Photo contests are one way to help you with your photography skills.

This article today comes from Adam Williams who submitted this article to “picturecorrect”. Amazing insights are certainly worth sharing.

After a few minor photo competition successes, I entered the 2013 Focus Awards absolutely full of confidence, my ego had taken hold and all I could think about was all the recognition and prizes I was going to win.

You guessed it, it was an absolute fail!

However, failure is one of my key inspirations and every time it happens (fairly often) the cogs in my mind start spinning as I try to figure out how to never let it happen again.

One of Adam Williams winning photos!

At the time, I was still a carpenter/builder and as I went about the rest of the day my mind was elsewhere contemplating how I could improve my chances of photo competition success in the future.

Then an idea struck me, a lightbulb moment, what if the winning photo competition galleries, the top 20/50/100 scoring photos that are always published on the relevant competition websites contained a pattern as to which photos might be more likely to be successful in a photo competition.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I raced home, turned on the computer, opened an Excel spreadsheet and created a series of columns based on photographic criteria.

Great Light, Black and White, High Saturation, etc, etc

I then scoured the galleries of my favorite photo competitions, one by one I viewed each image and ticked the various boxes on my excel spreadsheet.

I was hoping to see patterns of specific photographic criteria common to the top-scoring photos.

Not only did I find a series of patterns, their significance blew my mind.

There were three very important photographic elements found within almost all of the winning photos, so much so, if your photos didn’t contain at least two of these three elements it was almost impossible to win photo competitions.

3 Important Photographic Elements:

  1. Strong Subject
  2. Simplicity
  3. Great Light
Here is the link: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

Enter Photo Competitions with the unfair advantage!

Have you ever noticed that the same handful of photographers seem to win all the high profile photo competitions?

It’s true, the same names tend to end up on the winner’s list time and time again.

Photo competitions are no different from any other competition in the fact that if it is your first time entering you are probably not going to be all that great. To be great in any competition generally requires figuring out the subtleties of success.

So what can we do to give ourselves the best chance of winning?

The reason the same photographers tend to always win is that after several years of entering they have figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Keep in mind, like me, those winners once were lousy at photo competitions too.

But, that kind of experience comes at a cost. They have probably, entered their best 4 or more photos into at least 5 photo competitions per year, over a period of 2-3 years. If we do the math at an average of $25usd per photo that kind of experience is likely to cost well over $1000.

What if I told you that you already have GOLD-winning photos in your collection?

Yes 100%, you already have photos in your collection that have the potential to achieve awards at the highest levels and win the biggest international photo competitions!

How do I know this?

Over the years, I have taught Photoshop to thousands of passionate photographers of all levels, from absolute beginners to experienced professionals.

And the one thing they all have in common is GOLD-worthy photos in their collections.

I bet your wondering, how can absolute beginners and experienced professionals both be at the same level?

You are right; they are not. However, without fail, no matter the skill level I could always find photos with GOLD level potential on the hard drives of every single photographer that I have taught.

Granted, the beginners generally had fewer gold-potential photos than the more experienced photographers; however, regardless of skill or experience, I could always find the diamonds among the rough.

Therefore, I am 100% sure that you too have photos of the highest level in your collection; but, which ones are they?

If you are like me, you probably have 20,000 – 200,000 photos on your hard drives.

And if you have entered a competition before you might know that your favorite photo is often the one the scores the lowest. Just because we like it doesn’t mean it will do well in a photo competition.

We should absolutely take photos to please ourselves, however, to be successful in photo competitions we need to put our emotions aside and choose photos that will please the judges.

Image selection is the most important skill you can learn to winning photo contests.

Not only is selecting the right photos critical to doing well in photo competitions, but it is also the single most important skill in building your reputation as an exceptional photographer.

All photographers of all skill levels have both brilliant and bad photos in their collections. Yes, the more skill and experience the photographer has will generally result in a higher ratio of brilliant over bad images.

That being said, if both the beginners and the best photographers have both brilliant and bad photos to choose from, then there can be no doubt that one of the most important skills in becoming an exceptional photographer is image selection.

In other words, your reputation as a photographer is directly related to the quality of the photos you choose to share.

Having a better understanding of what makes a great photo, along with being more critical and more selective about which photos you share, is likely to elevate your standing as a photographer more than any other skill.

Exceptional photographers only share exceptional photos! (When was the last time your favorite photographer shared a bad photo?)

You will be able to take the knowledge you learn in this course and use it to build a reputation as an exceptional photographer by being more selective and refined about the photos you share.

In this short video course, I will teach you the key criteria that judges tend to favor and show you how to find those winning images within your own photo collection.

Deal ending soon: How to Win Photo Competitions Course at 84% Off

Here is the link to this: CLICK HERE



A Frosty Morning ~
© Trudy L. Smuin

There are many contests out there. And fun to enter. This particular photo contest is from the organization: BETTER PHOTO.COM. They had some amazing photos that inspire me, and hopefully you to take more pictures that are around us:

The March 2022 photography contest at BetterPhoto is fun, prestigious, and inspiring. Grand Prize this month goes to ‘~ A Frosty Morning ~’ in the March 2022 photo theme. Each month, we offer new photo challenges, assignments, and themes to spark photographic creativity.

Nautilus Shells
© Carolyn M. Fletcher
Just Another Tulip
© Christine Greenspan
Proud American
© Terry Cervi
Old Church in France
© Christine Czernin
End of a hot hot day
© Christian HARDOUIN

That’s all the grand prize and 1st place winners today. Have you ever thought of entering a photo contest. This is one way to greatly improve your photography.

Check this out so understand why contests are so valuable: CLICK HERE

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Here is one more link to show you some other winning photos: CLICK NOW

GuruShots: winning photographs from the Tell a Story competition

#4 (Image credit: Ron Conigliaro – United States)

I like to explore the internet, find new websites about photography, learn about new products, etc. And I think I have found a new website that is unique, could be a lot of fun for serious photographers, plus, help you to become a great photographer while learning about photography. And that is: https://gurushots.com/

The fun thing is that GuruShots has made a game out of becoming a good photographer. Check this out from their website:


Join fresh daily photo challenges
and become a Photo Guru!

Challenge yourself. Have fun. Stay motivated. Start off as a Newbie and work your way up to Guru status. Gain exposure and earn badges that demonstrate your achievements.

Get instant feedback from 6 Billion + monthly votes Submit your photos to daily photo challenges and receive feedback from millions of people like you who simply love taking photos. NEW CHALLENGES EVERY DAY

And they just published a series called: “TELL A STORY COMPETITION”. One of the top photo winners was the photo at the top of this page.

And here is more great photos:

Top Photographer (Image credit: Tia Go – United States)
Top Photo (Image credit: Janelle Douglas – New Zealand)
#6 (Image credit: Teodora Sarbinska – Bulgaria)

And if you want to see more winning photos, go to: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/features/gurushots-winning-photographs-from-the-tell-a-story-competition

Or, to learn more about having fun with Guru Shots, go to: https://gurushots.com/



Now we are getting into the fun things about learning photography. This course walks you through how to “see” a photo, when you get to your location. Or learn how to see things around you that are worth photographing. A complete course that walks your through about how to “feel” your photo as well. This is for the photographer who wants to create a masterpiece photo.

Reg. $39.95

Now just $4.95 (for a limited time)

Go To: https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/


Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland with this winning image, Red-billed Oxpecker (Image credit: Alan Jones)
Red-Billed Oxpecker on buffalo wins annual birding photography contest

The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP) has announced the winners of the SINWP Bird Photographer of the Year 2021, which, now in its fourth year, is run in aid of the charity RSPB.

This year saw over 1,700 photographs entered from around the globe, and the images covered all wonders of the bird world from kingfishers, bald eagles, puffins and peacocks.

It was Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland who won the competition, with his shot of a Red-billed Oxpecker sat on a buffalo’s face.

The bird is a Red-billed Oxpecker, which is sitting on a buffalo’s face. Oxpeckers feed exclusively on the bodies of large mammals. It seems the jury is still out on whether they do the animal more harm than good. The buffalo appears to tolerate oxpeckers while other species will not.”

Alan shot the image was taken with a Canon EOS 70D and Canon 100-400mm IS II USM lens at 100mm, using a manual exposure mode, 1/125sec at f/5.6, at ISO 1600.

2nd Place – Kevin Nash. Shot with Nikon D6 with  Nikon 500mm f/4 lens (Image credit: Kevin Nash)
3rd Place – Colin Bradshaw. Shot in Wiltshire, UK, with Nikon D850 and Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR AF-S. (Image credit: Colin Bradshaw)

View all the winning images and find out more on the SINWP website.


Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
The World Is Going Upside Down – Overall Winner, Animal Behavior Winner
© Thomas Vijayan / Nature TTL

Vijayan explained, “After spending a few days in Borneo, I got this frame stuck in my mind. To get this shot, I selected a tree that was in the water, so that I could get a good reflection of the sky and its leaves on the tree. The water formed a mirror, making the image look upside-down. Then I climbed up on the tree and waited for hours. This is a regular path for the orangutans to use, so patience would surely pay off.”

Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Fish Caught by Surprise – Animal Behavior Runner-Up
© Johan Wandrag / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Silhouetted Wood Mouse – Camera Traps Winner
© John Formstone / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Pine Marten in an Abandoned Cottage – Camera Traps Runner-Up
© James Roddie / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Tree of Life – Landscapes Winner
© Jay Roode / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Bouquet of Flowers – Landscapes Runner-Up
© Fanny Reed / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Dance of the Termites – Small World Winner
© James Gifford / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Nature’s Pitfall – Runner-Up
© Samantha Stephens / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
The Eye – The Night Sky Winner
© Ivan Pedretti / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Sleeping Dragon – The Night Sky Runner-Up
© Amos Ravid / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Manta Space Ship – Underwater Winner
© Grant Thomas / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Round – Underwater Runner-Up
© Zhi’yue Shi / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Winged Family Members – Urban Wildlife Winner
© Kallol Mukherjee / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
The Fox of Arabia – Urban Wildlife Runner-Up
© Mohammad Murad / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Sleepy Polar Bear – Wild Portraits Winner
© Dennis Stogsdill / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
The Cauldron of Creation – Wild Portraits Runner-Up
© James Gifford / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Spoilt for Choice – Young Overall Winner, Under 16 Winner
© Thomas Easterbrook / Nature TTL
Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners
Fight in the Mountains – Under 16 Runner-Up
© Raphael Schenker / Nature TTL

And here is the new search bar. Check it out:


Winning Photo by Marco Gualazzini
Somalia: the resilient Nation (life returns in aftermath Al- Shabaab) – 2017 1st place winner in “All About Photo Contest”

The reason to enter photo contests, besides the money, recognition, showing off your talent, and learning the right composition after all these years, IS you really have to concentrate on the photography you take, and study it out in your mind, how you can create a winning photo. So many people learn from entering a photo contest.

Now, if you win any of the prizes or recognition from winning, then that is just a bonus. There isn’t anyone who has entered a photo contest that didn’t come out of it with the thought: “I learned more taking these photos, than I would have ever imagined”.

4th Place winner in “All About Photo” awards —-Chad Cowan
United States
The Chase

We are approaching the end of the year, and here are some photo contests you can enter or think about right now:

Sony World Photography Awards

The Winners Of The Sony World Photography Contest

Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s leading photography competition. Held by the World Photography Organisation, in association with Sony, it is one of the most coveted competitions in the global photography space. It was started with the mission to support photographers worldwide so that photographers of all ages and abilities can celebrate and show their work and be a part of the global voice for photography. Entries for the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 are now open. The contest is divided into four competitions, listed below, with sub-divided categories that photographers can choose from, based on what suits them.

Professional Competition – Entry: Free. Ten diverse categories to enter, with a series of 5 to 10 images per category
Submission dates: January 14, 2022 at 13.00 GMT
Enter the Professional Competition 

Open Competition – Entry: Free. Ten diverse categories to enter, by submitting single images taken in 2021
Submission dates:  January 7, 2022, at 13.00 GMT
Enter the Open Competition 

Youth Competition – Entry: Free. Open to all 12-19 year-olds submitting single images taken in 2021
Monthly competitions with a changing theme running from 1 June to 31 December 2021
Enter the Youth Competition

Student Competition – Entry: Free. Open to 18 to 30 year-olds undertaking a full-time photography prgramme
Submission dates: 30 November 2021 at 13.00 GMT
Enter the Student Competition

For the Sony World Photography Awards, Pixpa has partnered with World Photography Organization to celebrate the best imagery and photographers from all over the world. 

The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest

Open to young photojournalists ages 18-33, this photo contest from Russia honors the memory of Andrei Stenin, a photojournalist who died while on an assignment. This photo competition aims to be a platform through which talented photojournalists make a name for themselves. In 2019, the competition saw 6000 entries from 80 countries. 

The categories in this competition are Top News, Sport, My Planet, and Portrait. There are also yearly additions to the categories. 

Entry Fee: Free
700,000 rubles (equal to $12,383)
Submission Dates: December 22nd- February 29th

BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

The Big Picture 2021 - bioGraphic
The Big Picture 2021 – bioGraphic

The BigPicture photography competition aims to showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth with the hope that these images will be a channel of inspiration to protect the environment. Award-winning photographer Suzi Eszterhas is the Jury Chair of this competition. This photography competition calls for high-quality nature, wildlife, and conservation images from around the world. The winning shots will be exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences. 

The seven categories for the BigPicture Photography Competition are: 

  • Art of Nature 
  • Aquatic Life
  • Winged Life 
  • Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora
  • Terrestrial Wildlife
  • Human/Nature
  • Photo Story: Pushing the Limits

Entry Fee: $25 for up to 10 single images; $10 for one photo series.
$5,000 and $1000 cash will be awarded to the winners of the seven categories
Submission Dates: December 1st – March 1st

iPhone Photography Awards

iPhone Photography Awards
Jashim Salam – Bangladesh Grand Prize Winner. Shot on iPhone 7

Compete for the IPPA Photographer of the Year Award in 18 categories. Photographers must use an iPhone or an iPad. 

The categories for this iPad and iPhone photography contest are Abstract, Animals, Architecture, Children, Floral, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, News and Events, Panorama, People, Portrait, Series (3 images), Still Life, Sunset, Travel, Trees, Other.

Entry Fee: $3.50 for one image and there are no limits on the no. of images you submit. 
A Gold Bar from the most recognizable private gold mint in the world for the first prize winners in the 18 categories. 2nd and 3rd prize winners in the 18 categories will receive a palladium bar.
Submission Date: By March 31st

Sony World Photography Awards - New Catagories for 2020 - Professional  Photo Magazine
Sony award winning photo compliments of Professional Photo Magazine.

There are usually close to 50 to 100 photo contests going at any one time. Click through Google to find out which one you would like to enter.



Fine Art America billboard contest
You could have your photo on one of these giant billboards

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your art displayed large – for everyone to admire?

Then you’ll love Fine Art America’s new Billboard Contest, which will award a giant billboard display to 20 artists. Win the contest, and your eye-catching work will be featured on a 24-foot billboard in a major city, such as Chicago, Atlanta, or Los Angeles, accompanied by a title plus your name or social media handle. 

Here’s the type of stunning showcase winners can expect:

example billboard for photo contest

Each billboard will stay up for a month, giving viewers plenty of time to appreciate the winning art.

If you would like to find out more about this contest, then click on this link now: https://fineartamerica.com/contests/billboard-contest-2021.html?tab=overview

Contest entries must be entered by August 31st, so time is limited.

After you’ve submitted your entries, you can encourage family, friends, and followers to vote for your art on Fine Art America’s website. All entries receiving 100 votes will then proceed to the next round, where contest judges will choose the top 20 pieces for billboard display.