08 July 2021

July's Photography Awards and Opportunities

08 July 2021 - Written by Simon Hall

In our curated awards guide this month, we feature the PHOTO IS:RAEL Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography, a pop-up open call from PhEST, the Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, and many other great opportunities. Learn how they can help with the development and promotion of your visual stories.

FOLIO - Online Photobook Masterclass / Deadline: 10 September / No entry fee

© Riccardo Svelto, from the book La Cattedrale

In our second six-month Online Photobook Masterclass, Witty Books’ publisher Tommaso Parrillo and designer Federico Barbon will return to guide 10 photographers through the creative processes of conceiving and designing a brand-new photobook. At the end of the program, all participants will be ready to present their work to an international audience in the form of a dummy and Witty Books will select one to be professionally published in an edition of 500. Production will be fully financed by Witty Books with a contribution from PHmuseum Lab.

The Masterclass will consist of three online five-hour group classes and two individual 60-minute sessions with Tommaso Parrillo and Federico Barbon, in which participants will gain a general understanding of the contemporary photobook world and have the opportunity to engage in specific discussions aimed at working on ideas and improving methodologies. The program also includes five interactive studio visits with guest artists, curators, and gallerists, the names of whom are yet to be finalized. To apply, simply provide some personal details and submit a link to your portfolio. Submission is free. Further information is available at

PHOTO IS:RAEL Meitar Award / Deadline: 29 July / Entry fee: US$35

© Rhiannon Adam, from the series Big Fence / Pitcairn Island. 2020 winner

The Meitar Award for Excellence in photography, a collaboration between PHOTO IS:RAEL and the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund, will be awarded for the sixth time this year to a photographer showcasing outstanding work with the medium. This year’s winner will receive a $14,000 grant in addition to curatorial guidance and the production of a solo exhibition that will form part of the 2022 International Photography Festival. A shortlist of 20 photographers will first be selected for a group exhibition at this year’s festival that is set to take place in November 2021 in Tel Aviv, during which the winner will be announced.

All submissions will be reviewed by an independent panel that features Scott Gray (CEO of the World Photography Organisation), Karin Rehn-Kaufmann (Art Director and Chief Representative Leica Galleries International), Enrico Stefanelli (Founder and Artistic Director Photolux Festival), Eric Vroons (Chief editor for the print edition of GUP Magazine), Dafna Meitar Nechmad (The Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund), and Rivka Saker (Chairman of Sotheby's Israel). Together they will select a photographer who demonstrates thought, quality, and originality, as well as the potential to create a comprehensive body of work suitable for a solo exhibition. The submitted portfolios will be delivered to the jury anonymously, with no identifying markers, and will be judged based on their excellency. Further information can be found at

PhEST Pop-Up Open Call / Deadline: 15 July / No entry fee

© Sergei Stroitelev, from the series Am I Not Scared Anymore

PhEST, the international festival of photography and arts in Monopoli, Italy, has launched its first open call on the theme of the 2021 edition: Body. Together with LensCulture, they have planned a free, fast-paced pop-up call, which will be open to all for only two weeks. “We seek work that is intense, profound and intimate” write the curators. “We accept any visual language, all types of media, both still and moving, from photography to illustration, collage, animation, video and hybrids. Surprise us!”

A total of five prizes will be awarded by the international jury that features Maurizio Beucci (Head of Leica Akademie Italy), Jim Casper (Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder of LensCulture), Sanne De Wilde (Photographer), Arianna Rinaldo (Curator of photography at PhEST), and Giovanni Troilo (Artistic director of PhEST). They include: an exhibition at PhEST 2021 (opening August 6th); a dedicated exhibition for an applicant who is a resident in Puglia, Italy, at PhEST 2021; a publication on one of LensCulture’s communication channels; one online workshop offered by Leica Akademie; and one online workshop offered by Leica Akademie for a photographer whose work is exclusively shot with a smartphone.

All applications must include the title of the project, a short description of the work, a very brief biography, and a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 images if applying to the series category. The deadline to apply is 15 July. More details can be found at

Creator Labs Photo Fund / Deadline: 17 July / No entry fee

© Rydel Cerezo (and Aperture), from the series Am I Sea

Google's Creator Labs and Aperture have teamed up to launch the Creator Labs Photo Fund, a new initiative providing financial support to artists in the wake of COVID-19. “With artists and creatives heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more important and vital to provide support for this community”, state the competition’s organizers. Submissions are free and open to any photographer or lens-based artist living in the United States.

A jury comprised of Aperture's experienced editors and staff will select 20 artists to be awarded a prize of $5,000 each, and the chance to be featured on and across Aperture's social media channels. To apply to the Creator Labs Photo Fund, all entrants will need to submit between eight to 10 images from one body of work, showing a commitment to making a cohesive and compelling series or project. The project does not need to be finished in order to enter. Applicants will not be evaluated on the basis of prior experience, publications, or exhibition history, but instead on the strength and originality of their vision. The submission deadline is 17 July. To learn more and apply, visit

Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards / Deadline: 10 September / Entry fee: US$20 - US$60

© Gloria Oyarzabal, from the series Woman Go No'Gree. 2020 winner.

Initiated back in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards have developed into one of the most famed contests in the industry, dedicated solely to the celebration of the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. Visual storytellers, artists, photographers, publishers, galleries, and institutions around the world are invited to submit their photobooks into three different categories: the First PhotoBook Prize (for a first self-published / limited-edition book); the PhotoBook of the Year Prize (for a book authored by more than one photographer/artist in which the dominant content is photography); and the Photography Catalogue of the Year Prize (for the best exhibition catalogue or museum publication of the year).

The awards will be judged in two stages. An initial jury comprised of Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation representatives will convene in New York to select a shortlist in each category. A second, separate jury will then meet in Paris immediately before the inauguration of Paris Photo (11 – 14 November) to select the three winners. All shortlisted books will go on display at Paris Photo and feature in the fall 2021 issue of The PhotoBook Review, published by Aperture Foundation. Following their display during Paris Photo, an exhibition of thirty shortlisted books will travel to Aperture Gallery in New York and may be exhibited at other venues worldwide. The submission deadline is 10 September and entry fees vary depending on the category. More details can be found at

British Journal of Photography IPA / Deadline: 19 August / 1854 Membership Required

© Isabella Connelley

Now over 15 years old, the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award has long established itself as an important entry point into the photographic community. The contest has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the world’s most respected contemporary photographers, with winners and shortlistees gaining international industry exposure and the opportunity to be celebrated and acknowledged by key leaders in the field.

The judging panel this year includes Amanda Hajjar (Founding Director of Exhibitions at Fotografiska New York), David Company (Managing Director of Programs at the International Center of Photography), Allie Haeusslein (Associate Director Pier 24 Photography), Claartje van Dijk (Head of Exhibitions at Foam Photography Museum), Izabela Radwanska Zhang (Editorial Director, British Journal of Photography), and Vivienne Gamble (Founder Seen Fifteen Gallery), among others. Together they will be looking to award and promote a substantial body of work featuring compelling images that collectively form a distinct and conceptually unique narrative. The series may be shot in any format or camera model, on film or digital, and contain a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 photographs. The grand prize winner will be awarded a solo show at a renowned contemporary art gallery in London, a £5,000 production endowment, a four-page supplement in the British Journal of Photography magazine, and a three-year 1854 Full Access Membership.

Additionally, for the first time this year, photographers can enter a single image category in which 20 winning photographs will be exhibited in a group show, also in London. The closing date for submissions is 19 August. 1854 membership is required to enter. To learn more and apply, visit



Charta Dummy Award 2021 / Deadline: 9 July / No entry fee

The Charta Dummy Award is open to visual artists who use the photographic medium and have already made a book dummy of their project. The curators are looking for outstanding works, distinguished by an original approach to both contemporary languages and storytelling. Artists are invited to submit a physical copy of their dummy. The final shortlist will consist of a selection of 25 book dummies to be exhibited in Rome during the Charta Festival 2021. One of the shortlisted dummies will be awarded the Charta Prize and will be published by Yogurt Editions with a production worth €5,000.


The Ian Parry Scholarship / Deadline: 9 July / No entry fee

Created to celebrate the life and work of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who died while on assignment in 1989, this annual international photography contest has helped launch the careers of many of the finest photographers working in the profession today. It is a prize aimed solely at young photographers who are either attending a full-time photographic course or are under 24 years of age and it plays an important role in drawing attention to global issues that are often overlooked by mainstream media. This year’s IPS is divided into two categories: The Sunday Times Award for Achievement and The Canon Award for Potential, with each winner to be granted a US$3,500 cash prize and the opportunity to attend a portfolio review day with industry experts in London.


Camara Clara Photo Prize / Deadline: 12 July / No entry fee

Created in 2012 under the auspices of the Foundation Grésigny, the Camera Clara Photo Prize is open only for artists working with view cameras who are paying homage to the art of composition and timing. An independent jury will look to award a previously unpublished work presented in a series or photographic ensemble, allowing it to be judged for the coherence of both its form and content. For the creator of the prize, Joséphine de Bodinat Moreno and the artistic director, Audrey Bazin, it is essential that photographers positions themselves at the “reverse angle” of current trends and they will seek to award a reflective approach to image-making. A €6,000 endowment will be granted to one winner.


Lucie Photo Book Prize / Deadline: 15 July / Entry fee: US$35 - US$55

Run by the Lucie Foundation, the Lucie Photo Book Prize aims to support photographers in producing and promoting their photobooks through monetary prizes and exposure opportunities. The contest is divided into two separate awards - the Traditional Prize (worth US$3,000) and the Independent Prize (worth US$2,000). The Traditional Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator, or publisher whose book is commercially produced and distributed, while the Independent Prize will be granted to a photographer, editor, curator, or publisher whose book is published and distributed independently. The winners plus a selection of top finalists will also have their work displayed in New York City at a date to be set in 2022 as part of the Lucie Foundation’s annual programming.


Budapest International Foto Awards / Deadline: 30 August / Entry fee: US$10 - US$50

Having first been established last year, the Budapest International Foto Awards have set out a mission to promote the work of professional and emerging photographers to the fast-growing artistic community in the Hungarian capital, putting them in the spotlight and providing them with a great platform to showcase their work. The awards will seek to recognise the power and influence of photography in shaping how we see the world. Applicants must enter work into one of nine categories, namely Advertising, Architecture, Book, Editorial, Events, Fine Art, Nature, People, Portfolio, and Science. A host of monetary awards and exhibition opportunities are on offer.


Visit our awards page to get a complete view of the best photography opportunities that are currently open for entry.

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

13 minutes

Support PhMuseum Journalism

Since 2012 PhMuseum's articles have always been free and without ads. Every year we work to keep you informed and invite you to discover the work of hundreds of photographers. If you enjoy reading us, this can be a nice way to give back and support our independent organisation, granting us more means to increase the quality and number of contents. Thank you!