If you are searching for photography competitions online you will find many results and it can be difficult to identify which ones are the best to enter. There are so many options: Photography competitions for professionals, photography competitions for beginners, photography competitions for youth or students, and of course there are also photo competitions for almost every genre imaginable from smartphone images, urban and street photography, black and white photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, to nature and wildlife photography!
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite current photography competitions along with some tips and advice if you are entering your photographic images into competitions.
10 Tips For Entering Photography Contests
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before submitting your entries to photography contests:
- Review the types of images that are typically submitted to each competition category to get a feel for the ones that are a good fit for your particular style.
- Read all of the rules and regulations for each photo contest and category to ensure your images qualify.
- Pay attention to image specifications and be sure your entries follow the criteria (size, image file format, color profiles).
- Be mindful of contests requiring significant entry fees. Review the history of the competition and ensure it looks reputable.
- Look for contests that match your goals. Are you looking to win cash prizes? Would you like to receive feedback on your images so that you can improve your craft? Do you want to be featured in an online or in-person gallery if you win to gain exposure in your field? Do you want to compete with international photographers or are you more drawn to local contests?
- If you are entering a themed category be sure to read the description thoroughly and only enter images that match that theme.
- Check the fine print to be sure you fit any age restrictions, time-frames, location restrictions or experience levels.
- Read those Terms and Conditions, even if they seem daunting. You need to be sure of what you are signing up for and how your image may be used if you enter. Be sure you retain copyright to any work submitted.
- Be sure to have model releases for anyone appearing in your images.
- Look up the judges of a competition. Do they seem reputable and experienced?
Photography Competitions with Entry Fees
All About Photo Awards (Various contests and themes)
Big Picture Natural World Photography (Nature and Landscape)
Chromatic Photography Awards (over 20 categories for both professional and amateurs)
Communication Arts Competition (Photography, Advertising and Design awards)
IIC International Image Challenge (In association with Master Photographers International)
iPhone Photography Awards (Images captured using an iOS device)
LensCulture Awards (Several themed competitions throughout the year)
Life Framer Competitions (12 monthly competitions per year)
MonoVisions Awards (Black and White Photography)
Monochrome Awards (Black and White Photography)
Rise Photography Awards (portrait photography)
The Portrait Masters (several competitions throughout the year for portrait photography)
WPPI (Wedding, Portrait and Print competition)
Free Photography Competitions
British Journal of Photography Awards (free with membership)
RHS Photographic Competition (Gardening, plants, flowers, backyard wildlife)
Female in Focus (Free with subscription to 1854 Magazine)
Istanbul Photo Awards (Photojournalism)
CAP Prize (Contemporary African Images, Created and Submitted as a Series)
The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest (Entrants aged 18-33)
National Geographic Photography Competitions (Several contests throughout the year)
Nikon International Small World Competition (Images captured using a microscope)
Sony World Photography Awards (Professional, youth and student divisions)