Contest Rules

(1)    Only Lao nationals are eligible for entry. The contest is open for both amateurs and professional photographers.

(2)   The submissions must relate to one of the 9 MDGs.

(3)    Number of entries: Participants can enter only one of the two categories, not both. Maximum three entries per person are allowed, in case of multiple entries the photos must relate to different MDGs. All photos must include a caption and copyright information. 

(4)    Time and location: The photos must have been taken in Lao PDR in the past 24 months (after 1 September 2011).

(5)    Image specifications: Submissions to the General Entry category will only be accepted in high resolution digital format. Image files should be in JPG format, with a file size up to 8 megabytes, at least 300 dpi resolution and minimum 6 megapixels. For Young Snapper, no size restriction apply.

(6)    Copyright and usage rights: Only photos not already published may be submitted. The photographer must possess all copyrights for their images. The UN in Lao PDR will hold the right to re-use and re-publish any photos submitted to the competition in their advocacy work. The photographer will remain as the copyright holder. The photographer must have received permission from the subject(s) for the image to be used in the competition.

(7)    Eligible mobile devices for Young Snapper: All entries to the Young Snapper category must be shot with a mobile device, for example: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia. Tablets and iOS devices such as iPod Touch and iPad will also be accepted, as well as other tablets. All images not shot on a mobile device will be disqualified. All prize winners will be required to submit raw images for verification.

(8)    Image editing: In the General Entry category: Other than regular post production and color correction, entries must not be digitally altered or manipulated in any way, including digitally altering images to change content*. Any entries deemed by the judges to have been changed will be disqualified. In the Young Snapper category, image editing done on the device itself is allowed.

(9)    The employees of the United Nations agencies and Beeline are not eligible for entry.

* Image editing - Allowed:

  • You can use any feature of your camera while photographing.
  • In-camera features applied after the capture are subject to normal editing rules.
  • You can crop, rotate and resize your image.
  • You can clone out minor imperfections like power lines, dust specks, stray hairs, etc.
  • You can apply image adjustments like brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, blur, sharpen, dodge & burn, etc.
  • You can use RAW conversion software.
  • You can use software to correct perspective, lens defects, or minor misalignments.

Image editing - Not Allowed:

  • You cannot combine two or more images.
  • You cannot add anything to the image that was not originally captured with the camera.
  • You cannot add any text to the image or border.



The organizers reserve the right to remove and disqualify images which they, in their absolute discretion, consider may cause offence or may be unsuitable or inappropriate for this competition; for example, but not exclusively, because of their violent, criminal, religious, political, racial, sexual or exploitative content. Any images submitted without the required information (caption and MDG relevance, copyright) will not be included in the competition.

Winner selection

A panel of judges will select the winners for General Entry. The panel will be composed of representatives from the UN, Government and an independent professional photographer. The winners and a selection of other competition entries as chosen by the panel will be exhibited at various venues in Vientiane. 

The winner of the Young Snapper category will be chosen by the public. All entries will be published in the photo competition’s Facebook page and will be open for ‘popular vote’ for the period of one week. The picture receiving most ‘likes’ will win.

Judging Criteria

The judging criteria for the panel will include five categories:

  1. Relevance: the photograph’s relevance to the MDG that it should depict.

  2. Creativity: Is the subject matter pictured in a unique way? Is the image captured from an interesting point of view? Does the photo demonstrate originality?

  3. Technical Quality: Is the photo in focus? Is lighting in balance? Is depth of field considered/used? Is there good use of colour, brightness, contrast and saturation?

  4. Composition: Does the photograph tell a story? Does the photograph bring together the visual elements to express the purpose of the image? Can the viewer immediately identify the subject?

  5. Caption: The caption provided with the entry clearly outlines the purpose of the image, how it is relevant to the theme and any other features or story related to the capturing of this photograph.

Up to 20 points will be awarded in each category for a total of 100 points and the photo with the highest score will be awarded first place and so on for second and third place.

The judging panel will make a selection of the photographs for exhibition. By entering the competition photographers are deemed to have agreed to the exhibition of their pictures, if selected.