5th Place Award in the “Nothing Is Better Than Real Life” category. Photo by Francesca Russell, United States.

Three New Categories – This Round Only

Along with our Classic Categories, we are opening submissions for three Feature Categories that 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 traveling with family look like through your eyes?


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 may only include photos made over a 24 hour period or less.  8 photos or less per series submission.

Three things before you go

  1. $36 to enter 6 images
  2. Images can be from any year 
  3. Free photographer profile page with every award & honourable mention

The Documentary Family Awards is an international competition in search of the insightful and meaningful ways that documentary photographers explore the interpretation of family.