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Who Can Enter
This competition is open to all “emerging” photographers, national and international, except employees of Canteen Arts, Inc., and its board members, as well as family and close friends of Canteen’s employees, contest judges, and board members.

How We Define “Emerging”
Photographers can be of any age, but cannot have had a solo show at a major gallery or museum, and cannot have published a solo photography book through a major press. If you want clarification on whether or not you qualify as “emerging” email

How to Enter
(1)a: Pay the entry fee: $20, or $15 if you are a student. You will receive a single copy of Canteen magazine (sadly, international entrants will receive a PDF instead of the print issue, unless a US mailing address is provided).

(1)b: Or subscribe to Canteen magazine. Current subscribers can enter for free: email to confirm your intent to enter.

2: Submit your work: Use the submission category “2012 Photography Contest.” You will receive email acknowledgement of your entry within 48 hours.

Multiple Entries
You may enter as often as you’d like. Each entry costs the amount of a single entry, and will be treated separately.

Deadline for entries is 11:59 pm December 30, 2012. Our final round of judging will take place in February 2013 (a specific date will be announced soon).

Canteen’s Revenue
We will post all contest-specific cash-flow on our website. At the conclusion of the contest, any revenue that exceeds costs (i.e., profit) will be refunded to participants.

Specs and Submission Process
Five to eight images may be submitted per contestant (no more, no fewer). Photos must be uploaded individually, or altogether as a single zip file, in jpg or jpeg format, roughly 800 pixels wide and 72 dpi. Alternatively, you may submit a  link to us to download your entry. Prints that are mailed to us will not be considered.

Eligible Work
Work derived from all traditional and digital photographic processes, as well as mixed-media work that is primarily photo-based, will be considered. Submitted photos do not have to be from a single series, but should tie together in some way to imply a larger theme or body of work.

Photographic Themes
All submissions will be judged within a single category. All themes are acceptable, but keep in mind that Canteen is an art publication—so we’re not really looking for adorable pictures of your kittens wearing matching sweaters.

Artists’ Statements
Artists’ statements are optional. You can use the “Comments” section in our submission software to include a project synopsis and/or an artist’s statement of up to 3,000 characters. You can also choose to use this section to indicate the process or medium used, as well as the final exhibition size.

Usage and Rights
Entrants maintain full and exclusive rights to their submitted work. Any usage of works in contest promotion or otherwise will occur only after receiving the artist’s permission.

Selection Process
Approximately 25 finalists will be selected by photographer Anthony Goicolea, photographers Tribble & Mancenido, and Canteen’s art director JJ Sulin. The first-place winner and runners-up (between 2 and 5, depending on the judges’ whims) will be selected by Arnold Lehman, Susan Bright, and Amy Stein. We will depict parts of the selection process on our website, including the judges’ comments, alongside thumbnails of the entries discussed. A synopsis of the contest, along with original content based upon this contest, will be posted on Lenscratch. A more long-form discussion will be featured in the next print issue of Canteen magazine.

Live Judging
The Final round of judging, during which the winners are chosen from the 25 (or so) finalists, will be conducted in front of a live audience at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NYC. This event will also be streamed live, online. Audience members, both live and online, will be able to probe the judges with questions. The point of this is not simply to create a compelling event, but also to provoke a thoughtful conversation about photography. We believe that, too often, photography contest stifle these conversations, conducting their affairs exclusively behind closed doors. Instead, we want to fully expose our judging mechanisms, inviting participants to view our judges’ criteria, their biases, and their debates with each other.

Contact Us
Questions? Write to

Other contest links:
Current entries


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