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The Prix Elysée is open to mid-career photographers or artists from around the world. They must be recommended by a reputed professional in the fields of photography, contemporary art, cinema, fashion, journalism or publishing.

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Questions and Answers

Photographer’s Profile

What is the profile necessary for a photographer to apply?

  • Photographers who have established their career through exhibitions and publications, but have not yet enjoyed a mid-career retrospective, are at the ideal stage to apply. The goal of the Prix Elysée is to help place a promising, nationally established photographer onto the international stage and provide major funding to complete an ambitious project and publish a related book.


If my work uses photography, but I do not identify myself specifically as a photographer, can I still apply for the prize?

  • Yes. Work submitted for consideration should employ photography primarily, but artists are invited to explore the image. For example, photographic collage or camera-less photography are welcome.


Do I need to be a Swiss citizen to submit a project to the Prix Elysée?

  • No. The Prix Elysée is open to photographers and artists of all nationalities.


Portfolio Contents / Project

What are the guidelines for projects suitable for the Prix Elysée?

  • An unpublished photographic project that has never been previously exhibited and has no prior rights’ agreement with other parties or sponsors. This work must not have been submitted to another prize.


Is a video an acceptable project proposal for the Prix Elysée?

  • No. The Prix Elysée is intended to be a photographic prize. Imperatively the photographic project must be suitable for book format.


Can the museum cover the expenses incurred in the production of my artistic portfolio, with which I apply?

  • No. The museum is unable to reimburse expenses related to the production of an applicant’s portfolio.


I already have low quality prints of my work, but they are not A4 format or similar. Can I send these?

  • No. We stipulate that all entrants submit A4 format or similar.


In what language can my portfolio documents be submitted?

  • Portfolio materials must be submitted in either French or English. Please refer to the official Prix Elysée rules for more details.


If we are applying as a group of artists, should we fill in one application form per artist ?

  • No. The group appoints a representative who fills in one form on behalf of the group.


Shipping / Reception of the portfolio

Can my portfolio be postmarked for 4 March 2018?

  • Yes, but no entry received at the Musée de l’Elysée postmarked after 4 March 2018 will be taken into consideration and no exceptions will be made.


Do I need to send my portfolio by registered mail ?

  • No, it is not necessary.


Will I be notified when my portfolio has arrived?

  • Yes. You will be notified by email upon reception of your portfolio.


Can I retrieve my portfolio?

  • If you are not selected as a nominee for the Prix Elysée, you have the opportunity to schedule a time to come and retrieve your portfolio from the Musée de l’Elysée in person between June and September 2018. No portfolios will be sent by post, and/or returned in any other way. After September 2018 any remaining portfolios will no longer be available. The Musée de l’Elysée may decide to archive or destroy them.



Who is an acceptable reference?

  • A reference must be a reputed professional in the fields of photography, contemporary art, cinema, fashion, journalism or publishing. An established artist recognised in the international art scene can also be a suitable reference.


How many photographers can a reference recommend?

  • There is no limit to the number of recommendations that may come from one expert. We do, however, reserve the right to contact that individual to discuss his/her recommendation(s) during the selection process, if deemed necessary.


How should the reference’s letter and recommendation form arrive? Can it be sent directly to the museum?

  • No. All recommendation forms, and letters of reference must be sent with the application portfolio in one envelope. A reference may, however, scan the form and email it to the photographer to print and include in the portfolio.


If I am a nominee / winner…

What do the nominees receive?

  • CHF5’000 contribution.
  • Important exposure of their work.
  • Presentation of their work in the form of a group projection at the ‘Nuit des images’.
  • Publication of their project proposal in the nominees’ book.


What does the winner receive?

  • CHF40’000 for the completion and production of his/her photographic project
  • CHF40’000 for the publication of his/her project book
  • Important exposure of his/her work
  • Support and guidance by one of the Musée de l’Elysée curators during the production of his/her project and publication of the related book
  • A solo projection and book launch at the ‘Nuit des images’


When will the nominees be notified and how do I know if I am selected?

  • Nominees will be notified individually at the end of April 2018. The list of nominees will be published on the Prix Elysée website at the end of June 2018.


When is the nominees’ book published?

  • The nominees’ book will be published in January 2019.


How long does the winner have to complete his/her project?

  • The winner has one year to complete his/her project and publication.


What is the form of the presentation at the Musée de l’Elysée?

  • The winning project will be presented in the form of a projection at the ‘Nuit des images’, at the end of June 2020. The accompanying book will be launched at the museum on the same occasion.



Is there a fee to apply to the Prix Elysée?

  • No. There is no application fee to apply to the Prix Elysée.


When will the Jury be announced?

  • The Jury will be announced in Spring 2019.


If my work is not accepted the first year, am I allowed to resubmit to the Prix Elysée for the following edition?

  • We encourage photographers not nominated to apply again for the Prix Elysée, but they should not propose the same project for two consecutive editions (see reply to question ‘What are the guidelines for projects suitable for the Prix Elysée?’).