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Best Photo Contests of May 2021

Posted on May 08, 2021 - By Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
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Photography contests can give professional and amateurs photographers alike unique opportunities to get exposure, sell their work or earn cash prizes.

They are often an excellent way to share your project with a wider audience, reach curators, collectors, and photography lovers alike but also the members of the jury who can, if interested, propel your career to the next level.

Websites and social media profiles are usually not enough to stand out from the crowd. But which photo competition is right for you? It is sometimes hard for photographers to choose between photo contests. So which ones are interesting and can give you the special boost you are looking?

All About Photo has selected the best photo contests, photography competitions and call for entries. This list of international photo competitions and photo contests is thoroughly curated to help photographers find their next creative breakthrough and keep up with all the current opportunities to gain exposure. Exhibition, cash prize, publication... find the photo contest that is right for you. So what are the best photo contests worth entering this month of May 2021?
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PHmuseum Days 2021 Photo Festival
PHmuseum Days 2021 Photo Festival
PHmuseum Days 2021 Photo Festival
PHmuseum Days 2021 Photo Festival
Close: May 13, 2021
During this unprecedented year we had time to reflect on ourselves, on the PHmuseum project and on which actions we could have undertaken to inspire and support a positive change in the years to come. Feeling a renewed need of gathering together, joining forces and finding collective answers, we thought that a festival could have been a great occasion to meet on an annual base, share experiences and discuss ideas to redesign the future together. For this reason, we are beyond excited to announce the first international photography festival organised by PHmuseum in Bologna, Italy at DumBO, an area of urban re-generation that is transforming a former railways deposit into a multifunctional space for the arts and the new generations. The event will take place at Binario Centrale, DumBO's main pavilion, (1,600 sqm) on September 23-26, 2021.

The starting point of this initiative is the PHmuseum Days 2021 Open Call, through which we aim to select works that will become part of the main program. The theme we have chosen is A New Beginning since it represents both the dawn of a new adventure for PHmuseum and, most importantly, an occasion to rethink together the decade that just started and how to face the important challenges that it will bring. From collaboration, equality, and sustainability to social justice, innovation and technology we are looking to discovering projects that could inspire and start a positive debate.

With this open call, we want to invite you to become an active part of the festival. How? We will select a minimum of 2 photographers for individual shows, up to 40 images for a collective installation and up to 15 projects for the main projections' night. Furthermore, all the applicants will be granted a nominal full pass for the festival, which we hope will be a good excuse to come over to Bologna in September and enjoy a long weekend of photography, talks, book fair, and much more. To enter, you are invited to upload between 5 and 20 photos either as a cohesive series or as independent images. All entries will be reviewed by an independent jury comprised of Laura El Tantawy (Documentary Photographer & Canon Ambassador), Lua Ribeira (Photographer & Magnum Photos Nominee), Giuseppe Oliverio (PHmuseum Founder and Director) and Rocco Venezia (PHmuseum Curator).

Our aim is to make the PHmuseum Days 2021 the beginning of a new era for our collective project, characterised by a stronger sense of community and sharing. If our online presence represents a daily playground to enjoy contemporary photography and showcase your work, our festival will be conceived as a moment to make a pause and reflect on where we are heading. We hope you will join us in this new adventure.
PX3 The State of the World
PX3 The State of the World
PX3 The State of the World
PX3 The State of the World
Close: May 15, 2021
"The State of the World" is a new special contest of PX3 (Paris Photo Prize), to share important global stories, eyewitness accounts as told through the lens of the photographer; stories both happy and sad, inspiring and shocking, gentle and brutal; stories to focus your eyes and mind on issues that are current and crucial in our world.

We live in an era where we have faster access to information than any previous generation and limitless amounts of knowledge at our fingertips, and yet it is harder than ever for us to discover the truth.

We are connected to the Internet 24 hours a day but we are more disconnected than ever from our fellow-human beings and the really important issues that affect our world. We are bombarded with an avalanche of opinion polls, fake news, and propaganda till it becomes almost impossible to distinguish fact from fiction and we forget what true storytelling looks like.

With "The State of the World", our goal is to bring uncensored news, directly from photographers witnessing events with the guarantee that they are not manipulated by the mainstream media or sensationalized for profit.

Thirty stories will be selected by Mr Hossein Farmani, the curated Exhibition will be presented at the Paris Photo Prize in Paris, then will be traveling around the world.

"State of the World" series need to be submitted by continent:
Europe
Americas
Asia
Africa
Oceania

Prizes :
The 30 photographers selected by Mr Hossein Farmani to join the curated " State of the World" exhibition 2020 will receive a cash prize of $200 each and be will be part of the annual Paris Photo Prize exhibition taking place in Paris, at Espace Beaurepaire, December 14-20, 2020.
BarTur Photo Award 2021
BarTur Photo Award 2021
BarTur Photo Award 2021
BarTur Photo Award 2021
Close: May 22, 2021
The BarTur Photo Award was established in 2011, with the generous support of the BarTur family, in memory of late wife and mother, British artist Ann Lesley BarTur (1947-1984).

The 2019 BarTur Photo Award is eager to introduce its two themes: Unity in Diversity and Climate Change. Submit your photos inspired by these themes as a Professional ($20 fee per entry) or Student (free entry). There are 18 total prizes available:

One Professional Winner: $10,000, winning photo(s) featured in four exhibitions, and BarTur Photo Award online gallery One Student Winner: $3,000, winning photo(s) featured in four exhibitions, and BarTur Photo Award online gallery Four Judge's Choice Winners (two per category): winning photo(s) featured in four exhibitions and BarTur Photo Award online gallery Twelve Highly Commended Winners (two per category): winning photo(s) featured in four exhibitions and BarTur Photo Award online gallery

The four exhibitions will be held in Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, and New York throughout 2020.

Submissions will be evaluated by a world-leading panel of judges drawn from all areas of the professional photography industry. In addition to prizing, Winners, Judges' Choice and Highly Commended applicants will receive feedback from the judging panel.

​The BarTur Photo Award is a non-profit organization. All funds received go towards the production and promotion of the Award as well as the promotion of the winning artists and their works.
Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize
Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize
Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize
Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize
Close: May 15, 2021
First announced in 1990, the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize was created by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University to encourage collaboration between documentary writers and photographers in the tradition of the acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor. In 1941 Lange and Taylor published An American Exodus, a book that renders human experience eloquently in text and images and remains a seminal work in documentary studies.

Like Lange and Taylor, and all serious documentarians, the competitive applicants to this prize have a point of view derived from an in-depth understanding of place, history, and the current situation, in concert with a personal relationship to the proposed work. Ultimately, their commitment is to use documentary expression to motivate the thinking and reflection of others.

In 2011, in recognition of the changing environment in which documentary artists conduct their work, we reframed the prize guidelines. The Lange-Taylor Prize is now intended to support artists, working alone or in teams, who have undertaken extended, ongoing fieldwork projects that fully exploit the relationship of words and images in the powerful, persuasive representation of a subject. (The prize is not awarded for completed projects, to artists who are seeking funds to produce a book, exhibit, website, or other outcomes.)

The winner receives $10,000, features in Center for Documentary Studies’ digital publications, and inclusion in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Rubenstein Library, Duke University.

Photo: Three Women Standing, July 1979, Lima, Peru, 2018. Image by 2020 Lange-Taylor Prize winner Tarrah Krajnak.
W. Eugene Smith Grant
W. Eugene Smith Grant
W. Eugene Smith Grant
W. Eugene Smith Grant
Close: May 30, 2021
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith's concerned photography and dedicated compassion evidenced during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. This Grant is designed to help a photographer begin a photographic project or help complete an ongoing photographic project. The Judges will be looking for a photographer whose proposed project seems most likely to use exemplary and compelling photojournalism (possibly supplemented by or incorporating multi-media) to address an issue of import and impact related to the human condition; social change; humanitarian concern; armed conflict or interpersonal, psychological, cultural, social environmental, scientific, medical and/or political significance, ideally expressing an underlying acknowledgement of our common humanity

Applicants should submit provisional or ongoing work from an as-yet-to-be completed project that would likely benefit from (and likely be concluded if) the photographer were to receive the grant. Applicants may also submit limited supplementary past work on a related subject as a way of demonstrating the photographer's ability to execute the new proposed project. A written project proposal is required.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, independently administers the grant program that provides photographers with the financial freedom to carry out or complete a major photographic essay. For 2021, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund will award $10,000 to five photographers in response to the global pandemic. All awards will be presented in a ceremony held in New York City in October 2021.

What the Recipient Receives

n the event the applicant is the recipient of the Smith Grant, applicant hereby agrees to donate to the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, as an unrestricted gift, twelve (12) digital images and twelve (12) prints of work completed as part of the project proposed herein. Applicant agrees to deliver six (6) of said images to the Fund nine (9) months after receiving the Grant, and the remaining six (6) of said images within eighteen (18) months after receiving the Grant. The images shall become part of the W. Eugene Smith Legacy Collection at the International Center of Photography in New York. Applicant also agrees that as part of the unrestricted gift, the Smith Fund may exhibit the images and may use them to promote the activities of the Fund.
FEMALIA
FEMALIA
FEMALIA
FEMALIA
Close: May 15, 2021
Theme: Femalia, Guest Curator: Elizabeth Flinsch
We are programmed to understand gender and femininity within narrow and restrictive definitions. Photographs, both historical and contemporary, often reinforce these definitions and boundaries that no longer serve us.
Photography has the power to transcend all manner of boundaries. It can blur minuscule lines between otherwise dichotomous realms of physical and philosophical space. If we are to reflect on photography’s capacity to challenge concepts of gender and femininity, we enter into an extraordinary opportunity to re-envision and expand our understanding of all who identify as women. We can confront our programmed understandings and reinterpret, both what is in front of the camera and what is behind it.

Praxis Gallery accepts submissions of photographic art or lens-based artwork that challenges, criticizes, redefines, and disrupts our concepts of female identity. All genres, capture types, black & white and color, traditional and non-traditional photographic and digital post-production processes are welcome for submission.
AAP Solo Exhibition JUNE 2021
AAP Solo Exhibition JUNE 2021
AAP Solo Exhibition JUNE 2021
AAP Solo Exhibition JUNE 2021
Close: May 11, 2021
We want to showcase incredible work. Photography that awakens our imagination, transforms our way of thinking, or simply resonates with who we are.

The Solo Exhibition enables you to reach a wider audience through our independent magazine that has become one of the most vibrant portals of photography on the web.

The Solo Exhibition competition is open to any category of photography or subject matter. Photojournalism, street photography, artistic photography, portrait, nudes, landscapes, nature, wildlife, urban, architecture, fashion, fine art, or documentary photography, the subject doesn't matter, unleash your creativity!

Whether you are a professional photographer or a photography enthusiast, please send us a cohesive body of work or portfolio.
Only a unified group of photos will be published as a solo exhibition.
Make your online photo gallery stand out. Submit one project or a body of work that showcases unity.
You can submit between 6 and 16 images for a flat fee of $45!

The Solo Exhibition is an amazing promotional tool designed to showcase your work worldwide!
Why should you enter the Solo Exhibition Competition? Because you will receive the following benefits:

Featured Solo Online Exhibition from June 1-30, 2021
Your Solo Exhibition will be featured in our Competition Gallery and in the New Showroom pages, the Home Page, our 'Top Stories', as well as in our 'Featured Photographer', 'Photo Exhibitions' and 'Article' pages.

Sell your work online with no commission fees!
Want to sell your work? No problem! In today's economy, almost 50% of sales come online! Don't miss this opportunity and skip the middleman, All About Photo won't charge any commissions if you make a sale. We will just put you directly in contact with the buyer.

Permanent Exhibition on All About Photo Online Gallery
Your solo exhibition will be permanently accessible in our past exhibitions as well as in our Article directory. You will also have a permanent page showcasing 20 images of your work in our Photographers Directory.

Your work Showcased to our Social Media Community
Gain International Visibility and Press Coverage by publishing your work across all of our online channels.
The winning photographer will be profiled via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The Solo Exhibition will also be featured in our Newsletter!

International Visibility and Press exposure
The winning photographer will receive press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world. Past winners from All About Photo Competitions have been featured in major publications including The Times UK, National Geographic Espana, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Eye of Photography, Digital Camera, and Competences Photo.
The Solo Exhibition will also be promoted on Art.Base.Co, Private Photo Review, and Visura.

All About Photo connects you directly with industry experts from around the world.
Seek this new opportunity to reach a broader audience on a global scale!

Juror: Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Moscow International Foto Awards - MIFA
Moscow International Foto Awards - MIFA
Moscow International Foto Awards - MIFA
Moscow International Foto Awards - MIFA
Close: May 15, 2021
MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FOTO AWARDS’ mission is to recognize, reward and expose talented photographers from around the world and introduce them to the creative community in Russia. Our affiliate competition, Tokyo International Foto Awards exhibits our winners’ work in Tokyo, Japan. Photographers from all corners of the world are encouraged to enter their work.

Awards and Promotion

MIFA Photographer of the Year
$3,000 cash prize and MIFA trophy

New Talent of the Year
$2,000 cash prize and MIFA trophy

First Place Category Winners
$100 cash prize each, Advertising, Architecture, Book, Editorial, Fine Art, Nature, People,Professional and emerging/student. (Paypal or Amazon gift card) *One cash prize per entry only.

MIFA winners will enjoy extensive publicity throughout the following year in addition to the following benefits:
– Work will be showcased in Best of Show exhibition in Moscow and beyond
– Work showcased on the main page of the website, and in the online gallery exhibition
– Press release and newsletter announcements to over 90,000 in MIFA Community
– Online printable MIFA certificate of achievement
– Winner’s logo to be used online and on printed materials.

Other Category Winners & Honorable Mentions
MIFA winners will enjoy extensive publicity throughout the following year in addition to the following benefits:
– Work showcased in the online gallery exhibition
– Press release and newsletter announcements to over 90,000 in MIFA Community
– Online printable MIFA certificate of achievement
– Winner’s logo to be used online and on printed materials
Women Photograph Project Grants
Women Photograph Project Grants
Women Photograph Project Grants
Women Photograph Project Grants
Close: May 15, 2021
Women Photograph Project Grants

These $5,000 grants will support photography projects — either new or in-progress — from visual journalists working in a documentary capacity.

Five grants are available, one of which will be earmarked for a non-binary or transgender photographer.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a story, rather than singles, as part of the grant application. The images need not be related to the project proposal. Multimedia projects are welcome.

Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship
Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship
Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship
Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship
Close: May 15, 2021
Women Photograph has partnered with Getty Images to award a $10,000 scholarship to a student focused on photojournalism. The scholarship funds can be used for tuition, camera equipment or other education costs during the 2020-2021 school year.

The Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students attending accredited colleges and universities worldwide. It is not required that students be majoring in photojournalism or photography. The scholarship is also open to people pursuing photographic education outside the university setting, such as vocational schools, workshops and other extended educational courses. Determination of eligibility will be at the discretion of Women Photograph and Getty Images.

Applicants should submit a portfolio of 15-20 images, an essay (300 words maximum) outlining their relationship to photojournalism and how this scholarship would advance their photographic education, and proof of enrollment in a university, college, workshop, or other educational institution.
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.
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