12 December 2017

2018 World Press Photo Contests

12 December 2017 - Written by Simon Hall

The World Press Photo Foundation invites all professional visual journalists worldwide to participate in its two renowned and free to enter contests: the 61st Photo Contest and the 8th Digital Storytelling Contest.

© Jonathan Bachman (1st prize singles, Contemporary Issues, 2017 World Press Photo Contest)

The 2018 World Press Photo Contests are among the most important initiatives of the year, providing recognition to photographers' work and bringing photography to a broader audience. 

"We need a global, comprehensive and diverse perspective of our world" declares Lars Boering, the Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation. "To all professional visual storytellers around the world, I encourage you to enter these free contests: send us local stories so we can share them globally. Winning a World Press Photo award is not only a career-changing event, it is also a chance to connect with an audience of millions, and an amazing opportunity to highlight your story and subject. If you don’t enter, you can’t win" he continues.

© Amber Bracken (1st prize stories, Contemporary Issues, 2017 World Press Photo Contest)

The annual World Press Photo Contest rewards photographers for the best images that have contributed significantly to visual journalism over the past year. “Whether entered as singles or stories, these pictures are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and visually compelling insights about our world” say the WPPh Foundation.

The awards are divided into eight categories, namely Contemporary Issues, General News, Long­Term Projects, Nature, People, Sports, Spot News, and Environment, which is new to the contest this year. The judging is done by four specialist juries, the chairs of which are Magdalena Herrera (Director of Photography, Geo France) both for General Jury and of The News and Documentary categories, Thomas Borberg (Photo-Editor-in-Chief, Politiken) for the Sports category, Whitney C. Johnson (Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic) for the Nature and Environment categories, and Jérôme Huffer (Head of Photo Department, Paris Match), for the People category. 

A username and password are required to enter the contest and must be requested before 4 January (12 midday CET). For those registered, the deadline for submissions is 9 January (12 midday CET).

© Paula Bronstein (1st prize singles, Daily Life, 2017 World Press Photo Contest)

Open to digital storytellers, visual journalists, producers, and entry coordinators from around the world, the World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest rewards those producing the best forms of visual journalism enabled by digital technologies and the spread of the internet.

The jury will award productions based on four defined categories: Immersive Storytelling, a visual story or project produced for the web in a form other than video that creates an immersive visual experience for the user; Innovative Storytelling, a visual story or project produced for the web, or as an app for a mobile device, which creates an innovative visual experience for the user; Long Form, a single linear narrative, or series of linear narratives, on a single topic, produced as a video for the web lasting no longer than 30 minutes; and Short Form, a single linear narrative, produced as a video for the web lasting no longer than 10 minutes. Nancy Donaldson Gauss (Executive Director for Video, The New York Times), Madi Ju (Head of Content, VICE China), Jonathan D. Woods (Executive Producer, TIME), Julie Winokur (Executive Director, Talking Eyes Media), Opeyemi Olukemi (Executive Producer, POV Digital), and Michael Tabb (video journalist, Quartz) are among the judges this year.

Contest website closes for entries on 4 January (12 midday CET).

© Zackary Canepari, from the film, Claressa (1st prize, Short Form, 2017 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest)

Nominees (or one representative for a team entry) have their travel to Amsterdam and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation so they can attend the World Press Photo Festival, a public event taking place on 13-14 April 2018 featuring presentations, workshops and meetups. They also receive a Golden Eye Award and a diploma at the Awards Ceremony, an exclusive celebration taking place on 12 April 2018.

The World Press Photo of the Year award carries a cash prize of €10,000, as well as return airfare and hotel accommodation for travel to Amsterdam during World Press Photo Festival. The winner also receives a selection of camera equipment provided by Canon and a Golden Eye Award.

The prize-winning photographs are also assembled into a year-long exhibition that opens in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam on 14 April. The exhibition then goes on to visit 45 countries and 100 cities. The winning pictures are also published in an annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages. The prize-winning projects of the Digital Storytelling Contest are assembled into an exhibition that travels to select locations around the world.


PHmuseum has supported the World Press Photo Foundation since 2016. Learn more about the World Press Photo contests and the organisation at

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

5 minutes

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