Our growing list of information to make your DFA experience as smooth as possible.

Facebook support group: We have a dedicated private group for photographers to answer DFA questions and offer technical support. facebook.com/groups/documentaryfamilyawards/

Photo Resizing & Renaming

(You may submit up to 12 photos per category and 8 photos per series)

  • File Name : First name and last name, all one word, followed by a number sequence. For example jennashouldice01, jennashouldice02, jennashouldice03 etc. Make sure file name sequence numbers do not match even in separate categories.
  • Aspect Ratio: We accept any aspect ratio
  • Horizontal Image : Width must be 2000px
  • Vertical Image : Height must be 2000px
  • Square Image: Height and width must be 2000px
  • Cell/Mobile Phone Image: Minimum height or width must be 1000px
  • Image Size: Maximum file size of each photo must be 2MB (2000KB)
  • Image File Type: jpg
  • Toning: Color or Black & White only
  • Date: Photos submitted can be from any year
  • No watermarks, text or borders of any kind can be added to the image. (exemption allowed for cell/mobile photos with borders)
  • Resolution: Your photo can be any resolution, as long as it matches the pixel dimensions stated under Horizontal and Vertical image dimensions.
  • If your submitted images do not meet all of our photo requirements they may be automatically disqualified.

Photo Prep using Lightroom or Photoshop

Lightroom (LR) Users

  • If you have Lightroom CC you can download our export preset designed to meet our upload requirements. DOWNLOAD LR PRESET
  • If you use our LR export template please remember to enter your name in the export process as the file name.
  • Finally, watch the LR video below to see how to import our LR preset, and how to export photos using LR.

Photoshop (PS) Users

  • If you have Photoshop CC you can download our resize action to meet our upload requirements. DOWNLOAD PS ACTION
  • If you use our PS action please remember to enter your name in the file name during the export process.
  • Finally, watch the PS video below to see how to use our PS action and how to export photos using PS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a special definition of ‘family’?
A: We consider the definition of family to be as broad as you wish.  Subjects in the photographs entered can be any age, any gender, related or unrelated, close family members or distant friends.

Q: Is there is a description of each category?
A: Yes! We have a page with details about each category. Click here

Q: Can I submit photos at separate times or does it have to be all at once?
A: Yes you can submit photos at different times. We highly recommend submitting all of your entries at once. We do have a minimum charge for up to 6 photos per submission if you enter multiple times.

Q: Does not receiving a confirmation email mean that the photos haven’t been submitted?
A: You should receive a confirmation email after successfully paying for your entries. If your payment fails your submission will automatically be cancelled.

Q: Is cropping, straightening or lens correction allowed?
A: Cropping, straightening and lens correction done minimally is ok. If your photo has been cropped significantly or a major noticeable straightening adjustment has been done, it may affect the photo making it through to the final round.

Q: Can I submit any aspect ratio? Such as a square photo or 6×7?
A: Yes. We have removed our previous aspect ratio requirements to be more inclusive of all formats and aspect ratios you may be using.

Q: Can I use presets to tone/edit my photos?
A: We prefer to see photos that have traditional techniques applied such as contrast, curves, color balance, dodging and burning. Photos can be black & white (no sepia) or color. If you have a preset that doesn’t heavily “flavour” the look of your photo then it should be ok.

Q: Can I submit a double exposure?
A: No. Even if it is done in camera we do not accept double exposures.

Q: If my photo matches multiple categories will it be judges in those categories?
A: Each photo submitted will only be judged in the one category you select. You can’t submit one photo to multiple categories. However, photos submitted as part of a photo series can also be entered into single image categories.

Q: Can I submit the same photo multiple times?
A: You can only submit a photo once in any given award cycle. If the photo does not place, you can submit it again in the next round.

Q: Can a Business/Studio submit under the business name?
A: Every submission needs to be submitted under one individual’s name, that of the photographer who took the photo(s).  If you work in a collective or for a studio you can add the business Instagram account as the credit.  And of course, we encourage you to share any awards through your business social media or website.

Q: Do you send a confirmation email after a submission?
A: Yes. You will receive an automatic email confirming you have submitted. If you can’t find the auto-response, make sure you check your spam/junk folders.


Do you have a question?

Post it below and we’ll add all relevant answers to the help section.

What is your question?:

(topic etc.)

Your Name:

(not shared publicly)