Participating in photography contests is a great way for photographers to get recognition and benchmark their work against peers from around the world. Whether you are a professional photographer, a student or an amateur hobbyist, photography contests provide the perfect platform to hone your skills and evolve your expression.
2018 brings a wide range of photography contests that are sure to inspire photographers around the world, regardless of age or skill level. Beyond the broad international photo contests, there are many niche photography contests ranging from undersea exploration to monochromatic themes to smartphone-centric snap fests; you will undoubtedly find something that speaks to your interests and creative viewpoint. While many of these are free to enter, some photography awards and contests can have entry fees
Tip: Be wary of little-known contests asking for significant entry fees. Always study the history of the photo contest and the coverage it received in the past years.
While participation can be its own reward, many photography competitions also offer substantial prizes in cash or kind, over and above the exposure that you gain if you were to win one of them.
With so many photography contests happening, choosing the ones worth your time and effort can be difficult. We have rounded up the best photography contests from across the world based on popularity, participation criteria, and prizes.
Here’s our list of the best photography contests that you should participate in.
Judges of the third annual ZEISS Photography Award are looking for a series of 5-10 photographs that capture the concept “Seeing Beyond--Untold Stories.” Winners will be invited to London in April to participate in the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition opening.
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: ZEISS lenses of your choice (worth 12,000 euros) and 3,000 euros to cover travel expenses
Submissions must consist of a sequence 10-25 photos taken in an African country or of the African diaspora.
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: International exposure at major global exhibitions; invitation to the Image Afrique Festival, where the winners will be awarded
Submission last date: February 7, 2018
8. 9th Simorgh International Festival
Students from universities around the world are invited to submit photography on the subject of maintaining and improving health: physical, spiritual, mental, or social. Besides the cash prize, the winner receives a festival trophy and honorary diploma.
The Production Paradise Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence 2018 is a photography competition with a unique focus for advertising talent. The Spotlight Awards give the opportunity to talented photographers more than 50 of some of the most influential creative decision-makers around the globe acting as the judges.
Photographers may submit imagery in 13 professional categories that include Advertising, Beauty, fashion etc. There are also two special categories: Shot on Mobile (Capturing an Authentic Moment) and Student (Every Picture Tells a Story). Each category will have a single winner and all 50+ judges will choose a Grand Prize winner from the professional category winners.
Entry Fee: 35 euros for professional photographers and 10 euros for students & emerging talents. Prize: There are over $60,000 worth of prizes, throughout 15 categories, with a chance for one photographer to win over $18,000 in prizes, including $5000 cash. Submission period: From April 10th to July 17th, 2018.
The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most prominent photography contest in the world. With several categories for professional, amateur and student photographers, these awards showcase the best of photography world every year, with the spotlight helping many winners to go on and become successful photographers
Entry Fee: Free
Prize: Up to $30,000 (USD) prize fund. Worldwide exposure for all winning, shortlisted and commended photographers.
Submission last date: The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards are closed. The entries for The 2019 Awards will start on June 1, 2018.
There are 20 categories of color photography in this international contest, which is open to both amateur and professional photographers. Chromatic awards gold, silver, and bronze medals for each level in each category.
Entry Fee: $20/entry for professionals; $15/entry for amateurs
Prize: $2,000 for professionals; $1,000 for amateurs
Submission last date: November 4, 2018
A photo contest entry could be just what you need to get your creative wheels turning in 2018. These photography contests encourage innovation and aim to elevate new talent in the world of photography. So get your viewfinder ready and go capture that award-winning shot.