Free Domestic Shipping on Orders Over $150

Photography Contests: What You Need To Know

Credit: Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels 
Hamid Amirani - 10.31.19

Whether you're a skilled photographer or an enthusiastic amateur, you may want to get your images out there for others to see your talent. One way to do this is by entering photography contests. You not only get your images judged by professionals, you could come away with a prestigious award and prize money. 

But with so many contests out there, which ones should you go for? And if you enter, what rights to your pics do you retain? What about the cost of entering a contest? 

Here's a rundown of some major photography contests with upcoming deadlines.

Please note: Cecilia does not endorse any individual contest. Before you enter a competition, please ensure you read all the information provided in the FAQs on each website.

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

Credit: Smithsonian Institution  

Smithsonian Magazine is the publication of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Their annual contest is in its 17th year. You can enter in six categories: Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Altered Images and Mobile. 

Prizes

Grand Prize winner: $2,500 and a trip to Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island. 

Category winners: $500. 

Readers' Choice winner: $500. 

Deadline

November 30, 2019, at 5pm EST. 

Entry Fee

Free to enter. 

Image Rights

You retain your rights to your photograph. By entering, you grant the Smithsonian Institution a royalty-free license (for the full text, visit Rights). 

Model Release

For photos featuring individuals, you must be prepared to obtain a release form and provide it to the Smithsonian upon request.

For the full FAQs, visit https://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/faq/ 

MONOCHROME PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Credit: Monochrome Photography Awards 

Since 2014, the Monochrome Photography Awards has held an annual contest for the best black and white pictures. There are two sections, Professional and Amateur, and the categories are the same for both. 

Prizes

The winners of the Professional and Amateur sections will receive the titles: Monochrome Photographer of the Year and Monochrome Discovery of the Year and cash prizes.

Overall Professional winner:

$2,000 cash prize

Showcased at the online Winners Gallery

Work included in the Monochrome Photography Awards Annual Book

Winners' logo and certificate

Overall Amateur winner:

$1,000 cash prize

Showcased at the online Winners Gallery

Work included in the Monochrome Photography Awards Annual Book

Winners' logo and certificate

Winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place of each category:

Showcased at the online Winners Gallery

Work included in the Monochrome Photography Awards Annual Book

Winners' logo and certificate

Deadline

November 17, 2019.

Entry Fee

Professional: $25 Single Entry. 

Amateur: $20 Single Entry.

Image Rights

Copyright will remain at all times with the photographer. For awarded images, copyright holders grant the Monochrome Awards unlimited non-exclusive use of high-resolution images for activities in all media without any remuneration being due.

Model Release

You must have obtained permission of any people featured or parents/guardians if children under 16 are featured. 

For the full FAQs, visit https://monoawards.com/page/faq/ 

For the full Terms & Conditions, visit https://monoawards.com/page/terms-conditions/ 

ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Credit: Annual Photography Awards

This year sees the first International Photography Competition of the Annual Photography Awards. A jury of professional photographers will judge entries in eight categories: Abstract, Architecture, Fine Art, Landscape, Photojournalism, Portrait, Street, Wildlife. 

Prizes

Grand Prize:

$1,000 cash prize for overall winner

Title: APA Photographer of the Year

Category Winners:

$500 for the winner in each category

Title: APA Category Photographer of the Year

Deadline

December 8th, 2019

Entry Fee

$30 for single photo. 

$40 for a series of up to eight photos.

Image Rights

You retain copyright of all submitted images. By entering, you grant APA and its partners a royalty-free, irrevocable license to publish images for any purpose directly connected with the competition.

Model Release

There is no specific reference made to obtaining permission from individuals featured in your images, but it would still be advisable to seek their authorization, as it is a standard guideline in most contests. 

For the full Terms & Conditions, visit https://annualphotoawards.com/guidelines-and-rules/ 

ZEISS PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD 2020

Credit: ZEISS 

Since 2016, the ZEISS Photography Award has recognized "the world’s most distinctive image-makers creating outstanding series showing their individual way of seeing the world."

Unlike the aforementioned contests, the ZEISS competition requires a body of work on a specific brief. This year's theme is "Seeing Beyond – Discoveries." 

The series of photos "should be between five to 10 images, have a clear narrative that aligns with the brief, and visual consistency. All submissions must be accompanied by a supporting statement which outlines the story behind the work."

Prizes

A range of ZEISS camera lenses of the winner's choice worth a total of €12,000 (approximately $13,314). 

€3,000 (approximately $3,328) to cover travel costs for a photo project. 

Flights and accommodation to attend the Sony World Photography Awards night and the exhibition opening in London in April 2020. 

ZEISS will also invite the winner to their headquarters in Germany for a behind-the-scenes tour of the factory and the opportunity to test a variety of their lenses. 

The winner will also have the opportunity to collaborate with ZEISS and the World Photography Organization on future projects.

Deadline

February 4, 2020, at 1pm GMT.

Entry Fee

Free to enter.

Image Rights

You retain full ownership of the copyright in each entry. You hereby grant the World Photography Organization an irrevocable license in each entry throughout the world for three years in all media for any use connected to the promotion of you the author and the ZEISS Photography event and/or competition. 

Model Release

You confirm that each person depicted in the entry has granted permission to be portrayed as shown.

For the full rules, visit https://www.worldphoto.org/enter/zeiss-photography-award?utm_source=fromentercompetitionszeiss 

BLACK & WHITE INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS - IMAGO 2020

Credit: IMAGO 

Launched in 2014, IMAGO, the Higher Institute of Visual Arts in Mexico, aims "to disseminate photography as a way of expression" through courses, conferences, workshops and exhibitions, and now it's unveiled its inaugural International Black and White Photography Awards. If you like complete freedom in creating your images, you'll be pleased to hear that for this competition the "theme is free and open to all techniques, genres or categories." 

Prizes 

1st Prize: MEX$15,000 (approximately $785). 

2nd Prize: MEX$8,000 (approximately $418). 

3rd Prize: MEX$4,000 (approximately $209). 

MEX$3,000 (approximately $157) to the most voted photograph.

Finalists:

Thirty finalists will exhibit their photographs in the Man Ray gallery of the IMAGO Institute in Mexico City, Mexico.

Deadline

January 20, 2020. 

Entry Fee

$10 for each photo. 

Image Rights

You retain the rights of the photographs. By entering, you authorize that your photos can be used by IMAGO for the promotion and dissemination of the contest in print or digital, always non-profit and for artistic and cultural purposes.

Model Release 

There is no specific reference made to obtaining permission from individuals featured in your images, but again, it would still be advisable to seek their authorization.

For the full rules, visit https://www.institutoimago.net/page-black-and-white-international-photography-awards-imago-2020 

LIFE FRAMER PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE

Credit: Life Framer 

Now in its sixth year, or "Edition," Life Framer runs a 12-monthly call for entries. Each month has a different theme judged by an expert in the field. For November, it's The Human Body. For December, it's Night Life. 

Prizes 

Monthly 1st Prize:

$2,000 cash prize

Monthly 1st Prize and Monthly 2nd Prize:

Your image exhibited in London, Tokyo and Milan

Your image in the Life Framer annual 

Online exposure

Personal feedback

Submission to the Life Framer Collection

Submission to #lifeframerstories

Digital exhibition in public places across the world 

Other Monthly Winners (18):

Personal feedback

Submission to the Life Framer Collection

Submission to #lifeframerstories

Digital exhibition in public places across the world

All Entrants:

Submission to the Life Framer Collection

Submission to #lifeframerstories

Digital exhibition in public places across the world

Deadline

The last day of each month. 

Entry Fee

$20 for a single image. 

$30 for three images. 

$40 for six images. 

$100 for membership entitles you to submit up to 10 images per theme for the next 12 themes with no further payment required. 

Image Rights 

You retain full copyright in submitted photographs. You hereby grant Life Framer a royalty-free license in each entry throughout the world in all media for the duration of the award.

Model Release 

There is no specific reference made to obtaining permission from individuals, but again, it would still be advisable to seek their authorization. 

For the full FAQs, visit https://www.life-framer.com/submission-faqs/ 

For the full Terms & Conditions, visit https://www.life-framer.com/legal/#rules 

SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS 

Credit: SONY 

Running for 13 years, the "objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture" by recognizing outstanding contributions by professionals and also unearthing new and young talent. 

The Awards are spread across four competitions: Professional, for outstanding bodies of work; Open, for exceptional standalone images; Youth, for single images by photographers aged between 12 and 19 years-old; and Student, for photography students worldwide who are undertaking a full-time photography program. Each competition has its set categories and themes. 

Prizes

Professional:

The Photographer of the Year wins $25,000, a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, and inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in London. 

For more prize details, visit https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/professional 

Open:

The Open Photographer of the Year wins $5,000, a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, flights and accommodation to the Awards ceremony in London, and inclusion in Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London. 

For more prize details, visit https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/open 

Youth:

The Youth Photographer of the Year wins flights and accommodation to the Awards ceremony in London, a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, and inclusion at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London. 

For more prize details, visit https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/youth 

Student:

The Student Photographer of the Year wins €30,000 worth of Sony digital imaging equipment for his or her institution and inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London. 

For more prize details, visit https://www.worldphoto.org/student-competition 

Deadlines

Professional: January 14, 2020 at 1pm GMT.

Open: January 7, 2020 at 1pm GMT. 

Youth: Monthly competitions with a changing theme running to December 31, 2019 https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/2020/youth

Student: November 29, 2019 at 1pm GMT. 

Entry Fees

Free to enter. 

Image Rights 

Professional, Open and Youth:

You retain full ownership of the copyright in each entry. You hereby grant the World Photography Organization an irrevocable license in each entry throughout the world for three years in all media for any use connected to the promotion of you the author and the Sony World Photography Awards Event and/or Competition. 

Student:

You retain full ownership of the copyright in each entry. You hereby grant World Photography Organization an irrevocable license in each entry throughout the world in perpetuity in all media for any use directly or indirectly connected with the Competition. 

Model Release 

All competitions:

You confirm that each person depicted in the entry has granted permission to be portrayed as shown.

For the full rules, visit

https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/professional 

https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/open 

https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/youth 

https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/student-focus/rules 

If you’re entering any contest from outside the United States and want to know what the entrance fee is in your local currency, a handy currency converter website is XE

If you do enter one of the above contests and you win an award or honorable mention, please let us know about your experience. Good luck!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Privacy Policy