There are plenty of photography contests nowadays – no matter if you’re a professional or amateur photographer, you can easily find a contest that will fit your skill level and interests. By taking part in photography competitions, you can brush up your skills or even win big – some contests offer cash prizes, camera equipment, or having your work exhibited. Many of these contests have a modest entry fee, and they are available to anyone.
If you’re interested in participating in these contests in 2023, check out the following!
1. Monochrome Photography Awards
Do you shoot mostly in b&w? This is the most suitable competition for you!
This is a platform where professionals and amateurs can enter their shots amongst a sea of the ambitious and creative community of photographers worldwide to win a cash award and an opportunity to show their work to an international audience.
At Monochrome Awards, professional entries can count on a prize of $3000!
When it comes to categories, these are your options:
- Fashion / Beauty
- Fine Art
Visit the website here for more info on the 2023 awards!
2. Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is a prestigious photography award that celebrates the very best in contemporary portrait photography.
National Portrait Gallery calls for entries to its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.
Last year the competition's winner received £15,000, with the second prize £3,000 and the third prize £2,000.
Check out their website here for more information on the upcoming 2023 competition.
3. ND Awards
The ND Awards is another popular international photography competition available to any photographer. It also has many categories available, including fine art and nudes, which aren’t too common for public photo contests.
Categories are in two sections: Professional and Non-Professional.
There is no limit to the number of individual images or image series each photographer may submit. The winner of the professional section receives the title “ND Photographer Of The Year”.
You can check out their website here for the latest info on the 2023 awards.
4. International Landscape Photographer Of The Year
If you prefer landscapes to portraits, we've also got you covered!
This contest was founded 6 years ago, and it's still pretty popular.
Each contestant can submit up to 4 images. The jury rates the images between 1 and 100, and they choose the top 101 images and move to the second round of judging.
You can check out their website here for the current information on the 2023 contest.
5. Amateur Photographer Of The Year
This content is great for those still new to the world of photography.
Amateur Photographer magazine invites amateur photographers from around the world to enter its annual competition for the chance to win monthly prizes, exposure in the magazine, and the title of ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year 2023’.
There are 10 monthly rounds to enter, and what's great is that there is even a young APOY competition for 13-21-year-olds!
You can check out their website here for more information on current contests.
6. F-Stop Magazine
F-Stop Magazine is an online photography magazine that features contemporary artworks from established and emerging photographers. The magazine organizes photo contests available to anyone – you must submit up to 12 photographs from a single body of work along with your project statement.
Even though this contest doesn’t grant any cash awards, it can help younger photographers gain exposure—another good one for fine art photographers to join.
You can check out their website here for the latest information.
7. Life Framer Photography Prize
Life Framer is a famous platform for exhibiting contemporary photography.
Currently, they have 3 open contests:
- Nightlife – deadline is January 31, 2023
- Animal Kingdom – deadline is February 28, 2023
- Colors – deadline is March 31, 2023
More information about the current competition can be found on their website.
8. Lens Culture Street Photography Awards
This is a perfect occasion for street photographers to showcase their work! You can enter a series or 5+ single images, and you can add a professional written review of your submission for an additional $15.
More information about the current competition can be found on their website here.
9. Annual Photography Awards
Annual Photography Awards invites participants to the fourth edition of this international photography contest.
The Annual Photography Awards offer generous cash prizes, trophies, and acclaimed awards for participating winners. Certificates and awards are available as digital downloads endorsed by the Annual Photography Awards.
- Grand Prize: $2.500 in cash for the overall winner
- Category Winners: $500 for each of the 5 categories winners
There are 5 categories to choose from – architecture, fine art, nature, people, and special.
Learn more about the current contest here.
A Few Photo Contest Tips
Get Some Feedback On Your Photos First
This one is pretty obvious, but in any photo competition, you need to pull out the big guns with your best photo entry to win. For that, it is worth putting your work in front of other photographers who can give you an honest critique. For that, we recommend the Light Stalking Shark Tank, but any place you can get quality critique from experienced photographers is a great start.
Check The Prizes
Any photography contest worth its salt will address what the winners will be getting in terms of prizes. Sometimes the kudos is enough if the photography contest is a well-known one, but other times the best photo might win some valuable prizes.
Read The Terms
This follows from the previous point, but you need to read the terms of entry carefully. You should make specific reference to the copyrights claimed by the organizer – you don’t want to be giving your images away for free, and “rights grabs” are a bit of a problem among the less scrupulous competitors. Entry fee-free competitions tend to be worse, but even paid competitions must be checked carefully.
How To Win A Photography Competition
Winning photo prizes is a huge topic in itself and is going to require some of your best photography, but one approach that we have seen reap major rewards is analyzing photos of contest winners from past years. One individual who has won many photo prizes over the years is a member of the Australian photography community, and fine art photographer, Adam Williams, and he has done it with both color and black and white images.
Adam has won Landscape Photographer of the Year, Professional Photographer of the year, and Emerging Photographer of the Year in his native Australia.
He has also spent a lot of time analyzing past photo competitions to see what types of images tend to win (not to mention doing a lot of travel in nature for his amazing landscape photographs). His subsequent results are amazing, with more competition wins than anyone else we know of. Moreover, the people he teaches tend to have a win-to-submission ratio that is very impressive.
Adam’s course on how to win photo contests is well worth the read and might net you a few prizes. It’s not free, but his students’ results speak for themselves.
A Note On The Entry Fee And Prizes In Comps
There is a huge temptation among cash-strapped photographers to look for entry fee-free competitions, but that is fine – we all have a budget. But remember that an entry fee-free competition is inundated with entries that are not great for the judges and tend to impact the quality of the prizes (not to mention prestige) of a competition. While entry fee free might be the extent your wallet can handle, do not ignore the others. As they say, free can be expensive.