Ricky Kresslein

Photography Competitions That Don't Suck


Many photography competitions suck. They charge high fees and end up giving the winners very little exposure. The prizes aren’t desirable and the cash award is low.

There was a time when I submitted to competition sites like Shuttout and Photocrowd, but I’ve come to see them for what they are - places full of photographers who are all trying to win and don’t care much about the other entries. Certainly not enough to check out my website and buy a print.

I finally realized that to get recognized, a photographer needs to get in front of people who love photography and art, but are not necessarily photographers themselves. They aren’t judging the work from a perspective of “Could I do better than that?” but “Is this a great artist and could I envision his/her work hanging on my wall?”.

To get to those people, photographers must get away from photographer-only competitions and into the ones that matter. And from what I’ve uncovered in my research, there aren’t many that matter.

I looked up which competitions matter, along with their historic entry deadlines and costs, in order to provide you with this list, sorted by deadline.





I will be adding to and subtracting from this list as I find out more, so be sure to bookmark this page to come back to it.

Know of some other notable competitions? I’d love to hear about it.