Call for Entries: Critical Mass 2014

Critical Mass

Registration for Critical Mass 2014 is now open.
Registration will close on July 16th at noon PST.

The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple—photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10-image portfolio. This work is then pre-screened by a committee of approximately 25 jurors. From those votes, 200 finalists are determined. The 200 finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of over 200 of the world’s best photography professionals who have agreed to view and vote on the finalists’ work. See the list of jurors!

Registration (closes July 16th)
$75 ($90 for international submissions)

Finalists’ Round
The finalists will be announced at the end of August. Photographers selected for the finalists round pay an additional $200. Their work is then sent on to the full panel of 200 jurors.

To enter, download the entry guidelines to learn how to prepare your submission. Then, visit the Critical Mass registration page to submit your work.

Although the primary intent of Critical Mass is exposure (which is a benefit to all who enter), we are pleased to also offer awards each year. The awards for Critical Mass 2014 are:

Monograph Award – One photographer will be chosen for Photolucida’s prestigious monograph award. A hardbound book of their work will be published, distributed internationally, and given to all jurors and entrants in this year’s Critical Mass.

Artist Residency Award – One photographer will be chosen for a four-week residency in 2015 at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Captiva Island (Florida) estate.

Solo Show Award – One photographer will be chosen for an exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland during Portland Photo Month in April, 2015. The exhibition will be one of the highlights of Photolucida’s biennial Portfolio Reviews event.


The Critical Mass Top 50 Exhibition – Rebecca Senf, Curator at the Center for Creative Photography, will curate the Top 50 exhibition, a group show of photographers selected for the Top 50. The show will be a main exhibit at GuatePhoto 2015 in Guatelmala City. The Top 50 photographers’ portfolios will be archived on Photolucida’s website for years to come.

Art Photo Index Listing – All photographers selected for Critical Mass’ Top 50 will receive inclusion in Photo-Eye’s invitation-only Art Photo Index, a global, searchable database of vetted art and documentary photographers and their work.

All entrants will receive a monograph of the book award winner’s work (published in 2015).
All entrants will have their work seen and voted on by the pre-screening committee.
All entrants will be able to view all of the submitted work (after Critical Mass closes).
The top 200 finalists will have their work seen and voted on by over 200 esteemed photography jurors. Jurors have the option of leaving comments for finalists.
Each year, Photolucida awards five scholarships to photographers who live and work outside the US. In previous years, scholarships have been given to photographers from Poland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Georgia, Guatemala, and Japan. This year, Photolucida is offering scholarships to pre-selected photographers from Finland.

Our Critical Mass jurors are an international group of industry professionals representing a wide variety of photographic interests. We make a great effort to invite a wide range of professionals in the field (gallery owners, agency art buyers, curators, publishers, editors, new media producers, etc.). The quality of our juror list is a testament to the excellence of Critical Mass programming, now in its eleventh year. In addition to seeing the work during the online voting process, jurors will also have access to a database of the finalists’ work. Special Note: Critical Mass jurors are not allowed to submit their own work to Critical Mass.

Have questions? Please check the FAQs. If you still don’t find an answer to your questions, please contact us.