20 Photo Competitions for Beginners of 2024

January
aperture portfolio prize photo competition for beginners

Aperture Portfolio Prize

sony photo competition for beginners

Sony World Photography Award

world press photo competition for beginners

World Press Photography Awards

istanbul photo competition for beginners

Istanbul Photo Awards Competition for Beginners

monovisions photo competition for beginners

MonoVisions Photography Awards

February
amateur photo competition for beginners

Amateur Photographer of the Year

March
bigpicture natural photo competition for beginners

BigPicture Natural World Photography Awards

communication arts photo competition for beginners

Communication Arts Photography Competition

iphone photo competition for beginners

iPhone Photography Awards

April
nd photo competition for beginners

ND Awards

nikon photo competition for beginners

Nikon Small World

November
international landscape photo competition for beginners

International Landscape Photographer of the Year Photo Competition for Beginners

monochrome photo competition for beginners

Monochrome Photography Award

December
lensculture art photo competition for beginners

LensCulture Art Photography Awards

Monthly & Daily
gurushots photo competition for beginners

GuruShots Photography Contests

life framer photo competition for beginners

Life Framer Competitions

Date is not Specified or Set
international photo competition for beginners

International Photography Awards

taylor wessing photo competition for beginners

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

phmuseum photo competition for beginners

PhMuseum Photography Grant

lensculture portrait photo competition for beginners

LensCulture Portrait Awards

Getting involved in photography competitions for beginners is an awesome way to showcase your pictures to a broader audience. By taking part in these contests, you can share your photos with more people and even receive feedback from experts or other photographers.

1. Aperture Portfolio Prize

aperture portfolio photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: January 5, 2024
  • Fee: An Aperture Magazine subscription (starts at $9.99/month)
  • 1st Prize: $3,000 cash prize, $1,000 gift card for camera gear, an exhibition in New York, feature, and publication
  • 4 Shortlisted Artists: Feature and online publication
  • All 25 Finalists: Virtual portfolio review

The aim of this photo contest is to find emerging photography talents, who deserve recognition in the field of modern photography.

Once you've subscribed to the magazine, you need to upload 10 to 15 photos for entry. The unique feature of the competition is that you're required to provide a resume, a photographer's bio, and a statement about your photographic work.

The judging panel considers how consistent, creative, and technically sound your work is. They're interested in a distinctive take on the subject, and there's no specific theme provided. It's entirely up to each participant how inventive they want to be with their photos.

2. Sony World Photography Award

sony world photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: January 12, 2024 (professional and open) and January 5, 2023 (youth), TBA (student)
  • Fee: Free, £14.95 to £44.95 (optional multiple youth entries)
  • Prizes: A total prize fund of $30,000 plus Sony digital imaging equipment, exhibition and more

The Sony World Photography Award includes four photography contests happening simultaneously: Professional, Open, Student, and Youth. Each contest has a unique prize, featuring cash and advanced Sony photography equipment. Just imagine getting $25,000 or $5,000 along with quality camera gear. This is a real dream for many photographers, especially novices.

Another awesome aspect of this competition is its traveling exhibition. Regardless of what country you’re visiting, you consistently come across the Sony World Photography Award image. That's why, the contest can be called global. Remember, the photos you submit must be taken within a year of entering. You can send a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 images.

This competition is fantastic because it’s completely free to participate. Besides, you can pick from 20 different categories. If you're a young entrant, you also have the option to purchase image bundles to submit as many photos as you'd like.

3. World Press Photography Awards

word press photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: January 11, 2024
  • Fee: Free (only professional photojournalists and documentary photographers)
  • Regional Winners: €1,000, exhibition, publication, and more
  • Global Prize Winners (picked from regional winners): €5,000, exhibition, publication, and more
  • Honorable Mentions: Exhibition, publication, and more

This is one of the most world-known photography competitions. Each year, they organize an exhibition tour, making stops in different countries. Attendants can see more than 100 incredible photos.

Photographers have four options to choose from when entering: Singles, Stories, Long-Term Projects, and Open Format. Each of these is geared towards finding the top visual journalist or documentarian in a specific field. Photos that are manipulated or staged aren’t accepted.

World Press Photography Awards pursues the mission of reflecting the real-life situations in our world. This competition is meant for skilled press photographers who document important, current topics.

4. Istanbul Photo Awards

istanbul photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: January 17, 2024
  • Fee: Free (professionals only)
  • Prizes: $1,000, $1,50o, and 3,000, $6,000, depending on the category, two $1,000 awards for the contest’s 10th anniversary, exhibition, and publication

Anadolu Agency is behind this global news photography competition. The initial idea was to inspire different photographers to capture the diverse culture of Istanbul from various angles. As time went on, the Istanbul Photo Awards gained widespread recognition as a news photo contest.

A big advantage of this photo contest is that it's completely free to enter. You can take part in 10 categories by submitting either individual photos or a series of 10 images. The judging team consists of nine photographers with experience in either photojournalism or news editing.

The winning pieces are featured in a photo book and exhibited in various cities globally, such as Istanbul, New York, and Tokyo. If you're a photojournalist, it's definitely worth giving this contest a shot.

5. MonoVisions Photography Awards

monovisions photo competition for beginners winner

  • Early Deadline: January 21, 2024
  • Final Deadline: May 19, 2024
  • Fees: $20 or $25 (single), $25 or $30 (series)
  • Black-and-White Series of the Year: $3,000 award
  • Black-and-White Photo of the Year: $2,000 award

As for black-and-white photography and photographers who like taking monochrome images, we should mention the MonoVisions Photography Awards. These photography competitions are organized by Monovisions Photography magazine, a prominent professional journal dedicated to photographic art.

You can submit photos taken using either digital or analog cameras. In addition to the primary categories (single and series), there are 12 subcategories, including abstract, conceptual, and nude photography.

The fee to submit a series is $30, and for a single image, it's $25. If you send your application before January 21, you get a discount.

6. Amateur Photographer of the Year

amateur photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: February 2024 TBC
  • Fee: 1 free entry available per round, £8 for 1 image entry, bundles available.
  • Prizes: £11,000 worth of prizes, provided by MPB

Amateur Photographer of the Year, also called APOY, is like a contest where photographers earn points. They can win cool prizes in each round, and the person with the most points at the end of the year gets the big prize.

Who's going to make it all the way this year? This competition is meant to encourage you to explore new styles and subjects. It's a great chance to improve your photography skills by stepping out of your comfort zone.

When you're picking a photo to submit, think about how it appears in smaller sizes. Judges usually see images this way first and may decide based on the first impression.

7. BigPicture Natural World Photography Awards

bigpicture natural photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Fee: $25 (up to 10 images), $15 (story submissions)
  • Winner: $5,000 and is featured in the California Academy of Sciences annual exhibit.
  • Category Winners: $1,000

This is one of the popular photography contests that highlight the amazing diversity of nature. Its goal is to motivate people to take action to protect it. You can send nature photography samples, wildlife, and conservation photos. The location doesn’t matter. All images are sorted into seven categories.

The main thing is to capture nature in creative ways, e.g., through a microscope. You can also submit pictures of underwater life, landscapes, wild animals, or even moments where people interact with nature.

You can present either 10 individual photos or create a photo story with 6 to 8 images. Each person is allowed to send in a maximum of 10 photos per email address.

8. Communication Arts Photography Competition

communication arts photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Fee: $20 to $80
  • Category Winners: Personalized award of excellence and award certificate

While most variants mentioned here are picture contests for money, the communication arts photo competition is a bit different. It doesn't have cash rewards. But don't skip it because it's still a highly respected photo contest.

To qualify, your pictures should be taken or first published between March 2023 and March 2024. The entry fees vary from $20 to $80, depending on the category, and there are nine categories in total.

A group of famous designers, art directors, and photographers choose the winning pictures. If your image wins, you get a personalized excellence award and have your work shared all around the globe.

9. iPhone Photography Awards

iphone photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: March 31, 2024
  • Fee: $5.50 to $75.50
  • Grand Prize: TBA
  • 1st Place Prize: TBA, one gold bar for each category, publication, and certificates
  • 2nd Place Prize: TBA, one platinum bar for each category, publication, and certificates
  • 3rd Place Prize: TBA, one platinum bar for each category, publication, and certificates

This is the very first and most well-regarded iPhone photo contest in the world. The IPP Awards are like the Oscars for mobile photography, helping iPhone photographers worldwide to start their professional careers.

The upcoming year marks the 17th edition of the awards since the contest began. In the past year, they got entries from thousands of people in over 140 countries. You can choose from 18 categories to participate in, encompassing architecture, portrait, abstract, and travel photography.

The guidelines for this photo contest are easy to follow. Just use your iPhone or iPad to take shots and make sure they're not bigger than 1,000 pixels. You can send 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, or 25 images. The entry fee ranges from $5.50 to $75.50.

10. ND Awards

nd photo competition for beginners winner

  • Early Deadline: April 28, 2024 (lower fees)
  • Final Deadline: September 22, 2024
  • Fee: $19 to $34, extra $10 per category
  • Professional Grand Prize: $3,000 (and $500 for category winner), magazine feature, and publication
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize: $2,000 (and $400 for category winner), magazine feature, and publication

This photo contest for money brings together incredible pictures from around the world, and one of them could be yours. The winning photo gets acknowledgment, respect, and a lot of attention. This photo contest is a great opportunity for professional photographers, letting them compete in six main categories, covering areas like fine art, nature, and architecture.

If you submit amateur photos, there are five categories to choose from. Both contests are judged by a reputable panel, including well-known gallery owners, publishers, editors, and photographers.

The competition was organized for the first time in 2014 thanks to ND magazine and its community.

11. Nikon Small World

nikon photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: April 30, 2024
  • Fee: Free
  • 1st Prize: $3,000
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000
  • 3rd Prize: $1,000

Nikon Small World photo contest provides a great opportunity to win cash. Whether you come in 1st or 20th place, you'll still earn money. This contest is all about photomicrography, which isn’t the same as macro photography. It involves taking pictures through a light microscope.

Being in the camera business for a long time, Nikon has been organizing this competition since 1975. That's way longer than I've been into photography or even around on this planet. Anyone can join, and they get entries from almost every corner of the world. No limits or restrictions here. Plus, you don't need to stick to Nikon gear – use whatever you have.

Each person can submit three images without paying. Take a look at past winners, even if you're not planning to participate. The photos are breathtaking and might inspire you to give it a try.

12. International Landscape Photographer of the Year

international landscape photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBA (November 2024)
  • Fee: $25 per image (every 5th one free)
  • Photographer 1st Prize: $5,000 and trophy
  • Photographer 2nd Prize: $1,000 and a trophy
  • Photographer 3rd Prize: $500 and a trophy

If you enjoy capturing landscapes, this is one of the top photography competitions to choose. It's in its eleventh year and continues to be a thriving event. You can submit up to four images. The jury evaluates all the submissions, giving each image a score between 1 and 100.

They select the top 101 images for the next round of judging, aiming to identify the finest images and discover the best landscape photographers.

They have awards for Photographer of the Year, Photo of the Year, and five special subject categories. The special ones include black and white, aerial, snow and ice, desert, and seascape. Each image submission costs $25, so the most you can spend is $125. Plus, remember that they accept photos taken within a year before the competition.

13 Monochrome Photography Award

monochrome photo competition for beginners winner

  • Early bird Deadline: TBD (cheaper fee)
  • Deadline: TBD (November 2024)
  • Fees: $17 to $27
  • Professional Section Prize: $2,000, certificate, and exhibition
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize: $1,000, certificate, and exhibition

If you're fond of taking monochrome photos, this is the perfect contest for you. You can choose from 13 categories, including landscape, fashion, and abstract pictures.

If you make it to the top three in any category, you'll receive a certificate and have your work exhibited. Winners and honorable mentions also get featured in the Monochrome Photography Awards Annual Book. For each photo, professionals pay $22 and amateurs pay $17 before the early bird deadline. After that, the submission price goes up by $5.

Keep in mind that your picture has to be in black and white, whether you take it with a film or digital camera. They're also cool with toned images, like selenium or sepia. This is your chance to show off your creativity.

14. LensCulture Art Photography Awards

lensculture art photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBA (December 2024)
  • Fees: Free to $45 (30% discount for students), optional $25 for written review
  • Series Award Winners 1st Place Prize: $3,500, exhibition, and more
  • Series Award Winners 2nd Place Prize: $2,000, exhibition, and more
  • Series Award Winners 3rd Place Prize: $1,000, exhibition, and more

LensCulture Art Photography Awards is like a celebration of creativity that goes beyond the usual boundaries of photography. The jury focuses on diverse and thought-provoking art that photographers notice and present. Both beginner and seasoned artists are welcome to showcase their work. You can submit one image for free or up to 10 for a fee of $45.

They welcome various photography styles, so feel free to send anything from portraits to experimental photos. The aim of this contest is to find photographers who share captivating stories through their photos. Winners get cool prizes like exhibitions, projections, and features, which can have a big impact on their photography career.

In fact, all participants get perks, including a LensCulture portfolio account. Plus, your work may be shown to a larger audience through their website and the press.

15. GuruShots Photography Contests

gurushots photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: New challenge every day
  • Fee: Less than $10
  • Prizes: Digital gear from global photo brands, such as action cameras or laptops, and digital exhibitions.

GuruShots does things differently in their photography contests. They have a 365-photo challenge with a new theme every day. You can decide yourself how many challenges you want to join.

Winning artworks from some challenges are displayed in galleries worldwide. To enter the exhibition challenge, you need to pay a fee (less than $10, which is quite affordable for beginners) and submit four images.

Using the official website and app, you can get in touch with photographers from all over the world. Besides winning prizes, you can gain exposure and receive feedback from fellow artists. This way, you can develop as a photographer.

16. Life Framer Competitions

life farmer photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: End of each month
  • Fees: $20 to $100
  • Prizes: $24,000 prize fund, shared between the monthly winners. Each month, the 1st and 2nd prize winners have their images exhibited and published.

Life Farmer Competitions are perfect for photographers who dabble in different types of photography. Every month, they name a fresh contest theme for you to jump into, like capturing the vibe of nightlife, documenting your travel adventures, or showcasing the wonders of the animal kingdom.

Reputable photographers in each field check out and rate the photos in every category. If you want to submit just one picture, it costs 20 bucks. Or you can send up to ten photos and receive the premium membership status.

As a bonus, you'll get detailed feedback on your shots. This not only helps you level up your professional game but also improve your photography skills.

17. International Photography Awards

international photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBD, open for 2024 submissions
  • Fee: $20 to $65
  • International Photographer of the Year Prize: $10,000, trophy, exhibition, and publication
  • Discovery of the Year Prize: $5,000, trophy, exhibition, and publication
  • Professional Category Winners: $1,200, exhibition, and publication
  • Non-Professional Category Winners: $600, exhibition, and publication

The International Photography Awards is one of the top photo contests for money and the only spot where you can score a Lucie Statue. This year marks the 21st edition of the competition.

Whether you're a pro or just love taking photos, there are 11 categories to pick from. They cover all sorts of things like advertising, editorial work, and sports. There's even a "special" category for unique stuff like AI photography. The winners receive cash and also get their travel and stay covered to pick up their awards in New York.

This photo contest is the main way the Lucie Foundation collects its funds. It is a non-profit group that gives props to the photography masters. Entry fees for the contest start at $20 and go up to $65, whether you're submitting one photo or a series. The best part is that all the winning photos end up in a top-notch International Photography Awards book.

18. Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

taylor wessing photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBA
  • Fee: TBA
  • Professional Grand Prize: TBA and exhibition
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize: TBA and exhibition

Taylor Wessing Photography Portrait Prize is like a famous global photo competition that puts the spotlight on portraits, just as the name suggests. This contest is all about cheering on and showcasing the absolute best in today's portrait photography scene.

Whether you're a seasoned pro, a hobbyist, or someone just starting out, you can toss your work into the mix. The judges pick out the best images and quite often some of these photos are making their debut appearance. They share thoughts and ideas about portraits, and even explore other interesting themes. You'll find a mix of vibes, settings, characters, and expressions.

Plus, all the submissions get turned into an exhibition, displaying 59 awesome images from the winners. Moreover, aside from the usual first, second, and third-place winners, they offer a £8,000 commission to sweeten the deal.

19. PhMuseum Photography Grant

phmuseum photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBA
  • 1st Prize: $4,000, exhibition, and more
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000 and exhibition, and more
  • New Generation Prize: $2,000, exhibition, and more
  • Other: Various exhibitions, residencies, portfolio reviews, and more

This photography contest highlights the power of telling stories through pictures. They're open to photographers who stick with the classics or bring something new and cool to the table.

If you're up for it, you can send one or more photo projects that revolve around a specific theme. To become a participant, you need to pay $39. But you can score a sweet deal and only pay $30 if you apply before the early-bird deadline.

Photo experts from different fields will evaluate images. If you're really good at telling stories through your photos, this contest is a fantastic chance for you. Plus, you get a chance to get some extra cash that you can put into your projects.

20. LensCulture Portrait Awards

lensculture portrait photo competition for beginners winner

  • Deadline: TBA
  • Series Award Winners 1st Place Prize: $3,500
  • Series Award Winners 2nd Place Prize: $2,000
  • Series Award Winners 3rd Place Prize: $1,000

The organizers of LensCulture say that their goal is to find awesome photographers from different spots of the world. You can submit one image without paying a dime and send more with different fees. If you're a student, you get a 30% discount when you sign up.

Anyone who loves snapping portraits can join this photo contest. The style doesn’t matter, whether it's studio, candid, creative, or even selfies. They're all about embracing various approaches to portraiture, but they still prioritize imagination and finesse.

Winners not only get noticed by the pros, but they also score some media attention in big-shot magazines like The Telegraph, The Guardian, Washington Post, and The British Journal of Photography.

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