18 November 2021

November's Photography Awards and Opportunities

18 November 2021 - Written by Simon Hall

2021 may be winding down to its conclusion but the photography award season is just getting started, with The Aftermath Project Grant Open Call, Fotografia Europea Open Call, and Aperture Portfolio Prize among the many great contests currently accepting submissions. Learn how they can support the development of your work and career.

Fotografia Europea Open Call / Deadline: 13th December / €25

© Raymond Meeks, Fotografia Europea 2021 exhibitor

Returning for its 17th edition in 2022, Fotografia Europea will once again transform the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia into a stage for contemporary photography with a rich collection of events. The curatorial team has launched an open call for photographers to submit work to become part of the exhibition program at the festival, which is set to take place between 29th April and 12th July next year.

Work must respond to the theme of An Invincible Summer. Here the curators explain the meaning behind the concept: “The inspiration comes from a phrase by the great French writer Albert Camus. At a time of great upheaval, a moment of transition and growth that follows numerous extraordinary hardships and crises that have now come to define our era, Camus’s maxim gives us food for thought about the inner forces that drive us as individuals in what we do, in every moment of our lives. As we now have a chance to re-exist it is clearly a point at which to consider the choices about one’s role in the world, creatively and in a myriad of ways; to be courageous and to honor the importance of always looking at the world with open eyes – the will to live through the “winter” in the knowledge that “an invincible summer” is indeed within us.”

Selection will be carried out by the curatorial triumvirate of Walter Guadagnini (also Director of Camera, Torino), Diane Dufour (also Director of Le Bal, Paris), and Tim Clark (also Editor 1000 Words). The call is only open to European or European-based artists. The deadline is 13 December. To learn more and apply, go to


Aperture Portfolio Prize / Deadline: 8th January / Entry fee: Aperture Subscription

© Donavon Smallwood, 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize winner

The Aperture Portfolio Prize is an international competition founded upon the aim of identifying trends in contemporary photography and highlighting artists whose work deserves greater recognition. The jury – comprised of Aperture’s experienced editorial and curatorial staff – will be specifically looking for bodies of work that have yet to be seen in major publications or exhibition venues.

The judging panel this year includes Lesley A. Martin (Creative Director), Michael Famighetti (Editor of Aperture magazine), Denise Wolff (Senior Editor of Books), Brendan Embser (Senior Managing Editor of Aperture magazine), Samantha Marlow (Associate Editor of Books), Cassidy Paul (Digital Editor), Nicole Acheampong (Assistant Editor of Aperture magazine), and Lanah Swindle (Editorial Assistant of the Book Program). Some of the questions they will consider when examining the submissions include: Is the work new, i.e., created in the past five years? Is a theme or topic carried throughout the portfolio in a fully resolved, consistent manner? Is each image individually strong? What technical and presentation choices has the photographer made and are they appropriate for the work? Does the body of work take an innovative or unique approach to the subject matter?

The first prize winner will have their work published in Aperture magazine and will receive a US$3,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition in New York. The winner and up to four runners up will each have their own feature on and may also be presented the opportunity to participate in the Aperture Foundation limited-edition print program. All the finalists will receive a virtual portfolio review session with an Aperture Editor that will offer artists the opportunity to receive thoughtful and constructive feedback on their work. The submission deadline is 8th January. Visit for additional information.


The Aftermath Project Grant Open Call / 30th November / No entry fee.

© Nadia Bseiso, 2020 Aftermath Project Grant winner

The Aftermath Project’s mission is to support photographic projects that tell the other half of the story of conflict — the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace.

The 2022 Aftermath Project Grant will once again award one winner a prize of US$25,000 to create a story that reflects an understanding of this mission, which may relate to the aftermath of numerous kinds of conflict, not just international wars. The conflict may have been at the community level — for example, violence between rural ethnic groups or an urban riot in an industrialized country. It may have been a regional one, such as a rebel insurgency, or it may have been a full-scale war. There is no specific time frame that defines “aftermath,” although in general The Aftermath Project seeks to support stories which are no longer being covered by the mainstream media, or which have been ignored by the media. In general, conflict should be over for a situation to be deemed an “aftermath.”

All proposals must be accompanied by an explanation of the specific aftermath issues related to the project being submitted, and applicants should also provide an overview of the plans for covering the story during the course of the grant year — i.e, the proposed timing of trips, etc. Further information can be found at



Collide Residency Award Open Call / Deadline: 22nd November / No entry fee

Artists across all countries and creative disciplines are invited to submit a project proposal for a research-led residency at CERN in Geneva and in various laboratories and research centers in Barcelona, while being hosted at the Hangar Centre for Art Research and Production. The program is targeted at artists with a distinct interest in a transdisciplinary approach, a strong motivation for scientific thinking and an interest in fundamental science. The focus of the residencies is to invite artists into the Laboratory to think, discuss, be informed and be inspired by the challenges of fundamental research and the big questions that inform physics today. Through this process, the artists develop high-quality, innovative engagements with CERN’s research and community. Direct interactions with scientists and engineers and curatorial support during the residency are fundamental to the creative process.


Boutographies Call for Entries / Deadline: 22nd November / Entry fee: €22

Les Boutographies, held every spring in Montpellier, France, is based on the simple principle of discovering and promoting the latest proposals of contemporary image-making from Europe. The curators are calling all photographers to submit work for a series of exhibitions and projections to be showcased at the next edition of the festival in 2022. Those selected will automatically be shortlisted for a number of monetary prizes and production opportunities that will be awarded during the event. Applications must feature between 10 and 20 images, a brief CV, and a short text explaining the concept behind the work submitted.


The Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award / Deadline: 29th November / No entry fee

The Portraits – Hellerau Photography Award is calling for photographic works related to the theme of Counterparts. The jury, which will include Carena Schlewitt (Artistic Director of Hellerau – European Centre for the Arts), Angela Matyssek (Art Historian and Lecturer), and Francesca Cesari (Member of LUZ Photo Agency), will meet in early December and select the finalists whose works will be exhibited in April 2022 in a show at Dresden’s Museum of Science and Technology. The prizes include 8,000 euros in monetary grants, a six-week residency program at the Hellerau – European Center for the Arts, and invitations to participate in individual satellite shows across Dresden.


Sony World Photography Awards / Deadlines: 30th November - 14 January / No entry fee

Free to enter and open to both established and emerging photographers, the Sony World Photography Awards are a global voice for visual storytelling and provide a vital insight into the trends of contemporary photography. The Awards are divided into four separate contests, namely Professional (recognising outstanding bodies of work), Open (awarding single images), Youth (for photographers aged 12 to 19), and Student (aimed at photography students worldwide). At the pinnacle of the Professional contest is the Photographer of the Year accolade, one of the most distinguished and highly regarded prizes in photography. A total prize fund of US$25,000 plus exhibition opportunities and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment will be shared between the winners.


Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund / Deadline: 1st December / Entry fee: US$22

The Emerging Photographer Fund is designed to support the continuation of a photographer’s personal project or emerging career. This body of work may be of either journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperatives and it may be either ongoing or finished. A jury comprised of Alejandra Martinez Moreno (Managing Editor, Burn Magazine), Jenny Crawford (CEO Burn Foundation), and Diego Orlando (Senior Picture Editor, Burn Magazine) will assign the US$10,000 prize to one photographer.


Capricious Photo Award / Deadline: 2nd December / No entry fee

Fine art photography magazine, Capricious – an international platform for under-represented artists – is currently accepting submissions for its annual competition that grants one emerging photographer the opportunity to publish a limited edition photobook. The winner will receive both financial and editorial resources, valued at $25,000, geared towards the production and dissemination of the publication. The jury this year includes Lyle Ashton Harris (Professor of Art at New York University), Oluremi C. Onabanjo (2022 Triennial of Photography Hamburg Curator), Sophie Mörner (Owner of Company Gallery and Capricious Publishing), and Anika Sabin (Executive Director of Capricious Foundation). Together they will be looking for a photographer whose work is both distinct in point of view and boldly relevant to the unfolding issues of our time.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Deadline: 9th December / Entry fee: £35

Recognising the world's best nature photography every year since 1965, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open for entries once again. Photographers should enter the competition for a chance to see their image premiered in an exhibition at the Natural History Museum, enjoy extensive international media coverage and public exposure, attend the glittering Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards ceremony, and win major cash prizes. This year’s independent jury features Rosamund Kidman Cox OBE (Photo Editor and Writer), Jordi Chias (Underwater Photographer) Dr Natalie Cooper (Evolutionary Biologist and Researcher, Natural History Museum), Britta Jaschinski (Photojournalist), and Staffan Widstrand (Nature Photographer and Writer), among others.


Curatorial Research Grant / Deadline: 15th December / No entry fee

The Curatorial Research Grant commissioned by Les Rencontres de la Photographie is aimed at curators wishing to carry out an original exhibition project related to photography. The €20,000 Grant is divided into a €5,000 stipend for research costs and copyrighting and a €15,000 stipend to go towards the production of the show. Application proposals must include a biography of the curator (and of the co-curators or of the collective if applicable), research and full contact details and a list of projects and exhibitions of the curator(s), a presentation text of the exhibition project proposed for the research grant (a maximum of 5,000 characters), and bodies of work and artists envisaged for the project (it is strongly recommended to present visuals). The winning project will be announced in January.


The Contemporary African Photography Prize / Deadline: 7th February / No entry fee

The Contemporary African Photography Prize is calling for photographers to submit work that engages with the African continent and its diaspora for the opportunity to win space in a series of large-scale outdoor exhibitions around the globe. An independent panel of international curators, publishers, and editors will review the work and select first a shortlist of 25 artists and then the awardees. The winners will be announced at Photo Basel International Art Fair in June 2021.


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

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