call for entries: toy camera photographers for tots

Call for Entries: Toy Camera Photographers for Tots

In the Yard Triptych by Bill Wolff

Composing with Images Press (CWiP) seeks photographs taken with toy and lo fi cameras for a forthcoming photo book that explores, complicates, and represents in compelling ways the concept of Play. All proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to benefit children in the areas ravaged by tornadoes in 2011.

DEADLINE: August 1, 2011, at 11:59pm Eastern Time Slight extension to August 2, 2011 at 7:00am Eastern!

Submit Your Photos

Photos will be selected and the book will be edited by our Special Guest Editors: Jody Shipka of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Nic Nichols of Four Corner Store and

Composing with Images Press is a small not-for-profit, all volunteer, independent book publisher founded by Bill Wolff and Billie Hara. CWiP publishes photo and art books that bring together image and text to engage creative, social, and cultural issues within a particular theme. 100% of all proceeds are donated to charity. Our first books were immediate best sellers and raised almost $1000 for BP oil spill cleanup efforts.

Download a printable version the Call for Entries (.pdf).

Photo Book Theme: Play

Three Toy Camera Photos by Jodi Shipka

CWiP is seeking images that explore, complicate, and represent in compelling ways the concept of Play.  These might include, but are certainly not limited to, photographs that deal with imaginary play, word play, adult play, children’s play, animal play, games, or the various kinds of materials and/or spaces associated with play. Similarly, photographs might represent play from the perspective of a child’s imagination, or from a toy’s perspective, or they might take up questions about what it means to play or explore the matter of who is allowed (or disallowed) to play. One might also consider “playing” with photography techniques:  experimenting with double exposures, cross-processing film, flipping lenses, burning negatives, putting vaseline on the lens, window-scanning negatives taken with lo-tech cameras, and more! These are, of course, just suggestions for representing play. However you interpret the theme Play through your viewfinder is what we are looking for!

Think you don’t have any photos that depict Play? We bet you do. Check out our latest blog post for more excellent examples! Then find your own and submit them!

This call is open to amateur and professional photographers worldwide working with toy, lo-tech, homemade, or modified analog cameras.

Note:  Though the book is going to benefit children in the areas ravaged by the tornadoes, we are specifically not seeking images of the tornado destruction. Again, we are looking for photographs that explore in compelling ways the concept of Play.

What is a Toy Camera?

Photographs must be created with toy and lo-fi analog cameras.  For the purposes of this book, we consider a toy camera to be one that is lo-fi and lo-tech and that records images on film. Examples of toy cameras include cameras with plastic lenses such as the Holga or Diana or home-made or modified film cameras. Toy cameras also include pinhole cameras, plastic point-and-shoot cameras, and lo-fi clones, such as the Woca.

Cell phones, digital cameras (even if they have a Holga lens or, like the Lego digital camera, are marketed for children), and non-pinhole Polaroids are considered hi-tech and will not be accepted. If you have questions about your camera, please contact us at our Contact Page.

Submission Specifics

Three Toy Camera Photos by Bill Wolff

  • Limit of 5 photographs per photographer
  • We accept JPG files only, resolution 72ppi, and 800px at its longest side. [Note:  If your photograph is accepted, we will request a larger image.]
  • Photographs and reflections must be submitted online at Submit your photos today!
  • Photos must be taken with toy or lo-tech film cameras.
  • Keep Photoshop editing to a minimum (i.e., using dust removal or making slight level adjustments is okay; applying Photoshop filters is not)
  • Photographers will be asked to include with each photograph submitted a 150 – 200 word reflection about each image.  You might consider discussing topics such as, but not limited to: Why did you choose this image for the collection?  How does the photo relate to or complicate in compelling ways the theme of Play?  Reflections may be written in languages other than English.
  • Photographers will also be asked to include lo-tech specs (if known) for each image submitted (i.e., the type of camera, film, and/or developer used)
  • Please name files in this manner: lastname-firstname.jpg. If submitting more than one photo, please name them: lastname-firstname-1.jpg, lastname-firstname-2.jpg, lastname-firstname-3.jpg, etc.
  • We are employing a blind review process, therefore all identifying information will be removed from entries before being judged by editors.
  • There is an entry fee of $25 for the first 3 images submitted, and $5 for each additional image submitted up the maximum of 5.
  • All entry fee donations will be submitted via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to submit; credit cards are accepted.
  • Submission deadline: August 1, 2011, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

If you have any questions, please contact us contact us via our Contact Page.

Submit Your Photos

The first 3 photographers to submit 5 photographs each will receive a complementary copy of Photos for the Gulf: First Anniversary Edition. That gift will benefit the Gulf Restoration Network.

About the Editors

Jody Shipka purchased her first Holga on May 16, 2008.  A month later, her first Diana arrived.  In November 2008, she built her first matchbox pinhole camera.  Since then, she’s come to believe the following to be true:  1. A person cannot own, make or modify too many cameras (Jody currently has 300+); 2. One should never venture out with fewer than three cameras on one’s person; and 3. When it comes to cameras, the cheaper and lower-tech they are, the better. When she’s not collecting, making, or modifying cameras, Jody enjoys being an associate professor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she teaches courses in technology studies, visual literacy and play theory.

Nic Nichols has been shooting with toy cameras for over 20 years. As Editor of the toy camera blog, he has reviewed virtually every toy camera made. After being frustrated attempting to find all of the cameras and film he wanted, he founded in 2009. In the Spring of 2011 he acquired, the largest independent Toy Camera portal, and has since rebuilt the site and forum to connect Toy Cam enthusiasts from around the world.

What are you waiting for? Submit your photos today!

Submit Your Photos

We’re looking forward to your submissions!

Good Vibes

A special thanks to the following people and sites for posting, Tweeting, or adding to Facebook this call. Take a moment  to check them out:

Mark Olwick

C. Gary Moyer

Andrew Kua of Fuzzyeyeballs Forum and featured on their front page

Jody Shipka


Photo Compete, Photo Compete’s Facebook Page

Traci Gardner

Brand Name Awards

LightLeaks Magazine

Viewfinder Magazine (promo appears in Issue 3)

Holga Inspire (from the company that makes the Holga)

Nancy Breslin

Jose Manuel Madrona