photography competitions

The New Year brings with it new ambitions, and for photographers that can often mean titles and awards. Being able to mention on your homepage that you’ve come top of the pile in a local, national or international competition can do your chances of bagging new clients the power of good.

As well as that, having your work compared, contrasted, appreciated and appraised by your peers and photography heroes is, of course, wonderful for the ego, and the resulting fanfare and press coverage can raise your profile within the industry, leading to speaking or teaching gigs and a significant boosting of confidence.

With that in mind, we’ve cast the Engage Live eye far and wide for a selection of photography competitions that might tickle your competitive fancy. Feel free to share with friends, and good luck in the year ahead!

Px3 Prix De La Photographie Paris: This competition has been running for nine years and is now one of the most important European photography competitions around. It attempts to promote the ‘appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris’, and does a very good job of it. There has been an extended deadline (as if often the case with international photography competitions), so the closing date is February 29. Not long to go! Click here to enter.

LensCulture Portrait Awards: Now in its third year, this competition, run by the contemporary photography magazine and website, aims to ‘discover the very best contemporary portrait photography from all cultures around the world’. Entry is free and the judging panel this year features the likes of Alessia Glaviano, Senior Photo Editor at Vogue Italia and Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Global Digital Director Magnum Photos. Closing date is March 8. Enter here.

Kann Photography Awards 2016: This is a unique award, as it offers entrants the opportunity to intern with the world’s leading film companies. The Kann Awards are dedicated to help kick-start aspiring photographers’ careers through monthly online art competitions, giving successful entrants much needed exposure. The deadline for this competition is March 14. If interested, click here.

International Photography Awards: An inclusive competition for professional, non-professional and student photographers, the International Photography Awards has a very wide range of categories and culminates in the Lucie awards – to which all category winners are invited – where the International Photographer of the Year is named. There is decent prize money involved – $10,000 for the overall winner – and this year an extended deadline of March 31 means that there is plenty of time left to enter. Do so on the official website, where you can also be inspired by last year’s winning entries.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016: International law firm Taylor Wessing have been sponsoring this competition for eight years and claim to be continually ‘inspired’ by the many thousands of images they receive. This competition celebrates and promotes ‘the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world’. The competition opens in May 2016. For more information, sign up here.

Proify Annual International Photography Awards 2016: This competition is focused on up and coming non-professional photographers, as a means of giving international amateurs their time in the spotlight. There are eight wide ranging categories to choose from, including portraiture, wedding and, interestingly, retro. To find out about opening and closing dates, sign up here.

SWPP 20X16 Print Competition 2017: This competition from the Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers may ultimately take place in 2017, but the closing date for entries is December 31, 2016, so it fits the bill. Again, there are a wealth of categories to chose from, and all those shortlisted are exhibited during the SWPP Annual Convention and Trade Show in London in January 2017. There is an affordable entry fee, which is slightly less for members, and it is worth entering if only to attend the awards ceremony, one of the events of the year. Enter here.