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Serving South Georgian Bay since 1975


2017 Photo Essay Contest

Resisting the Lure of the Unknown

6 Word Photo Essay Contest

1. Open to all Ontario residents.

2. Subject: 6-Word Photo Essay. Choose 6 words that tell a story and then present an image to visually illustrate your 6-word essay/phrase. You may manipulate your photo or make a composite or more than one image to represent your “story.

Examples: A photo of baby shoes with 6 words: “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn” (attributed to Ernest Hemingway).

A photo of a rusty bicycle lying in the dirt with 6 words: “Once shiny and new, now forgotten”. Also, see image above.
Judging will be based on the creativity of the submission (storytelling) together with the technical merits of the photo or composite photo. Note: Don’t use a line from Hemingway or any other writer; you are expected to find your own words.

3. Images can be taken with any photographic equipment, including but not limited to camera, smart phone, iPad. Photos must have been taken by the entrant.

4. A maximum of 3 entries will be accepted online per entrant. To see complete submission guidelines, payment, and entry instructions, go to, “Storytelling Festival”, then Submission Guidelines after July 30.

5. Entry fees: Adult: $20 first entry, $15/each for the two subsequent entries. Students: (up to 18 yrs.) $10. per entry. Entry fees are non-refundable regardless of whether images are accepted into the show or not.

6. Digital submissions - digital images must be submitted online for judging with registration between July 30 and August 22. Entrants will be notified of acceptance by email on September 6th or 7th.

7. Intake of accepted entries will be September 29th and 30th. Accepted entries will then be judged for the prizes and hung, provided that they are properly framed and well presented.

8. Adults: Accepted entries will be presented in plain black frames with pure white mats with a minimum mat dimension of 1 3/8ths inches. The exterior dimensions should be between 252-432 sq. inches, maximum 36” on longest side. Frames MUST have two D-rings and a hanging wire. No sawtooth hangers.
Students: Printing & hanging will be the sole responsibility of BMFA.

9. The entrant’s name must NOT be shown on the digital or printed image or the mat. Identification should be on the label attached to the back of the finished work with an arrow indicating hanging orientation.

10. Images must not have been entered into a previous BMFA competition or show.

11. Please indicate if your work is for sale and the price or not for sale (NFS). The BMFA receives a 35% commission on all sales.


12. Judging Criteria:
Does it fit the theme of the competition?
Does the photo support the 6-word Story?
Technical considerations - exposure, colour, focus, lighting
Originality - creativity, emotion, mood, WOW factor
Composition - organization, design, space

13. The Jurors’ decision is final.

14. Entrants must own all rights to the work and are responsible for obtaining model releases, when applicable. You may download a form from our website for model releases which are required if people in the photo are recognizable. This form must be signed and included with mail-ins or when registering in person.

15. The BMFA, their volunteers, and contest sponsors will not be held responsible for any breach of copyright.

16. Although the BMFA reserves publication rights for images accepted into the competition, entrants maintain ownership of the images submitted and all other rights to their subsequent use.

17. The BMFA reserves the right to photograph the entrants, winners and their images for publicity, web posting, and other not-for-profit purposes.

18. Exhibited work must remain until the end of the show.

19. Work not picked up after three months will become the property of the BMFA and disposed of at their discretion. Images will be returned in a selfaddressed, stamped package larger than the completed work if provided at the time the work is submitted.

20. The BMFA and sponsors cannot be held liable for loss or damage. The photographer is responsible for insuring his or her work.

21. Images not adhering to contest rules will not be accepted.

22. Participation indicates complete acceptance of the rules.

23. Check the “Storytelling Festival” page on the website for additional information.

Cash prizes: Adults - 1st $200, 2nd $150, 3rd $100 plus 2 Jurors' Choice awards
Students: 1st $100, 2nd $75, 3rd $50. (Student prizes will be dependent upon entry numbers.)

Other Festival Events:
October 18 - author Cecily Ross at BMFA on her book The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie
October 20 - panel discussion with Jim Campbell, Architect
October 23 - author Brent Preston at Azzurra on his book The New Farm
October 29 - Children’s event with Debbie Ridpath Ohi at BMFA  2:00 p.m.

Please print the attached form and bring to the intake.

Student - 1 entry ($10)
Student - 2 entries ($20)
Student - 3 entries ($30)
Adult - 1 entry ($20)
Adult - 2 entries ($35)
Adult - 3 entries ($50)