Until then, watch our live judging video

There are 3 new categories and 4 classic categories open for submission

Please read our full category descriptions to better understand categories best suited for your work. Our judges are always on the lookout for creative interpretations of a category. Therefore the following definitions should not be considered rules but rather guidelines. And lastly, photographs submitted can be from any year.

Feature Categories

These three feature categories are available for this award cycle only.


The definition of family is not insular. When thinking of photographs that represent the family unit, we encourage a broader idea of what those pictures look like. Grandparents, for many, play an integral role in life experiences, from child-rearing to the passing down of important customs and traditions. Using photography to celebrate familial relationships that extend across generations is an important part of preserving those relationships far after our loved ones are no longer with us. We are inviting you to submit photographs that illustrate the concept of “grandparents,” however this category is interpreted by you.


Airports. Theme parks. New cities. Hotel Rooms. Road trips. National Parks. Camping in the Rocky Mountains, biking through Europe and swimming in Cancun. Your great-grandmother who you visit once a year, a hike through the woods while Dad points out every species of fern along the way.

Family travel means joy and exhaustion. Idle moments and childhood wonder. New experiences and familiar places. The adventures and traditions that bring us away from our homes and the memories we create. What does travelling with family look like through your eyes?

➤ “Day In The Life” (Photo Series):

What stories can we tell that have taken place all within the space of one day? What kinds of daily narratives are unfolding around us? For this round only, our series category is specifically open to series that are shot within a time period of 24 hours or less.

We welcome all interpretations of the Day In The Life theme, as long as the series is related to family. Traditional day in the life sessions that tell the story of a single-family, broader thematic stories of family life, the story of relationships within a family, a day in the life of someone outside the nuclear family, or any other family-related story that you want to tell. 

Note: “Day In The Life” series can only include photos made over a 24 hour period or less. 8 photos or less per series submission.

Classic Categories

From birth to environmental portraiture to real life to images made on your phone, our classic categories allow you to explore all aspects of family life.

Nothing Is better than Real Life

Real life is the authentic, unscripted moments in our everyday life. For some, these are extraordinary events and for others, it can simply be the small moments of accomplishment or defeat. This category is wide open, as an opportunity for you to enter photographs that explore all aspects of family life.


The birthing process includes a depth and complexity that goes far beyond the climax of life entering this world. Therefore, we are looking for photographs that represent not just the final moments of labor but also the supporting events and landmarks that lead towards a child being born. Submissions are open to work from everything leading up to, during, and after the birthing process.

Note: The Birth category is uncensored. Share your best work with us and we will share the award-winning photos on the appropriate channels. A reminder that photographers entering this (and any) category must have permission from any recognizable subjects to use their photos publicly.

Cell Phone Only (photos taken on your phone)

The best camera is the one you have with you and more often than not it can be our phones. This category is about sharing family documentary work both personal and professional, created with your phone’s camera.

Toning: Professional toning of images in this category is not required.  However, if you do want to convert to black and white or add contrast etc, we recommend toning your images with Snapseed by Google (iOS or Android ). However, judges will be more receptive to the toning options available on phones so if your photos have an Instagram filter applied, for example, that is acceptable.

Environmental Portrait

In our own words, an environmental portrait uses a subject’s surroundings (or lack thereof) to tell us more about the subject themselves in that moment. Their surroundings can be literal (ex. at home, work, in nature etc.) or abstract (ex. using color, shapes or space), and can be a single person or multiple people in one frame. Although it is not required, in this category the photographer may choose to be involved in directing the subjects to be in a certain location or light if it enhances the portrait. This is our only category where we allow submissions where the photographer has given direction to the subject.

Do you have a question? Head to our support page and browse our resources or ask a question in our Facebook group.