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The Pas de Deux Photo Dance Photography Competition (Host) begins on Feb. 28, 2023, at 12:00 am United States PDT and ends at 11:59 pm PDT on March 26, 2023. There is an Extended Entry Deadline of March 27, 2023, through April 2, 2023, at 11:59 pm PDT with a $5 per Entry late fee. All entries must be received by the Extended Entry Deadline. 


Open to amateur or professional photographers who are 18 years of age or older (or the age of majority in their jurisdictions of residence), or minors who have parental consent to enter (just send an email to  Employees of Pas de Deux Photo and members of the jury, and their immediate family members, are not eligible to enter the competition. Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.  Subject to all federal, state, local, municipal and provincial laws and regulations.


To enter electronically, please click here to register. Once the registration process has been completed, follow the online instructions to upload photographs or photo groups from your computer, pick your category(ies) and pay the single image entry fee or group entry fee, consisting of 5 images.

The fee for each image entered into the competition is $35, or 5 for $140.  For example, if you entered 6 images, it would then be $175.  For 10 images, it would be $280.  For 11, it would $315.  The fee for a Series entry (4-7 images) is $45.  For Late Entry fees, it is $40 for each image, or $160 for 5 images entered in individual categories.  The fee for a Series during the Late Entry period is $50.

The person submitting the Entry must be the creator of the Entry and will be deemed the Entrant. You can only use one email address to enter. Normal internet/phone access and data/usage charges imposed by your phone/internet service provider may apply.

You may enter any number of Entries in any of the categories.  If you enter five or more images in any combination of categories, you will be automatically entered for the Grand Prize Award.  An entry in the Series category counts as one of five entries needed to qualify for the Grand Prize.

An Entry consists of an entry form; a single image or photo group of five images; and an entry fee. Each submitted image must be original material taken by the Entrant. Textures or other material used for supplemental visual effects in images submitted to the Fine Art category can be material purchased from an outside source, but this material cannot be deemed by the jury to be the prominent visual element of the image.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)-generated imagery has become popular in 2022-23.  This type of imagery must not be any part of images submitted to this competition.  AI is allowed in the normal editing processes, such as the healing brushes.  Any images submitted to the competition using AI-generated imagery will be disqualified with no refund.

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 Host from any and all third party claims arising from the use of the photograph.  It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that they have the rights to submit images that include choreography, dancewear, art direction, or any other material that would require a license.  We do not require a release upon submission; only in the case that any questions come up regarding your rights by a third party.

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 (in Host’s sole discretion).  

The Entries will be judged in the initial round in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined below. The image must not, in the sole discretion of the Host, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, racial, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified.

All Entries must adhere to the Entry Guidelines indicated below, as determined by Sponsor/Judges in their sole discretion.



Digital images must be in JPG format and are recommended to be at least 3600 pixels on the long side and be saved at 300 dpi. If an image is close to that size, there is no need to upsize to 3600 pixels on the long side. The JPGS must be at least 2 mb in size but host cannot accept images that are beyond 15 mb. Images may be color profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998, or not color-managed.  Images may be in color or black and white.  For color images, we suggest the color profile of sRGB as they will be viewed in an online gallery.

Please follow the naming convention for your submissions:  LastName_Category#.  For example:  Jagger_Studio01 followed by Jagger_Studio02 for two images entered into the Studio Portrait category.   Here are the names to use for each category:  Performance for Performance; Studio for Studio Portraits; FineArts for Fine Arts; On-Location for On-Location Portraits; Teen for Teen Dancers; Pre-Teen for Pre-Teen and Children Dancers; Series for Series. 


If you are submitting more than one Series entry, you will need to do second, and then third, entry form, or as many as needed.  For your second Series entry, use Series2.  For your third entry, use Series3.   For example, if you were submitting your third Series entry, you would name your images: Jagger_Series3_01, and then Jagger_Series3_02.  Your first entry would simply be Jagger_Series01, and then Jagger_Series02, and so on.  


Entry must not (and Entrants represent and warrant that it will not), violate or infringe any third-party copyright, trademark, trade dress, or other proprietary rights of any entity or person (living or deceased), including but not limited to rights of privacy, publicity or portrayal in a false light.

Any Entry deemed inappropriate or unsuitable, in Host’s sole discretion, will be disqualified.

Entry must not contain material that promotes bigotry, sexism, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Entries submitted for the Performance category must be an image shot at an actual performance with no off-camera lighting controlled by the photographer. The image must use whatever performance lighting that is being used.  The performance may be on a theater stage, a high school basketball court, or a convenience store parking lot, or any other location that is used for the performance.  If the performance is using continuous lighting controlled by the photographer, that is acceptable.

Entries submitted for the Studio Portraits category should be shot at a photography studio using studio strobes, continuous lighting, or natural light.  Entries with nude models, or implied nudity, even if shot in a portrait studio, must be submitted to the Fine Art category.  A "photography studio" can be a location used by the photographer that is set up for photo shoots.  It can also be a dance school studio where you set up a backdrop and use strobes, continuous lighting, or natural light.

Entries submitted for the On-Location category should not be shot at a photography studio.  They can be shot outdoors or indoors, using studio strobes, flashes, continuous lighting, or natural light.  If images are edited so the setting or background is substantially changed, such as a prominent sky background is replaced, that image must be submitted to the Fine Art category.

Entries submitted for the Fine Art category can be shot in the studio, on location, or at a performance.  You can then do any compositing or editing that you would like to do, other than editing the dancer's body to improve their technique in the image.  Images of nude dancers can only be submitted to the Fine Art category.  AI-generated imagery is not allowed in this or any other category.

Entries submitted for the Teen Dancers category can be shot in the studio or on location, or from a performance.  If the image requires it to be submitted to the Fine Art category (due to nudity or substantial editing), then it is not eligible for the Teen Dancers category.  The dance, or dancers, must be between the ages of 13-19 at the time of the shoot.  If it is a group of dancers and there are younger dancers in the image, then it must be submitted to the Teen Dancers category.

Entries submitted for the Pre-Teen & Children Dancers category can be shot in the studio or on location, or from a performance.  If the image requires it to be submitted to the Fine Art category (due to substantial editing), then it is not eligible for the Pre-Teen & Children Dancers category.  The dance, or dancers, must be 12 years old or younger at the time of the shoot.  If it is a group of dancers and there are teen dancers in the image, then it must be submitted to the Teen Dancers category.

Entries submitted for the Series category can be shot in the studio or on location, or from a performance.  You may submit 4-7 images to this category.  They should be related as a theme or concept.  They do not have to have been shot at the same time or location.  These images could have substantial editing done, such as one might expect from a conceptual image.

Images submitted to the categories of Performance, On-Location Portraits, Studio Portraits, Teen Dancers, and Pre-Teen Dancers and Children, are allowed to have normal editing such as adjusting exposure/levels, color, sharpness and any other editing process that does not significantly alter the integrity of the dancer or the setting.  This also includes minor cloning and removal of stray hairs, facial complexion, or minor distracting facial, body, or background elements. The dancer’s body parts cannot be altered to give him or her an appearance of better technique, or for any other reason that you would want to change his or her body. However, as an example, if a dancer's ribbons on her pointe shoes are loose, it is appropriate to fix that in post-production.

Any images where new backgrounds, or any other major element, are composited into the image should be submitted to the Fine Art category.  Images in the Series category may also have substantial changes in the images such as allowed in the Fine Arts category.

Images can be entered that have been taken at any time prior to the Extended Entry Deadline of the Contest.  Once an image places in the Top 15 in any category in a previous Pas de Deux competition, it may no longer be entered in any category in future Contests.

If there is a concern about the integrity of a Finalist image being considered for a Top 15 or Grand Prize, the Host may contact the entry photographer to provide a RAW image to confirm that no alteration to the image was made beyond the scope allowed. If there is no RAW image (as not everyone shoots in RAW or keeps their RAW files) we may need to contact the photographer by phone to verify the integrity of the image.  If available, we may ask to see other JPGs from that shoot.  If you do not have a RAW image, or other JPGs from that shoot, it is okay still to enter.  If any questions come up, we will simply verify the integrity with a phone call.

If Host contacts the Photographer by email and phone (and leaves a voicemail), and the Photographer does not contact the Host within 10 days to verify the integrity of the image, the image will be disqualified.

In the Fine Art category, there is no limit to alterations to the image, dancer, or adding new elements and backgrounds and settings to the original image, other than altering the dancer’s body to give the appearance of better technical skills than what was captured in the original image.

By submitting an Entry, you understand that if your Entry is deemed to be a winner, it will be posted and distributed in various media and any such posting/distribution will be deemed made at the direction of the Entrant within the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Communications Decency Act (of the U.S.).

There are two (2) rounds of judging: In Round One, a panel of Pas de Deux Photo will review the Entries in each Category to determine up to 100 images to proceed to Round Two based on the following criteria: Creativity/Originality (40%); Image Quality (40%); and Story/Theme/Emotionality (20%).  Images that proceed to the second round are considered Finalists.  Each image will be evaluated by three first-round judges.

The first round judges will also decide which photographers will qualify for the second round for the Grand Prize Award.  


In Round Two, the Finalists in each category will be re-judged by the Jury.  The Jury will not be informed of the image's score in the first round.  The jury will be using their own criteria while focusing on the image's visual and emotional impact to determine the category winner and Top 15 in each category.  The Jury will also select a Grand Prize winner based on each Entrant’s body of work (minimum 5 images) submitted to the competition.  All decisions of the panel and jury are final and not subject to appeal.


Grand Prize Award (cash award value $2,734): Stella Pro Lights Reflex Studio Light ($649); B&H Photo $200 gift card; Savage: Two Canvas or Muslin Backdrop ($600 value); PhotoDay: $250 Gift Card from Sew Trendy Accessories; $100 gift card for Roberts Camera; Bay Photo Photo 24x36 metal print ($255); H+H: 24x36 Edge Block Print ($309); McKenna Pro 24x36 Art Block ($170);  $100 gift card for DONE.Photos; $100 from Harlequin Floors. 

Category Winners (value $448): Roberts Camera $50 gift card; B&H Photo $50 Gift Card; Pas de Deux Photo: $150; Bay Photo 16x24 Metal Print ($104); H+H 8x12 Acrylic Print with Aluminum DiBond Backing ($61); McKenna Pro 8x10 Art Block ($33).

Top 15 for Each Category: featured on Pas de Deux Photo website and social media.

All Finalist images will appear in an online gallery. No cash alternative or substitution of prizes will be allowed, except by Host who reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute a prize of comparable value if the prize listed is unavailable, in whole or in part, for any reason. All portions of the prize(s) are non-assignable and non-transferable. 



Pas de Deux Photo will announce the finalists in each category in mid- to late June.  The winners will be announced at the Pas de Deux Dance Photography Conference at The Hilton Chicago on July 21-23, 2023.  The announcements will be made during the Welcome Reception the evening of July 21.  It will also be filmed on Instagram Live.

By entering the Contest, each Entrant understands that they retain their copyright. Winners authorize Host to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph Entry in connection with Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to: showcasing the winners; Pas de Deux Photo Quarterly; the Pas de Deux Photo website; and in exhibits and promotions related to the Contest. Winners authorize Pas de Deux Photo to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the photograph Entry in connection with the Content of the Contest in perpetuity. 


Host collects personal information from Entrants when they enter the Contest for use in the administration of the Contest. By participating in the Contest, Entrants hereby agree to Host’s collection and usage of their personal information for the purposes of managing this Contest unless you provide consent signifying your agreement to any other processing or use of your personal data. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting


All issues and questions concerning the validity, interpretation and enforceability of these official rules or the rights and obligations of entrants or host in connection to the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance to the laws of the United States of America and the internal laws of the State of Illinois.


For any legally required winners list, click on the winners' list section of the website after the announcement of the winners, around July 22, 2023.


The Host of the Contest is Pas de Deux Photo, LLC, 800 McArdle Drive, Unit G, Crystal Lake, IL  60014.

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