Photo Contest

Open Call

For Professional Photographers

Photo Contest Open Call

EU NEIGHBOURS EAST, in partnership with FOTOFESTIWAL, invites professional photographers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to enter an EU-funded photo contest, on the theme of Family Connections.

Scroll down for more information and to enter.

Photo contest

Why Family Connections?

This competition invites artistic, social and above all personal interpretations of the theme ‘family connections’ in a series of photos. 

How does our family connect us to our roots, culture, traditions, attitudes and future? Which connections define a family and make us belong? How do these connections adapt to changing worlds, technology, conflict, love and loss?

Rarely have we experienced the importance and fragility of ‘family connections’ more than in the last three years. Covid-imposed social distancing brought suffering and isolation and transformed many connections, but intensified others. This year, the whole world saw how war can rip families apart in an instant and how many opened their family homes to refugees.

Entrants can submit a series of 8-20 photos by 20 January 2023. The application form will be in English but you can find the details here in your language. The contest will be adjudicated by a panel of five judges and you can find more details about them at submission stage. A shortlist will be announced at the end of February 2023. The final winners will be announced in March 2023.

Scroll down for an explanation of the theme, the judging panel, terms and conditions and the prizes.

The Jury

Lars Boering

Director of the European Journalism Center foundation (EJC) and founder of, a platform for visual communication and storytelling. Find out more on the submission page.

Emma Bowkett

Director of Photography at the FT Weekend Magazine and a curator focussed on lens-based arts and contemporary visual culture. Find out more on the submission page.

Arianna Rinaldo

Freelance professional working with photography at a wide range. She is the former artistic director of Cortona On The Move, international photo festival of visual narrative. Find out more on the submission page.

Karolina Gembara

Photographer and researcher. Her work revolves around issues like home, belonging, migration, changing lands and identities. Find out more on the submission page.

Milica Saracevic

Press and strategic communication officer at the European Commission. Find out more on the submission page.

The Prizes

There will be a €1000 prize for a winner from each of the countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine).

Winners will be featured in an interview on the EU NEIGHBOURS EAST website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can citizens of other countries except for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine enter the contest?

No, only citizens of these countries can apply, as per the terms and conditions of the contest. The shortlisted and winners of the contest will be asked for a scan of their passport or official identification document to prove that they meet the contest criteria.

Q: Who is considered a professional photographer?

A: We consider professional photographers those who earn or have earned the majority of their income from photography, and those who sell or publish their work regularly, and/or  belong to professional photography organisations.

Q: How many photographs can I enter into the same series?

A: A series consists of between eight and twenty photographs sharing a common theme or concept and a single title. Series will be judged as a whole so please be sure that the photographs work together as a body of work.

Q: What size and format should the digital files be?

A: Digital submissions must be saved as jpg, and 3000px on the longer side.

Q: Is there a time limit in which the photographs should have been taken?

A: Yes. All photographs should be no older than 5-years-old.

Q: What does it cost to submit?

A: Participation in the contest is free of charge.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries I can submit?

A: Each participant can submit one project.

Q: Can I submit a photograph that has won an award?

A: Yes, you may submit work that has won an award. However, in an effort to promote the creation of new work and maintain fresh flow of ideas, we encourage you to submit new work.

Q: How do I know if I’ve won an award?

A: We will notify award winners by email and publish the list on our website.

Q: Do I need model releases for my photos?

A: On entering the competition, entrants confirm that they possess the required consent and any assignment of rights necessary for their photo series.

Q: What do you mean by text? How shall I prepare it?

A: The text shall be a description of your project in English, up to 2000 characters, in which you explain its concept/story and provide all the relevant information.

Q: Are collaborative projects accepted?

A: Photo projects authored by duets or collectives can also be submitted.

Q: Do you allow diptych, triptych, or multiple images layouts?

You are welcome to upload diptychs, triptychs, and multiple images. The important thing is to respect the limit of 20 uploads/files per entry. A diptych or triptych count for 1 upload/file.

Terms and Conditions

About the Organisers

The contest is organised by the EU NEIGHBOURS EAST programme, in partnership with Fotofestiwal. EU NEIGHBOURS EAST is an EU-funded regional communication programme that raises awareness of the European Union, its policies and support projects in its Eastern Neighbourhood. The programme complements EU Delegations communication in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

Fotofestiwal was established in 2001 as a collective of professionals working with photography, since then it has grown into one of the most relevant photographic festivals in Europe. Over 20 years, it has developed a wealth of experience in running competitions and showcasing results.