Deadline extended to July 5:


Celebrating the Global Community

Photo by Ralph PiezasAt a time of rising nationalism around the world, show the SDN community and the world's leading photo editors your commitment to the global community and how photography can make a difference.

First place winner will be featured in the fall 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine and receive a $1000 cash prize.

All submissions are exhibited on the SDN website and are eligible to be featured in ZEKE magazine. Select entries will be featured in our monthly Spotlight, and promoted through our social media.

Deadline extended to midnight EDT: July 5, 2017
Submission fee for up to 30 images: $30
Scholarships available. See below for details.

Photo credit: Ralph Piezas


First Place: One photographer

• Featured in the fall 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine as one of three main articles in the magazine.
• $1000 cash prize.
• Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 9,800 subscribers.
• Featured on SDN’s home page.
• Featured on SDN's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.

Honorable Mention: Four photographers

• Presented in the fall 2017 issue of ZEKE magazine.
• Receive 100 "frames" from SDN to be used for new exhibits or renewals. ($85 cash value)
• Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN’s 9,800 subscribers.
• Featured on SDN’s home page.
• Featured on SDN's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.


Barbara AyotteBarbara Ayotte 
Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences for Health, a global health nonprofit organization that has worked in over 150 countries to help leaders, health managers, and communities in developing nations build stronger health systems for greater health impact; Director of Communications, Social Documentary Network. Former Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights.

Jeff CampagnaJeff Campagna
Photo Editor, Smithsonian magazine. Jeff is a photography editor at Smithsonian magazine and has been with the magazine since 2004. He’s collaborated on numerous award-winning projects, receiving recognition from American Photography, SPD, BOP and the World Press Photo Awards. Jeff regularly contributes arts and culture pieces to He is an award-winning songwriter and a graduate of Bucknell University.

Elizabeth Cheng KristElizabeth Cheng Krist
Elizabeth Cheng Krist is the former senior photo editor for National Geographic, coming to the magazine after working at Fortune and Asia. She curated the “Women of Vision” exhibition and book, as well as an auction for Christie's. Her favorite pastime is visiting galleries and museums in new cities.


Kurt Mutchler
Senior Photo Editor for Science, National Geographic. Kurt has worked at National Geographic magazine since 1994, producing more than 120 stories and 25 cover stories. During this time he has held many positions—photo editor, deputy director of photography and director of photography. He is a former adjunct professor at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C., where he taught photojournalism. Prior to joining the magazine, he was the photo and graphics editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Quentin NardiQuentin Nardi
Quentin Nardi is Chief Photo Editor for Smithsonian magazine.  With more than 17 years experience in the industry, she has worked for various national titles including: AARP The Magazine, Ski & Outside.



Glenn RugaGlenn Ruga
Glenn Ruga is the Founder and Director of the Social Documentary Network and Executive Editor of ZEKE magazine. In 2012 he was one of three curators of the New York Photo Festival. From 2010-2013 Ruga was the Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and from 1995-2008 he was the President of the Center for Balkan Development.



How to Enter

Create and submit an exhibit of your work on the SDN website. When submitting, you will have a choice for a standard exhibit or competition entry. Choose competition entry. The remainder of the process will be identical to creating a standard exhibit, but your work will be entered to the call for entries. Click here for details on how to submit your work to SDN.

Entry Requirements

All entries must have between 6 and 30 photographs related to a specific theme. Submissions must have an abstract to provide context (180 words maximum) and captions to accompany the photographs. Additional text about the situation being documented may also be entered, as well as a bio of the photographer, information on organizations working with affected communities, and other relevant information. Photographs must have been taken after January 1, 2011 unless the work is part of a long term project that began prior to 2010 and continues to the present.

All work must be submitted via the Social Documentary Network website at For specific image specifications, see: Images must be a minimum of 1500 pixels in one dimension.

All entries are automatically and simultaneously submitted for exhibition on the Social Documentary Network website and must follow all rules and regulations regarding exhibits on SDN.

Exhibits on 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. Greater than 90% of all exhibits submitted to SDN are approved.

Photographers can submit multiple contest entries. All entries will be viewable to the public on the SDN site.

Note: The account management section of the SDN website requires Safari, Firefox, or Chrome browsers. It will not be completely functional using Internet Explorer.

Converting Existing Exhibits to Call for Entries Submission

Existing exhibits on SDN can easily be converted to a Call for Entries submission by logging into your account, going to the exhibit you want to convert, and click a button at the top of the page to convert to the Call for Entries.


Contest is open to professional and amateur US and international photographers. SDN staff, volunteers, advisory committee and board members, judges, and their families are not eligible to enter the competition. Previous SDN Call for Entries first-place winners in the past five years are not eligible to enter. There is no restriction for honorable mention winners from prior years.

Entry Fees

$30 for one exhibit entry of 6 – 30 images and one multimedia piece. All fees must be paid using a credit or debit card on the SDN website. International credit cards are accepted. All entry submissions and fees are final and non-refundable.


Scholarships are available for photographers from countries without access to credit cards or where the $30 fee would be prohibitive. To apply, send an email to with an explanation of your need. Requests for scholarships must be received one week prior to submission deadline.

Important Dates

  • Entries accepted on SDN website: April 28, 2017
  • Entries deadline: Midnight EST, June 30, 2017
  • Judging: July 6-20
  • Winners Announced: By July 29
  • Published in ZEKE: Fall 2017

Use Rights

All entrants and winners retain copyright of their work. By submission for jurying, photographers grant SDN a royalty-free license to use their images for the purpose of subsequent display on the SDN site and in, in SDN promotional materials, and in ZEKE magazine. 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.


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 and website rules and guidelines.

About SDN

Social Documentary Network (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.


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