Photography Contests

Photography Contests

Would like to take part in online or free photography contests and win a $1000 prize? Look through these photo contests right now and send your wonderful photographs to become worldwide-famous today.

photography contests

30 Photography Contests to Enter This Year

I’ve made a list of 30 photo contests covering all types of photography. You can try your hand in architectural, underwater, animalistic, landscape, art, sports, and architectural photography.

1. Sony World Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

sony photography contests Photo by the Winner of Sony World Photography Awards 2019 Federico Borella

When: application deadline is from December to January, depending on the nomination.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: $25,000, the title "Photographer of the Year" and gifts from Sony; the winners are invited to London for the awards ceremony and they don’t have to pay for the trip.

For more than ten years, Sony and the World Organization of Photography have held this competition in the “Professional,” “Open,” and “Youth” nominations. You can compete in different genres of photography from nature to architecture and ending with portrait, creative, or even historical photos.

This is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world. The prize fund is $25,000. The best photos are selected to participate in the exhibition in Somerset House, London, and are published in the Sony World Photography Awards book.

2. Nikon Photo Contest|ENTER NOW

free photography contests Photo by the Winner of Nikon Photo Contest 2017/2016 Yuanyuan Tian

When: annually from October to January.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: Grand prize is about $5,000. Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will get high-quality equipment from the company, publication in the WEB gallery and on social pages of the photo contest, as well as exhibiting images at events.

This international photo competition gives professionals and amateurs an opportunity to express themselves and make their own contribution to the development of photography. Since the first competition in 1969, more than 410,000 photographers took part in Nikon Photo Contest, presenting 1,620,000 works. There are three categories for participants in which they can compete for prizes.

3. Leica Oskar Barnack Award|ENTER NOW

photography contest Photo by the Winner of Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2018 Max Pinckers

When: annually, from March to April.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: The winner will get about $28,000 in cash, a Leica M camera, and a lens worth about $11,000. The winner in the amateur photography category will get $11,000 in cash, a Leica M camera and a lens worth about $11,000. 10 contest finalists will receive about $3000 in cash.

Competitors need to provide a series of photos (as usual, 10-12 shots) that demonstrate the relationship between man and the environment from a new angle (it is necessary to show a creative and innovative approach).

These pictures can be taken on any digital camera. There are two main categories in the competition: “Leica Oskar Barnack Award” for professional photographers and “Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer” for amateurs under 25 years old.

4. Nikon Small World|ENTER NOW

nature photography contests Photo by the Winner Nikon Small World 2018 Yousef Al Habshi

When: applications are usually accepted in April.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: $3,000 Grand Prix. Winners from 2nd to 20th place get cash prizes in the amount from $2,000 to $200.

Every year this photography contest traditionally attracts many fans of microphotography. Nikon Small World competition is considered to be the most fascinating and respected contest among micro-lovers.

Thanks to this genre of photography, we can get acquainted with the beauty, complexity, and perfection of nature in objects invisible to our eyes, which can be seen only with a microscope. Participants do not need to use Nikon equipment, but images must be created with a light microscope.

5. Red Bull Illume|ENTER NOW

photo competition Photo by the Winner Red Bull Illume 2016 Lorenz Holder

When: from May to July, every three years.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: the main winner gets $45,000, category winners receive valuable prizes worth more than $65,000 and participation in photo exhibitions.

In my opinion, Red Bull Illume is one of the world's largest international free photography contests dedicated to adventure and extreme sports, held every three years. It demonstrates the most creative and dynamic photographs on the planet and aims at bringing people closer to the world of active sports.

At the same time, it does not matter which equipment you work with, there is even a category for mobile photography. The main thing is to show sports and drive.

6. MonoVisions Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

photo contests with cash prizes Photo by the Winner MonoVisions Photography Awards 2018 Daniel Garay Arango

When: annually until May.
Entry fee: The cash payment is $30 per series and $25 per single photo. Additional payment for each of the following categories is $10.
Prize: $3,000 cash prize for Black and White Series of the Year. $2,000 cash prize for Black and Individual certificate. Digital statue. Press coverage by media partners.

This is one of the best photo contests with cash prizes. Analog and digital monochrome or colorful images in JPG format, 1100 p on the long side, 72 dpi are allowed to participate in this competition.

Image editing is allowed. A series of photos can include from two to eight shots. There are many categories, such as architecture, conceptual and artistic, street, landscapes, and even nude photography.

7. B&W Child Photo Competition|ENTER NOW

photo contests Photo by the Winner B&W Child Photo Competition 2018 Lisa Visser

When: annually from August to December.
Entry fee: €10 for one image, €20 for 3 images, €30 for 5 images.
Prize: €1000 for the main winner; €100 for winners in each category.

This international black and white photography competition searches for the most beautiful pictures of childhood moments from around the world. Each participant can add an unlimited number of photos.

The main selection criterion is the age of the model in the pictures, only up to 18 years. You have the opportunity to compete in four categories: "Portrait," "Fine-Art," "Lifestyle," and "Documentary and street."

8. Monochrome Photography Award|ENTER NOW

photography contest Photo by the Winner Monochrome Photography Award 2018 Dmitriy Rogozhkin

When: applications are accepted annually until the end of November
Entry fee: $20 for the participation for an amateur; $25 for a professional.
Prize: the main winner in the professional competition gets $2000; amateur receives $1000. The works of the winners are published in the annual book.

This international black-and-white photography competition prepares individual prizes for amateur photographers and professionals, reviewing their works in 13 categories. Participants can show all their talent in a variety of genres, from architecture and wildlife to fine art and photo manipulations.

9. Smithsonian Photo Contest|ENTER NOW

free photo contests with cash prizes Photo by the Winner Smithsonian Photo Contest 2018 Rory Doyle

When: annually, from the end of March to the end of November.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: the main award is $2500; winners in each category and the triumphant of "The Choice of the Audience" nomination get $500.

For more than 15 years, Smithsonian Magazine has been holding one of the most popular international photography contests. Photographers from around the world take part in this competition and send their pictures of 6 categories, such as Travels, World of Nature, Important Journey, People, American Experience, Changed Images and Mobile Photography.

The works are evaluated, taking into account creativity, quality, originality, fast response, and general consequences. The main requirement for photographers is being 18+ years old.

10. National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition|ENTER NOW

national geographic photo contest winners Photo by the Winner National Geographic Traveller Competition 2019 Chu Weimin

When: annually from April to June.
Entry fee: from $10 to $35 for participation depending on the week of the deadline.
Prize: The main winner receives $7,500 and the publication of his/her photo on the official NatGeoTravel page on Instagram. Other 9 best photographers will get a cash award from $750 to $2500.

National Geographic organizes photography contests for beginners and professionals from any corner of the planet. This competition allows travelers to demonstrate their ability to catch the proper moment in three categories: "People," "Nature," and "Cities."

11. International Landscape Photographer of the Year|ENTER NOW

nature photography contests Photo by the Winner International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018 Adam Gibbs

When: acceptance of applications is terminated in mid-November.
Entry fee: $25 for a photo, every fifth photo for free.
Prize: Grand Prize is 2000$, as well as the publication in the book; $1000 for the second place, and $500 for the 3d place and the publication in the photo book. The winners get a printed book with the best photos.

International Landscape photography contests allow landscape photographers to show their skills every year. In addition, 101 best photos are published in the annual book, and the best photographers are awarded cash prizes for single images and for a series of four shots.

12. Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year|ENTER NOW

nature photo contests with cash prizes Photo by the Winner Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 Brad Goldpaint

When: annually, from late February to early April.
Entry fee: up to 10 images for free.
Prize: about $13,000 for the main winner and almost $2000 for category winners. Cash prizes are awarded to category participants as well.

This is one of the world's largest photography contests for everyone who enjoys astrophotography and wants to present himself/herself to the whole world. The competition offers nine different categories for photographers.

The representatives of NASA and the editor of BBC Sky at Night magazine choose the winners. Children under 15 years can participate in the category for young astrophotography fans.

13. National Wildlife Photo Contest|ENTER NOW

nature photography contests Photo by the Winner National Wildlife Photo Contest 2018 David Turko

When: annually from January to March.
Entry fee: $20 for 10 photos.
Prize: The main prize is $5000. The first places in categories bring $500; and the second places – $250.

For over 40 years, the National Wildlife Federation has been holding these prestigious photography competitions dedicated to the greatness of nature. All photographers have the opportunity to compete in categories that are associated with landscapes, insects, birds and mammals, the underwater world, and people in nature. Additionally, there is a youth category for participants aged 13-17 years.

14. Bird Photographer of the Year|ENTER NOW

nature photo contests with cash prizes Photo by the Winner Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Pedro Jarque Krebs

When: annually, from mid-August to late November.
Entry fee: £6, participants can present up to 8 images.
Prize: £5,000 award to the main winner; the holder of the best portfolio will receive a set of s camera and lens. Some more participants will receive the binoculars, a special set of equipment and suspension for gear.

For several years, Nature Photographers Ltd, a special photo library and the British Ornithology Foundation, have held Bird Photographer of the Year, an international photography competition that glorifies and emphasizes the beauty and diversity of birds, as well as paying respect to the flexibility and quality of modern digital visualization systems. The competition has seven categories, as well as two special awards.

15. Dog Photographer of the Year|ENTER NOW

free nature photography contests Photo by the Winner Dog Photographer of the Year 2019 Denise Czichocki

When: annually, from late October to mid-March.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: The overall winner receives the SmugMug business account and a mentoring day with a renowned dog photographer. All winners are awarded prize sets and their works are exhibited at the Kennel Club in London.

This annual international online photo contest is held by the Kennel Club, the largest and oldest English dog club founded in 1873. Photographers can participate in 8 categories: “Portrait of a Dog,” “Playing Dogs,” “Guide-Dogs,” “Search and Rescue Dogs,” etc. There are two special categories for young photographers.

16. Underwater Photographer of the Year|ENTER NOW

photo contests with cash prizes Photo by the Winner Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019 Marine Conservation

When: annually from November to January.
Entry fee: from £5.
Prize: $5,000 Nauticam voucher for the overall winner. Prize packages for category winners.

This is one of the few online photography contests which specializes in underwater photography. I want to warn you right away that in some categories only photos taken in the UK are accepted.

17. Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

photo contests Photo by the Winner Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 Mary McGowan

When: annually in September
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: The main winner receives a one-week safari for photographers in Kenya; Air tickets are bought by the contest organizers.

This is one of the most unusual nature photography contests. Born Free Foundation established it to draw attention to animal and wildlife issues. There are several categories of participants, for example, professionals, young photographers, and even videographers.

The main requirement is to photograph funny animals in the wild. It is forbidden to upload photos of pets or animals from zoos.

18. Audubon Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

nature photography contests Photo by the Winner Audubon Photography Awards 2018 Steve Mattheis

When: annually, from early January to late February
Entry fee: $15 per image. FREE for young participants.
Prize: up to $5,000

If you live in the USA or Canada, love birds and are over 13 years old, you can download your pictures of birds and compete for the right to publish your photos in Audubon and Nature's Best Photography magazines. In addition, the works of the winner will be exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

19. Mobile Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

photography competitions Photo by the Winner Mobile Photography Awards 2018 Dominika Koszowska

When: annually, from October to mid-December.
Entry fee: from $15 per image.
Prize: $3000 Grand Prix.

Photographers who shoot with smartphones and tablets can send their best pictures to demonstrate the artistic and creative opportunities of mobile photography. Works are evaluated in 18 categories, the best of them participate in the traveling exhibition and are available for sale.

According to the rules of the photo competition, it is allowed to use photo editing but only on your mobile device.

20. iPhone Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

photo competition Photo by the Winner iPhone Photography Awards 2018 Jashim Salam

When: applications are accepted annually until March.
Entry fee: from $3.5 per image.
Prize: The 1st place winner of the 18 categories will receive the Gold Bar from the most recognizable private gold mine in the world. The silver and the bronze winners of the 18 categories will get a Palladium Bar from the most recognizable private gold mine in the world.

iPhone Photography Awards has been held since 2007. This is the first and largest mobile online photo contest in the world. Anyone can take part in it. To do this, simply upload a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad to the site.

Photographers can edit images using only mobile applications. The use of Photoshop and Lightroom is prohibited. Participants compete in 18 categories, including a series of up to 3 images.

21. International Drone Photography Contest|ENTER NOW

photography competitions Photo by the Winner International Drone Photography Contest 2018 Martin Sanchez

When: annually from May to June.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: Category winners receive prize packages with a DJI Spark drone and virtual reality headset. Prize packages are also provided for second and third places in each category.

This is one of the newest photo contests. Dronestagram, the first social network for photos taken with drones, together with National Geographic, organized an annual competition for everybody who loves air photography. Photographers from around the world can compete in such categories as "Nature," "City and People," and "Creativity.”

22. EyeEm Awards|ENTER NOW

free photography contests Photo by the Winner EyeEm Awards 2018 Seung Rok Baek

When: until mid-June.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: "Photographer of the Year" gets a paid trip to the EyeEm Festival & Awards in Berlin. Five winners in the categories get smartphones.

Do not limit yourself to searching for local photography contests. There are many good variants on the Internet too. Here is one of them. From year to year, EyeEm photo community holds the largest photo contests in the world, attracting over 590,000 works from more than 88,000 photographers.

Every year, winners are chosen in almost 10 categories, among which are “Street Photographer,” “Architecture,” “Outdoors,” “Portraitist,” and “Photojournalist.” The photographer of the year is chosen on the basis of his/her scope of works and potential for professional growth.

23. ND Awards|ENTER NOW

photo competition Photo by the Winner ND Awards 2018 Cyrus Cornut

When: April-September annually.
Entry fee: $20 for one photo and $25 for a series (4-6 photos) for beginners, $25 for one and $30 for a series for professionals.
Prize: $2,500 Professional Grand Prize & Exhibition, Non-Professional Grand Prize is $1,300 & Exhibition, 6 Professional Category Winners get $500 & Exhibition, 6 Non-Professional Category Winners receive $300 & Exhibition

This is one of the best photo contests with cash prizes. It is an ideal place for all professional and novice photographers, who work in a variety of genres, ranging from landscape to abstract and nude photography. There are six categories for professionals, and five categories for beginners.

24. Best of the Best Destination Photo Contest|ENTER NOW

photography contests Photo by the Winner Best of the Best Destination Photo Contest 2018 Maria Shiriaeva

When: annually from July to August.
Entry fee: $28 for 15 images for non-members. Members can submit up to 3 photos for free or up to 15 images for $18
Prize: 50 winning posts published on the website with a link to the photographer’s blog.

Wedding photographers should show their best wedding works at Junebug Weddings competition. They also hold separate photography contests for the best wedding and engagement photos.

25. GuruShots|ENTER NOW

online photography contests Photo by the Winner GuruShots 2019 Dmitriy S.

When: there is a new competition every day.
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: starting from titles on the platform and ending with cash prizes and equipment.

GuruShot is a gaming platform and social network for photographers. There are a lot of interesting and creative photography competitions there.

The main feature of this site is shooting photos in real time. I want to additionally note that quite often, there are many contests with valuable prizes on the platform.

26. Proify International Photography Awards|ENTER NOW

online photo contest Photo by the Winner Proify International Awards 2018 Elizabeth Jenny Taner

When: annually in October.
Entry fee: $30 for 1 application, $27 for 2 applications, $25 for 3 applications, $23 for 4 applications
Prize: equipment for 3 winners worth more than $5000.

Proify Awards is one of the best photography contests for beginners. It was created for amateurs and students to raise their professional level and improve their knowledge and skills. The competition has 12 categories, such as landscape, portrait, wedding, drone, macro photography, etc.

27. CoinaPhoto|ENTER NOW

free photography contests Photo by the Winner CoinaPhoto 2016 Gunasekar Ganesan

When: monthly
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: cash awards

CoinaPhoto is a social network for photographers of different professional levels. Various free photography contests are organized every month in order to award the authors of the best photos. They have the opportunity to receive good cash prizes.

28. JPGMag|ENTER NOW

online photography contests Photo by the Winner JPGMag 2018 Magda Hutchins

When: every few months
Entry fee: FREE
Prize: about $100

JPGMag is an online magazine specializing in urban self-portraits. There are many portrait photography contests held throughout the year.

Each participant can upload his/her work and vote for the best pictures. Photos of the winners will be published in the online magazine.

29. Shoot the Frame|ENTER NOW

photography contest Photo by the Winner Shoot the Frame 2018 Craig Bill

When: monthly
Entry fee: $10 for 1 image, $15 for 3 images, $19 for 7 images
Prize: gifts from sponsors (free site, participation in the exhibition, bonuses in Canva)

Shoot the Frame organizes photography contests in three categories (portrait, landscape, and wildlife photography every month. Interestingly, the jury evaluates each work blindly, not knowing who the author is. Winners can get valuable prizes, such as presets, websites, photo books, and more.

30. Wedding and Portrait Photographers|ENTER NOW

photo contests Photo by the Winner Wedding and Portrait Photographers 2018 Kristi Elias

When: annual competitions in different categories
Entry fee: from $18 to $30
Prize: publication of works in the magazine and on the portal.

WPPI competition has similar requirements with PPA competition. Try your hand and learn what skills you need to improve to take a prize in the PPA contest.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more