Swiss Storytelling Photo Grant 9th Contest Rules


RULES – Swiss Storytelling Photo Grant

Art. 1. Promoter

via P. F. Mola 9
6900 Lugano

LuganoPhotoDays is a non-profit cultural association. The revenues generated by the photo contest are used to support the activities of the association, such as the festival.

Art. 2. Participation requirements

The contest is open to all photographers (professional and non-professional) who have reached the age of 18 on the closing date of the contest, irrespective of sex, nationality or residence.

Employees of LuganoPhotoDays and of the sponsors, the members of the jury, as well as relatives up to second-degree and partners are not permitted to enter the contest.

Art. 3. Duration of the contest

Details on the timing are indicated on the contest page.
The submission's deadline may be extended. Voting and publication dates are indicative.

Art. 4. Prizes

For the winner of the contest:

- unique prize: CHF 3000.- in cash
- presence in the catalogue (if published)
- media publication
- publication on LuganoPhotoDays channels (website, gallery, social, …)

No prize, unless otherwise defined, is paid in cash.

Art. 5. Award ceremony

At the moment, an in-person award ceremony is not planned. Should it be possible to exhibit the winning projects (in Lugano or elsewhere), the authors will be promptly contacted.

Art. 6. Composition of the jury

The jury of category is a panel of 3 experts in the field of photography, publishing or communications. The members and the president of the jury are published on the contest’s website.
The jury’s votes are not subject to appeal.

Art. 7. Registration

Registration to the contest occurs exclusively via internet on

The participants must provide a valid e-mail address and complete the form with their personal details.

The promoter may request a copy of a valid identity document to verify the truthfulness of the given information at any time. The submission of incorrect or untrue data at the registration will result in disqualification from the contest.

The registration will remain valid for future contests on

Art. 8. Registration fee

The registration fee has to be paid by Stripe.

The registration fee will not be refunded in case of withdrawal or non-admission to the contest.

Art. 9. Participation in the contest

Each registrant may participate with one or more set of 6 to 12 photographs part of a same project (story).
The theme is: Storytelling (Reportage, Documentary, Wildlife Conservation, Environment, ...)

Format of the images to be uploaded on
- JPEG, RGB a 8bit, saved in high quality (at least 8)
- 3200 pixel length
- maximal size 5MB

Each file must contain only one image (e.g. diptychs are not allowed).
It is not allowed to enter the author's name, watermark, borders/frames, or other elements on the image.

At the promoter request the registrant shall promptly supply a high-quality file.

A short abstract (1000 characters) of the project in English is required. You can add a more detailed description in an optional field.
The photographs should also have a title and a caption in English. The information must be complete, true and accurate. It is not allowed to include the name and/or biography and/or other references to the author in the texts submitted (abstract, description, title, caption).
If available, the translation into Italian is welcome.

Participants arriving at the final stage will be asked to send RAW files (e.g. .NEF, .CR2, .RAF, .ORF, .PEF, etc.), original untouched JPEGs, original slides or negatives, for authentication. DNG files are only allowed if this is the camera's native RAW format.

The promoter reserves the right to ask any participant to provide a set of original files of photographs taken before and after any image that requires further authentication.

Following the confirmation of the entry, the participant may request the removal of the entire series of photographs by contacting the promoter technical team. This operation is the equivalent to a waiver by the participant. In order to submit a new series, the participant must pay the entire registration fee again.
Removal cannot be requested after the closing of the competition.

Art. 10. Admission

The following are some of the criteria for admission and non-admission.

It is allowed:
- cropping the images, if cropping does not change the actual situation photographed
- digital adjustments such as: color adjustments, grayscale conversion, contrast, burning, dodging, sharpening, noise reduction that do not alter the content
- minor cleaning work: removal of sensor dust or scratches on scans of transparencies or negatives, removal of chromatic aberration
- multiple shots taken at the same location and at the same time (seconds or minutes apart) to achieve panoramas, focus stacking, HDR

It is not allowed:
- deceive the viewer or attempt to mask and/or misrepresent reality
- endangering or injuring people and/or animals and/or damaging habitats in an attempt to take an image
- adding, moving, turning or mirroring, distorting or removing elements (people and/or animals and/or objects) from the image
- depicting animals in captivity or restraint, animal models and/or any other animals exploited for profit, unless this is a specific issue relating to the treatment of animals by third parties
- use live bait to attract animals
- create images via AI

After receipt of the registration fee, the promoter will select the works, only admitting and publishing those who meet the contest rules’ criteria.

The promoter reserves the right to refuse or exclude registrations at its own discretion, even after having already accepted the participation.

Admitted participants will be notified automatically by e-mail.

Art. 11. Selection – preliminary phase

Each member of the jury will give one mark between 1 (min.) and 5 (max.) to each series of photographs, which have been accepted.

At the end of the preliminary phase the 50 series with the most marks will be selected. In case of a joint runner-up in this phase, the date of confirmation of the registration will be decisive.

Selected participants will be notified automatically by e-mail.

Art. 12. Selection – final phase

The jury will assign a second score to the selected works, determining the finalists: the 10 series with the highest marks. In case of a joint runner-up in this phase, the date of confirmation of the registration will be decisive.

The finalists will be notified automatically by e-mail.

Art. 13. Selection - winner

After the preliminary and the final phases, the jury will determine the single winner among the 10 finalists.

The winner of the category will be notified automatically by e-mail.

Art. 14. Copyright

The participant declares to be the sole and exclusive owner of the uploaded photographs and to detain, if necessary, the lawful releases from the photographed subjects and is solely responsible in the event of a claim by the photographed subject or, in general, by third parties.

Art. 15. Use of images

The photographs remain the exclusive property of the author who authorises the promoter to use, reproduce and publish them by any means, free of charge (with the exception of commercial purposes) and without time limit; in particular, but not as a limiting factor, on the promoter’s website, social network, printed material (flyer, posters, catalogues, …), etc..

The authors are not entitled to economic compensation for the publication of the photographs on magazines, newspapers, website and/or social networks.

Prints of the photographs used for the exhibition, if any, will remain the property of the promoter.

Art. 16. Responsibility

The uploaded contents are solely the responsibility of the authors. The promoter declines any responsibility for the images uploaded by the user and possible infringement of copyright.

In all circumstances, generally, the participating photographers undertake to release and to free the promoter from any claims, request, responsibility and, generally, from any property right or claim by third parties linked to the contents.

The promoter reserves the right not to publish images with pornographic content, violence or racial intolerance; violates privacy and publicity, reputation, honour of others or any applicable law; is vulgar, racially or ethnically offensive, classist or in any way reprehensible; may cause damage in any way to minor children.

Even if already published, the promoter may remove the aforementioned images based on his own and unquestionable judgment without notice and without any claim for repayment.

Art. 17. Service supply

The promoter reserves the right to interrupt or extend the uploading and the voting of the works due to a technical, organisation or legal issue.

In case of an anticipated interruption of the contest, the mentioned jury, according the present guidelines, will evaluate the works of those who have already registered.

No guarantee can be given regarding the continued and complete availability of the website and related application in reason of internet’s own structure which involves many parties.

Art. 18. General Terms

Any legal recourse is excluded. Any controversy regarding the applicability of the present rules and the execution of the contest that cannot be solved amicably shall be brought exclusively before the courts of Lugano with application of the Swiss law.

No correspondence will be held about the contest. The participants acknowledge and accept the present general terms of the contest.

Art. 19. Language

Should the English translation of these Rules differ from the Italian original, the Italian version is binding.