Image Peter Dench

Image Peter Dench


“Being involved in the competition really gave me a confidence boost and also helped me develop my work in a professional way. Having my work displayed in the same room as many other great artists was really humbling and exciting!”

Olie Howes, 2018 Runner Up.

“Being part of last year’s exhibition was a thrill and it was uplifting to have your work validated by your peers……I enjoyed each of the talks I attended on the the day I was at the festival, I found them both informative and inspirational. I will be attending again this year.”

Paul Cliff, 2018 Winner.

Photo North Festival’s aim is to be inclusive and collaborative with anyone wishing to engage with the medium across the nation. Photo North Festival are particularly passionate about supporting students in their endeavors and keen to allow students the opportunity to give their pictures exposure.

Student Competition Brief

It all started when….


Sometimes the most interesting images are found closest to home and of those closest to us but what does family mean to you today?

With changes in communication, migration, wealth distribution, family law and the institution of marriage, along with new developments in technology and social media, the 21st century definition of family has shifted significantly.

Photographs of the family were once intimate albums to be selectively shared. The revolution in image-making means we can now share sacred family moments and memories of our nearest and dearest in an instant, with sometimes barely known ‘friends’ and followers.

What is your concept of a contemporary family? Photo North Festival invites you to share through photography, what family means to you.

Your project may want to explore what brings families together: a place, birth, birthday, parenthood, wedding, memory, pet, funeral, illness, graduation, holiday, food and traditions. Or you may want to explore what divides a family and causes tension and conflict.

You can  embrace one photographic genre, or mix them up: portraits, still life or documentary.

What may be ordinary, everyday, intimate moments of significance, can offer a unique and fascinating universal document of modern family life.


Some inspirational recommended reading and viewing:

Nancy Borowick - The Family Imprint | Matthew Finn - Mother | Jenny Lewis - One Day Young | Richard Billingham - Ray’s a Laugh | Sian Davey - Martha | Sally Mann - Immediate Family | Christopher Anderson - Son | Louis Quail - Big Brother | Liz Hingley - The Jones Family

Judging Panel (alphabetical order)

Peter Dench, Paul Hermann of Redeye, Phil Welding of Leeds Arts, Fraser Wright of Harrogate College,  Angela Sheard of Impressions Gallery.


Winner and runners up will be announced on 1st December and exhibited throughout Photo North Festival 2019.

Winner receives a camera (brand TBC) an hour mentoring session with Anne and Pippa of Impressions Gallery.

Runner up will receive two Trish Morrisey books: Seven Years and Front. Kindly donated by Impressions Gallery.

Application submissions to



To be eligible to enter the competition you must be currently studying a lens based media course in the UK or overseas. 

The images can be shot in any format, using any camera model, on film or digital. If you are entering a series of images, please indicate the viewing order, if appropriate.

The series must be an interconnected body of work, up to a maximum of 10 images.

Each image can be a maximum of 5MB in size. All images must be submitted as JPEG files – any files submitted in any other format (including TIFF, PDF, PSD etc) will be discarded.

There are no restrictions on when the submitted images were taken.

Your statement must be under 1500 characters in length (approximately 250 words) and written in English.

Once your images and statement have been uploaded to the system you will see an option to submit your entry. Once submitted your entry cannot be altered. Only submitted entries will be viewed by the judges.

The final deadline is 8th November.  Judging will take place shortly after the deadline. The winners must be available to supply images promptly for exhibition printing, and for interview by telephone or in person. Digital files of the winning images will be created for press and publicity purposes.

Successful entries will be exhibited at Photo North Festival Nov 30 - Dec 2. The exhibition will take place at Harrogate Convention Center – Hall D.

Photographers must be available to discuss their prints with XXXX Imaging (THE TBC SPONSOR). Photographers may select prints that fit (THE SPONSOR)Imaging’s production budget, or go over budget and supplement the difference.

Photographers may keep both the prints after the exhibition, but must make arrangements for, and meet the costs of, collecting them.

The winners will be interviewed and published through Photo North Festival’s online editorial and social media channels as well as appearing in press releases for our national PR campaign.

Photo North Festival cannot be responsible for any loss or damage to submitted work.

Photo North Festival reserve the right to display, reproduce and publish in any media, any entry, without payment, for the sole purpose of Photo North Festival Student Photo Competition– this year and in future – and its promotion and publicity. No copyright is transferred to Photo North Festival in respect of any works entered or accepted. Each entrant will be deemed to warrant they own the entire copyright for the work or that they have permission from the licensee and/or copyright owner/s for the uses.

All relevant clearances and/or model releases must have been obtained for the use of the photographs for publication and exhibition.