The Best Photography Contests to Enter in 2019

An aerial shot of a beautiful coastal scene - best photography contests to enter

Photography contests are a great way to find out if your images are up to scratch. By taking part in these competitions, you can win big. Either cash prizes, camera equipment, or having your work exhibited.
Even if you gain no financial benefit, having your images posted on the competition’s website has incredible benefits.
Here are 10 photography contests you should enter in 2019.
These awards are forever, so get submitting now. There is no time to lose.

10. iPhone Photography Awards

  • Deadline – 31 March 2019
  • 18 categories
  • Grand Prize – Gold Bar (Pamp Swiss 1g) & Certificate
  • 1st Place Prize – Gold Bar (Pamp Swiss 1g) & Certificate
  • 2nd Place Prize – Palladium Bar (Pamp Swiss 1g) & Certificate
  • 3rd Place Prize – Palladium Bar (Pamp Swiss 1g) & Certificate
A screenshot from the iPhone Photography Awards website - photography contests

If you are looking for the world’s first and most respected iPhone photography contest, you’ve found it!
The IPPAwards are the Oscars of the mobile photography world. They have launched the careers of many iPhone photographers globally.
This year will be the 12th award since the contest’s start. Last year, they received thousands of entries from more than 140 countries.
There are 18 different categories to join, including architectureportrait, and travel.
The rules of this photography contest are simple. Every image needs to be an iPhone or iPad photo and submitted no larger than 1000px.

9. ND Awards

  • Early Deadline – 28 April 2019 (cheaper fee)
  • Final Deadline – 22 September 2019
  • Professional Grand Prize – $2,500 & Exhibition
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize – $1,300 & Exhibition
  • 6 Professional Category Winners – $500 & Exhibition
  • 6 Non-Professional Category Winners – $300 & Exhibition
A screenshot from the ND Awards website - photography contests

The Neutral Density awards aim to promote photography. They do this by presenting photographers to audiences all over the globe.
This award is a melting pot of some of the world’s most outstanding imagery, and it could be yours. The winning image receives recognition, prestige, and publicity.
This photography contest is the perfect place for professional photographers. It allows them to compete across six main categories. These include fine artnature, and architecture.
For amateurs, there are five categories. Both competitions go through a respected jury of acclaimed gallery owners, publishers, editors, and photographers.
These awards have been around since 2014. The ND magazine and its community brought this photography contest into fruition.

8. International Photography Awards

  • Submission Deadline: July 24, 2019
  • International Photographer of the Year Prize – $10,000, Trophy & Exhibition
  • Discovery of the Year Prize – $5,000, Trophy & Exhibition
  • 13 Professional Category Winners – $1,000 & Exhibition
  • 13 Non-Professional Category Winners – $500 & Exhibition
A screenshot from the International Photography Awards website - photography contests

The International Photography Awards are one of the highest paid photography contests around. It is also the only place you can land a Lucie.
There are 13 categories to choose from. These are for professional and non-professional photographers alike. On top of this, there is also a ‘one-shot’ street photography competition.
This year will see the 17th annual photography contest. The winners receive a travel allowance and accommodation to collect their awards in New York.
This photography contest is actually the main funding machine for the Lucie Foundation. This is a non-profit, charitable foundation to honor the masters of photography.
All winning images are published in a high-quality International Photography Awards book.

7. Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

  • Deadline – TBA
  • Professional Grand Prize – $2,500 & Exhibition
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize – $1,300 & Exhibition
  • 6 Professional Category Winners – $500 & Exhibition
  • 6 Non-Professional Category Winners – $300 & Exhibition
A screenshot of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize website

The Taylor Wessing Photography Portrait Prize is the leading international photography contest. As the name suggests, it focuses on portraiture.
This prize promotes and celebrates the very best in contemporary portrait photography. It does so through its established reputation.
Talented professionals, amateurs and emerging artists can submit their work. The jury selects the best images, which, for many, are the first time shown.
They touch on ideas and concepts surrounding the photographic portrait while exploring other avenues. A range of moods, settings, characters, and expressions are all present.
All submissions turn into an exhibition, shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
It will feature the fifty-nine selected images from the winners, including the winner of the $15,000 first prize.

6. Communication Arts Photography Competition

  • Deadline – 8 March 2019
  • 9 Categories
  • Category winners – Personalised Award of Excellence & Award Certificate
A screenshot of the Communication Arts Photography Competition website

Most photo contests come with cash prizes. The communication arts photography competition stands out as being one that doesn’t. Don’t let that put you off, it is still a revered photography competition.
To be eligible, your images need to be captured or first published between March 2018 and March 2019.
A distinguished jury of designers, art directors, and photographers chose the winning images.
Apart from winning a personalized award of excellence, your image is distributed worldwide. This takes place in the communication arts photography annual, in both digital and print.
If you are looking for one of the most coveted awards in the photography industry, you have found it. Submit today!

5. National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition

  • Deadline – 14 December 2019
  • 4 Categories
  • Professional Grand Prize – Slovakia Lakes and Mountain Photography Masterclass
  • Portfolio Winner Prize – Week-long French Alp holiday
  • Category Winners – Manfrotto BeFree travel tripod

If you are looking for photo contests with cash prizes, you are in the wrong place. There are more important and special things than financial gain.
By winning, you get whisked away to join a photography master class in Central Europe. Here, pro photographer Justin Mins gives you all the help you need.
If you are the winner of the portfolio competition, you get to go to France. All other winners get a very expensive tripod. What is there not to like?
Having National Geographic on your resume and website means you’ll be set for life.
There are a few rules to abide by. The important one is that the image needs to have been taken within two years of the date of entry. Photo manipulation is not allowed, and only basic adjustments are possible.

National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition - best photography contests

4. Nikon Small World

  • Deadline – 30 April 2019
  • 1st Prize – $3,000
  • 2nd Prize – $2,000
  • 3rd Prize – $1,000
  • 4th Prize – $800
  • 5th Prize – $600
  • 6th Prize – $400
  • 7-10th Prize – $300
  • 11-20th Prize – $200
  • Honorable Mentions – $100
Nikon Small World homepage - photography contests

The Nikon Small World photography contest gives you the largest chance of winning a cash prize. You can be 1st or 20th, and you’ll still win an amount of money.
This photography competition is all about photomicrography. This is the discipline of photographing through a light microscope.
Nikon, being a long-standing camera manufacturer has been running this competition since 1975. That’s longer than I’ve been photographing, let alone alive.
Anyone can enter, and they do in droves. They receive submissions from almost every continent on the planet. There are no restrictions, and you don’t even have to use Nikon cameras or microscopes.
Each participant can upload three images. If you win any prize, your image is exhibited at numerous museums and science centers throughout the United States and Canada.
If you don’t feel like entering, even if it is free, check out the previous winners. The images are stunning, and it might just get you in the mood to apply.

3. Monochrome Photography Award

  • Early Deadline – 7 July 2019
  • Final Deadline – 17 November 2019
  • 13 Categories
  • Professional Section Prize – $2,000, certificate & Exhibition
  • Non-Professional Grand Prize – $1,000, certificate & Exhibition
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd Category Winners – Certificate & Exhibition
Monochrome Photography Award homepage screenshot - best photography contests

Is black and white photography is your thing? Then this is the photo competition for you. There are 13 categories to enter, ranging across landscapesfashion and abstract photography.
If you are in the top three of any of them, you get a certificate alongside an exhibition of your work. All winners and honorable mentions are also included in the Monochrome Photography Awards Annual book.
Each image costs $20 for professionals and $15 for amateurs if submitted before July. After, the price jumps up by $5.
The only rule is that the image has to be black and white, film or digital. Toned images, such as selenium or sepia are also accepted, so start getting creative. This is your time to shine.

2. Sony World Photography Award

  • Deadline – 5 February & 26 March 2019
  • 2o Categories (over two competitions)
  • Professional Photographer of the Year – $25,000 (Sony Equipment) & Exhibition
  • Open Photographer of the Year Prize – $5,000 (Sony Equipment) & Exhibition
  • Youth Photographer of the Year – Flights and Accommodation in London & Exhibition
  • Student Photographer of the Year – $30,000 (Sony Equipment for the institution) & Exhibition
Sony World Photography Award website screenshot

The Sony World Photography  Award has four simultaneous photo contests. These are Professional, Open, Youth and Student. Each one has a different prize, and although it looks like cash, the money is for Sony Equipment.
But who wouldn’t enjoy $25,000 worth of camera gear? That’s a lot of everything you need to capture stunning shots. You only need to win first prize.
One of the other great things about this competition is the traveling exhibition. No matter which country I find myself in, I always notice the Sony World Photography Award image show.
The submitted images need to be taken within a year of their entry. There is a minimum of five and a maximum of ten images that you can send, so don’t be shy.
We love this competition because it is free to enter. That’s right, free. and you can enter as many categories as you wish.

1. International Landscape Photographer of the Year

  • Deadline – TBA
  • Photographer First Prize – $5,000, trophy & book
  • Photographer Second Prize – $1,000, trophy & book
  • Photographer Third Prize – $500, trophy & book
  • Photography First Prize – $2,000, trophy & book
  • Photography Second Prize – $1,000, trophy & book
  • Photography Third Prize – $500, trophy & book
International Landscape Photographer of the Year photography contests

For all landscape photographers, enter the International Landscape Photographer of the Year award. This is their 5th year, and it’s still going strong.
The limitations are set to four images per applicant. This is to allow the experience gained from the competition is easily accessible.
From all these submissions, the jury rates the images between 1 and 100. They choose the top 101 images and move to the second round of judging. First, they find the best images, then they search for the best photographers.
There is the photographer of the year, a photograph of the year and five special subject awards. Each section goes through a rigorous selection process.
It costs $25 per image, meaning the maximum you can spend is $100 in total. They also have to be captured within a year of their submission.
The best thing about this photo contest is that you are not restricted when it comes to photography manipulation. Just make sure you do it yourself.

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