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Competition: Photo Slam 2015, The Event

  • Busboys and Poets, 14th and V Street NW 2 blocks from Metro's U Street/Cardozo Station Washington, DC United States (map)
Photo © Sydney Thomas

Photo © Sydney Thomas

Photo Slam 2015
Cost: FREE ($20 suggested donation)

The Slam is back! After drawing a capacity crowd to Busboys and Poets as a signature event of Fotoweek DC since 2010, the Photoworks Photo Slam returns for year six. Photographers vie for slots in the Photoworks FotoWeek 2016 gallery show. Three-time National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Cabico returns to emcee a high-energy event featuring an on-the-spot face-off of projected portfolios plus a "best shot" final round, with winners selected by celebrity and audience-rep judges.

Entry Rules and Guidelines


All entries are submitted in advance via email. Entrants must be present and registered at the Slam in order to participate.

The Slam will consist of two rounds. All photos are projected and judged based on their appearance on the screen. Five judges, including an audience representative will give entries a numerical score. Top and bottom scores are discarded, the middle three scores are averaged.

In Round 1, photographers compete with small portfolios consisting of 5 images. To be competitive, these should reflect a unified vision or theme. After finalists are selected, Round 2 contenders compete with single "best shot" images.

The prize for the three top winners will be the opportunity to share a group show at Photoworks Gallery in Glen Echo Park, timed to coincide with FotoWeek 2016.

Entrants must be 16 or older.

Selection of second round finalists and Slam winners by the judges and organizers is final.

Questions? Contact the Slam Entry Coordinator,

HOW TO SUBMIT:  All Photo Slam contestants must submit images in advance online.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Deadline is midnight Thursday, November 12.

SUBMISSION EMAIL:  Entries should be emailed as attachments to

SUBMISSION FORMAT:  All entries must be in JPEG RGB format, including black and white images.

SUBMISSION IMAGE SIZE:  Images should be no larger than 1024 pixels wide x 768 pixels high @ 300dpi. (Vertical measurements should not exceed 768 pixels, and horizontal measurements should not exceed 1024 pixels. Square images should be 768 x 768.) Entries not properly sized are subject to disqualification.

NEED HELP WITH SIZING? Need guidance on sizing your images? See IMAGE SIZING GUIDE at the bottom of this page.

NUMBER OF PHOTOS? Entrants should submit a total of six images: Five for the Portfolio Round (Round 1) and one for the Best Shot Round (Round 2). Your Round 1 images should reflect a unified theme or vision. Your Round 2 image should be able to stand on its own. It should not be a repeat of any of your portfolio images. It may relate to the portfolio or not, at your option.

HOW TO LABEL PHOTOS:  Please name your jpeg files as follows:

For the Portfolio round of five images (Round 1), your first initial + last name + PF1, PF2, etc., in the order in which you'd like the images projected.

For the Best Shot round (Round 2) first initial + last name + BS.

For example, Jane Doe's entries would be named as follows:


REQUIRED INFORMATION: In your cover email, please supply the following:

Email address
Phone number
Street address

FREE ENTRY - BUT $20 SUGGESTED DONATION:  There is no entry fee. There is a suggested donation of $20 for everyone attending the Slam, participating photographers included.

NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT OF ENTRY: You will receive an acknowledgement of your entry within 48 hours of submitting. If you do not receive an acknowledgment, please send a separate email message to Slam Entry Coordinator at

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE INTO PHOTO SLAM:  Slots in the competition will be assigned based on order received and the degree to which portfolios reflect unity of theme or vision. You will be notified if you have a slot or not. Organizers reserve the right to cut off entries when a maximum number of entries (TBD) have been received. Organizers will screen the content of images and reserve the right to reject entries based on content considerations.

IN WHAT ORDER WILL THE ENTRANTS APPEAR DURING THE PHOTO SLAM?  The order of entrants in the competition will be at the discretion of the organizers.

WHEN SHOULD YOU ARRIVE AT THE PHOTO SLAM?  Entrants must be signed in at Busboys and Poets by 7:45pm on the evening of the competition.


Content for entries is open, with no limitations as to theme or subject matter. Photographers working in both film- and digital-capture are encouraged to participate, though the format of the entries must be digital. Both black-and-white and color entries are encouraged. As stated above, entrants are strongly encouraged to organize their portfolios according to a unified theme or vision.


First, second, and third place winners will be featured in an online gallery on the Photoworks Website and awarded slots in a three-person exhibition at Photoworks Gallery in Glen Echo Park, scheduled to coincide with FotoWeek DC 2016. Winners are responsible for printing and framing or otherwise arranging quality presentation of their work for the show. Winners will work with Photoworks' Exhibition Director, with final choices concerning selection of images and presentation subject to his/her approval.


To size images, download them to your computer or other device with one of the following photo editing applications, and follow the instructions:

iPhoto: Open the image, select "Export" from the "File" menu. A dialogue box appears. On the dropdown menu next to "Size" choose "Custom." Set the pixel count and dpi as indicated in the guidelines.

Lightroom: Open the image, select "Export" from the "File" menu. When the dialogue box opens, scroll down to "Image Sizing" and adjust the resolutions there.

Photoshop: Open the image, select "Image Size" from the "Image" menu. Set resolutions in the dialogue box.

Visit for more information.