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2019 “Follow The Light” Entries Closed


Larry “Flame” Moore

Overview, Official Rules, and Submission Guidelines

Shortly after legendary surf photographer and 30-year photo editor of SURFING Magazine Larry “Flame” Moore’s passing in October 2005 a group of friends and family formed the “Follow the Light” Photo Grant Program to ensure that Flame’s legacy of passionately supporting up-and-coming surf photographers continued.

FTL dedicated itself to honoring this next generation through an annual grant program that also included an awards presentation ceremony highlighting the work of each of the five finalists.

Running from 2006 to 2015, “FTL” brought together our community of surf media and industry professionals, athletes and friends to recognize each year’s winner.

Past honorees include some of today’s most important and talented photographers.

2006–Chris Burkard

2007–Matthew Clark

2008–Todd Glaser

2009–Ray Collins

2010–Morgan Maassen

2011–Duncan MacFarlane

2012–Shawn Parkin

2013–Trevor Moran

2014–Ryan Craig

2015–Seth de Roulet

In 2017 the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (shacc.org) was asked by Flame’s family to be the steward of “Follow the Light.” The board of SHACC agreed and the  “Follow the Light” grant program has officially relaunched

A global call for entries has been issued, and the awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 12th, in south Orange County, California

In addition to a minimum grant of $5,000 to the winning photographer, and $1,000 to each of the runners up, FTL is working with key brand partners, including AquaTech who will be providing water housings for both the Grand Prize winner and People’s Choice, and others to create real working opportunities for all of our finalists.

All finalists’ work will be on display at SHACC in a permanent FTL section that is being created in the museum.


The “Follow the Light” Photo Contest is sponsored by the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, California, 92672, USA (“Sponsor”). Surfing Heritage and Culture Center is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.


SHACC will award a minimum of $9,000 in 2019, with $5,000 to the grand prize winner and $1,000 to each of the other four finalists.


Void where prohibited.


The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center’s (SHACC) “Follow the Light” Photo Contest (“Photo Contest”) is open to photographers between the ages of 16 and 25 as of 12 September 2019.

In the event that a participant under the age of 18 is selected as a finalist, they will be asked to provide a release signed by a parent or guardian

Applicants must apply as individuals – collaborations and business entities are not permitted.

Applicants may not be employed on a full-time basis as professional surf photographers by any surf media company or surf industry brand.

Finalists must be present at the awards ceremony to win.

Trustees, Board Members, Employees, interns, or partners of SHACC, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.

By submitting an entry to the Photo Contest, entrants certify that their participation in this Photo Contest is not illegal or in violation of any law, regulation, treaty or administrative act, and that the laws of their governing jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry do not prohibit or restrict the receipt of any Prize under this Photo Contest.

SHACC reserves the right to reject any entry if, in SHACC’s sole discretion, the laws of an applicable jurisdiction, including but not limited to the entrant’s jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry, would prohibit or limit SHACC from proceeding with the Contest as intended or the consideration or awarding of any Prize would impose additional administrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on SHACC.

Furthermore, individuals residing in any “Excluded Jurisdiction” are ineligible to enter the Photo Contest. Excluded Jurisdiction means any country listed on the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Active Sanctions Programs list available at https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov.


The Photo Contest begins at 12:00am on April 1, 2019, and ends at 11:59pm on May 31, 2018, Pacific Daylight Time (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible.


The selection period will run from June 1, 2019, through July 31, 2019.  Finalists will be informed no later than August 15, 2019, and the awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2019.


For our 2019 FTL contest SHACC is asking each entrant to submit a portfolio of a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 30 images that reflect your best work, and to answer the following questions in your own words:


  • What makes you passionate about photography?
  • Who/what has influenced your photography and how?
  • Who/what is your favorite subject to shoot?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve been given or would give about photography?
  • What is your favorite image you’ve made and why?
  • Photography is all about the light. What approach do you use to capture your favorite lighting on your subject matter?
  • What aspirations do you have for your photography?
  • Describe your dream photography job, and what steps you’ve taken toward realizing that dream.

Each image must be original and should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping, spotting for dust, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Entries may originate in any format—including but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints—so long as they are submitted electronically in .jpeg format.

Image size should conform to 3000 pixels wide at 72dpi

Image metadata must include photographer name, camera settings and caption.

The following File Naming Convention must be followed:

Last Name_First Name_File Number

Submissions may not be watermarked

SHACC shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.


All images must be submitted through our photo submission process.

You may enter a maximum of 30 photographs.

You may not use an agency or automated system to enter.

SHACC reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission with more explanation about the photo or to provide a higher resolution version of the photo anytime during the contest period.

Please follow these instructions to submit to the FTL Photo Contest:

Go to FTL Entry and pay the $25 administrative fee.

You will receive a confirmation email with a link to a downloadable application form.

Once payment is confirmed you will receive a link to upload your portfolio to SHACC’s internal photo archive.

Please submit the completed application with your images.

Once your submission is received you will receive an email notification.

Follow the Light Foundation will not be responsible for the loss of submissions. As submissions will not be returned, applicants are urged to keep duplicates for their records.

No submissions will be accepted in person or by mail.  Make sure that every file uploaded contains applicants first and last name along with other required metadata.


Judging will be conducted by a selection panel chosen by the Follow the Light committee at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center at its sole discretion (the “Panel”).

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance.

After an initial screening the selection panel will look over the applications and score the work as follows:

  • Photography – awarded a score up to 10
  • Words – awarded a score up to 10
  • X-factor – awarded a score up to 10 (this category is decided on by each individual judge on the basis of their overall reaction to each application as a whole)

Selection Panel

  • Shawn Parkin
  • Chris Burkard
  • Todd Glasser
  • Morgan Maassen
  • Ray Collins
  • Peter Taras
  • Jeff Hall
  • Jeremiah Klein
  • Russ Hennings
  • Sam Olson
  • Jimmy Wilson
  • JP Van Swae

The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and make selections into a group of five “Finalists” who will be notified by 15 August 2019.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a minimum grant of $5,000 as well as a prize pack from AquaTech including:

  • Choice of New Elite II Water Housing
  • 3 x Lens Ports
  • New M3 Pistol Grip
  • Housing Accessories Pack

Each of the remaining four finalists will receive $1,000, with the People’s Choice award selected the night of the event receiving the People’s Choice prize pack including:

  • Choice of New Elite II Water Housing
  • 1 x Lens Ports
  • New M3 Pistol Grip


SHACC and all parties related to this Photo Contest respect your moral rights as an artist.

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit—including ownership if applicable.

If you submit photographs to the Photo Contest, you grant SHACC and its related entities such as affiliates and subsidiaries a royalty-free, non-exclusive right in perpetuity to:

  • Display the photographs on the SHACC website in relation to the Follow the Light Photo Contest.
  • Allow SHACC and related third parties to share the photographs on social media in relation to the Follow the Light Photo Contest.
  • Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state, and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  • Retain a digital copy of your photograph that will be archived in the SHACC photo library and accessible to SHACC and its internal online photo archive for academic and scholarly purposes.


Except where prohibited, a potential finalist may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including proof of age, parental signature f under the age of 18, and liability/publicity release within 10 calendar days. If a potential finalist fails to return these documents on time, an alternate potential finalist may be selected in his/her place.

To the maximum extent permissible by law, all winners are responsible for paying any taxes and any and all other costs and expenses associated with claiming the awards, including but not limited to customs fees, taxes, and any other administrative costs, if applicable. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600, prior to the award of any prize the winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form and/or any applicable tax forms for awarding the prize in the winner’s jurisdiction. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by SHACC, in its sole discretion. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. A winner may not request cash or a substitute prize; however, SHACC reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason, as determined by SHACC, in its sole discretion.

Prize winners must be present at the Awards Ceremony to receive their prize.


In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, SHACC may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. SHACC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. SHACC’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to SHACC by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by SHACC. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.


By entering, you agree to release and hold harmless SHACC, their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Photo Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property. You waive the right to claim any attorneys’ fees and any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.


When you enter, you will automatically become an e-supporter of SHACC. This includes special event invitations, digital messages, text and a monthly e-newsletter. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time.


Any information you submit as part of the Photo Contest will be used in accordance with SHACCs Privacy Policy. The information you provide when you enter is provided to SHACC. Except where prohibited, you consent to SHACC’s use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and/or for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in California. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than California.


Finalists will be announced by SHACC by 15 August 2019 and will be published on www.shacc.org.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony scheduled for Thursday 12 September 2019 in South Orange County, California


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to ftl@surfingheritage.org

Best of luck to all participating photographers.

And remember the immortal words of Flame–“Keep ’em Sharp, and Keep ’em Bright!”

Larry at the controls

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