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Personal Stories, Public Responses


Rikki Saldivar goes through old family photos at a house that belonged to her grandparents on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Houston. Saldivar's grandparents, and four young relatives, drowned in a van in Greens Bayou during Tropical Storm Harvey. Photo by Jon Shapley, Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle

FotoFest presents marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the historic and catastrophic storm that inundated huge swaths of Houston, surrounding areas, the Texas Gulf Coast, and Louisiana last August. Opening just after the storm’s one-year anniversary, SEEING HARVEY: Personal Stories, Public Responses will focus on the widespread and sustained influence this monumental event had on the region’s landscape, infrastructure, and communities, and on the resilience and fortitude of those affected.

Seeing Harvey will combine images from professional photojournalists and artists with photographs made by members of the public. To assemble the collection, FotoFest is accepting submissions of work from the public through social media and via the web. Information on submitting is available on the FotoFest website at

 Harvey dropped an estimated 27 trillion gallons of water on the states of Texas and Louisiana, causing an estimated $190 billion in damages and taking the lives of 107 people. It will likely be remembered as the costliest storm in United States history. As the Gulf Coast enters another hurricane season, FotoFest looks back and considers what has been learned, how things have changed, and what, if anything, has improved.

Working with partners, including the recently-established Houston Flood Museum, the Houston Chronicle newspaper, the Center for Public History at the University of Houston, and the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, & Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice University, FotoFest is staging a number of public programs to encourage discussion on how the region collectively dealt with the events, and how the people, the city, state, and federal governments are preparing for future storms. Dates for the public programs will be announced as they are confirmed.

Concurrent with the SEEING HARVEY exhibition, FotoFest presents DELUGE, a video installation, recovered artifacts, and striking images of Houston flood survivors and their environs by international photographer Gideon Mendel.



DEADLINE EXTENDED: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (11:59 pm CST)
We are accepting submissions through the online submission form below, as well as through Instagram. By submitting your images via either of these channels, you agree that FotoFest may reproduce your image(s) in print, and/or digitally on a screen, as a projection, or online. Please note that any captions or narratives submitted alongside your images may be edited for spelling, grammar, and/or general comprehension.

Submitting via INSTAGRAM:

  • Please submit up to five (5) images, either as multiple images in one post, or as separate posts
  • Tag images with #SeeingHarvey
  • If making separate posts, please be sure to tag each post with #SeeingHarvey, and list your name and location with each image
  • Include your name and area of town within the comment section
  • If you would like to share a written narrative, you may either use the comment section within Instagram, or email the narrative to, and include your Instagram handle

Please be aware that FotoFest will not be able to access your images if your Instagram profile is set to "private".

Submitting via ONLINE FORM:

Please use the form below to submit your images and information online. You will be asked to fill out the following information fields (some of these fields are optional):

  • Name, Email Address, and Location
  • Up to five (5) high quality digital images
  • Image files must be a minimum of 4 MB, maximum of 10 MB
  • Please name your files according to this format: LastName_FirstName_Number.jpg OR LastName_FirstName_Title.jpg • i.e. Smith_Jane_1.jpg OR Smith_Jane_Title.jpg
  • The form includes fields for a description of each image, including location of image, date, and narrative, if you wish to include one

Digital files that do not follow these specifications may not be considered. If you have any questions, please contact Marianne Stavenhagen, Office Manager, at Due to the volume of material FotoFest receives, responses may take some time, and we appreciate your patience. Submissions will be reviewed in the order they are received.

Fill out the online form.
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