International Photo Competition

Photo credit: Pawo Choyning Dorji

Bhutan International Festival – International Photo Competition

Bhutan International Festival would like to invite interested photographers from Bhutan and around the world to enter the Bhutan International Photo Competition. This competition is running as part of the first ever Bhutan International Festival to be held in Thimphu from 14th – 23rd February 2015.

Submission details are below:

Theme: “In the Moment”

Judging Criteria

  • Theme – Creativity – Technicality – Composition


  • 1st = Nu. 50,000 or Camera equivalent
  • 2nd = Nu.30,000 or Camera equivalent
  • 3rd = Nu.15,000 or Camera equivalent

Registration Fee

  • Bhutanese and International Fees = 20 USD (1200 Bhutanese Ngultrum)

Rules and Format

Digital files are required. Digital submissions must be no larger than 4500 Pixels in either height or width and saved as Jpegs (.jpg), in RGB format and not exceed 3MB per file, at 300dpi.  The chosen images for exhibition will be printed in A3 or A4 size and framed.

No signature, stamp or any other identifying mark is allowed anywhere on the entry.  Heavy post production is discouraged.  Judges retain the right to dismiss any images that have heavy post production.

Disqualified or unselected images will be deleted from the BHIF collection.

Use and ownership of images

Copyright and all other rights remain that of the photographer. Any photograph used by BhIF shall carry the photographer’s credit line. Use may include publication in any BhIF media sponsor publication. All entrants understand that any image submitted to the competition may be used by BhIF for marketing and promotional purposes including in any media such as exhibitions, print and digital media directly related to the BhIF competition, though there may not be monetary compensation.

Neither BhIF nor its associates, affiliates, or partners assumes any responsibility for photos submitted in violation of competition rules, or for those which violate copyright regulations. BhIF will investigate claims of copyright infringement to the best of its ability, and will remove and disqualify images that are clearly demonstrated to violate copyright and/or competition policies. BhIF will act to maintain the integrity of the competition and its affiliated entities, but is not responsible for any damages resulting from images submitted in violation with rules and regulations.

Bhif employees are not permitted to take part in the Photo Competition or submit their photos (not including volunteers).

Bhif has the right to retain the physical printed pictures, which maybe used for displays or contributed to galleries and libraries in Bhutan.

Limitation of Liability

BhIF assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. 

BhIF is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to in this Contest.

Right to cancel or suspend contest

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of BhIF that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, BhIF reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If Sponsor elects to cancel or terminate the Contest, Sponsor will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs, and will return the fees submitted with each entry.

Submission Requirements

  • A caption of each photo (max. 50 words). Note: max. 2 photos per person. 
  • This must include the following:
    • Location of photograph
    • When it was taken
    • Adherence to “In the Moment” theme

By submitting photographs to the competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules of the competition as explained on this page.

Winner Announcements

After receiving a great number of submissions for the Photography Competition and judging these shots as described in our competition rules, we have decided that one shot by all submitting photographers will be printed and exhibited at the Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre.

We can now announce that the exhibition will be inaugurated on the 16th of February at 10 AM and it will run until the 21st.


No entry will be processed unless the entry fee has been paid.  Payment can be made online or in person at the Festival Office, Level 5, Norbuling hotel, Thimphu.


The prize winners as well as a selection of the best submitted photos will be on exhibition for the duration of the festival at the Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre.

There will also be the opportunity for visitors to vote in a people’s choice award.  Those who place a vote during the exhibition will go into the draw for an attractive prize.

Winners will be announced on the 16th of February and the awards ceremony will be held on the 21st of February.


Yeshey Dorji, Bhutan

Yeshey Dorji has been working as a photographer in Bhutan and abroad for over a decade. He has a particular interest in bird and nature photography and has published a number of books on this subject. He has also undertaken assignments for WWF, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Protection, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

He is very passionate about bringing Bhutan’s incredible culture and natural beauty to the world through his photography. Similarly he is dedicated to inspiring young photographers of Bhutan to embrace this noble profession.

Kalden Dorji, Bhutan

Kelly Dorji as more popularly called – actor artist and owner of Terton was a professional photographer from 2001 to 2008. Has been published in various Indian fashion publications as well as Elle Magazine London. Additionally, he has done 30 films in the Indian film industry, took up art in 2010 and is currently working on his new collection of art for Spring 2015.

Sebastian Suki Belaustegui, Argentina

Suki is a self-taught documentary photographer. Since 1991, he has been been working to register the native world of Latin America. This included publishing the book “Guardians of Time”, Portraits of the spirit of Latin America in 2003. For this, he has  traveled across 8 countries and lived in 25 native communities.

He is currently working on his new editorial project “Africa in the Americas”, documenting the existing heritage of African people in the Americas and “Sumba tribal people” a unique island in Indonesia.

His  works have been published in books and magazines such as National Geographic (Cover February 2005), Time magazine, Newsweek, UNICEF, Travel & Leisure and UNICEF. He has given numerous lectures, workshops and exhibitions in museums and art galleries around the world.

Currently he has moved to Bali to live with his daughter and document the traditional life of the native people of Asia.