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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there is a time limit on how old an image may be to submit for this competition?

No.  Some of our best pictures may be taken a few years ago, and they are eligible to be submitted for this competition.  Images submitted in the past are also eligible.  Only pictures that places in the top 15 of a previous year cannot be entered.

If I've taken pictures at a workshop or conference, are these images eligible to submit?

Yes.  A lot of pictures at workshops and conferences are taken by attending photographers who are directing the dancer to get the image they want.  Even if they are standing with a group of photographers photographing the same dancer, the angles from different photographers can make for significant differences in the images, along with the camera, lens choices, and the settings each photographer uses.  While some images at a workshop or conference might be completely set up by the speaker/leader, I don't want to penalize those photographers who are getting their own images at workshops and conferences.  At the Pas de Deux Dance Photography Conference, for example, many photographers check out dancers and go on their own personal photo walks.  

Do I need to have the original RAW file to submit an entry to this competition?



There are some photographers who don't even shoot in RAW, and it wouldn't make sense to disqualify them on that basis alone.  The idea of having the RAW file accessible is in the rare case of a an image in the studio portrait, on-location portrait, or performance category appearing to have had more cosmetic work done to the subject or setting than what is allowed to be done with our entries in those categories.  We would probably only address this with images in the Top 15.  In lieu of a RAW file, we could see an original JPG or another JPG from that shoot.  We could also have a phone call with the photographer to ask questions and verify the integrity of the image through them.  One way or another, we could do this with or without the RAW file.  You only submit JPGs when you enter the competition.

Do I have give my images a special file name per competition guidelines for my entries?

Yes.  The format is explained in the Terms & Conditions under Prepping Your Images for Submission, and also on the Submission form itself.

How much editing or compositing is too much for an image to stay in the Performance, Studio Portraits, or On-Location Portraits categories?

If the image is substantially changed by replacing the background (on stage, on location, or in a studio portrait setting) or adding texture that substantially changes the look of the background in a studio portrait, the image becomes a Fine Art image.  You are allowed to clean up the face, including things like fixing closed eyes.  The dancer's body may not be altered to improve their technique.  You may also clone out small but distracting elements in the image that does not substantially change the background.

Is there a limit as to how many photos we can enter?

No.  You may enter as many as you like.

How do I enter my images for the Grand Prize Award?

Anyone who enters five or more images, even if they are in different categories, are automatically placed in consideration for the Grand Prize.  An entry of 4-7 images in the Series category, counts as one of the five entries needed for the Grand Prize qualification. The Grand Prize Award is also not based on how your images place in the various categories.  It's quite possible our Grand Prize Award winner may not even have a Top 15 image in any of the categories.  Our jury will look at each eligible photographer's body of work submitted to the competition and make their decisions based on that, as opposed to basing it on the work of the best two or three images.

What type of dance can be considered for this competition.

Any.  The categories do not specify any style of dance, but rather the type of photography being done.  

Do I need a release form for every dancer in my shots submitted?

No.  The only time you would need a release is if any dancer contacted us to say to that the photographer did not have the right to use pictures of them.    

If I clean up a dancer's face/complexion in post-production in an image that would otherwise qualify for a Studio Portrait or On-Location Portrait, do I have to submit to the Fine Art category?

No.  This would be considered normal editing that would not be considered a significant change required for it to be moved to the Fine Art category.

I used an AI (Artificial Intelligence) app to create an incredible background, or maybe even to create a dancer.  Can I submit an image with AI imagery like this?


AI (Artificial Intelligence) is used in a lot of Lightroom and Photoshop and other editing software programs.  Would that disqualify an image?

No.  The AI used in these software editing programs are part of a normal editing process.  This type of editing, even if using AI technology like that, is appropriate and allowed.

Do I need to have at least one image submitted to each category to be qualified for the Grand Prize Award?

No.  Once you submit at least five images in any category, or combination of categories, you are automatically submitted to the Grand Prize Award.  The Series category counts as one of the five entries you need to qualify.

May I submit black and white images to any category?

Yes.  Your choice of color, or black and white, is an artistic decision.

How does my image qualify as a Finalist that is then evaluated by the Jury?

All images go through a first round evaluation by a team of photographers who review the images based on Creativity/Originality (40%), Image Quality (40%), and Story/Theme/Emotionality (20%).  Each image will be reviewed by three judges.  The judges will determine how many images from each category (with a maximum of 100) will be moved to the second round, including the Grand Prize category.  The Jury then evaluates all images based on their visual and emotional impact, and they determine the winners and the Top 15 of each category.

What if the images in my Series entry don't actually go together as a theme?

The images in the Series category are expected to be related as a theme or concept.  If the images don't make sense together, they are probably not going to be scored very high.


Do I need to be at the Pas de Deux Dance Photography Conference at the Chicago Hilton on July 21-23 if my image is in the Top 15?

Technically, no, you don't have to be there.  But yes, you need to be there.  :-)

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