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Top 21 Best Photography Competitions To Enter In 2021

If you want a chance at winning some top prizes while sharing your images with the world then photography competitions are something you should be entering.

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Top 25 Best Photography Competitions You Have To Enter

You're a photographer, you're getting good at taking photos, but what if you want to take it further? What about winning some prizes, and making some money along the way? If this sounds good then, photography competitions could be the perfect thing for you to start taking part in.

Here we round-up some of the best, most well respected, and worthy competitions you should look at entering, including some with prizes in the thousands. Most of the competitions, also, occur every year so you can pencil dates in your diaries for future entries. 


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We've divided this article into different categories, including wildlife, landscapes/environment, portraitsglobal and international, and mobile. Plus, where there are specific entry dates, we've included these, along with a link to the competition website so you can enter. Details of what you can win are included, too.

Before entering any competition, please read the terms and conditions on the website when you enter to make sure you're happy with them as some competitions ask for a fee or specify image usage


Wildlife Photography Competitions



1. Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Run by the Natural History Museum, this is an annual photography competition that's incredibly popular. Whether you shoot in the remote wilderness, an urban environment or on your doorstep, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is open to everyone.

When: October to December
Prizes: Top prize is £10,000GBP


2. British Wildlife Photography Awards

The British Wildlife Photography Awards celebrate British Wildlife and everyone from amateur to professional photographers are encouraged to enter. There are also categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

There are entry fees for this competition which vary depending on age and the number of photos submitted.

When: November to April (new details to be announced)
Prizes: Top prize is £5,000GBP


3. Comedy Wildlife Photographer

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards bring a bit of humour to the photography competition world with candid captures of wildlife. The competition also has a focus on wildlife conservation which you can learn more about on their website. 

When: May to June
Prizes: One-week safari in Kenya is the prize.


4. Bird Photographer of the Year

Marvel at some of the World's best bird images captured by photographers from all over the World. 'Bird Photographer of the Year' always attracts some of the best bird photographers out there and there are a variety of prizes available.

When: August to September
Prizes: See detail on the website


5. Dog Photographer of the Year

The Kennel Club runs the annual 'Dog Photographer of the Year' competition which receives thousands of entries from all over the globe. A photo of a 14-year-old rescue Podengo, sat amongst a magnolia setting, was the overall winner of the most recent competition and previously, an atmospheric shot of a Great Dane in a forest took the overall title. 

When: Opens Spring every year
Prizes: See details on the DPOTY website


Landscapes / Environment Photography Competitions



6. Landscape Photographer of the Year (UK)

With a total prize fund worth £20,000, a full-colour book of best entries and a popular annual exhibition in Central London, Landscape Photographer of the Year celebrates all that is great about the British landscape and showcases the work of many talented photographers.

When: January to April 
Prizes: Total prize fund worth £20,000


7. International Landscape Photographer of the Year 

Those with landscape images captured in other parts of the world, the 'International Landscape Photographer of the Year' competition is for you. 

When: Closes in October (check the website for entry opening dates)
Prizes: Cash prizes of up to $5000


8. Environmental Photographer Of The Year

The 'Environmental Photographer Of The Year' photography competition showcases the best environmental photography from around the world. The competition welcomes entries from all over the world, it is free to enter, and each photographer can enter up to 10 photographs. 

When: Closes, usually, in July (check the website for entry opening dates)
Prizes: £10,000 cash prize


9. Astrophotography Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the largest international competition of its kind. Every year they showcase the best space photography from a global community of astrophotographers. 

When: January to March 
Prizes: £10,000 cash prize 


10. Underwater Photographer Of the Year

The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition is an annual competition, based in the UK, that seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. British photographer Phil Smith was the first underwater Photographer of the Year, named in 1965. Today’s competition has 13 categories, testing photographers with themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as four categories for photos taken specifically in British waters. 

When: November to January 
Prizes: Various prizes including dive holidays 


Bee and flowers


11. Scottish Nature

The Scottish Nature Photography Awards celebrate nature, wildlife and landscape photography in Scotland with images captured by photographers from all over the world who are drawn to and are inspired by Scotland's landscape and wildlife.

When: September to November 
Prizes: £150 cash prize 


12. National Geographic Traveller

The National Geographic Traveller (UK) search for the UK's best travel photographers so the popular magazine can celebrate their skills and also award prizes to who think submit the best shots. 

When: Visit the website for up-to-date information 
Prizes: Wildlife photography adventures and more


13. Nikon's Small World

If macro photography is your passion then the Nikon Small World competition will be right up your street. It's all about images captured with light microscopes so subjects are incredibly tiny but beautiful at the same time. 

When: Deadline for entries April 30
Prizes: 1st prize $3,000 US


Portraits / People Photography Competitions



14. Portrait of Britain Photography

Portraits of Britain have their work exhibited across Britain so your photograph could be seen by millions of people as they embark on their everyday journeys.

When: Entries close in April (visit the site to find out when submissions begin)
Prizes: Nationwide coverage and featured in a book 


15. Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an annual competition which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

When: The 2019 winner has been announced - visit the NPG website for more details
Prizes: £15,000 award


You'll also find portrait and people photography categories in the majority of the global/international competitions as portrait photography competitions as a single theme are few and far between. 


Global / International / Brand Competitions

Street Photography


16. Sony World Photography Awards 

The Sony World Photography Awards are one of the world’s largest and most prestigious photography competitions and the 12th edition saw a record-breaking 326,997 submissions by photographers from 195 countries and territories. All winners received Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the winners’ book and their work is also shown in an exhibition. 

When: June-January
Prizes: $25,000 overall prize for the 'Photographer of the Year'


17. Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA)

Sponsored by the Prince of Dubai, this annual competition has an overarching theme each year and there's a huge grand prize up for grabs. Plus, there are special categories which include 'The Photography Appreciation Award'. 

When: Final entries are usually in October
Prizes: $120,000 grand prize 


18. Nikon Photo Contest

The Nikon Photo Contest has been held since 1969 and is designed to support photographers and filmmakers who wish to share important stories and influence the way people think through images.

When: Previously, the competition has run from October to January
Prizes: Award & prize money 


19. World Press Photo

The World Press Photo competition recognises and celebrates the best visual journalism produced over the last year. An independent jury selects the prize-winning photographs and productions, which are later assembled into our annual exhibition and yearbook. 

When: Opens to entries in December 
Prizes: Visit website for details



Mobile Photography Competitions

Google Pixel 4 XL


20. Mobile Photography Awards

The Mobile Photography Awards were founded in 2011 to recognise and celebrate the talent and imagery of the mobile photo & art communities. Various categories are available to enter but there is a $15 starting fee for one photo entry. 

When: October - December
Prizes: $3000


21. iPhone photography awards

If you're an iPhone owner, this competition is for you (sorry Android smartphone users) and it's a competition that's now picked up quite a bit of momentum. Since the inception of the awards in 2007, the winning photographer’s have gained worldwide exposure, and have been celebrated and acknowledged by the most respected media outlets around the world. Entry fees vary depending on how many images are submitted. 

When: Deadline for entries is March
Prizes: Prizes to be announced later


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JackAllTog Plus
13 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2019 1:54PM
What a nice collection all in one place - Nice one ePz.
Just need to fill out my calendar to shoot entries Wink
27 Nov 2019 10:25AM
Great idea - I am new to the idea of competition for my images so it gives me an idea of what is around
2 Feb 2021 10:38AM
The Monochrome awards aren't 'prestigious' and have been widely discredited. See this article, for example, on dpreview
clicknimagine Plus
12 1.1k 105 India
30 Mar 2021 9:34AM
Very nice article, it would have been even better to provide a few more names (international competitions) in the category Portraits / People Photography Competitions...

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