These days, there are more ‘POTYs’ around than you can shake a tripod at – from Wildlife to Weddings, Landscape to Weather, Birds, Gardens, Dogs and just about everything in between.
Within each, is normally a wide range of categories – giving flexibility and opportunity for pretty much every photographer. With many having junior categories too, it could be a perfect project with which to get the young photographers in the house involved.
So why not revisit your archives – even re edit past images and see which award categories might be best to enter? Many awards have some tasty cash prizes, as well as great kit up for grabs, the chance for your work to be included in exhibitions and even books, celebrating the winners’ work.
The process itself is also very useful – looking at each category, identifying pictures that fit the brief, following the rules (careful how you edit, or when the image was shot etc!) and really focusing on your best work. This in itself is a great skill to hone!
As well as the big national and international awards, also check out your local camera club to see if any regular competitions are now running online. The physical meet ups are obviously on hold, but there’s a ‘boom in Zoom’ and other online broadcast apps, which allow you to participate in all sorts include online classes and tutorials.
Organisations such as the Royal Photographic Society also run competitions as well as qualifications you can work towards!
Here are just a few ideas to get you started – some of the deadline dates are soon, so if there’s something that takes your photographic fancy, get cracking and don’t miss your chance to shine!
A few of the awards are ‘on hold’ due to the current pandemic, but you can still browse the winners’ galleries from previous years, perfect for some inspiration (and truly amazing photography). Most will allow you to register your details – so you’re first to know when entries re-open.
Landscape Photographer of the Year – deadline just extended until 10 May 2020, go go, go!
Minimalist Photography Awards – deadline 25th May 2020.
Garden Photographer of the Year – entry deadline 31st October 2020, with several mini competitions in the meantime.
Bird Photographer of the Year – entries now closed for this one, but amazing back catalogue to enjoy. Finalists announced on 1st April 2020, overall results 22nd Aug 2020.
Sony World Photography Awards – entries re-open 1st July 2020.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year – The touring exhibition may be on hold, but a truly spectacular collection of images to view and inspire.
Dog Photographer of the Year – Amazing galleries of one of our favourite pet subjects. Join the mailing list to find out when the next competition opens.
International Wedding Photographer of The Year – register now for new dates. Browse previous winners and find out more about the images.
British Photography Awards (IPA) – Check out the winners’ galleries here and register for when entries re-open.
So plenty to ponder, lots to inspire!
Why not challenge yourself to do your first award entry this month? As they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it – and many a professional photography career has been launched off the back of an award win.
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The Wilki Team