Frequently Asked Questions

When does registration open and how long do I have to complete my submission?
Registration this year was open with Early Bird Pricing ($65) on June 1-9 (ends at Noon PST). Regular Pricing ($75) registration remained open until July 7.

When are the finalists announced? When are the Top 50 announced?
The finalists will be announced in August. The Top 50 will be announced in September. (The 2022 Critical Mass TOP 50 is posted here!)

Can I submit the same body of work that I’ve submitted in a previous year?
Yes. But only two images may be from a previous submission. In other words, you may submit the same series, but there must be at least eight new images.

I don’t have 10 images that I would like to submit. Can I enter Critical Mass with fewer than 10 images?
Yes. But please know that this could put you at a disadvantage. We ask that you submit a minimum of seven images. We will disqualify all submissions with less than seven images. These submissions will not be forwarded to the pre-screeners. The registration fee will be forfeited.

I registered and paid, but I didn’t receive a confirmation e-mail. What do I do?
1. Check your spam box. The registration confirmation email is automatically generated, so it sometimes winds up in spam.

2. If you still don’t see it, click the Critical Mass drop down menu on our website and select login. Enter the username and password you created when registering and login. If that does not work, try resetting your password.

If you run into any problems, please contact: and we will help you! Registration help is available Monday-Friday.

Can I submit more than one body of work?
Unfortunately, no! You may only enter Critical Mass once. You may only submit one body of work per submission.

Is there a time limit on work submitted? That is, does the work have to have been made within the past year or so?
No. You may submit work from any time period.

Can I enter if I’m a student?
Of course!

Can I submit multimedia work?
Yes – as long as it is photo based. Photography must be one of the mediums used in your work.

Can I submit video files?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept video files in our submission process at this time.

Is Critical Mass open to collaborative projects (more than one artist)?
Yes. You may make note of artistic collaborations on the entry form.

Do I have to list prices for my work?
No, but we recommend it. Please see the Entry Guidelines for information on pricing your work.

I’m confused about sizing my images. If I make my images 1000 pixels x 750 pixels, it distorts them. What do I do?
Our Entry Guidelines specify that images should be no more than 1000 pixels wide and no more than 750 pixels high – not both. Imagine that your images have to fit within a box that is 1000 pixels wide and 750 high. This does mean that vertical images need to be smaller than horizontal images and that square images need to be 750×750. They cannot EXCEED 2MB.

If I sell work as a result of Critical Mass, does Photolucida charge a commission?
Absolutely not. We consider ourselves a matchmaking service, not a broker. Our funding comes from donations, grants, and sponsorships as well as through entry fees for our programs.

Do I have to list edition numbers for my work?
No. That is at the photographer’s discretion. Please see the Entry Guidelines for information on editioning your work.

I’ve uploaded my images and text and I’m done making changes. Where’s the submit button?
There is no submit button. If you can see your images and text and it looks good to you, you’re done. We close the system on the deadline of July 7 at noon Pacific Time and immediately begin loading all of the images and text into the pre-screening programming.

I made a mistake in my submission. Can I change it even though the registration period has closed?
No. As soon as registration closes, all text and images are uploaded for the pre-screening period. We cannot change a submission after registration closes.

If I don’t make it to the finalist round, can I withdraw my submission?
No. All submissions are made available to all entrants of Critical Mass after the voting is completed. 
We do not allow the withdrawal of submissions.