WHAT IS FOCI?

FOCI is Qatar-America Institute’s inaugural photography competition aimed at highlighting and championing the U.S.-Qatar relationship and cultural ties through the lens of creative photography.

The FOCI competition calls on photographers to enter their creative captures taken in Qatar depicting  the U.S.-Qatar four-decade-long partnership in an artistic and storytelling form.

Winners selected will take part in a US-based exhibition and gala with more prizes for first and second places winners to be announced soon.

Why “FOCI”? Foci (foh-kai) is the plural of the Latin word “focus” which means the “center of interest or activity.”

THEME

“The U.S.-Qatar Journey”

The theme chosen for QAI’s first-ever FOCI photography competition is “The U.S.-Qatar Journey.” The theme aims to celebrate the over four decades of partnership between the two nations, the many shared ties and achievements between the two communities, and the power of cross-cultural exchange.

Entries will be judged based on their creative expression of the theme as well as the entries artistic and storytelling value. Contestants should consider submitting photographs that best convey their interpretation of the theme, showcasing how both communities are more prosperous and enriched through the exchange of culture, knowledge, and resources.

The submitted photographs can depict various scenes that touch on social, healthcare, science, education, humanitarian, or environmental topics; FOCI aims to recognize inspirational and thought-provoking content uniquely focused on the U.S.-Qatar relationship and the lives touched through it.

 

HOW TO SUBMIT

Photos and interpretations must be submitted via the FOCI page on the QAI website during the eligible submission timeframe of September 16, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Any entries submitted after the deadline of 12 PM EST on December 31, 2019 will not be accepted.

After successful submission, QAI will send a confirmation email to inform contestants that their entry has been accepted.

All photographs must be taken in Qatar. Those interested and eligible must submit at least one photograph in order to participate in the competition, or up to three photographs total.

Those submitting two or three photographs should note that each submitted photograph will be judged on an individually submitted basis.

CONTEST CRITERIA

The competition is open to anyone age 18 years or older. Photograph submissions will be accepted regardless of the date the photographs were taken.

The competition is open to photojournalists, military photographers, commercial photographers, freelance and amateur photographers, and photographers who own the rights to their photography and/or are allowed to publicly distribute their work. QAI will not accept photograph submissions without the expressed permission and licensing of the owner for use in this competition.

All photographs must be taken in Qatar. Those interested and eligible must submit at least one photograph in order to participate in the competition, or up to three photographs total.

Please provide a short photo caption and describe how your submission reflects the ‘U.S.-Qatar journey’ theme. All submissions MUST be accompanied with a supporting caption of no more than 280 characters describing the respective image, (no longer than a tweet).

Contestants will also have to state approximately where submission images were taken (for example: street name, neighborhood, building, etc.) This will be separate from the 280-character caption.

All photographs must be taken in Qatar. Those interested and eligible must submit at least one photograph in order to participate in the competition, or up to three photographs total.

Judges will consider both how well the theme is captured and the technical and compositional photographic skills demonstrated in submissions. Overall, the winning position will go to the contestant who clearly and concisely conveys the theme of the competition in a creative, captivating way.

Following the closing of the submission window on December 31, submissions will be reviewed in two respective rounds. In the first round, members of the QAI FOCI Committee will review submissions and select those that meet all of the competition criteria. The top 50 eligible submissions will then be presented to a panel of judges for the final round of review. These judges will be comprised of both Qatari and American esteemed individuals stemming from various backgrounds, including culture and the arts, journalism, education, etc. These judges will then choose the winning photographs, as well as those that will be featured in the FOCI digital publication, based on the judging panel’s determination of which submissions successfully exceed the strongest combination of the theme’s interpretation and photographic quality.


The 2019 FOCI Photography Competition is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Qatar National Tourism Council.