The Visual Culture Awards

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The Visual Culture Awards is an international edit-for-exhibition competition to uphold visual cross-cultural communications. These awards serve professional photographers whose work impacts generation and culture.

The awards are widespread and include, among others, cash, a solo exhibition and feature spots in media.
There are nineteen categories, ranging from stories to portraits, documentary and commercial photography.

The jury this year is made up of a very international group of professionals whom the tVCA team believe will edit the gallery for the winners with great care, reason, and creativity.



1. Pictorial: A photograph that is pleasing to the eyes: bringing the photograph’s reader into the beauty and truth of a space/place/life.

2. Environmental Portrait: A portrait that speaks of the very character of the subject. This is a non-studio portrait made in the subject’s environment. Everything within (and without) this image must speak to the character of the person/s photographed.

3. Illustration: A photograph that is conceptual by nature: May be a product shot or made for the context of a keyword. For example: Love.

4. Photographic Story: This is a series of photographs, between 3-7 that tells the story of one singular subject. This subject must be one particular person and how s/he lives their gigantic life. 

5. Photographic Essay: This is a series of photographs, between 5-10 that altogether form an opinion or attribute, feeling, or cultural understanding.

6. Architectural: This is a photograph that showcases an architectural space. This space may be indoors or outdoors and must be manmade. This photograph must be stunning and can include a living subject.

7. Nature: This is a photograph made of a subject that exists within nature. This includes living and nonliving subjects. This image must tell a story. It cannot just be a pretty photograph of a bird, it must tell the story of a place or creature that is pungent in nature.

8. Commercial: This photograph may be of a product or a model. It must tell a story and cannot just be a pretty picture. It must have an emotive tone and a visual truth. 

9. Multimedia: This is a piece fusing sound, still and video or at least two out of the three aforementioned ingredients. It must be made in full by the artist and all external material (e.g. music) must have copyright permission attached to the piece.

10. News: This is a photograph of a news event or nonevent with immediate news worthiness: A photograph that would print the day of to cover a local, national, or international story.

11. Feature: This photograph is a found moment. Heavy emphasis should be on action, reaction, and interaction between subjects in the frame.

12. International Documentary: This is a series of 5-10 photographs that highlight a particular story/essay in the breadth of humanity crossculturally. Focus should be on international/intercultural issues.

13. Sports: A photograph made during a sports event or before/after the event that is either a feature, portrait, or an action photograph.

14. Wedding: This is a feature or creative portrait from a wedding situation.

15. Special:: An Emotive Vision: A photograph that portrays a particularly vivid emotion in a very graphic manner.

16. Special:: Light: A photograph whereas the main subject is light.

17. Special:: Productive Peace: A photograph that illuminates the necessity for peace in the local and international environments: A provocative photograph.

18. Portfolio: 10-20 photographs showcasing the overall empathetic and real contextual basis for which a photographer portrays the world. These images should have a theme, or somehow carry out a particular sentiment or emotion. Remember this set of images, if they are the winning images, will go on exhibition.

19. NEW: Self-portrait: A very vulnerable photograph depicting the intimate gesture, value, and worth of self within community and without hesitation.

The entry is submitted in a zip folder and the photographs must be 72dpi and 1000px at the longest length with title and caption information. All moneys go back to the awards, creating virtually unlimited awards for encouragement. There are no administration fees. Therefore, if you would also like to give back to the community, you may give freely and the prize money will increase to uphold photographers and encourage the industry, the individual, the community, and the impact of visuals on culture.

For details, and means to submit your work, please visit tVCA’s website:

photo competition


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