What is a Photography Award

As an amateur or professional photographer, you must have taken a great deal of photographs. It is always nice when a customer appreciates the work you are or have done. You can also get a photography award for your photo. So, what is a photography award?

A photography award is a form of lexical ambiguity. It can mean a reward or recognition given to photographer, and it can also mean the art of taking pictures or photographs at an awards event.

Participating in photography contests is a great way for photographers to get recognition and benchmark their work against peers from around the world.

Whether you are a professional photographer, a student, or an amateur hobbyist, photography awards provide the perfect platform to hone your skills and evolve your expression.

What is a Photography Award?

A photography award is a reward or recognition that is given to photographers for their work in taking photos or pictures. This award can be given to a professional photographer.

Photography awards are rewards in exchange for a person’s determination, dedication, passion, and skills. They are the highest form of validation. So, it is understandable for a lot of photographers to aim for such a goal, which is to receive a prestigious award from respected photography organizations or groups.

There are a lot of photography awards all over the world, but some of them are considered a cut above the rest because of several factors like credibility and the level of professionalism.

These prestigious international photography awards are also well revered and respected by both amateur and professional photographers, as well as by industry leaders.

What is the Best Photography Award

As a photographer, you should aim to one day get an award for your skills and hard work. The following are some of the best photography awards you should consider and look at.

  1. Prestigious International Photography Awards.
  2. The IPAor International Photography Awards.
  3. Sony World Photography Awards.
  4. Monovisions Photography Awards.
  5. The National Geographic Photo Contest.

Importance Photography Awards to Photographers

As mentioned earlier, awards serve as proof or validation. They are an indication that a photographer has skills and creativity that’s more than just the ordinary. Awards are for photographers who strive to do better than the rest.

Another reason why photographers work hard to get an award is so they can be noticed. Once they are recognized for excellence in their work, a photographer’s reputation and confidence improves.

This will have a positive effect on the photographer’s career and open a lot of windows of opportunity. Eventually, word will go around and more and more individuals and companies will want to be listed on that photographer’s client list. An award will boost the image and branding of the winning photographer.

Top Photography Awards You Should Consider

As a photographer, it would be great to enter and participate in the industry awards or contents. You can win various prizes, and this would be good for your career as a photographer.

In some cases, a photographer plays the role of a videographer, but for the awards below, you would participate as a photographer.

  1. International Awards Photography Event

This is an annual award where three photographers are picked as winners. The winners are then given an opportunity to showcase their work in a New York City exhibit, at a yearly event that recognises photographic great achievements

At the start of the selection, there are 45 professional and non-professional photographers vying for the award. The top three photographers will be brought to different countries where their work will be exhibited in various photography events including festivals and galleries.

  1. Sony World Award Photography

This annual award is given to contemporary photographers from all over the world. It is open to all photographers, of all levels, and for free. In other words, both professionals and non-professionals – and even students – are eligible to receive an award.

The Sony World Photography Awards has several categories which include travel, landscape, sports, street photography, culture, portraiture, documentary, and architecture, among others.

  1. Monovisions Photography Awards

These awards are is intended for photographers who focus on monochrome photography. Photographers from different parts of the world will get the chance to win more or less $5,000 cash. Photography level and background are not essential for joining; anyone can enter the contest.

  1. The National Geographic Photo Contest

This is a photo contest scheme by the National Geographic, which is one of the most respected and popular platform for photographers from across the world.

What is your favourite Nat Geo program? Mine is the wildlife channels

The award is given to photographers who join various categories in the professional and non-professional levels. There are usually changes in the categories, but their basic concept usually revolves around people, nature, and places.

  1. Istanbul Photo Awards

The Anadolu Agency organizes the Istanbul Photo Awards. It is an international news photography contests which aim to develop the news photography area. This contest seeks to reward hard-working news photographers around the world and has become a widely known photography contest around the globe.

  1. RHS Photographic Competition

Are you obsessed with taking snapshots of your garden? Enter this flower-photo-friendly contest, which includes categories for 11-17-year-olds and even kids under 11 years old.

This photo competition is organized by the Royal Horticulture Society, which is targets the photographers, horticulturists, and garden lovers

  1. All About Photo Awards

With no pre-defined theme, this photography contest offers freedom to submit your favorite photos, and there are cash prizes for the first five winners. The winners’ work will be shown in Dodho magazine, AAP magazine, Be- Art magazine, and other places.

  1. ZEISS Photography Award

The Zeiss Photography Award is organized with the partnership of Zeiss and the World Photography Organization, which is a global platform for photography activities. Together they to support inspiring photographers around the world. Winners are invited to London every April to participate in the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition opening.

  1. CAP Prize 

CAP prize is an international photography competition for contemporary African photography which is held since 2012. Twenty-five photographers are shortlisted, and the CAP prize is awarded to five photographers. Submissions must consist of a sequence 10-25 photos taken in an African country or of the African diaspora.

  1. The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest

Open to young photojournalists ages 18-33, this photo contest from Russia honors the memory of Andrei Stenin, a photojournalist who died while on an assignment.

This photo competition aims to be a platform through which talented photojournalists make a name for themselves. In 2019, the competition saw 6000 entries from 80 countries.

  1. BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

The BigPicture photography competition aims to showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth with the hope that these images will be a channel of inspiration to protect the environment. Award-winning photographer Suzi Eszterhas is the Jury Chair of this competition.

This photography competition calls for high-quality nature, wildlife, and conservation images from around the world. The winning shots will be exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences.

  1. Award Photography – iPhone Photography Awards

To Compete for the IPPA Photographer of the Year Award in 18 categories. Photographers must use an iPhone or an iPad.

The categories for this iPad and iPhone photography contest are Abstract, Animals, Architecture, Children, Floral, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, News and Events, Panorama, People, Portrait, Series (3 images), Still Life, Sunset, Travel, Trees, Other.

  1. International Travel and Documentary Photography Competition

This photography contest, which only accepts 1,000 applicants, zoomed in on the theme of “Inspire,” asking the visual storyteller to convey inspiration and hope to others. Entrants can submit up to five photos in this online photography contest.

  1. Nikon International Small World Competition 

This photography competition began in 1975 as a medium to appreciate the photographers who were using a light microscope to create images. The ‘Small World’ competition has become the leading platform for photomicrographers. The competition is open to everyone.

Snag the top prize in this contest with photomicrograph–a photo taken through a light microscope. Even the 11th-20th place winners are awarded $200.

  1. Monochrome Award Photography

Of all the photography contests, this is the most prestigious black-and-white photography only competition. This competition has separate contests for both amateurs and professional photographers.

The Monochrome Awards is one of the best photography contests for beginners who are interested in black and white photography.

  1. Chromatic Photography Awards

There are 20 categories of color photography in this international photography contest, which is open to both amateur and professional photographers.

The awards aim to promote the best photographers in the world and recognize upcoming talented photographers. Chromatic awards gold, silver, and bronze medals for each level in each category.


In conclusion, we have seen that there is a wide range of photography contests that are sure to inspire photographers around the world, regardless of age or skill level.

It is important that you consider being part of a photography award.

Beyond the broad international photo contests, there are many niche photography awards or contests ranging from undersea exploration to monochromatic themes to smartphone-centric snap fests; you will undoubtedly find something that speaks to your interests and creative viewpoint.

While many of these are free to enter, some photography awards and contests can have entry fees.