14 October 2020

October's Photography Awards and Opportunities

14 October 2020 - Written by Simon Hall

The Sony World Photography Awards and ICP / GOST First Photo Book Award are among the top opportunities open for entry this October. Learn all about them and how they can support the production and dissemination of your work.

PHmuseum 2020 Women Photographers Grant / Final Deadline: 15 October / Entry fee: US$36

© Annick Donkers, from the series Un-Identified

Now in its 4th edition, the PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant continues in its original mission of supporting the new generation of visual storytellers and promoting stories narrated from a female perspective, all while responding to the need to work for gender equality in the industry. This year, an independent jury comprising Adama Delphine Fawundu (Artist and co-founder of MFON), Mariama Attah (Curator at Open Eye Gallery Photography Museum in Liverpool), Magdalena Herrera (Director of Photography Geo France) and River Bullock (Curatorial Fellow, MoMA Department of Photography) will assign the main prizes, which includes cash awards totaling US$12,000.

The Vogue Italia photography department, led by Alessia Glaviano, will further select three works to be granted an online publication in the magazine and all the shortlisted works (up to 40) will be projected at the upcoming edition of Photo Vogue Festival. PHmuseum’s curators will also handpick eight photographers to receive free 60-minute online portfolio reviews from the PHmuseum Education program and three photographers to be featured in YET Magazine. The New Generation Prize, awarded to a photographer under 30 years of age, will include a one-hour online portfolio review with Fiona Rogers, the Founder of Firecracker and Director of Photography & Operations at Webber. Additionally, PHmuseum Lab, our brand new space in Bologna, Italy, will host a solo show of a photographer selected by PHmuseum's Director Giuseppe Oliverio and Curator Rocco Venezia.

Applicants are invited to enter one, or multiple, series centred around a specific theme, narrative, or concept. All approaches are welcomed, from classic narratives to experimental projects. The entry fee is $36 per project and the extended and final deadline is tonight at 11.59 pm GMT. Apply now at

Sony World Photography Awards / Deadlines: 31 October - 14 January / No entry fee

© Chung Ming Ko, from the series Wounds of Hong Kong. 2020 Documentary category winner

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).

In the Professional Award, an international jury will be looking for series that are technically advanced, exciting, and offer a fresh perspective on what photography has the power to do today. Applicants can enter multiple works into the following categories: Architecture & Design, Creative, Documentary Projects, Environment, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, Sport, and Portfolio. At the pinnacle of the 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.

The four judging panels this year together feature Mike Trow (editor and consultant), Azu Nwagbogu (Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation), Hannah Watson (Director of Trolley Books and TJ Boulting Gallery), Lindsay Taylor (curator and educator), Natasha Egan (Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago), Kim Sunyoung (Curator of The Museum of Photography, Seoul), Gastón Deleau (Founder and Director of FOLA), and Kate Simpson (Editor at Aesthetica Magazine). The respective deadlines are: Professional, 14 January; Open, 7 January; Youth, various; Student, 30 November. Further information about each contest and the different prizes on offer can be found at

ICP / GOST First Photo Book Award / Deadline: 9 November / Entry fee: US$35

© Nancy Floyd, from the book Weathering Time. 2019 winner

The International Center for Photography has once again partnered with GOST Books to launch a contest that aims to develop and support the work of previously unpublished photographers and artists through the production of a first photobook. One winner will have the opportunity to have their work turned into a monograph that will be designed, edited, printed, published, and distributed by the ICP / GOST imprint. Upon publication, the work will also go on display at the new International Center of Photography space in New York City.

The judging panel for this first edition is comprised of a host of industry leaders, including Jacqueline Bates (Photography Director of The California Sunday Magazine), Mark Lubell (Executive Director, International Center of Photography, New York), John Edwin Mason (writer, academic and photographer), Stuart Smith (Director of GOST Books), Lindokuhle Sobekwa (independent photographer), and Cemre Yeşil Gönenli (independent photographer, publisher and Directore of FiLBooks). The award is open to visual artists of any age working in the medium of photography whose work has yet to be published in book form by a mainstream publisher. The call for entries is open through 9 November and there is an entry fee of US$35. To find out more and apply, go to



Photo Vogue Festival Digital Portfolio Reviews / Deadline: 20 October / No fee

On Saturday 21 November, a group of talented photographers selected by the Vogue Italia team will have the opportunity to have their portfolio freely reviewed by key industry experts - top international photo editors, publishers, and curators. To be shortlisted, applicants must send an e-mail by 20 October to accompanied by a portfolio (a selection of 10/15 images in pdf format), a biography, a contact number, and a website link. The free digital portfolio review is open to any kind of photographic genre, from art and fashion to photojournalism and documentary. If selected, photographers won't need to be in Milan as for the past editions because the portfolio review is digital. You can apply from anywhere!


Gomma Photography Grant / Deadline: 3 November / Entry fee: €20

Now in its seventh year, the Gomma Photography Grant is an all-inclusive award that aims to promote photographers - both emerging and established - working across all genres of visual storytelling. Winners of the First, Second, and Third Prize will receive €1,000, €500, and €200 respectively, while two smaller recognitions will be granted to the Best Documentary Work and Best Rising Talent. To apply, photographers must submit between six and 20 images from either an ongoing or completed project and a short introductory statement.


Lucie Photo Book Prize / Deadline: 30 November / Entry fee: US$35 - US$55

The Lucie Photo Book Prize, run by the Lucie Foundation, aims to support photographers in the production and promotion of 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.


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

8 minutes

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