A competition amongst rivals for a prize is one of the greatest ways to boost community engagement in a social and fun way. A photography contest ticks all the boxes whether the award is for the best amateur photography or the best photo from a seasoned professional. Take a look at some of the most famous photography contests to encourage and excite you…

1. Lucie Awards


The Lucie Awards takes place each year honoring photographers from all over the world for their achievements. The finalists are showcased and cash prizes awarded for The International Photographer of the Year, The Discovery of the Year, The Deeper Perspective Photographer, and the Moving Image Photographer of the Year. The Support categories awards acknowledge those people integral to crafting an image.

2. Exposure Awards

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The LensCulture Exposure Awards includes all genre of photography from diverse cultures worldwide. This competition is designed to help photographers of all levels gain global recognition and include opportunities for exposure in exhibitions, festivals, and the photobook which will be distributed to over 1,000 inside industries.

3. Pictures of the Year International


This is one of the oldest and most reputable photography competitions to enter as it’s moving into its 73rd year! There are 22 different categories open for submission, giving out awards ranging from photojournalism to documentary photography related sets. The winning photographs are exhibited at a number of high profile venues, including the Newseum in Washington D.C.

4. World Press Photo


The exhibition of winners from this prestigious photojournalism contest tours 45 countries with an internationally distributed accompanying publication. There are no entry fees and the cash prize offered is £10,000. There are few contests that offer this high exposure and award money which is the reason why last year the entry statistics showed 5,775 photographers from 128 countries submitting 82,951 pictures.

5. Sony World Photography Awards


This contest has four competitions: Professional – judged on a body of work, Open – rewarding best simple images, Youth – for all photographers aged 12 to 19 responding to a brief, and Student Focus for those studying photography. This is a highly renowned contest, and winners and finalists have their work featured in a travelling exhibition that goes all over the world, as well as having their work exhibited at London’s Somerset House.

6. Alexia Foundation Grants


This Foundation offers production grants to both professional photographers and students to give them the financial ability to produce stories that could change the world. Up to 20 photographs can be submitted related to the proposed project, and there’s no time limit on pictures that relate directly to the story. Unlike other contests these grants give money to create work in the future, so if you’ve got a photography series proposal this is the way to go.