Photography Competitions

Jelly Fish
Hi. If you're an amateur or pro photographer who would like to try entering your photographs in competitions, you've come to the right place.

Receive an update every time a new photography contest is added- see options in the column to the right.

Whether you win or not, entering competitions can be a great way to improve your photography skills, motivate you to stretch your photographic range, and to show your talents to a large audience. Take a look at the article: Tips for Winning Photo Contests. Readers have added their own tips in the comments section and you're welcome to add your own.

Be sure to click on the "Older Posts" link right at the bottom of the page to see more photo contest opportunities.

Have details of a photography competition that you'd like to pass on?
Email me at: editor (at) photocompetitions (dot) com (dot) au. Please take a look at the Artists Bill of Rights guide for competition organisers first.


Owl Photography Competition

Did you know that owls not only "hoot" but also whistle, snort and hiss? I found this out when reading about the photography competition held by the International Festival of Owls.

The Festival is held in Houston, Minnesota, USA each year and in 2016 it runs from 4 - 6 March.

Owl at Lone Pine, Brisbane Australia, Photo: Dianne McLay
So if you have a fabulous photo of an owl, you might like to enter the photo competition. It's only open to amateurs and there is a $5 charge (US dollars) for each entry.

Take a look at previous winning photographs of owls.

Deadline:  1 February 2016

PrizesFirst prize: $100, 2nd prize: $25, 3rd prize: $15

Website:  Festival of Owls


Canon Light Awards

The Canon Light Awards photography competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers and there's a separate category for student photographers.  Each month a new creative photographic challenge is set by a Canon Master Photographer. Prizes are awarded for monthly winners with a grand prize at the end of the year.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City riverside homes
I really like the idea behind this photo competition because it inspires you to create images that are perhaps more challenging or different to the usual subject matter you shoot. There are also plenty of chances to win with a new theme opening each month.

End of each month. Check website for exact dates.


There's a different photographic brief each month. April's was "The Bigger Picture" and in May it was "Clarity".


  • Open - includes professional photographers
  • Student

Monthly Prizes for both categories

  • First: EOS 5D Mk III or $4000 Canon eStore voucher
  • Second:  $750 Canon eStore voucher
  • Third:  $300 Canon eStore voucher
  • Grand Prize:  Luxury photo safari for two to Africa

Who Can Enter?

  • Australian residents
  • must be 13 years old (with parent/guardian permission if under 18)


  • You do need to use Canon camera equipment to be eligible to enter this photo competition
  • Make sure you watch the video tips from the expert judges
  • Check out previous winning entries to understand what the judges are looking for


Canon Light Awards

Magazine Photo Competitions

A good place to find photo competitions is in the magazines you read. These might be photography or hobby magazines, your weekly news bulletin, or that deliciously trashy publication full of celebrity gossip you read at the dentist.

Good Chance of Winning

Unless it's a photography magazine, a lot of the competition entries will be submitted by readers who are not as skilled at photography as you are, so you have a good chance of winning a prize.

Here are a few Australian magazines that host photo competitions, but you'll find photo competitions in magazines all over the world.

Woman's Day - Australia

Take a cute picture of your pet or child, or a photo of yourself holding a copy of the magazine in an exotic location and it may be printed in Woman's Day. Every image printed receives $25 and the winning entries receive $150.

When: Each week

How: Email to along with your phone number and address

Open to: Readers of the magazine

Prizes: $25 and $150

WebWoman's Day

Tip: Pick up a copy of the magazine to see what the judges are looking for.

Australian Photography + Digital

This photography magazine has a monthly competition called "Your Best Shot". While this is a print publication, the website is worth a visit. For example, take a look at these Landscape Photography Tips. You can also see winning entries from previous months.

When: End of each month

How: Upload via the form on the magazine's website.

Themes: Each month has a different theme and previous themes have included: street photography, texture, the beach and love.

Open to: You have to be an Australian Photography subscriber or Australian Photography Society member

Prizes: Vary according to the month

Web: Australian Photography Website.

Image Doctor

Also a section in Australian Photography + Digital Magazine, Image Doctor isn't promoted as a competition, but there is always a monthly winner who usually receives quite a good prize. The idea is you submit your photo and a professional photographer gives you feedback on how to improve your technique.

When: Every month

How:  Email images - see the Image Doctor page for details

Open to: The Terms & Conditions don't appear to exclude any photographer, but you do need an Australian address to receive the prize if you should happen to win.

Prizes: Change monthly, but in the Feb and March editions, the prize was a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera kit valued at $1,800. Not bad!

Deadline: Every month and there's a limit of one image per person per month

WebAustralian Photography Website.

Australian Traveller Magazine

Australian Traveller magazine is published bi-monthly and every edition features a reader's photo.

When: Every two months

Tip: Have a look at previous winning entries to see what the judges are looking for.

How: Email to along with a short description of the photo and your contact details.

Prizes: Prizes vary, but at the time of writing the current prize was a very nice 70 - 200 Tamron f/2.8  lens.

WebAustralian Traveller

Have you noticed any regular photographic competitions in the magazines you read? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.


Wildlife Photography Competitions

Last year I was a guest on the Whales in Paradise whale watching boat which operates from Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. If you're interested in wildlife photography, I can highly recommend a trip to see these beautiful creatures up close.

Humpback Whale - Gold Coast Australia

We were lucky enough to see humpback whales breaching, which is a spectacular sight. My favourite photos were taken at 1/4000th second, to freeze the action. Two whales came right up to the boat to have a good look at we humans, so we all got portrait shots of the humpbacks too.

Humpback Whale -

Read about it on my Brisbane and Beyond blog.

This inspired me to find some wildlife photography competitions for you. Both of these photo competitions open at the beginning of each year, so you've got plenty of time go in search of a great wildlife photo.

British Wildlife Photography Awards

Obviously the wildlife has to be British, but the competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers of any nationality. Take a look at previous winning entries.

Entry fee: yes

Categories: There are lots of different categories including animal portraits and urban wildlife plus one for photographers under 12 years of age.

Prizes: Cash prizes and camera equipment

Competition opens: February 2015

Competition Website:

Rainbow Lorikeet
Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year Competition

This is a yearly competition but you can use photos that are up to seven years old. See the competition website for the exact details. The competition is open to local and international photographers, but photographs must have been taken in the ANZANG area = Australia, New Zealand, Antartica, New Guinea bioregion.

Entry fee: Check the current entry fees

Categories: There are many categories including animal behaviour, threatened species and animal habitat.

Prizes: Main prizes have included $10,000 cash and a holiday for two with smaller cash prizes for category winners.

Competition opens: Check the website each year in January for the exact date. The winners are usually announced mid-year.

Competition Website: