A great way to gain recognition in the photography community and to establish legitimacy in the eyes of your clients is to win respectable professional photography contests or competitions.Some of these contests offer cash prizes and other tangible rewards; while others offer publication in magazines and books.Some of these competitions are primarily photography communities, with competitions as a feature of the site; while others are primarily focused on photography competitions, with aspects of learning and community as a side feature.Here is a list of competitions we have heard of, participated in, and/or found on the internet.

This article was originally written in 2009 and updated in 2022.

Photo Crowd

Cost – Free
Target Audience – Primarily Amateurs and Serious Hobbyists

A gamified and VC funded platform for fun photo contest that deliver actual prizes. “Enter now to win great prizes and your work seen around the world. Get inspired and join thousands sharing their passion for photography.”

View Bug

Cost – Free
Target Audience – Primarily Amateurs and Serious Hobbyists

Similar to Photo Crowd, you can win actual prizes with View Bug.  The site finds “sponsors” for each of their contests for the contestants to win.  This is one of the more active photo contest websites out there.

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) 

Cost per contest submission: members $50, nonmembers $65 (Pricing may be outdated)
Target Audience – Professional Wedding and Portrait Photographers

WPPI holds annual competitions in a variety of topics, including album design, 8×10, and 16×20.The two 8×10 photo competitions are for members only, and the Awards of Excellence Print and Album Competitions are open to all.These are some of the most prestigious competitions for wedding and portrait photographers, with a few perennial winners and very stiff competition.Submissions are usually due in mid January.

International Photography Awards

Professionals – Single Image: $35,Series (2 to 5 images): $60, Each Additional Category: $25
Non Professionals – Single Image: $25, ¨Series (2 t0 5 images): $50, ¨Each Additional Category: $15
Students – Single Image: $15, Series (2 t0 5 images): $20, ¨Each Additional Category: $10

The International Photography Awards conducts an annual competition for professional, non- professional, and student photographers on a global scale, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today.

The winners of the main categories will compete for IPA’s top award of International Photographer of the Year. Those finalists will be invited to attend the Lucie Awards at the Lincoln Center, New York, where one photographer will be announced as the grand winner, earning the coveted Lucie Statue and
a cash prize of $10,000. In addition, the nominees in the non-professional and student categories will be invited to the Lucie Awards to compete for the title of the Discovery of the Year, a Lucie Statue and $5,000 cash prize. Six nominees comprised of all levels of profession will be invited to the Lucie Awards for the title of Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year, where the story behind the images are dually judged, and to compete for the coveted Lucie Statue and a cash prize of $5,000.In addition to earning the chance to compete for the cash prizes, the category winners (nominees) will each receive two tickets to the Lucie Awards, a free copy of the Annual Awards Book and other titles. Furthermore, the IPA will invite an established curator to select 45 images from both the professional and non-professional pools of first, second, and third place winners to be exhibited in an exclusive show in New York City, during the week leading up to the Lucie Awards gala. The Best of Show will then travel to various countries to be included in photo festivals, galleries, and other photography related events. The work of all first, second and third place winners will be published in the high-quality, full-color, hardcover award winning Annual International Photography Awards Book.


Cost: Free

At jpg mag, any photographer can join and upload photos and stories to their member page.At any given time, there are three different photography competitions, or “themes,  open for submission.Photographers and readers upload their take on these themes, such as “Zen  or “Fairy Tale. The community votes and comments on these image submissions, and the winners of the competition are published in their magazine.The strengths of this photography competition are its strong, active community and high level of readership. Not to mention that winners are automatically published into their magazine.

Daily Awards

Cost: Free to participate. Various subscriptions from $5 per month to $100 lifetime membership for access to “DA  points and rewards.

This site operates on the following philosophy: “Those who have proven success have more voice over those seeking success.  DailyAwards.com is based on peer-review, but weighted to give more influence to those who have repeatedly proven success and experience. Winning contests and competitions get you “DA points  that can be used to purchase pins, certificates, and shirts. Furthermore, winning awards gets your image pasted on the home page for the duration of that contest; and winning annual awards gets your image and a link to your site “pinned  for an entire year.


Cost: varies (i.e. $2 to $10 per competition)

In this competition, members submit entries in various categories, ranging from “cutest pet  to “beautiful scenery.  With a free membership, anyone in the community can vote in the photography competitions; however, the cost and payout of each entry varies by contest. In general, most entries are beginner to amateur.

Digital Photography challenge

Cost: Free for limited access, $25 per year or $5 per month for full access

In DP challenge, members submit to challenges, cast votes, and participate in the forums. Strengths of this site are a strong community, with community feedback and Ëœfavorite photographers,’ and an effective learning aspect, with the settings of each image displayed as well as user-submitted tutorials. Free membership is all you need to submit, comment, and vote; and paid membership unlocks exclusive competitions, 100MB of storage, and other features. Winners of these competitions receive recognition for their work and badges on their profile.

Photo Konkurs

Cost: Free

Photokonkurs.com runs regular photography contests with prizes; and adds new contests every 2-5 days. Prizes vary from cash to watches, books, and sunglasses. In general, the sites presentation and layout are confusing and poorly constructed.

Other Photo Contests and Competitions

As we are not able to compile a complete list of available photography competitions, feel free to comment in the section below with any other competitions you may have found. In addition to the communities, contests, and competitions listed above, you may want to check out the following as well.