Online photo contests

Photographers can get recognition and measure their work against colleagues from all over the world by entering photography contests for beginners. Online photo contests are a great way to refine your talents and expand your expression, whether you're a professional photographer, a student, or an amateur hobbyist.

There are a variety of photography competitions that are likely to inspire photographers of all ages and skill levels all across the world. Many specialty photography contests ranging from undersea exploration to monochrome themes to smartphone-centric snap fests; you will certainly discover something that speaks to your interests and creative outlook outside the wide international photography contests. While many of these are free to enter, certain photography competitions and awards may charge an entrance fee.

While participation can be rewarding in and of itself, a few of the photography competitions also offers considerable financial or in-kind awards in addition to the visibility you will earn if you win one.

Top 5 Online Photo Contests to Enter in 2021

With many photography competitions to choose from, it can be tough to know which ones are worth your time and effort. Based on popularity, participation criteria, and prizes, we've compiled a list of the greatest online photo contests from across the world.

1. International Photography Awards

Entry deadline: March 14, 2021 (early entry deadline).

Categories: Professional and amateur categories divided into 13 categories apiece.

Entry Fee: Single image costs $35 in professional categories and $25 in non-professional categories. Series Images of 2-9 photos cost $60 for Professional Categories and $50 for Non-Professional Categories. Additional categories and countries qualify for discounts.

2. Istanbul Photo Awards

Istanbul online photo contests

Image is taken from Istanbul Photo Awards

Entry deadline: March 18, 2021.

Categories: There are four different categories.

Entry Fee: Free prizes include $8,000 for Photo of the Year, $5,000 for category winners, $3,000 for second place, and $1,500 for third.

3. iPhone Photography Awards

Entry deadline: March 31, 2021.

Categories: There are 18 categories in total.

Entry fee: 1 image costs $3.50, 3 images cost $9.50, 5 images cost $15.50, 10 images cost $29.50, 15 images cost $45.50, 20 photographs cost $57.00, and 25 images cost $65.50.The number of submissions is unrestricted.

Prizes: The overall winner will receive the IPPA Photographer of the Year Award, as well as surprise prizes for the top three winners. Each category's top winner will also get a gold or platinum bar.

4. ND Awards

Entry deadlines: April 25, 2021, is the early deadline, while September 19, 2021, is the final deadline.

Categories: Professional and amateur categories are divided into 6 and 5 categories, respectively.

Entry fee: Single image: $20 for a non-professional image, $25 for a professional image. $25 for non-professionals, $30 for professionals. Fees are reduced if you submit your application before the deadline.

Prizes: $2,500 as Professional Grand Prize; $1,300 as Non-Professional Grand Prize; $500 as Professional Category Winners; $300 as Non-Professional Category Winners. ND Magazine publishes all of the winners.

5. Sony World Photography Awards

Sony online photo contests

Image is taken from World Photo

Entry deadline: January 14, 2021.

Categories: Professional (for a body of work), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions), and Youth are the four categories (for 12-19 year-olds)

Entry fee: Free

Prizes: Professional Photographer of the Year will get $25,000 in Sony equipment, while the Open Photographer of the Year will receive $5,000 in Sony equipment.

Tips on How to Enter Online Photo Contests

For budding photographers, winning their first photography competition is a rite of passage. However, with so many entries, it's frequently difficult for an image to even make the final cut, let alone win. So, how can you create a photograph that sticks out among the crowd? Of course, a winning photographer will comprehend both the technical and creative parts of photography, but there's more to it than that. Here are five pointers on how to enter the online photo contests.

1. Technical know-how

Everyone has a camera these days. You almost certainly have several, including your phone's camera. To take award-winning images, you don't have to be a professional photographer with expensive equipment. You will, however, need to know how to use your camera to produce technically sound photographs. At the very least, images should be sharp (at least in the principal subject regions), properly exposed (no blown-out skies), and demonstrate a high level of compositional skill.

2. Stand Out from the Crowd

Today, the majority of online photo contests choose winners based on the distinctiveness of their photos. It is not necessary to travel to an unknown location to generate unique photographs, but it does require effort and planning. You aren't improving your chances of winning a photography competition by submitting an image from a well-known place like Horseshoe Bend. Experiment with varied compositions, different times of day or night, people or animals as subjects, and so on.

3. Participate in Contests Regularly

There are a plethora of free and paid online photo contests available today, covering every topic imaginable. You may use a site like Photo Contest Insider to identify the top open contests. Make a list of contests and deadlines in a spreadsheet or calendar. Prepare photographs for each contest ahead of time so you have plenty of time to choose the best ones for the photography competition. Set a goal for yourself to enter a particular amount of contests each month, and you'll see a difference!

4. Stay on Topic

This may sound obvious, but if you're going to take the trouble of entering the online photo contests, make sure you read and comprehend the theme and/or genre. These themes are frequently very specific. Entering photographs that do not fit the theme will not boost your chances of winning. If the subject is "Winter Wonderland," you should include snow or ice in your artwork.

5. Only the Best of Your Work Should be Submitted

It's time to choose which photographs to enter after you've identified which contests are the best fit for your work. Photographers often have personal favorites, although these may not be the most popular with the audience or judges. Looking at previous winners of the contest you wish to enter is a good idea. This will give you an idea of the kinds of images that won in that online photo contests. Return to your photographs and choose a few that seem to fit the aesthetic of previous winners.

6. Increase Your Chances

Entering many photographs into a contest that matches your interests is a terrific strategy to boost your chances of winning. Many websites provide discounts for numerous entries, which is a wonderful way to get the most out of your money.

7. Write a Descriptive Paragraph

You may have a lovely photograph, but how meaningful is it to you? Tell the judges about how you took the photo, the hurdles you faced, and how the moment felt when the shutter was clicked. A story may help take a decent shot and turn it into a terrific one!

8. Seek Input from Your Peers

Try working with a friend or peer to review each other's photographs as part of a continuous learning process. Even if it feels unpleasant at first, this is an opportunity to grow and enhance your work. Having another set of eyes on your work will aid you in numerous ways in refining your vision. Discuss things like composition, color harmony, contrast, and light quality, among other things.

9. Get a Second Opinion on Your Portfolio

Try having a portfolio review done if you want to take your work to the next level. Many online photo contests allow you to submit a portfolio (or a single photograph) for assessment by the judges. You may also contact a photographer you admire to see if they'd be interested in collaborating on this. These reviews will be short and to-the-point, with a keen eye for detail.

10. Maintain a Positive Attitude

You won't win every photography competition you enter, but that doesn't mean your images aren't fantastic! Simply keep your creative juices flowing and concentrate on constant growth.

Create a Photography Portfolio Website with Strikingly

Professional and amateur photographers alike can benefit from online photo contests. They're a fantastic tool for expanding your exposure outside the confines of your photography website and social media networks, in addition to allowing you to monetize your existing portfolio. Participating in online photo contests may also be a terrific way to get fresh ideas for your photography by exploring new themes or genres.

The appropriate portfolio template is the foundation of a fantastic website. Strikingly provides individuals and creatives with a powerful website builder and a large collection of portfolio website templates, allowing them to construct unique and feature-rich sites without having to know how to code. All of the backend work related to web development has already been taken care of, allowing you to concentrate on creating outstanding content.

Strikingly isn't like other portfolio builders. Rather, it's a one-click friend who can help you get your work in front of a wider audience. From a free assortment of photography portfolio website designs to an astonishing set of features, Strikingly has it all.

With Strikingly Add Custom Form, you can now create a unique area for your art portfolio website. By starting a simple blog, you can begin sharing your thoughts and ideas with your online art portfolio audience. You may also easily start your own little internet business and sell your artwork. Simply choose one of the three options available, each of which includes all of the tools you'll need to start building your art portfolio website.

With the technical stumbling blocks out of the way, setting up a website on Strikingly for the online photo contests will just take a few minutes, but you'll want to spend a little more time on it to ensure that it attracts the correct audience. You've come to the right place if you're seeking ideas for your free portfolio website.

To help you understand it better, below are a few of the top photography websites created by Strikingly.

Shane Leong

Shaneleong website

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

Emmelyn K Photography

Emmelyn photography

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

Paul Zheng

Paul Zheng photography

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website


MB visuals website

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

The Photographic Voice

The photographic voice

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

ZPotler Photography

Zpotler photography

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website

Steph Harding

Steph harding website

Image is taken from Strikingly user’s website


A picture contest entry can be exactly what you're looking for to get your creative juices flowing. These online photo contests promote creativity and emerging talent in the field of photography. So prepare your viewfinder and take that award-winning shot.