What is Photographic Center Northwest?

Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW) is a nonprofit educational institution located in Seattle, WA that teaches people how to see. Through our 53 credit Certificate Program, classes and workshops; free exhibitions and companion public programs; and publicly accessible facilities we teach the history and future of the photographic medium.

What is Chase The Light?

Chase The Light is a weekend of photographic exploration across Washington State June 8-9, 2019. Every single participant who submits will have one photograph selected for inclusion in a pop-up exhibition at PCNW on June 15. We are pleased to share that all of those photographs will also have extended visibility in an outdoor regional showcase in partnership with Friends of Waterfront Seattle and The FENCE beginning in late summer!

When is Chase The Light 2019?

48 hr. Photo Shoot: June 8 – June 9

The photo shoot adventures commence on Saturday, June 8 through Sunday, June 9. Participants residing in WA state, with all types of cameras, make photographs within that 48 hour window.

Submit: Monday, June 10 by 12pm (noon).

A panel of industry professionals review submissions and select one image from each participant. All selections will be featured in our online slideshow, printed at PCNW for the exhibition June 15 and included in an extended outdoor regional showcase in partnership with Friends of the Waterfront Seattle and The FENCE.

Celebrate: Saturday, June 15, 5-9pm

A community party on Saturday, June 15 at PCNW celebrates participants and features an exhibition and slideshow of Chase The Light photographs. Make a donation that evening and go home with a unique Chase The Light print.


Anyone residing in the state of Washington can register.


Anywhere in the world and with any camera—film, digital, cell phones, and everything in between! 

Is there a theme?

There is no theme, but keep in mind that The FENCE part of Chase The Light is an outdoor exhibition that is open to visitors of all ages. Certain images containing scenes of a graphic nature (such as explicit nudity, sexual acts, or violence) may not be appropriate for our younger audience members. Please use your best judgement when submitting work for consideration.

What does it cost?

A $20 suggested donation registers you for Chase The Light. Registration covers participation in the event, which includes image submission, your images reviewed by a panel of professionals, and one selected image printed on fine art paper and exhibited during the exhibition June 15, 2019.  If you’d like a copy of your selected Chase The Light print you can add $15 to your registration.

Can my friends and family participate?

Yes, as long as they also live in Washington State! Spread the word! Invite friends, co-workers or family to join you by having them register online and join you as participants.

Is this a fundraiser?

Yes! After registering for Chase The Light, you can choose to further support PCNW by asking friends and family to participate with you, or to make a donation to Chase The Light on your behalf. Any amount counts, whether it's $1 or $500! We rely on the support of our community for 30-40% of our budget in order to keep tuition and facilities access affordable, and our exhibitions free. Anyone can make a donation by clicking here.

Do I have to fundraise to participate in Chase The Light?

No, you do not.

Do I have to shoot for the entire 48 hours?

No, you can take photographs for any length of time within the 48 hour period.

Do my submitted photographs have to be from that specific 48 hour period?

Yes, that's the whole idea!

How are images selected and printed?

A panel of industry professionals review submissions and select one image from each participant. All selections will be featured in our online slideshow and printed at PCNW by a team of volunteers led by a PCNW master printer. Images will be printed on Hahnemühle paper and sleeved with archival mat board as backing for the exhibition celebration on June 15.

This year's jurors!

Zemie Barr, Exhibitions Manager, Blue Sky Gallery, Gail Gibson, Owner, G Gibson Gallery, Kris Graves, Artist, Publisher Kris Graves Projects, Wenmei Hill, Editorial Manager, DPReview, John Jenkins, Owner, Publisher, DECODE Books, Ann Pallesen, Gallery Sales and Marketing Associate Harris Harvey Gallery, Conor Risch, Senior Editor, Photo District News, Roula Seikaly, Senior Editor, Humble Arts Foundation & Curator, S Surface, King Street Station Program Lead, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture   


Images must be received by 12pm (noon, PST), June 10; analog submissions (in person only) must be received by 2pm (PST), June 11.


The submission site will be posted in early June and images are not due until Monday, June 10. For now, you just need to register.

UPDATED: June 7—Watch for an invitation to our private submission site! The email sender will be from Picter with the subject line "Invitation to submit to Photographic Center Northwest Chase The Light" so please check your spam if you don't see it in your inbox by noon Saturday, June 8. Late registrations: if you register after Friday, June 7th our team will do our best to send you a link to the submission site in a timely manner. Please be patient and thank you!

How will I know which image is chosen?

We will post a slideshow of all selected images on our website, and you can see at the pop-up exhibition on June 15 too.

What if I want to print my own photograph?

Local analogue photographers are welcome! Drop off up to five prints by Tuesday, June 11, 2pm (PT) (no larger than 11x14” paper) and we will select one for the Saturday, June 15 celebration. Please pick up the other prints within one week of Chase The Light or your prints may be disposed.

Do I get to choose a photograph to take home that evening?

You may bid on anyone’s photo at the celebration exhibition by making a donation at the winning bid amount. Then it’s yours! You do not get to choose a photo to take home in return for participating in the Chase The Light photo shoot.

What do you do with my image after I submit?

By participating in Chase The Light you grant PCNW one time permission to print, exhibit, and gift that print to a donor during the Chase The Light celebration on Saturday, June 15. All proceeds benefit PCNW.

What are the terms of agreement?

Terms of Agreement: We respect photographers' rights and are outlining the intended use and visibility of photographs through this event. You retain the full copyright to all photographs submitted to Chase the Light. By participating in Chase The Light you agree to Photographic Center Northwest’s (PCNW) terms of engagement, which include granting PCNW one-time permission to print, display, and include the selected photograph in a reverse-auction on June 15th; all proceeds benefit PCNW. Any printed photograph not gifted to a donor during the event will be destroyed, or the photographer can request to take their print. After June 15th all selected photographs (one from every participant) will then be printed on THE FENCE for installation on Seattle’s waterfront in partnership with THE FENCE and Friends of Waterfront Seattle (exact location TBD) as part of our efforts to showcase photography in the region. You agree to the one-time print, installation, and display of your photograph on THE FENCE beginning in late summer 2019. Unless you request otherwise, PCNW may use your selected image for future promotional materials for Chase The Light, including: posters, postcards and e-newsletters; you will always be credited by name. By submitting photographs to Chase The Light your selected photograph may be considered for other PCNW hosted and PCNW affiliated exhibitions and opportunities, which you may choose to opt out of should your work be selected.

What happens to my photograph if it doesn't find a home on Saturday, June 15?

Any print not given to a donor within a calendar year of June 15, 2019 will be destroyed.

Other Questions? Contact:

Terry Novak at tnovak@pcnw.org or call (206)720-7222 x10