What is required in captions?

2024 Contest guidance for captions and additional information


Captions must be accurate and answer the five basic questions of good journalism (who, what, where, when, why). All entries must have accurate captions and descriptions, written in English. If the captions have been translated, please also provide the caption in the original language.

The short project description must:
  • Describe who is in the photograph(s) and/or project and what is going on within the photograph(s) and/or project.
  • Name the city, region or state, and country where the photograph(s) and/or project was made.
  • Provide the date the photograph(s) and/or project was made.
  • Captions must give attribution for actions not seen (e.g., the scene of an accident where more than 10 died, according to police).
The long description is used to give context to the news event or describe why the photograph(s) and/or project is significant. Any information that is included must be sourced.

The long description must also explain the circumstances in which a photograph was taken. If the photographer influenced the scene in any way, or gave directions to a subject to pose in any way for a portrait, this must be disclosed. Information about consent should be indicated in the caption as stated in article 4 of the code of ethics

Additional information

As well as information provided in the form of captions, entrants are also required to provide relevant additional information relating to how and why the story was made, such as motivation, the type of project (assignment/personal project) and funding. For entries to Open Format, entries must also include a description of the methods and processes involved in the making of the project. This information is collected on entry and will be given to the jury from Round 4 onwards. Entrants may be contacted during the judging process if the jury have questions about their additional information.
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