Do you have a question that you don't see the answer to?  E-mail us at
Check back periodically, we may update and add to the FAQ's as more applicants reach out with questions.
All answers are intended to help clarify any confusion.  In no way do answers on this page supersede any of the Official Rules.​​​​​​​
 For full eligibility requirements and other terms and conditions, please review the Official Rules.
Q:  What's the deal with the super long Official Rules and the License & Release?
A:  Regarding the Official Rules – we’re required by law to address each topic that we’ve included, which explains the length of the rules and the extent of the detail we’ve provided. 
Regarding the License & Release – we received some questions and concerns about the breadth of the rights granted to Circadian in the document. We listened to those concerns, and in response have issued a revised License and Release which provides that we will only use the submitted materials in connection with this contest and promoting future Circadian contests and other endeavors.
We hope you understand, however, that we still need a version of this document in place, as it secures Circadian critical protections and rights. Without this document, we would be exposed to significant liability that would make us unable to administer the contest.  We’d also point out that unless you are selected as winner or runner-up, the License and Release only secures Circadian Pictures the right to use materials that you submit as a part of your entry. If you are not selected as a winner or runner-up, any photographs you take in the future executing on the project concept you’ve submitted are outside the scope of the License and Release.
Q:  Who can apply?
A:  The Contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older (or the age of majority in the jurisdiction of their residence, whichever is older) at the time of entry.  Access to the internet and a valid email address are required. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.  For full eligibility requirements and other terms and conditions, please review the Official Rules.
Q:  What is the submission period?
A:  We will be accepting submissions between 7:00am PT on Friday, May 1st, 2020 until 11:59pm PT on Sunday, May 24th, 2020.
Q:  Who are the judges?
A:  The team at Circadian Pictures along with a select group of industry professionals will be judging the contest.  Get to know the industry professionals HERE.
Q:  Can I submit a proposal for a project I've already started or completed?
A:  No. All proposals must be original work created for the purpose of this contest. Please do not submit any completed projects.  Even though you can't submit them for this contest, we do hope you keep working on any other projects you may have already started!
Q:  How many grand-prize winners will be chosen?
A:  One
Q:  How many runner-up winners will be chosen?
A:  We will be choosing at least one, and up to 20 runner-up winners.
Q:  How many semi-finalists will be chosen?
A:  We will be choosing at least two, and up to 25 semi-finalists.
Q:  How many applicants are there?
A:  We have no idea how many applicants will submit, but we're hoping to field as many as possible.  If you apply, then there will be at least one.
Q:  Is there a fee to apply?
A:  No, there is no fee to apply.  There is also no purchase necessary to enter or win.  A purchase does not increase your chances of winning.
Q:  Am I allowed to submit multiple proposals?
A:  Each applicant is only allowed to submit one proposal. Please do not submit the application form more than once.
Q:  Do I have to be a professional photographer?
A:  Nope!  Your work must be centered in the still visual medium, but our choices will be based on manifest potential and talent regardless of previous credits.
Q:  What should the timeline be for my project?
A:  We are looking for projects that can realistically be completed so make sure you are giving yourself enough time to complete the project.  However, if your timeline seems too long we may have concerns that your project may never be completed.  There are no concrete timeline restrictions as the rest of the details of the project will factor in while evaluating the timeline.  That being said, we'd guess a realistic timeline would be somewhere between 2 to 6 months.  But again, we don't know what your project is yet, so it may be longer, it may be shorter.  Either way, we're excited to hear about it!
Q:  Can I submit a proposal for a video project?
A:  While Circadian Pictures also produces film and video projects, for this contest we are only considering submissions for proposed still photography projects.
Q:  Am I allowed to submit a joint proposal with a fellow photographer or submit as a team?
A:  Submissions can only be made by an individual as each prize can only be awarded to a single person.  That single person will be responsible for submitting the materials, and if they win, they will be responsible for receiving the funds, and paying any applicable taxes on those funds.  While ultimately there will be one person who is the official "Entrant", the proposed project may call for collaborators and that is totally acceptable (as long as all collaboration is following social distancing best practices and not putting anyone's health or safety at risk).
Q:  Did you just say something about "applicable taxes" in the last question?  Taxes are complex and stressful.  What do taxes have to do with a fun contest like this?
A:  Without getting into a debate over politics or economics, we must point out that in the United States if someone pays you money, there are taxes associated with that money.  All federal, state and/or local taxes are the sole responsibility of anyone who is awarded a prize.  If you are awarded a prize, you will receive a 1099 tax form.  Each Winner should consult their tax professional regarding any tax questions.
Q:  Can my proposed project cost more than $10,000? 
A:  No.
Q:  For the grand prize, can my proposed project cost less than $10,000? 
A:  If the hard costs of your project are less than $10,000 then you must include in your proposed budget how the rest of the funds will be spent.  You can use the rest of the funds to pay yourself, that is totally acceptable (and even encouraged)!  Just make sure you include that in your proposed budget as an "Artist's Fees".  So, bottom line your proposed project must account for $10,000. No more, no less.
Q:  Do I need to own a camera to submit? 
A:  You do not need to own your own camera.  You will however, need at least access to a camera to take your sample image.  These days, most phones, tablets and computers have cameras built into them.  The sample image can be a rough draft, so even if you don't have access to your preferred camera, the camera in any of those devices will suffice.  That's how low pressure the sample image section is.  Seriously, don't stress and don't let that section discourage you from applying!
Additionally, in your budget proposal you can allocate funds to purchase or rent a camera.
Q:  Will I get feedback on my application? 
A:  While semi-finalists and prize winners may receive feedback, it is unlikely we will provide feedback to any other applicants, and cannot promise any sort of feedback to any applicants.
Q:  I am having an issue with my application.
A:  That's not a question.
Q:  Sorry.  What if I am having an issue with my application?
A:  Make sure to read all of the Official Rules and FAQ's.  If you still have an issue, you can e-mail us (  We'll do our best to resolve the issue.
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