The beginning of a new decade is a great occasion to challenge yourself as a photographer. Why not step away from your routine and explore new and exciting things? You can try your hand at different genres, collaborate with designers and illustrators or enter a couple of photography contests. 

The latter allows you to test your photography skills but also gain international recognition and get some valuable prizes. Regardless of a genre you’re working in, experience, gear or budget you have, you can enter just one or multiple photography contests in 2020 to set a new milestone in your career. 

To help you out with choice, we’ve rounded up a list of 12 photography contest worth taking part in this year. 

 

Photography Contests to Enter This Year

1. Depositphotos contest “Authenticity 2.0”

Authenticity 2.0: Submit Images to the Depositphotos Photography Contest Today

This summer, Depositphotos is launching their first photography contest! The theme of the contest is Authenticity 2.0, which explores what authenticity means to photographers as they document candid moments in their everyday life. Independent photographers of all levels and areas of expertise (both professionals and amateurs) are welcome to participate. The images you’ll be submitting can be taken with any device, both a camera and a smartphone.

Submission time: up to 31 August 2020

Costs to participate: free

Categories:  the contest has no categories, just a central theme that focuses on authentic photography.

Awards:

  • 1st place: Canon EOS RP Full-Frame Mirrorless + RF24-105mm Lens F4-7.1
  • 2nd place: Canon EOS M50 aps-c Mirrorless + EF-M15-45mm + EF-M 55-200mm Lenses
  • 3rd place: Canon G9X MkII premium compact camera

The winners also get:

  • international exposure through Depositphotos social media accounts
  • features in the Depositphotos blog
  • personalized certificates will be available for download

Link: https://www.instagram.com/depositphotos_contest/

2. IPPAwards 2020

house in the rain

Yuliya Ibraeva / IPPAwards 

IPPAwards (iPhone Photography Awards) is said to be the Oscars of mobile photography. Since its launch in 2007, the contest gave international exposure to hundreds of photographers who have also been acknowledged by the world’s leading media like Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Vogues and dozens of others. 

Submission time: up to 31 March 2020

Costs to participate:

  • 1 image — $3,75
  • 3 images or 3 series — $9,50
  • 5 images — $15,50
  • 10 images — $29,50
  • 15 images — $45,50
  • 20 images — $57,50
  • 25 images — $65,50
  • 50 images — $125,50

Categories: 18 genres including lifestyle, architecture, and abstract photography.

Awards:

  • Grand Prize — iPad Air and the IPPA Photographer of the Year Award title.
  • 1st place — a Golden Bar (1 per each category) and Apple Watch Series 3.
  • 2nd and 3rd places — a Palladium Bar and Apple Watch Series 3.

The winners also get:

  • IPPAWARDS certificates.
  • Publications in IPPAWARDS online gallery.
  • Several Honorable Mentions to acknowledge talent.

Link: https://www.ippawards.com/ 

3. Fine Art Photography Awards

girl in water

Coco Amardeil / Fine Art Photography Awards

Fine art photography is a niche and a complicated genre but you can have a go at it by entering the Fine Art Photography Awards. Being established in 2014, it quickly became one of the largest awards for photographers pursuing creativity and challenging trends. 

Submission time: up to 9 February 2020

Costs to participate:

  • Professional:

    • single entry — $25
    • series — $30
  • Amateur:

    • single entry — $20
    • series — $25
  • Additional category fee — $10

Categories: 20 categories for both professional and amateur photographers.

Awards:

  • Grand Prize Winner:

    • professional — $3000, an individual certificate and a statue.
    • amateur — $2000, an individual certificate and a statue.
  • 1st place — a gold downloadable badge and a certificate.
  • 2nd place — a silver downloadable badge and a certificate.
  • 3rd places — a bronze downloadable badge and a certificate.
  • Other nominees — white downloadable badges and certificates.

The winners also get:

  • Titles: Professional Fine Art Photographer of the Year and Amateur Fine Art Photographer of the Year.
  • Displayed at Winners Gallery.
  • International exposure and publicity.

Link: https://fineartphotoawards.com/

4. International Photography Grant 2020

gloomy landscape

Robin Hinsch / International Photography Grant

If you have just started your photography career but already aim to enter the world of professional photography, try your best at becoming a winner of the International Photography Grant. The non-profit initiative by International Photography Magazine gives an opportunity for aspiring photographers to get recognized by popular art galleries, famous cultural institutions, and the world’s media.  

Submission time: up to 31 July 2020

Costs to participate: free.

Categories: no limits on the genre.

Awards:

  • The author of the most inspirational photographic idea — $1000.
  • Other participants get honorable certificates.

The winners also get the Talent of the Year 2020 title.

Link: https://internationalphotogrant.com/

5. Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020

lovely winter landscape

Bill Crookston / LPOTY

Landscape Photographer of the Year is an annual contest, founded by Charlie Waite, a famous British landscape photographer. It is to celebrate the beauty of nature and showcase the work of talented photographers. 

Submission time: up to 5 April 2020

Costs to participate: 

  • Adult class (19 or over):

    • single image — £9,99
    • up to 8 images — £24,99
    • up to 20 images — £34,99.
  • Youth class (18 or under):

    • first 5 images — free
    • additional bundles of five images — £9,99.

Categories: 

  • Classic View
  • Urban
  • Black and White
  • Your View
  • Changing Landscapes
  • Landscapes at Night
  • Evolving Britain
  • Lines in the Landscape

Awards:

  • Winner (Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020):

    • adult class — £10,000
    • youth class — £1,000
  • 1st place in each category in adult class — £1000
  • 2nd place in adult class — £500

The winners also get a copy of the Awards book.

Link: https://www.lpoty.co.uk/

 

6. Neutral Density Photography Awards 2020

man in fire

Piotr Zwarycz / ND Awards

ND Awards is not just a photography contest. It is a community that ensures it’s winning entries get prestige and worldwide recognition. However, to win the contest your photographs should indeed be unique and have a strong vision. 

Submission time: 

  • Early deadline — 26 April 2020
  • Final Deadline — 20 September 2020

Costs to participate: 

  • Early deadline entry:

    • professional — single image fee of $20
    • non-professional — (from 2 to 5 images) $25
  • Final deadline entry:

    • professional — $25
    • non-professional — (from 2 to 5 images) $30
  • Additional fee: $10/category

Categories: architecture, editorial, fine art, nature, people, and many others. 

Awards:

  • Grand Prize:

    • professional — $2500, the ND Photographer of the Year title, and a monthly feature on the front page of ND Magazine
    • non-professional — $1300 cash prize, the ND Discovery of the Year title, and a monthly feature on the front page of ND Magazine.
  • 6 professional category winners — $500 each and the ND Category Photographer of the Year title, and a weekly feature on the front page of ND Magazine.
  • 5 non-professional category winners — $500 each and the ND Category Discovery of the Year title, and a weekly feature on the front page of ND Magazine.

The winners also get:

  • Gold Star, Silver Star, and Bronze Star awards.
  • International press and publicity.
  • Showcase at the Winners’ Gallery.

Link: https://ndawards.net/

7. ZEISS Photography Award 2020

floating house and man

Nick Hannes / ZEISS

The competition run by the World Photography Organisation and ZEISS is perfect for those who’d like to challenge themselves in 2020. With an aim to reveal talents that have a unique vision, the contest provides a different theme every year. This time, it is “Seeing Beyond – Discoveries”. 

Submission time: up to 4 February 2020

Costs to participate: free.

Categories: participants are to cover the theme “Seeing Beyond – Discoveries”.

Awards:

  • Winner receives:

    • ZEISS camera lenses worth a total of €12,000
    • €3,000 for a photo project
    • flights and accommodation to attend the Sony World Photography Awards, as well as the exhibition in London in April 2020
    • visit the ZEISS headquarters in Germany
    • a chance to collaborate with ZEISS and World Photography Organisation in the future

The shortlisted photographers get on show during the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London.

Link: https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/us/photography/website/photographyaward.html

8. International Photography Awards 2020

female soldier

Joey L. / International Photography Awards 2020

Whether you are a professional, an amateur or a student photographer, you should definitely enter the International Photography Awards in 2020. You can win great cash prizes for your future photography endeavors, as well as get noticed by the competition’s partners and sponsors looking to collaborate with talented photographers on different projects. 

Submission time: up to 20 February 2020

Costs to participate:

  • Professional

    • single image — $35
    • series (2-9 images) — $60
  • Non-professional

    • single image — $25
    • series (2-9 images) — $50
  • Student

    • single image — $15
    • series (2-9 images) — $30

Categories: 13 categories including advertising, sports, and video.

Awards:

  • Professional

    • $10,000
    • the International Photographer of the Year title
    • the Lucie Trophy awarded at the Lucie Awards Gala
  • Non-professional

    • $5,000
    • the Lucie Trophy awarded at the Lucie Awards Gala
  • Professional (the 13 category winners)

    • $1,000
    • 2 tickets to attend the Lucie Awards Gala in New York City
    • $500 to cover travel costs
    • IPA Trophy
  • Non-professional (the 13 category winners)

    • $500
    • 2 tickets to attend the Lucie Awards Gala in New York City
    • $500 to cover travel costs
    • IPA Trophy

The winners also get:

  • Press coverage.
  • Exhibited in the IPA Curated “Best of Show” exhibition.
  • Published in the IPA Annual Book.

Link: https://www.photoawards.com/

9. MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020

people on train

Veselin Atanasov / MonoVisions

If you specialize in black in white photography, you probably know the MonoVisions Photography Awards. It is one of the most prestigious photography contests, the winners of which get international exposure, rewards, and recognition. Besides, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to enter the competition. Students and amateurs are also welcome. 

Submission time: 

  • Early deadline — 19 January 2020.
  • Final Deadline — 17 May 2020.

Costs to participate: 

  • Early deadline entry:

    • single image — $20
    • series (up to 8 images) — $25
  • Final deadline entry:

    • single image — $25
    • series (up to 8 images) — $30

Categories: 12 categories including architecture, fine art, and travel photography. 

Awards:

  • Black and White Photo of the Year — $2,000.
  • Black and White Series of the Year — $3,000.

The winners also get downloadable badges and certificates of achievement.

Link: https://monovisionsawards.com/

10. The Nikon Small World Photomicrography 2020

turtle under microscope

Teresa Zgoda, Teresa Kugler / Nikon Small World

The competition by Nikon is open for everyone interested in microscopy and photography. If you already have experience in the genre, you can back up your professional background by winning another award. You can also step away from what you were doing lately and take some images through the light microscope. Why not try something unusual in 2020? 

Submission time: up to 30 April 2020

Costs to participate: free.

Categories: microscope photography.

Awards:

  • 1st place — $3,000
  • 2nd place — $2,000
  • 3rd place — $1,000
  • 4th place — $800
  • 5th place — $600
  • 6th place — $400
  • 7th-10th places — $300 each
  • 11th-20th — $200 each
  • Honorable Mentions (the number is determined by jury) — $100
  • Images of Distinction — Nikon-branded backpack

Link: https://www.nikonsmallworld.com/

11. Nature Photographer of the Year 2020

jumping rebits

Csaba Daroczi / Nature Photographer of the Year

In addition to the Landscape Photography of the Year, there’s an award for those who specialize in nature photography. Whether sad, wonderful, cruel or funny images, all are welcome to be submitted as the aim of the contest is to support the global conversation and the Nature Talks Foundation as well.  

Submission time: up to 28 June 2020

Costs to participate: 

  • Standard categories  — €27,50
  • Youth (10-17 years) — free
  • Portfolio — €16,50

Categories: 12 categories for individual images, a category for young photographers, and the Nature Talks Fred Hazelhoff Award for a portfolio.

Awards:

  • Grand Prize — €2500 and the Nature Photographer of the Year title
  • Winner in each category — €500 in cash
  • Youth category winner — a prize worth €250
  • 2nd place — a prize worth €250
  • 2nd place in youth category — a prize worth € 125

Link: https://naturephotographeroftheyear.com/

12. The Golden Turtle 2020

Baranyuk Vasily / Golden Turtle Photo Contest

Baranyuk Vasily / Golden Turtle Photo Contest

The Golden Turtle is an international photo contest for wildlife photographers. It covers different sub-categories of the genre, accepting images that are artistic, scientific or showing animals in their natural environment. 

Submission time: up to 29 February 2020

Costs to participate: free.

Categories: wildlife (animals in the environment, a portrait of the animal, animal behavior)

Awards:

  • Grand Prize — $2,000 and the Photographer of the Year title.
  • Gold — $1,000.
  • Silver and bronze — prizes and gifts from the festival sponsors.

Link: http://wncontest.ru/en/photo/

13. Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year

people working in filed

Kazi Mashfiq / Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year

Keen on food photography? Then this opportunity is just for you. Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year is a prestigious award in the industry and is open to both professional and amateur photographers from around the world. 

Submission time: up to 9 February 2020

Costs to participate: 

  • Adult
  • £30.00 for up to 5 photographic entries
  • £30 for a single video
  • £30 for a portfolio of 5 images
  • £6/further entry
  • £6 for on the Phone category
  • Youth  — free (up to 3 entries)

Categories: food photography (over 20 sub-categories).

Awards:

  • Grand Prize — £5000, the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year title, £750 to cover travel costs to attend the Awards Evening Reception, and 2 nights’ accommodation at the hotel.
  • Category winners — from £300 to £1000 each.

The winners also get:

  • Press coverage and international exposure.
  • A prestigious trophy.
  • Work display in the Mall Galleries in London.

Link: https://www.pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com/

If you don’t want to experiment with genres in 2020, you can choose a safe bet and enter a photography contest that has a category you specialize in. The submission will take half an hour or even less but the opportunities you might get are inspiring and huge. 

Start the new decade with some bold decisions and enter as many photography contests as possible.

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