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Out of the Box \ Feb 27th 2017

Best Photo Contests of 2017 to Get You in the Spotlight

For beginners, photography contests are a great way to start building up a professional career. For seasoned photographers, competitions provide an amazing chance to scale up one’s reputation even further. Since most of the contests don’t charge for your entry, it would be a real shame not to jump in on this opportunity to promote your work. You simply have to take your best picture(s) from your photography website and share it with the jury. And even if you don’t feel like taking a chance, you can still use the opportunity to admire others’ work, to learn, and most importantly – gain inspiration, both by the photos and the stories of the people behind the lens.

If you are anything like us, always on the lookout for inspiration, then prepare yourself for a daily dose of “stunning”: here are 7 of the world’s best contests we simply couldn’t take our eyes off:

Sony World Photography Awards

The world’s largest photography contest, organized by The World Photography Organisation and Sony, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. With dedicated categories for every possible level of expertise, the competition can provide a great kickstart to your career, especially for those in the beginning stages of their professional path. Both winners and shortlisted entries receive worldwide exposure, starting with an exhibition at London’s Somerset House, all the way through to being featured in the annual Awards book plus some great exposure on the organization’s social media outlets.

Fireflies in a bamboo forest
Key Nomiyama, Japan, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Low Light, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

International Photography Awards

On top of cash prizes and a global spotlight, this prestigious contest welcomes winners to a grandiose ceremony, often referred to as “the Oscars of photography”.
Honoring its greatest achievements, The Lucie Awards is a major event for the international photography community. Both contest winners and outstanding honorees receive the Lucie statue in selected categories. A walk on the red carpet is not only open to industry leaders, but also to students and non professionals. The respective categories allow for emerging talents to earn their spot in the limelight, and compete for the title “The Discovery of the Year.” Submissions for 2017 are open till April 30th – just sayin’.

Wix Photography Contests

Wix offers photographers much more than an easy way to create a photography website. Last year we had the honor of running an amazing campaign with mega publishing house, Condé Nast. Three outstanding Wix users got an opportunity of a lifetime to shoot the cover of Brides, Condé Nast Traveler and assist the one and only, Peter Lindbergh for a Vanity Fair cover shoot. See how Tony Salvaggio got to work with the living legend himself:

We couldn’t let you miss the opportunity to take part in this year’s inspiring contest that can literally make a photographer’s dream come true. No matter how far away, costly or crazy their dream photoshoot might be – Wix wants to make it happen! Entering is as easy as shooting during golden hour – submit your Wix portfolio, tell us about the moment you’ve always wanted to capture, and you’re in for the running. Submissions are open until March 8th.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Hosted by the world-renowned National History Museum of London, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest will run for the 52nd time this year (!). If you’re a nature photographer, you’ve probably already tried your best among the thousands of entries the contest receives from all over the world. Winning photographs are seen by millions following a major exhibition at the Museum and a worldwide tour. It’s time to get wild, my good sir!

National Geographic Photographer of the Year

There’s no need for introductions – National Geographic’s photography contests are known all over the world, far beyond the photography community. Like all good things in life, the awe-inspiring competition comes in pairs: the Nature Photographer of the Year and the Travel Photographer of the Year are completely independent contests that are run annually by the famous publisher. Winning a polar bear safari or a trip to the Galapagos with National Geographic experts is nice, but let’s be honest – the real prize is being featured in the magazine that is seen by millions worldwide (and doesn’t look too shabby on your CV).

Travel Photographer of the Year 2016 grand prize winner, Anthony Lau, captured this galloping moment in the snowy plains Mongolia.

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Probably the biggest international competition of its kind, this contest is bound to make its winners shine just like the bright stars in the astrophotography universe. Be it a once-in-a-millennium eclipse, a shooting comet, or a collapsing nebula – all celestial spectacles are welcome here. If you’ve always wanted to enjoy a meteor shower minus staying up all night, you’ll definitely enjoy going through the contest’s stellar shortlist (which is also displayed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich). If you are up for an all nighter and in fact passionate about shooting stars (pun intended), the detailed and thorough How To guides on the contest page are a definite must.

Monochrome Photography Awards

This annual competition, open to both professionals and amateurs, celebrates the monochromatic beauty of photography. No matter the subject, setting, and genre – any photo qualifies as long as it’s black, white, and everything in between. For a reasonable entry fee, photographers from all over the world compete for the title of Monochrome Photographer of the Year in a set of categories, a cash prize and a mention in the contest’s book, that is issued annually. After browsing through past years award-winning photos, we kinda wish we could switch to seeing the world in black and white any time we please…

Black and White fashion photo shoot

Fashion / Beauty Photographer of the Year 2016 by Piotr Musial

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