Photography Competition Tips

“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”

Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman

Why Enter Photography Contests?

“The Earth is Art; The Photographer is only a Witness ”
~ Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above


In photography, the path to success and exposure can seem daunting with such a vast quantity of photos posted every moment of every waking hour (There are over 100 million image and video uploads to Instagram each day. 100. Million.)

Photography competitions allow you to bypass the ‘noise’ out there and get your work seen. Of course, success is never guaranteed, and there can only be one 1st place, but the Competition’s publicity and visibility are well worth the effort.

Lenticular Clouds Lyme Park

One of the most significant benefits of entering photography competitions is exposure to the panel of influential judges (as in the case of the World Weather Photography Competition) and the public at large. Our hashtag #StormHour is closely monitored by many people and businesses and is an excellent way to get your work out there.

“A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

Don’t be too cautious with your work; many photographers are perfectionists by nature, but often, the composition and context are the overriding factors rather than perfecting the technical detail. Look to change your vantage point, and examine potential leading lines and juxtapositions. Let your photograph tell a story so the viewer is guided through it.

“Only photograph what you love.”
~ Tim Walker

Photography is so subjective that each judging panel member will base their decisions on personal experiences. You may have one judge who has an affinity to leading lines that guide you through the photograph; another may prefer wide-open vistas and spectacular landscapes; others may be looking for the raw power of nature and will not be getting too concerned about the technical excellence of the photograph.

One tip I would give is to try to make your image compelling; if it grabs attention immediately and makes a judge want to examine the detail again, then you are partway there! I would take time to describe your photo, giving as much detail as possible to help tell the image’s story. It’s not necessarily all about the picture; it’s about the story.

Remember that judges look at images on screens of different sizes and resolutions, so I tend to look for a more minimalist feel. But that’s just me. Subjective.

Enjoy the process of taking photographs and entering them into competitions. Don’t worry too much about what you imagine the judges will like or dislike; just have fun and develop your own creative self-assessment. Go with your heart!

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.”
~ Diane Arbus

If you don’t win, don’t worry, you will gain confidence in showing your images to a broader viewing public, and your pictures will have gained more exposure with an audience who most likely would have never seen them.

Competitions have the added benefit of encouraging engagement and networking with other photographers. I see this weekly with our daily photo competition and the associated Best of the Rest. A large community come together to offer congratulations and support.

“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”
~ Brigitte Bardot

So which Competition should you enter? Obviously, we suggest our photo competition (see top menu for a link to enter) as it is quick, easy to enter and gives you instant and great exposure! Also, it is well established as it has been running since July 2016!

Please note some of the competitions listed below are now closed

Regarding annual weather photography contests, The Royal Meteorological Society competition is hard to beat.

The Royal Meteorological Society hopes to share details on this year’s competition in the next few weeks, so please watch the website ( or social media channels for details on how to enter. You will have a couple of months to submit images from when the Competition is launched.

For 2019, RMetS had nearly 6,000 images submitted to the Competition by 2,000 entrants from 60 countries and attracted 4,000 public votes

Nikon Small World Contest – Celebrating over 45 years of images captured by the light microscope Deadline April 30th 2020

The Independent Photographer runs a monthly themed Photography contest which offers cash prizes, although you have to pay to enter.

Another paid contest is the MonoVisions Photo Awards – again, good cash prizes are on offer if you specialise in monochrome photography

The Neutral Density Photography Awards offer prizes totalling $7,500