18 February 2022
11:59 PM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.

What do you win?

All Submitting photographers will benefit from:

  • Submission review by Photo Industry Professionals
  • Opportunities for Immediate Exposure (e.g. across festival / partner social networks and websites)

Between 20 and 40 photographers / artists will benefit from:

  • awards and cash prizes (See Awards listed below)
  • having their work produced for exhibition (At no cost to the photographer / artist)
  • exhibition exposure in the Festival's main city centre gallery
  • inclusion in the special Festival issue of Abridged Magazine
  • longer term Festival representation and promotion
  • exhibition alongside some of the biggest photographic names as part of the major photographic event
  • publication and inclusion in the Festival programme
  • inclusion in the Festivals award winning marketing & PR campaign, which has an estimated reach of 30+ million people
  • international press exposure
  • being seen by over 80,000 people, including a substantial number of visual arts professionals and the media
  • dedicated feature on the Festival website and online gallery
  • opportunities offered for exhibition and publication through the jury and partners
  • £20 reduction off the 2022 Belfast Photo Festival International Portfolio Review fee

Applicants will have their work viewed by an international panel of highly influential experts in the field of photography, plus have the opportunity to win awards and a significant cash prize.

Spotlight Award - £2,000 (est $2,712 / €2,321)

Aesthetica Editorial Award -- Full editorial presentation in an upcoming digital / printed issue of Aesthetica international art and culture magazine

One Years Free RPS Membership - Free membership for one year to the prestigious Royal Photographic Society

Abridged Editorial Award - Presentation in a special Festival issue of Abridged Magazine

All winners will have their work produced by the Festival for exhibition in the main Festival gallery.

Competition Description

Having helped to launch so many photographers careers, the Open Submission of the international Belfast Photo Festival is back with more opportunities than ever before.

Being described as “One of the best photography festivals in the world,” (Capture Magazine) the biennial Belfast Photo Festival provides a perfect platform for gaining exposure to an international audience, with previous editions having welcomed over 150,000 visitors from all over the world.

Belfast Photo Festival is offering artist’s / photographers the opportunity to exhibit their work in the main Festival gallery alongside some of the biggest names in the field, and have their work taken on tour to be exhibited at the 2023 Photo Schweiz (Zurich, Switzerland), with a number also having the opportunity to be featured in the arts magazine Abridged. The winners will be eligible for a number of awards, including a cash prize of £2,000 (est $2,712 / €2,321).

The theme has been left open to remove any restrictions; submissions must be photographic or lens-based but can include incorporations of other art forms with the photographic medium (i.e. performance, painting, sculpture, music, literature etc).

Individuals and collectives are welcome to apply; individuals should select and enter between 1-15 photographs from a particular project/series or body of work AND/OR submit their Photo-book for exhibition by uploading a single PDF (no image limit)

(NOTE: You can submit both a photo-book and photographs of the same project, but an individual fee will need to be paid for both. If submitting only a Photo-book and not photographs, it will be your photo-book that will be selected for presentation and not photographic prints for exhibition)

Collectives are also welcome to apply; as a collective, you can submit up to 15 photographs (a €29 submission fee will apply for every 15 images submitted)

By submitting you accept the following terms and conditions:

  • You agree to supply high resolution files of your submitted photographic work for printed production and exhibition outdoors by the Festival at no cost to you (the photographer)
  • If submitting photo-books, you agree to supply the photo-books for exhibition professionally printed and bound.
  • If required, insure the requested photo-books are suitably packaged and reach the Belfast Photo Festival by 20th May 2022, ready for display.
  • Insurance of all photo-books supplied to the Festival remain the sole responsibility of the submitting photographer
  • You agree to your selected prints / photo-books being taken on tour
  • You agree to being included within relevant promotional material for the Festival
  • The returning of supplied photo-books to the owner after exhibition is the sole responsibility of the photographer, however the Festival will facilitate the return of all photo-books..
  • Winners will be announced on the Belfast Photo Festival and Picter websites and contacted by e-mail
  • The decision of the Jury will be final


Call for entries open
14 October 2021
Submission deadline
18 February 2022
Artists contacted
February 2022
Public announcement of selected Artists
March 2022
2022 Belfast Photo Festival Opening Weekend Start
2 June 2022
International Portfolio Reviews
24 June 2022



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    0 to 3 projects per submission

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    1 to 15 files per project

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Juror information

Shana Lopes
Curator (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, U.S.A)

Shana Lopes is Assistant Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over the past decade, she has curated at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She holds a doctorate in Art History from Rutgers University.  https://www.sfmoma.org/

Emma Lewis Assistant Curator (TATE Modern, London, U.K.)

Emma Lewis is an art historian and curator specializing in photography. Since joining Tate in 2013 she has organized or co-organized numerous exhibitions and collection displays, including Dora Maar (2019), Portraits and Community (2019) and Wolfgang Tillmans (2017) and is responsible for developing the permanent collection, with a specialist focus on women's histories and feminist practices. https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

Marta Weiss
Senior Curator (Victoria & Albert Museum, London, U.K.)

Marta Weiss is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She joined the V&A in 2007 after two years in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Dilys Ng
Photo Editor (TIME, New York, U.S.A)

Dilys commissions, directs and produces visuals. She is currently Senior Photo Editor at TIME. Singapore born, New York based. https://time.com/

Elizabeth Renstrom
Senior Photo Editor (The New Yorker, New York, U.S.A)

Currently Senior Photo Editor at The New Yorker, Elizabeth oversees the production behind the publications striking imagery, having previously been Senior Photo Editor at VICE. A curator and photographer herself, she has also shot for the New Yorker, TIME and Instagram.

Azu Nwagbogu
Founder/Director (LagosPhoto, Lagos, Nigeria)

Azu was previously Director/Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa. Creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space for contemporary African Art. Regular Juror worldwide inc Dutch Doc; POPCAP; World Press Photo, Prisma Award; Greenpeace Photo Award; New York Times Portfolio Review. For the past 20 years, he has curated private collections for individuals and corporate organisations in Africa. https://www.lagosphotofestival.com/

Claartje Van Dijk
Head of Exhibitions (FOAM Photography Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Claartje van Dijk is Head of Exhibitions at Foam in Amsterdam where she started in 2020. Previously, she worked at the International Center of Photography (ICP) for nearly 12 years as Assistant Curator. At ICP, Claartje managed the museum’s collection and was a curator on numerous exhibitions. Independently, Claartje has juried a number of awards, including PDN: The Curator Award, Critical Mass and the Lucie Scholarship Program for The Lucie Foundation. https://www.foam.org//

Emily Graham
Cultural Commissions & Partnerships Manager (Magnum Photos, London, U.K.)

At Magnum Photo’s Emily manages the UK exhibitions, cultural commissions and creative projects. She is also a freelance creative consultant and curator. Additionally she has worked as an editor and producer on projects for a variety of artists and institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum and NGO WaterAid. https://www.magnumphotos.com/

Varun Gupta
Director (Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai, India)

Varun Gupta is a commercial photographer, serial entrepreneur, digital strategist and a lover of analogue photography. In 2006, he founded Travelling Lens - a company that conducts specialised photography workshops in remote areas of India. Since 2010, Varun has led Art Chennai (a city-wide arts event) in organising large scale photography exhibitions throughout the year across the city, including the Chennai Photo Biennale. <https://www.chennaiphotobiennale.com/ >

Jess Gough
Editorial Board Member (MACK Publishing, London, U.K.))

MACK is an independent publisher of award-winning books on visual arts, working with the world’s leading artists, writers, curators and cultural institutions. They are described as "the most important independent photo-book publisher in the world right now - certainly when it comes to new work" (British Journal of Photography). Alongside Jess, submissions will be reviewed by 2 additional members of the editorial board, on behalf of MACK - Morgan Crowcroft-Brown and Liv Constable-Maxwell.

Michael Weir

  • Director of the Belfast Photo Festival*

Michael has been Director of the Belfast Photo Festival since 2009 and initiated as well as curated numerous commissions on exhibitions of contemporary art with a particular focus on photography. He curates a varied programme of artist talks, symposiums, residencies, workshops, films and exhibitions per year, which has previously included artists such as Ai Wei Wei, Alec Soth, Roger Ballen and Robert Mapplethorpe. He nominates and judges for a number of international awards, including the ICP Infinity Awards (New York) and SIFEST (Bologna), as well as reviews internationally.



Entry is open to all photographers, artists, curators, archives, collectives from anywhere in the world. The Jury will be looking for high quality work.

Submissions must be photographic or lens based but can include incorporations of other art forms with the photographic medium (i.e. performance, painting, sculpture, film, music, literature etc)

The Jury will consider photographs, photo-media, performance, photo-films, photo-books, new media, archives and sculptural forms. All works must be practical within the Festival guidelines and dates. If you have the information, please include install images as part of your submission (within 15 images)

Applicants must be Age 16+


Your work should consist of or relate to photography somehow, submission pieces can include proposed photography related events, exhibitions and workshops as well as works deriving from photography related audience participation, performance, video, photo-books, new media, archive, installation, sculptural forms, photomedia and photofilm. We are open to ideas!


Each proposal to the open submission can include up to 15 images from a particular series/body of work, this includes installation shots. A photo-book can be submitted for exhibition by uploading a single PDF (No Image Limit). A non-refundable application contribution of Early Bird €23 (available until 30th November 2021) or Standard €29 (available until 4 February 2022) is payable on submission. Applicants are welcome to make more than one application, but the relevant fee will be payable for each application. Each image must be at least 3,000 pixels on the longest side, RGB, JPEG file and no more than 10 MB.

The application fee will cover submissions up to 15 images per project (15 for collectives), images can include reference to moving image, install shots, ideas and composite images. We welcome submissions from all over the world, from practitioners, institutions, curators and collectives.

Please note that later in the process photos of a higher quality will be required by successful artists when printing their work both for exhibition and the festival programme.


Project description 2,000 characters (including blank spaces), describe the ideas and content of your project, how many images it consists of and all other practical and conceptual information. Please include web links to additional information if relevant

Installation description 2,000 characters (including blank spaces) if relevant please include installation notes and practical details about how you would ideally like to present your work, including, size, medium, layout and any other information. If selected we cannot guarantee that conditions will be met, but your information will be used for reference.


Please include image descriptions if relevant, including size, content and install information.


Within your application you are welcome to include practical notes such as display descriptions, production and installation methods. Where possible also include images to help explain this.


Application fee, Early Bird €23 (Until 30th November 2021) application fee, Standard €29 (after 1st December 2021)

Payments are paid via Stripe (incl Visa, MasterCard and others)

The submission contribution charged is in aid of Belfast Photo Festival 2022 and directly contributes to the organisation and delivery of the festival for the benefit of all participants. The money received is shared with the participating artists. Belfast Photo Festival is a non-profit organisation. Registered charity number: NIC102819.



The public dates of the festival are 2nd - 30th June 2022. (Festival launch on the 2nd June 2022). Some exhibition dates may be longer depending on exhibition venue.

The OPEN SUBMISSION exhibitions will be shown in the main Festival gallery. Additional opportunities may arise and be offered for exhibition in a wide range of venues from galleries, non gallery spaces, factory buildings and public spaces as relevant.


The final selection of artists from the Open Submission will be made in collaboration between the Jury and the festival curators. There will be between 20 -- 40 selected artists, depending on project proposals, image sizes / numbers etc.

Successful entrants will be selected and notified by email in late-February / Early March 2022 with information regarding the steps to be made towards the final exhibition. The method of production and display of each photographer's work is at the discretion of the Belfast Photo Festival.  A list of selected applicants and awardees will be published on the Belfast Photo Festival website. The decision on successful entrants is final. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified.


From October onwards, applications will be highlighted by Belfast Photo Festival Curators and shown through the @BelfastPhotoFestival Instagram and shared with our 60K+ online audience. Please note that if your work is shared on the Belfast Photo Festival Instagram platform this does not mean that your work has or has not been selected for the festival as successful applicants will be determined later (in February 2022) after the works have been seen by the Jury. Through submitting your work you give permission for the Belfast Photo Festival team to potentially use your work in this way and to publish it online and on the Belfast Photo Festival social media platforms.


All winners will be included in the 2022 Belfast Photo Festival Exhibitions Programme. Belfast Photo Festival will produce your photographic work for exhibition in the festival's main city centre gallery at no cost to you (the photographer / artist), with the method of production and display being at the festival's discretion. A number of other awards will be made by the Jury and Belfast Photo Festival team consisting of cash, services, special exhibitions and exposure through publications.


If the artist wishes to acquire their work produced by the Festival after the exhibition, it is the artist's responsibility to collect their work in person or organise and pay for the transportation of their work within a deadline to be mutually agreed in advance, failing that the work will be destroyed.

All selected artists will be included in the Belfast Photo Festival publications, website and in major PR campaigns in print media and online. We care very much about the visibility and support for every photographer as the exhibitions are a core part of the Belfast Photo Festival programme. Each artist will receive a dedicated page on our website and be part of Belfast Photo Festival's international marketing and PR campaigns.

18 February 2022
11:59 PM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.