Adobe Photo Contest


The call for photos is part of Adobe Youth Voices, a global youth media initiative, in collaboration with WKCD (What Kids Can Do).

What we are looking for?  we are looking for pairs of photos that “go together”: one showing hardship or crisis, the other showing opportunity or hope. Each photo must also include a caption that tells about the image.

Who can participate? This contest is open to all young people—anywhere in the world—between the ages of 12 and 19. Photos must be taken and submitted by the same person. (Teachers are welcome to help younger photographers transmit their work.)

Guidelines for submissions As noted above, we are calling for a pair of photos: one reflecting crisis or hardship, the other reflecting hope or opportunity. Each photo must include a written description/caption. The photos will be judged as a pair. They must be shot at the highest resolution possible, so that they stand up in print. They must be submitted in digital format—either from a digital camera or scanned from a print.


All submissions should illustrate the work of young people, ages 12 to 19. Submissions can be straight photographs, enhanced with photo editing software, or manipulated (like the photos above).

Photos should be submitted in a pair—one showing crisis, the other showing hope. Photos should be a minimum approximate size of 1.2MB when saved or shot as a maximum quality (300 dpi) JPEG file, or approximately 5MB in size when saved as a Photoshop (PSD) or Tiff (TIF) file—be sure to set the camera to the highest possible resolution setting. (Photos taken with a cell phone or at a low resolution may look okay on a computer screen but they are inadequate when printed.)

Photos must be accompanied by:

  1. Photographer’s name

  2. Photographer’s age

  3. Location (city, state, country)

  4. A brief description of each image, file name, or number (so we can distinguis which photo is which)

  5. Date image was shot or completed (month and year)

  6. Size of image (in MB)

  7. A title for each image

  8. A caption for each image (see below for more info)

  9. Signed waiver—scan and attach to e-mail (, fax to +1.401.245.6428, or mail to WKCD, PO Box 603252, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, USA

Photos and accompanying information should be submitted, by email, to: If you are using a dial-up account, please be patient, since it may take as long as 10 minutes to upload your photos because the files are large. If you have difficulties uploading your photos, please contact to discuss an alternate means of submission.

When we receive your submission, we will send you an email back, confirming we received it. If you do not receive confirmation within a week, please let us know.


Captions should be approximately 100 words in length. Complete captions include the following information:

In the case of straight (documentary) photos:

  1. Tell where the photo was taken.

  2. Tell what is happening in the photo, with as much detail as you can.

  3. If the photo includes identifiable people and you have permission to use their name,

  4. tell us their name and a few words about them.

In the case of manipulated photos:

  1. Tell what inspired you to create the photo.

  2. Tell the message or idea you are trying to capture.

If your English is limited, we encourage you to find someone who can help you put your words into English. We do not want language to be a barrier. If you are having translation problems, please contact and we will try to help.


There are laws that protect the privacy of photo subjects. If the person(s) photographed are not easily identifiable—whether they are taken in a public or private setting—you do not need their permission to use their image. When the photo is taken in public, even when the person is identifiable, you generally do not need their permission. However, if the photo is taken in a private place and the person(s) are identifiable, you will need them to sign a “subject release.” Click here for a subject release form. Unfortunately, we cannot consider photographs that lack a signed subject release, when required. We will ask you for the signed release if the photo is chosen for exhibition.

Exhibition of winning photos

The best photo pairs—as many as 30—will be displayed on the Adobe Youth Voices gallery at  and on the WKCD website. They will also become part of a traveling exhibit and a book, reaching an international audience of those who care about youth voice and expression and who believe in the power of youth as forces for social justice.

Deadlines and judging

The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2009. A jury of five professional photographers, along with Adobe Systems Incorporated employees from around the world, will determine the winners. There may be as many as 30 photo pairs selected for inclusion in the exhibition; we will seek a cross-section of ages, geographies, and subjects. The jury’s decisions will be announced by August 31, 2009.

Contest Website

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