion of the entries and select a group of entries in each Category to proceed to Round Two. In Round Two, the Judges will collectively select, from among the entries selected in Round One, a winner in each Category. Limit one prize per winner.
  • Sponsors reserve the right not to award all prizes in the event an insufficient number of eligible entries meeting the minimum judging criteria are received, as determined by Sponsors and Judges in their sole discretion.
  • Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality and effectiveness.

  • Decisions of the Sponsors and Judges are final and binding.


If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Official Rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.

By participating, ALL ENTRANTS grant the Sponsors and their designees, licensees or affiliates (the "Authorized Parties") a non-exclusive, worldwide license, through September 2019 to reproduce, distribute, display and post the entries online so that viewers may view all competing entries. In addition, each WINNER grants to the Authorized Parties a license for use of his/her winning entry in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to, print or digital publication in PDN magazine showcasing the winners; and promotions related to the contest. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.


Winners authorize Emerald Expositions Photo Group to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph entry in connection with The One Life Photography Awards, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to: publication in PDN® showcasing the winners; The One Life Photography Awards live gallery; the The One Life Photography Awards Web site and on; and in exhibits and promotions related to the The One Life Photography Awards. Winners authorize Emerald Expositions Photo Group to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph entry in connection with the promotion of the The One Life Photography Awards for up to two (2) years.‚Äč


By participating, entrants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Emerald Expositions, Inc., and each of their respective partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder.

Sponsors assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. Sponsors are not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants' or any other persons' computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Contest.


This Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries void if the Sponsor determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft.

Participants also agree (a) to be bound by these Official Rules; (b) that the decisions of the Judges are final on all matters relating to the Contest; and (c) if he/she wins that Sponsor may use each winner's name, photograph, likeness, and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Contest or future promotions without compensation or approval (except in Tennessee and where prohibited by law). All federal, state and local taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winners. In the event that the selected winner(s) of any prize are/is ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and Sponsors, in their sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another entrant.


If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsors that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If Sponsors elect to cancel or terminate the Contest, Sponsors will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs and will return the entry fees.

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Sponsored by: B&H logo spacer

For more information please read our FAQ (frequently asked questions).
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