Skip to main content

SLWA Narrative

All of the Rules for the SLWA Narrative Section of the Ilford Orloff Awards are contained within this dedicated Appendix.  The Rules in the main body of this document do not apply to entries to the SLWA Narrative Section.

It is the responsibility of the entrant to read and understand these Rules. 

A1    General Rules

A1.1 Entering the Awards 

A1.1.1 All entrants must reside in Western Australia at the time of submitting an entry to these awards.

Note: Residence is determined by the entrant’s address on the Australian Electoral Commission electoral role.

A1.1.2 All entries must be made online via the official entry online portal (at and comply with the instructions provided thereon.

A1.1.3 All of an entrant’s images must be distinct from each other and may not resemble or look similar to images entered in the current or previous SLWA Narrative Section of the Orloff Award competition. 

A1.1.4 An entry must not contain, in the opinion of the Organiser, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

A1.1.5 Entrants will initially enter digital files only. These must be suitable for judging on calibrated monitors. The specifications are stated in Section A2.1. Entries not complying with the specifications will be deemed invalid.

A1.1.6 Entrants submit single images for this award, with the maximum of 5 entries per participant. If a submitted image progresses to be a `finalist’, the entrant is responsible for printing and matting the image at their own expense, in accordance with the specifications (refer to Section A2.2). The matted print must be submitted to the Organiser before the stated deadline. Failure to submit the matted print on time may result in disqualification of the entry. The matted print may become part of the awards exhibition.

Note: There is no guarantee that any specific ‘finalist’ print(s) will be displayed in the exhibition. The content of the final exhibition will be determined in conjunction with the State Library of WA (SLWA). Factors which could affect the selection include, but are not limited to: space limitations, suitability for the display restrictions of the SLWA building, alignment with SLWA’s programming themes, in-house style, interpretation strategy or any reason determined by the Organiser.

A1.1.8 Pro Photography WA Inc committee members, Orloff Awards subcommittee members and anyone who is judging for these awards are permitted to enter the awards. However, they will not be able to judge their own images. Additionally, a judge, whether or not they have entered the awards or not, may not judge any image expressly known to them and will step off the judging panel.

A1.1.9 `No refunds' will be provided for fees paid to the Organiser to enter the Orloff Awards, including when an entrant chooses to withdraw their entry, or their entry is deemed invalid. 

A1.1.10In any instance of dispute, the decision made by the Organiser is final.

A1.2 Copyright

A1.2.1 The entrant must be the photographer who has taken the image and either own copyright of all entered images, or have the permission of the copyright owner to enter the images into these awards. This includes the right to display the images in the exhibition, use the images in any promotion of the awards and exhibition, be considered for the SLWA collection, and to comply with any other requirements of the awards and exhibition.

A1.2.2 Copyright is retained by the entrant (or the copyright owner at the time of entering these awards). However, the Organiser may use the images to promote these or future awards and/or the exhibition. Images in this instance will be credited with the photographer’s name.

A1.2.3 Model releases are the responsibility of the entrant and are to be made available upon request by the Organiser.

A1.3 Capture

A1.3.1 All images (including all images used to create composite images) are to be captured by the entrant.

A1.3.2 Images must portray or give context to an actual event or situation within Western Australia.

A1.3.3 Entries must be single-capture images (i.e. no HDR, multi-exposure or panoramic stitching). 

A1.3.4 Amongst other scenarios, the subject matter may include daily life, the human condition, or a newsworthy incident or a story or identifiable narrative. 

A1.3.5 Polyptychs (i.e. diptychs, triptychs, etc.) are not permitted.

A1.3.6 Images must be free of all watermarks and may not bear the name, seal, logo or indication of the maker.

A1.3.7 All images must be 100% photographic in origin, meaning they must originate from the action of light or other forms of radiant energy upon a photographic medium or device, becoming a visible image. For example: a film, or digital camera, or digital scanner. Images created solely within a computer environment are not eligible.

A1.3.8 The capture of all images must be the sole work of the entrant. Images captured under the direct guidance or instruction of another photographer, such as during a workshop where composition, lighting, or camera settings are suggested, models/talent/props are provided, or any other equipment is set up by another person, cannot be entered into these awards. However, images captured during photo walks, tours, styled shoots, or other creative collaborations between peers are permitted, provided that the purpose of the event was not educational and was not organized by someone as a professional endeavour.

For styled shoots and images created through a collaboration, the entrant must obtain a signed acknowledgment from the collaborator(s) confirming that the entrant was the primary photographer for the image being entered and that the collaborator(s) agrees to the image being entered into the awards.

A1.3.9 Each entry must be accompanied with details of the capture date and location, and suitable captions (refer A1.5). 

A1.4 Post Production (including the use of AI)

A1.4.1 Basic post-production techniques, such as colour and brightness adjustments, cropping, dodging and burning, conversion to monochrome are permitted. Entrants cannot `move a pixel’ (removal dust spots are permitted). Composites, or the removal or the addition of any other elements within images, including the use of AI, are not permitted. The original image content is to be retained. 

A1.4.2 All post-production work (essentially Raw conversion) must be completed by the entrant.

A1.4.3 The original Raw file may be requested by the Organiser.

A1.5  Captions

A1.5.1 Captions are to be provided with each image. The must comply with industry norms. To assist, guidance is provided as follows:

Caption Guidelines

A description or caption to provide judges with additional significant information is permitted (limited to 25 words) and will be read during judging. It is recommended that captions be correctly crafted to meet journalistic standards by `adding’ information and not simply repeating what an observer can already see.

Key points are:

  • Captions should be factual and objective with no opinions or emotive wording.
  • The first sentence is written in the present tense.
  • Consider the who, what, when and where questions.
  • If appropriate (and if there is room within your 25 words), also consider the why.
    1. This refers to the visible printed area, excluding any border between the edge of the printed area and the mat window.

A1.6 Verification, Validity & Disqualification

A1.6.1 The Organiser reserves the right to ask an entrant to provide any or all raw files, or unedited camera created JPEGs. The Organiser will exercise this right on a random basis to audit entries, and may also choose to exercise this right on specific entries on an as needed basis. Failure to provide the required files within the given timeframe could result in the entry and/or entrant being disqualified.

A1.6.2 For an entry to be deemed valid the digital images must have been received in the specified format and full payment must have been received by the organiser before the closing date and time. In addition, for finalists the matted prints must have been received by the organiser in the specified format before the stated time.

A1.6.3 In the event that only part payment has been made before the closing time and date, the entry will be deemed to be invalid. However, if the entrant has made multiple entries the organiser will determine at their sole discretion which of the entries will be deemed to be valid (up to the value of the entry fee paid), and which will not.

A1.6.4 Any entrant who is found to not be complying with any of the competition rules may be disqualified and any prizes and awards may be withdrawn or required to be returned.

A1.6.5 If an entrant, in the opinion of the organisers, knowingly breaks the competition rules in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage, the Organiser may at their sole discretion ban the entrant from further Orloff Awards for either a specific period, or indefinitely.

A1.6.6 In the event of disqualification for any reason, ‘No refunds' will be provided for fees paid to the Organiser to enter the Orloff Awards. 

A2    Specifications for Submission of Images

A2.1  Digital Entries

The initial entries will be digital only. The following are the image file specifications:

File Naming


(for example: SLWANarrative_MarySmith_01.jpg)

File format


Recommended file compressions

Photoshop - 10 

Capture 1 – 80

Lightroom - 80

Maximum file size

4 MB

Image resolution

3200 pixels on the longest edge of the image.

Colour space 

Adobe RGB (1998).

A2.2  Print Entries (Finalists)

The finalists must provide matted prints for exhibition which comply with the requirements of A2.2.1 and A2.2.2.

Note: If you are a finalist and required to print, it might be helpful to print this section and give it to your printer and/or framer to ensure your images meet the criteria outlined.

A2.2.1 Printing and Mounting Your Prints

State Library has stringent requirements to ensure a cohesive and professional exhibition. Therefore, all mats and prints must be professionally presented and meet the criteria specified below. 

If the matting is improperly done or flimsy, or does not meet the specification, the image may be excluded from the exhibition.



Mat size

40cm x 50cm vertical

Mat colour


Backing Mat thickness and material

Up to 3mm foam core.

Window (front) mat thickness 

Must not exceed 2mm. (Note 2)

Image print size (Note 1)

At least 30cm long edge (or diameter for circular prints)


Window. A minimum of 4cm of frame must be present on all sides of the printed area.

Non-printed border surrounding the print


Allowed. Provided that the image print size and the window frame criteria are met. 



  1. Mat boards and windows will be mounted in frames, therefore there is a limit to the maximum exhibition thickness requirements.
  2. In cases where there is no non-printed border, it is recommended that images be printed slightly larger than the mat window opening so that there is some printed image to tuck behind the mat.


In addition to the above criteria:

  • Prints must be mounted in a manner that prevents damage to other prints or require special handling – ensuring no part is to protrude above the surface level of the mat board.
  • Finalist images may be selected to be exhibited at the State Library of WA for any given period, potentially for 3 months. Therefore, it is crucial for mounts to be of a professionally standard for longevity.
  • The entrants’ name and category must be written/printed on the back of every mat board supplied as an entry.


A2.2.2 Packing Your Prints

When packing your prints, arrange the outer mats so that the prints or windows face each other inward. Additionally, entrants may choose to place a sheet of tissue paper or similar material between each print to safeguard the surfaces. 

Avoid individually wrapping each print to minimize waste; instead, ensure the outer wrapping effectively protects the matted prints during transit.

Ilford logo
Proud Sponsor of the Ilford Orloff Awards

Our Category Sponsors