14 October 2021

October's Photography Awards and Opportunities

14 October 2021 - Written by Simon Hall

The Sony World Photography Awards, Capricious Photo Award, and our own Women Photographers Grant are among the many fantastic opportunities currently accepting submissions. Learn all about them and the various ways they can support the production and circulation of your work.

PHmuseum 2021 Women Photographers Grant / Extended Deadline: 17 October / Entry fee: US$30

© Sofia Lopez Mañan, PhMuseum 2020 Women Photographers Grant Finalist

Now in its fifth 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 Mirjam Kooiman (Curator at Foam Photography Museum), Poulomi Basu (Multimedia Artist), Damarice Amao (Curator at Centre Pompidou), and Dilys Ng (Senior Photo Editor at TIME) 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 in Milan. The open call also offers exhibition and educational opportunities through our own channels with our curatorial team set to handpick a project for a solo show at PhMuseum Lab in 2022 and six photographers to be awarded a free online portfolio review with a mentor of their choice from our educational program.

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 $30 per project and the extended and final deadline is 17 October. To learn more and apply, visit

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

© Craig Easton. 2021 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year

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, Wildlife & Nature, 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), Deborah Klochko (Chief Curator of the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego), Nathalie Herschdorfer (curator and art historian), Rahaab Allana (Curator at the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi), Ângela Ferreira (independent photography curator), Richmond Orlando Mensah (curator and creative director), and Hideko Kataoka (Director of Photography at Newsweek Japan). 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

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

© Farah Al Qasimi, from the series Hello Future. Former Capricious Award winner

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 Vivian Crockett (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art), Lyle Ashton Harris (Professor of Art at New York University), Oluremi C. Onabanjo (2022 Triennial of Photography Hamburg Curator), Troy Montes-Michie (interdisciplinary painter and collage artist), Sophie Mörner (Owner of Company Gallery and Capricious Publishing), Anika Sabin (Executive Director of Capricious Foundation), Lumi Tan (Senior Curator at The Kitchen in New York), and A.L. Steiner (Co-curator of Ridykeulous). 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.

Photographers can submit up to two projects with 15 to 20 images per project. No entry fee. The final deadline is set for 2 December. Further information can be found at



Photo Vogue Festival Digital Portfolio Reviews / Deadline: 15 October / No fee

On Saturday 13 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 including the likes of Bruno Ceschel (École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne), Azu Nwagbogu (African Artists’ Foundation), Bernadette Tuazon (CNN Digital), and our own Giuseppe Oliverio. To be shortlisted, applicants must send an e-mail by 15 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!


Lucie Photo Book Prize / Deadline: 15 October / 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.


Carmignac Photojournalism Award / Deadline: 18 October / No entry fee

Founded back in 2009, the Carmignac Photojournalism Award looks to support the work of photographers working in the field, providing funding every year for the production of an investigative photo reportage that shines a spotlight on human rights violations or geostrategic issues in the world. This year's edition is dedicated to Venezuela, with one laureate to be endowed with a €50,000 grant to produce a six-month project that documents its hardships at the individual, social, and ecological levels. Political-based tensions, combined with problems of instability, are worsening the already terrible living conditions of Venezuelans, 80% of whom live in extreme poverty and suffer from severe shortages of running water, food and medicine. To date, 5.4 million Venezuelans—one in six inhabitants—live in exile in Colombia, Peru or Ecuador: the most significant migratory crisis in the world behind Syria. The report will be turned into a traveling exhibition and a monograph published by Fondation Carmignac.


ISSP Riga Residency / Deadline: 24 October / No entry fee

Open to photographers, artists, and curators working with still imagery, the ISSP Riga Residency provides an opportunity for dedicated work on a personal project informed by interaction with the Latvian capital and its residents. Applications are welcome from those interested in creating work referring to the social, cultural, and historical context of Riga, as well as those who need to take their time to rethink and complete their ongoing work. While in normal circumstances, the residency stays vary from one to two calendar months, due to the current Covid-19 self-isolation requirements, the ISSP team highly recommends longer stays of two to three calendar months. Stays of one month can still be possible, depending on individual preferences and residency schedules. Visiting artists will be afforded the chance to interact with local audiences in a public presentation and through other events like a pop-up exhibition.


In Between Gallery Open Call / 29 October / No entry fee

Fabrica Gallery has partnered with Spectrum Photographic, Photo Fringe, and Loupe Magazine for the fifth year in a row to present the In Between Gallery, a temporary exhibition platform in Fabrica’s picture window in central Brighton, United Kingdom. The judging panel made up of Fabrica partners as well as photographer and curator Ibrahim Azab, currently exhibiting in the In Between Gallery, and independent curator Cairo Clarke will select the work of one UK-based artist or artist group who consider themselves to be early to mid-career. There is no theme to address but artists are asked to submit a work that will function well within the context of a large format print set within the window frame (measurements are approximately: 270 cm x 225.5 cm). Fabrica will pay a small exhibition fee of £150 to the selected artist.


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

Now in its eighth 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. Since it was established in 2004, Gomma has gained a reputation for bringing recognition to undetected artists with the jury applying a strict meritocratic approach to judging. “We like to reward photographers that do not follow the trends and are not copycats of any kind," declare the editorial team. "We are looking for photographers with a fresh eye, courage, and a distinct personality; someone that has no fear to show their own soul throughout the work. Artists that have the curiosity to investigate the common and capture the every day." Winners of the First, Second, and Third Prize will receive €1,000, €500, and €200 respectively, while three smaller recognitions will be granted to the Best Documentary work, the Best Black and White work, and Best Rising Talent


Boutographies Call for Entries / Deadline: 22 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.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year / Deadline: 9 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: 15 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.


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

12 minutes

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