The Cost of Competitions

17 March, 2009

I recently got through details for entering this year’s New York Photo Festival awards and it led me to ask whether such events are worthwhile in terms of the effort that is needed to enter and the cost of the fees charged. Such awards can be extremely helpful to photographers seeking to enhance their profile and in some cases their bank balance; but for those who don’t win, and of course there is only ever one winner, are they a bit of a lottery that increasingly costs significant amounts of money.

Starting at $30 per print and rising to $80 for a series of 2 – 15 images, per category, entering the New York Photo Festival can quickly become expensive. NYPH are not alone in charging for entries and while there are some important exceptions such as the World Press awards, BJP awards and the Sony awards, most competitions charge for entries, often arguing that the fees cover the cost of administering the competition. Over a year entries can add up to hundreds of pounds with no guarantee that your work will be seen by the final round judges.

Here is a quick survey of some of the competitions available to photographers which is by no means exhaustive. The BJP in the UK and PDN in the USA are very good sources of more competitions.

And this extremely useful blog.

Competitions in the UK:

Sony World Photography Awards

Launched last year, the Sony Awards are free and have a prize of $25,000 for the winner of Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of The Year which was won last year by Vanessa Winship for her series – Sweet Nothings: Rural Schoolgirls from the Borderlands of Eastern Anatolia Turkey.

AOP Open

The AOP has a number of competitions for their full and provisional members, but they also have an annual event – the AOP Open, which is open to everyone. Winners take part in an exhibition with their work published in an accompanying catalogue.

Cost is £12 per image submitted

National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

Charging £16 per print entered with a limit of 6 images, this can be fairly expensive as in addition to the entry fee entrants also have to stump up the cost of getting their photograph printed, which can cost up to £200 depending on the size. The winner does however win £12,000 and is exhibited in one of the UK’s leading galleries, the National Portrait Gallery.

In the USA

IPA (International Photography Awards) Competition

With the lure of winning the title International Photographer of the Year and a cash prize of $10,000 this is one of the top photography awards. There are a large number of categories to choose from including fine art, advertising and editorial.

Costs are:

Single Image: $35.00

Series (2 t0 5 images): $60.00

Each Additional Category: $25.00

In France

The Prix de la Photographie in Paris has a number of aims which include discovering new talent and bringing the global photographic community to the attention of the artistic community of Paris. The winning images are exhibited in Paris and also published in the Px3 Annual Book and there is a 3000 euro prize for the Best in Show.

$30 for each photograph entered

$50 for each series (2-5 images with a unifying theme) or book

To enter the same photograph or series again into an additional category costs an extra $25 per category.

Non-professional and Student Photographers:

$20 per photograph entered

$40 for each series (2-5 images with a unifying theme)

To enter same photograph or series again into an additional category costs an extra $15 per category.

One Response to “The Cost of Competitions”

  1. Lydia Panas Says:

    Great to discover your blog Bridget!!


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