We’re going virtual

We’re turning June into a month-long celebration of photography

While we are extremely disappointed that we had to cancel this year’s in-person events, the celebration will go on! Join us in June for the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival, the world’s first virtual photo festival.

We’re still bringing you a stellar lineup of speakers, panelists and live critique sessions but we’ll be live-streaming it online, instead. Be sure to keep an eye on our SCHEDULE, where we will be posting times and links to participate. And almost all of it will be free and available to anyone in the world who wants to tune in.

Focus on the Story attendees at the opening night party at Dupont Underground © Jess Levenson

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Focus on the Story?

Focus on the Story is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to support and encourage visual storytellers of diverse backgrounds in bringing attention to critical issues, bridging cultural gaps, and sparking social change. We organize the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival in DC, which kicks off with a Visual Storytelling Summit. For the rest of the month of June, photography organizations, businesses, clubs and collectives, along with galleries across the city host talks, workshops, photo walks, exhibits and other events that show the power of photography to entertain, enlighten and inspire us. This year, most of our programming will move online.

What is the difference between the “Focus on the Story International Photo Festival” and “Focus on the Story 2020”?

There is no difference. The names can, for the most part, be used interchangeably. The distinction is that Focus on the Story 2020 is shorthand specifically for the 2020 festival.

How can our organization get involved?

Focus on the Story welcomes all photography groups in the DC Metro area to participate in the festival. If you have a planned event or exhibit, contact us and tell us about your event. There is no fee to add an event to the festival lineup. If your event is accepted for the festival, we’ll add it to the calendar on this website and promote it in our emails and social media. We’ll also link to you in in our “event partners” section. In return, we ask that you add a link back to focusonthestory.org on your website and that when you promote your event on social media and in emails, you mention that it’s part of the Focus on the Story International Photo Festival, with a link back and the #FOTS20 hashtag when possible. That’s it – you’re under no obligation to promote any of the other events happening during Focus on the Story 2020.

At the opening for Benedict Tisa's exhibit "Moments Noticed" at Lost Origins Gallery © Joe Newman

Can our organization choose the date of our event?

Yes, as stated above, the participating “partners” are entirely responsible for their events. Focus on the Story’s role is to actively promote all of the events on the celebration calendar. While we will make groups aware of potential conflicts, Focus on the Story can not guarantee that another event will not be scheduled on the same day and time period as yours.

What if we’re interested in sponsoring the festival?

We love our sponsors and will work with them individually to figure out how to give them the best experience possible. By sponsoring Focus on the Story 2020, you will not only reach the highly-engaged professional photographers and enthusiasts who come for the four-day Visual Storytelling Summit, but you’ll reach thousands of photography lovers during June’s month-long celebration of photography. Check out our sponsorship packages, here.

Do you need volunteers?

We never turn away people who want to get involved – just get in touch with us and we’ll figure out where you can help.

How do I get in touch with you?

Drop us a line at info@focusonthestory.org.

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