10 September 2020

September's Photography Awards and Opportunities

10 September 2020 - Written by Simon Hall

In our curated awards guide this month, we feature the Alexia Foundation Grants, FotoEvidence W Award, FORMAT21 Open Call, our own Women Photographers Grant, and much more. Learn how they can help with the development and promotion of your visual stories.

PHmuseum 2020 Women Photographers Grant / Early Bird Deadline: 17 September / Regular Deadline: 8 October / Entry fee: US$23 - US$36

© Natalie Keyssar, from the series Make Me a Little Miracle. 2019 winner

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, yet you can take advantage of the $23 Early Bird fee if you apply before 17 September. The final deadline is set for 8 October. To learn more and apply, visit

FORMAT21 Open Call / Deadline: 13 September / Entry fee: €23

© Benedikt Partenheimer. 2019 exhibitor

FORMAT International Photography Festival (United Kingdom) is calling for diverse and imaginative proposals from international photographers, curators, artists, and collectives in response to the concept of CONTROL. A panel of recognised international experts and the FORMAT curators will review all submissions and select 35 projects to be exhibited at FORMAT21 in March 2021. Invited from around the world, the jury includes Erik Kessels, Gwen Lee, He Yining, Gemma Marmalade, Azu Nwagbogu, Wang Baoguo, Fiona Shields, Tanya Habjouqa, Simon Bainbridge, Tanvi Mishra, Emma Bowkett, Anna Kucma, and Stella Nantongo, among others.

CONTROL is a theme that we invite you to think widely about: there are many ways to perceive it,” write the organisers. “We are open to featuring all kinds of photography, contemporary, performative and archival. The festival will explore and challenge the idea of CONTROL through how we represent the ever-changing world, society, imaginations, relationships, lands, and histories. Works can be focused on any subject, as long as a connection to CONTROL is articulated in the application.” In addition to participation in the festival, a whole host of other awards are also on offer, namely The FORMAT21 Award (£2000); The Genesis Imaging Award (worth £1000 for print and framing services); The Spectrum Imaging Award (worth £750 for printing services); and The RPS Award which in itself includes a feature and interview in the award-winning RPS Journal, an online mentoring session with an honorary Fellow of the RPS, plus one year's free RPS membership.

The submission fee is €23, which covers just one project of up to 20 images and can include reference to moving image, installation shots, ideas, and composite images. Applicants may submit works from different bodies of work however they should not upload more than 20 images in total. This includes installation shots. The final deadline is 13 September. Visit to learn more.

FotoEvidence W Award / Deadline: 1 October / No entry fee

© Charlotte Schmitz, spread from the book La Puente. 2019 winner

First launched last year, FotoEvidence Women is a new chapter of FotoEvidence Press that offers a space for free expression dedicated to engaged women photographers looking to publish and disseminate their stories in the form of a photobook. Through their lenses, women can shape the world differently, and this award gives them that chance. “During the past 10 years, FotoEvidence has published 27 books to draw attention to human rights violations, oppression and assaults on human dignity wherever they may occur” says Svetlana Bachevanova, the publisher and co-founder of FotoEvidence. “At this moment, women around the world are seeking equal rights and equal opportunity. FotoEvidence Women will support this global movement” she adds.

Open to all adult women photographers and photographer collectives, entries must be based on long-term projects and should reflect upon the personal experience of the photographer. One winner will be selected by a judging committee that includes Anush Babajanyan (member of VII Photo Agency), Sabiha Çimen (independent photographer), Zoraida Lopez-Diago (Co-founder of Women Picturing Revolution), Tanya Habjouqa (educator and member of NOOR Images), Sandra Mehl (independent photojournalist), and Alison Stieven-Taylor (international photography commentator). Applicants are invited to submit 15 photographs with captions and a statement of up to 250 words detailing the project and the vision for the book. Entry is free but FotoEvidence suggest a donation of US$20. Deadline: 1 October. For more information, visit

Alexia Foundation Grants / Deadlines: 5 October / Entry fee: US$20

© Katie Orlinksky, from the series Chasing Winter. 2019 winner

Established more than 30 years ago, the Alexia Foundation Grants are designed to help both student and professional photographers produce visual stories that inspire change through the coverage of subjects that are socially significant. The parameters and expectations for this year’s competition have changed, given how the pandemic is affecting those in the visual storytelling profession, with the grant money now being made available to spend on whatever the recipient deems to be most necessary.

Professional Grant. The winner will receive a US$20,000 endowment toward the production of a body of work or any other project. Applicants are encouraged to consider submitting work related to the two tragedies that have dramatically affected many lives this year in particular: the pandemic and all that has resulted from the killing of George Floyd. Submissions will be judged in two rounds – members of the Alexia Board and Advisory Council will first filter the top tier entries before forwarding them on to a separate three-member judging panel for final selection. There is a US$20 application fee for this contest.

Student Grant. This award aims to empower college student photographers with the opportunity to develop and realise a story close to where they are based. First place Undergraduate and Graduate winners will each receive a semester’s tuition at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a US$1,000 monetary prize. No entry fee.

Recipients of both Grants will be chosen based on the judges’ determination of the combination of the strongest proposal, supporting photographs, and other media. The deadline is 5 October for both contests. Go to to find out more.

British Journal of Photography IPA / Deadline: 8 October / Entry fees: US$15 - US$60

© Emily Graham, from the series The Blindest Man

Running for over a decade, 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 jury this year is comprised of Yumi Goto, Azu Nwagbogu, Itō Takahiro, Simon Bainbridge and Hannah Watson, and together they will be looking to award compelling projects featuring meaningful images that form a distinct and conceptually unique narrative. Professional and non-professional photographers of all ages and all countries are eligible to enter and submitted work may be shot in any format or camera model, on film or digital. The grand prize winner will be awarded a solo show in the renowned contemporary art gallery TJ Boulting, a £5,000 production endowment, and a four-page supplement in the British Journal of Photography magazine. Also, in a new prize added for the first time for this edition, photographers are invited to enter a Group Show category that will see 20 winning images exhibited in a group show, also at TJ Boulting.

The closing date for entries is 8 October. Entry fees vary depending on the category and the number of works applicants wish to submit. More information can be found at

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize / Deadline: 22 September / No entry fee

© Alice Mann, from the series Drummies. 2018 winner

Organised by The National Portrait Gallery in London, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is the leading international competition of its kind, celebrating and promoting the very best in contemporary portrait photography. Over the years since its inception back in 1993, the award has established a reputation for creativity and excellence, attracting works submitted by a wide range of visual storytellers, from leading professionals to talented amateurs and the most exciting emerging artists.

This year, in order to reach a wide international audience and to ensure that the competition can continue as planned during the coronavirus, judging will be completed digitally. Photographers are encouraged to interpret portraiture in the widest sense of photography concerned with people, with jurors looking for sophisticated works that tell a story about the individual identities of those portrayed. Selected photographers will have their work showcased in a special online group exhibition and one winner will be granted a monetary prize of £15,000. Further cash prizes will be awarded to one or more shortlisted photographers at the jury’s discretion. The competition is open to all photographers, of any nationality, aged over 18. The deadline is 22 September. Visit to find out more.

Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award Arles / Deadline: 26 September / No entry fee

© Chow and Lin, from the series The Poverty Line

The Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award provides professional photographers and visual storytellers with an opportunity to fund the production, publication, and promotion of a dummy photobook. The prize is endowed with a €25,000 production budget - including €3,000 for the author or authors - to cover all expenses incurred by the book’s creation (adjustment work, layout, printing, and binding). Les Rencontres d’Arles will shortlist 25 nominees, from which an independent judging panel will select one overall winner. The 2020 winner’s dummy book will be exhibited this autumn during Paris Photo at the headquarters of Kering from 11 through 15 November.

All artists using photography, of any age or nationality, are eligible to participate, yet their work must have been featured in group and/or solo shows or in publications, giving them previous national or international recognition. The submitted project must be as close as possible to the final version, both in its form and the materials used, and technically feasible using traditional book production methods. The deadline is 26 September and no application fees apply. For further information, go to



AAP Magazine, Edition No. 13 - Shapes / Deadline: 15 September / Entry fee: $30

AAP Magazine is calling all photographers to submit work to be printed in their upcoming publication that will feature the best projects showcasing the theme Shapes. Applicants are invited to submit images, preferably a cohesive body of work or portfolio, where shapes may not just influence the picture, but where they may also be the sole focus. Whether in portraiture, landscapes, nudes, street, or any other form of photography, Sandrine Hermand-Grisel – the expert juror – is open to all genres and is looking to discover the best and most interesting photography from all over the world. Winners will receive US$1,000 in cash awards, a free copy of AAP Magazine, and international press exposure.


Photo Vogue Festival Digital Portfolio Review / Deadline: 20 October / No application 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!


Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards / Deadline: 11 September / Entry fee: US$20 - US$60

The Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards have developed into one of the most famed contests in the industry, celebrating 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, namely the First PhotoBook Prize, the PhotoBook of the Year Prize, and the Photography Catalogue of the Year Prize. All shortlisted books will go on display at Paris Photo and feature in the fall 2020 issue of The PhotoBook Review, published by Aperture Foundation.


Circulation(s) Festival Open Call / Deadline: 13 September / Entry fee: €25

Circulation(s) is calling all European photographers or photographers living in Europe to submit work for exhibitions at next year’s festival which is set to take place between 6 March and 2 May. Each year, at the Centquatre-Paris and satellite sites in France and abroad, Circulation(s) reveals the vitality of young creation and speaks for the diversity of photographic expressions through unique events. A stepping-stone for artists, and a prospective and innovative laboratory of contemporary creativity, the festival has become, over the past 10 years, a must-attend event on the photography calendar and a trendsetter.


2020 Burtynsky Grant / Deadline: 28 September / No entry fee

Contact Photography Festival and world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky have teamed up once again to launch the Burtynsky Grant – a $5,000 grant that looks to support a Canadian artist in the creation of a photobook. Established back in 2016, the contest is intended for photo-based artists who are in advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work presented in book form. The jury will be looking for submissions from those who have created a book dummy and who have had little to no prior opportunity to self-publish or work with a publisher.


Budapest International Foto Awards / Deadline: 28 September / 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, and Science. A host of monetary awards and exhibition opportunities are on offer.


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

17 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!