Frequently Asked Questions

*Please Note: Photolucida will not accept submissions of AI-generated imagery in our 2024 Critical Mass call for entries. Our goal is to continue exploring issues at the intersection of AI, creativity, and photo-based work through ongoing conversation with curators, gallerists, collectors, thought leaders, and, of course, you – our community of passionate photographers. 

Please read the entry details before you begin your entry!

When does registration open, and when must I complete my submission?

2024 Critical Mass registration will open with Early Bird Pricing ($65) on May 31 -June 10 (ends at Noon EDT). Regular Pricing ($75) registration remained open until July 1, 2024.

When are the finalists announced? When are the Top 50 announced?

Two hundred finalists will be announced in mid-August. The Top 50 finalists will be announced in late September. 

Can I submit the same body of work I submitted in a previous year?

Yes. However, only two images may be from an earlier submission. In other words, you may submit the same series, but there must be at least eight new images.

Can I enter Critical Mass with under ten images?

Yes, but please know that this could put you at a disadvantage. We ask that you submit a minimum of seven images. You can use installation shots of your work for your portfolio. 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 email. What do I do?

  • Check your spam box. The registration confirmation email is automatically generated, so it sometimes winds up in spam.
  • 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 and log in again.

Can I submit more than one body of work?

Unfortunately, no! You may only enter Critical Mass once per year, and you may only submit one body of work per submission.

Does my portfolio 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 cannot accept video files in our submission process at this time.

Is Critical Mass open to collaborative projects (more than one artist)?

Yes. Make a note of artistic collaborations on the entry form.

Do I have to list prices for my work?

No, but we recommend it. Please read this article for information on pricing your work.

How do I name and size my files?

  • Name your files: LastName_FirstName_1.jpeg. 
  • Images cannot exceed 2MB in size and must be in jpeg/jpg format. 
  • Size accordingly: Horizontal images are 1,000 pixels on the long side, and vertical images are 750 pixels on the long side. Square images need to be 750×750.

*Note: Although it sounds like the files are very low resolution, we can assure you they appear fine on the jurors’ screens. We’ve been sizing images this way for years!

Do I have to submit everything when I register?

No, but you do need to have all your images uploaded by the deadline, July 1, 2024. 

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, sponsorships, and entry fees for our programs.

Do I have to list edition numbers for my work?

No. That is at the photographer’s discretion. 

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 1 at noon Eastern Time and immediately begin loading all 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.

Can I withdraw my submission if I don’t make it to the finalist round?

No. After the voting is completed, all submissions are made available to all Critical Mass entrants. We do not allow submission withdrawal.

**If you encounter any problems, please email, and we will help you! Registration help is available Monday through Friday.