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12 unmissable UK photography competitions in 2024

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Written by Becky T

Published Nov 02, 2023

2024 is fast approaching - if you want to get ahead of the game and start plotting your submissions to the year's biggest and best photography competitions, we're here to help you out. Whether you're an amateur photographer looking to gain exposure, a professional seeking victory from some of the world's most prestigious awards, or a student just trying your shot at success, there are endless photography competitions inviting you to do just that!

To help you discover those that are best worth your time, we've put together a list of 12 of the best photography competitions open to UK residents. And for those of you further afield, most of these competitions are also open to international applicants.

Contents:

  1. The British Photography Awards
  2. iPhone Photography Awards
  3. Pink Lady Food Photographer of The Year
  4. Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize
  5. RSPCA's Young Photographer Awards
  6. World Press Photo
  7. Amatuer Photographer of the Year
  8. Landscape Photographer of the Year
  9. CEWE Photo Award
  10. Sony World Photography Awards
  11. Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY)
  12. Astronomy Photographer of the Year

1. The British Photography Awards

macro photograph of two honey bees head to head
"Honey Bees" by Arun Mohanraj (2023 British Photography Awards - Macro Shortlist)

The British Photography Awards is a prestigious competition for British photographers at home and across the world. All entrants must be a full time resident of the UK or hold a valid UK passport at the time of entry. Categories cover a range of photographic styles and interests, including street photography, macro photography, events photography, sports photography, fashion photography, drone photography and many more.

The top 4 photographers from each category are invited to an awards ceremony that takes place in London in November, where the winners of the competition will be revealed.

Submissions open: 1 July 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: 31 August 2024 (TBC)

Prize: Exposure & prestige (no cash prize)

Entry fee: £5 per photo (all funds go to charity)

2. iPhone Photography Awards

image of a young boy standing on top of a truck full of logs
"Heroe" by Ivan Silva (2023 iPhone Photography Awards Grand Prize Winner)

The iPhone Photography Awards are open worldwide to any photographers using an iPhone or iPad. Technology has come a long way, and these awards are testament to the creative freedom that our smartphones have afforded us. Categories include Abstract, Animals, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, Portrait, Still Life, and Travel.

The winners are announced online, eight to twelve weeks after the final submission deadline.

Submissions open: Now

Submissions close: 31 March 2024

Prize: Grand prize winner: an iPad Air; "Top 3" winners: Apple Watch Series 3

Entry fee: 1 image: $5.50, 3 images: $12.50, 5 images: $18.50 (continuing discounts for additional images)

3. Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year

image of a fisherman in Vietnam catching fish in the water amidst a brewing storm
"In The Storm" by Khanh Phan Thi (1st place in 'Bring Home the Harvest' - 2023 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year)

The Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year is an esteemed photography competition dedicated to celebrating the art of food photography. From photographing harvesting practices to food rituals, traditions, preparations and more, this competition highlights the cultural significance and diversity surrounding food. Categories include Food for the Family, Politics of Food, Bring Home the Harvest, Street Food and Moments of Joy.

Finalists are invited to attend a special Awards Evening at the Mall Galleries in London, where their winning images will also be exhibited during a free exhibition taking place in June.

Submissions open: Now

Submissions close: 4 February 2024

Prize: 1st prize: £5,000; Category winners: Various cash prizes up to £1,500

Entry fee: £35.00 per adult entrant (up to 5 photographic entries). £7 per entry after this. "Young" and "Student" categories are free to enter.

Thinking of hiring a food photography studio?

Choose from 1000+ spaces and locations on Tutti and deal directly with space hosts for a quick, hassle-free booking process.

4. Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2024

image of a young man being held upside down in between the torsos of two other people
"Chotu Lal Upside-down" by Carl Francois van der Linde (Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023 shortlist)

Open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world, the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize is an annual photography competition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, calling for "photography focused on portraying people with an emphasis on their identity as individuals".

Each year, selected entries are displayed in a photography exhibition at the gallery, usually between November and February.

Submissions open: Start of April (TBC)

Submissions close: End of May (TBC)

Prize: 1st place: £15,000; 2nd place: £3,000; 3rd place: £2,000

Entry fee: £21 per image. Free for photographers in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit. Discounts available for students, photographers in receipt of Disability Benefits, and those between the ages of 18 and 25.

5. RSPCA's Young Photographer Awards

image of a snake swimming across the top of a dark body of water
"River Crossing" by Max Pletzer, 11 (Under 12s Winner - RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2022)

Open to UK residents aged 18 or younger, RSPCA's Young Photographer Awards encourage young people to explore their creativity and get in touch with the beautiful natural world around them. As celebrity host, Chris Packham, noted at the 2022 awards ceremony, "all you need is a camera, smartphone or tablet to take pictures with, and a passion for animals".

The winners are usually announced in December at an awards ceremony, with shortlisted candidates notified in October.

Submissions open: May 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: August 2024 (TBC)

Prize: Overall winner: A weekend photography break worth £675; Other category winners: Various prizes including Amazon vouchers plus exclusive photoshoots

Entry fee: Free to enter

6. World Press Photo

image of a a child staring into the distance as they are in a dark shower room
"Beautiful Poison" by Cristopher Rogel Blanquet (Regional Winner of the 2023 World Press Photo Contest -  North & Central America)

World Press Photo is a prestigious international competition dedicated to professional photojournalism and documentary photography. Entrants must prove their professional status as a photographer, for example via an employment reference or press card.

Winners are usually announced in April and their works are displayed in an annual travelling exhibition, which is shown in over 80 cities around the world, including Vienna, Hong Kong and Barcelona.

Submissions open: December 2023 (TBC)

Submissions close: January 2024 (TBC)

Prize: 4 global winners: €5,000; 24 regional winners: €1,000

Entry fee: Free to enter

7. Amateur Photographer of the Year

silhouette of a man smoking next to a London bus with the billboards of Piccadilly Circus in the background
"Piccadilly Circus" by Tommaso Carrara (Overall winner - Amateur Photographer of the Year 2022)

The Amateur Photographer of the Year is an annual photography competition open to ‘amateur’ photographers of all ages and nationalities (those who photograph as a hobby rather than their main source of income). Winners will gain exposure in the popular Amateur Photographer magazine as well as on their website.

The competition takes place over "10 monthly rounds", each focusing on a different theme that entrants should base their submissions around. Previous themes have included Travel, Street, Wildlife, Macro, Landscapes, and Portraits.

Submissions open: Round One opens February 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: Round Ten closes November 2024 (TBC)

Prize: APOY winner: £1000 voucher; Young APOY winner: £500 voucher

Entry fee: £8 per image (discounts available for bundles). 1 free entry per round for AP magazine readers. Free-to-enter Young APOY contest for 13-21 year olds.

8. Landscape Photographer of the Year

cross section of an underwater habitat and a house in the distance above
"The Sacred Garden" by Gray Eaton (Coast winner - Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022)

The Landscape Photographer of the Year is an annual photography competition in the UK celebrating the beauty and diversity of the British landscape through the art of photography. Entrants can apply from all over the world, but images must be taken of landscapes within the the UK. Previous categories include Cityscapes, Coastal View, Black and White, and Intimate Landscape.

Winners are usually announced in September, with winning images displayed in the annual touring exhibition across the UK, beginning in October.

Submissions open: February 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: May 2024 (TBC)

Prize: Overall winner: £10,000; 4 category winners: £1,000 each

Entry fee: £9.99 per image (discounts available for bundles).

9. CEWE Photo Award

image of a woman playing a game of cards with several men in a smokey room
“Warung kopi” by Ariani Dikye (Winner of the 2023 CEWE Photo Award)

The CEWE photo awards is the largest free-to-enter photography competition in the world, open to amateur and professional photographers of any nationality. A new slogan is released every year, under which entrants are invited to submit to around 10 different categories, usually including Landscapes, People, Nature, Animals, Architecture & Technology, Cooking & Food, Travel & Culture, Hobby & Leisure, and Aerial Photos.

In addition to the standard competition, three winners will be selected on a monthly basis, independent from category or country. These monthly winners will each receive a voucher for CEWE products worth €100. The overall competition winner is invited to a special awards ceremony which takes place in Germany each year.

Submissions open: November 2023 (TBC)

Submissions close: May/June 2024 (TBC)

Prize: 1st place: €15,000 holiday, €7500 worth of photography equipment and €2500 in CEWE products; 2nd-10th place: €5000 worth of photography equipment and €2500 in CEWE products

Entry fee: Free to enter

10. Sony World Photography Awards

image of a group of children pushing more children In a buggy surrounded by small hut like fixtures
Azim Khan Robbie (Lifestyle winner - Open Competition: Sony World Photography Awards 2023

The Sony World Photography Awards are a set of prestigious photography competitions open to international entrants, including a student competition, a youth competition, a professional competition and an open competition. Categories cater to a range of photographic styles and techniques, including architecture, documentary, landscape, portraiture, wildlife, sport and still life.

The competition usually accepts submissions during the second half of the year for the following year ahead, meaning that the Sony World Photography Awards 2024 will close in January 2024. The 2025 competition is likely to open again in June 2024.

Submissions open: Now

Submissions close: Student competition closes 30 November 2023; Open and Youth competitions close 5 January 2024; Professional competition closes 12 January 2024

Prize: Professional competition winner: $25,000 plus a solo exhibition; Open competition winner: $5,000 plus digital imaging equipment; Student & Youth competition winners: digital imaging equipment

Entry fee: Free to enter

11. Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY)

image of a reflection of two newts in a flower
"Nature’s Pitfall" by Samantha Stephens (Overall winner - Close-up Photographer of the Year 04)

Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) is an annual competition celebrating close-up, micro and macro photography. Founded by a UK couple back in 2018, the competition is open to amateur and professional photographers across the globe who are invited to submit images to a number of categories. Last year's categories included Animals, Insects, Butterflies & Dragonflies, Invertebrate Portrait, Underwater, and Plants.

Submissions open: May 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: July 2024 (TBC)

Prize: Overall winner: £2,500; Category winners: £250; Young Close-up Photographer of the Year: Macro lens worth £700 

Entry fee: £11 per image (discounts available for bundles). £5 for up to 15 images for Young CUPOTY entrants aged 17 or under.

12. Astronomy Photographer of the Year

image of mountains with what appear to be lots of shooting stars in the background
"Stabbing into the Stars" by Zihui Hu (Skycaps winner - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

The annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is the largest astrophotography competition in the world, open to entrants of any nationality and skill level. Entrants submit their photos in line with a number of categories, which usually include Our Moon, Our Sun, Planets, Comets and Asteroids, Aurorae, and Skyscapes.

Each year (usually in September), the winning images are displayed at an exhibition held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Submissions open: January 2024 (TBC)

Submissions close: March 2024 (TBC)

Prize: Overall winner: £10,000; Category winners:  £1,500; Runner-up winners: £500; Highly commended winners: £250

Entry fee: £10 per entrant

Wrapping up

Photography competitions offer photographers opportunities to secure cash prizes, gain new photography gear, and showcase their work in prestigious exhibitions. Many photographers even have their big break via these kinds of awards, as it allows them to boost their visibility and validates their skill and prestige. So if you're looking for a way to break into the industry or get your name out there, there's nothing to loose by shooting your shot at a few of these great competitions!

Thinking of hiring a photo studio?

Choose from 1000+ spaces and locations on Tutti and deal directly with space hosts for a quick, hassle-free booking process.

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