Photography Contests You Can Enter To Earn Some Extra Money

Some people take pictures because they enjoy it. They may find the hobby peaceful or soothing. Others, of course, take pictures for a career, such as those who shoot images for schools, weddings, stock photos for sale, print publications, and so on.

If you don’t work as a full-time photographer but are looking to supplement your income, then photography contests could be a good option for you.


Photography contests are where people enter a photo or photos they’ve taken using the guidelines of each specific contest and compete with others for a prize. This can be done both locally in-person or submitted online.

Prizes come in a variety of forms, but money is common in addition to having the winning photo or photos displayed publicly in some form.


You might be motivated by your love of photography, a prize, a promise of having your own photo displayed somewhere, or a combination of all!

Even if you are a trained professional, technology and the world are constantly evolving and there’s always room for growth and learning new tips and tricks. We want to help give you an advantage and help you reach your goals as you enter, and possibly win, photography contests.

Here are useful techniques to ensure you perform your best:


For your best chance of winning, you need to make sure you know exactly what is expected. All photography contests have different specifications. You can submit the best photo in the entire competition only to have it rejected automatically if you haven’t followed the rules down to every detail.

Submitting a picture that gets disqualified is a waste of time and you’ll be in the same place as if you never took the time to enter the contest in the first place.


The fascinating composition will help you stand out. Placing your focal point in the center of your picture can be boring and predictable, which is not a way to get noticed.

One of the simplest ways to make your picture mesmerizing is to use the rule of thirds. To do this, place your photo’s focal point one-third away from the edge of your frame in either direction.

Because other photographers might think to follow this same rule, continue by experimenting and finding more ways of getting your photo to look unexpected. For example, try different angles or points of focus.


You’ll find that contests usually revolve around an idea or theme. Make sure you find or take a photo that will exactly fit it.

Even if you have an amazing photo that could pass for fitting a theme but isn’t right on target, you should think twice and choose something that will fit in without a doubt. If you aren’t 100% sure, ask someone if they can guess the theme or idea by showing them the photograph with no other information added.


This is a crucial step to winning a contest because judges will often quickly eliminate soft photos in the initial elimination process. If you’re unsure of how to get perfectly sharp focus, learn before entering any contests.


Do unconventional things to get some extraordinary pictures. This may mean going out in the middle of the night while others are sleeping, getting dirty or muddy to get a good angle, or entering an uncomfortable bug-filled area to capture something cool.

Consider awkward positioning and things like climbing up or down stairs or crawling through bushes to find spectacular photo opportunities. Essentially, do things or go places you think others may not venture to do.

Or, try to end up with something as unique as possible so your image is definitely eye-catching and stands out.


The best photographs tell a story, conjure an emotion, or convey an idea. As a society, people have been using pictures to relay messages for centuries.

There’s something intriguing about a picture when you can get an idea of what’s been going on or what’s about to take place just by looking at the current circumstances. A way to accomplish this when taking a picture is to look for stories playing out before your eyes like people or animals interacting, or finding repeating patterns, shapes, and colors.

You can also achieve this effect after the photo is taken by editing a piece or pieces out to create a sense of mystery.


If you go on a mission to capture photos but don’t have ideas or aren’t thrilled especially about the process, then take a break and seek inspiration. You can look at pieces from some of your favorite photographers, excellent pictures online, or winning photos from other contests.


You don’t have to go to a professional to look over your work. Instead, you can simply ask friends, peers, coworkers, family members, etc. You might even ask a stranger what they think of the photo you plan to submit to the contest.

Getting the thoughts of someone who’s not a professional may give you a good insight you hadn’t thought about or noticed.


It’s not feasible to believe you will win every contest. If you do win, then that’s awesome! But, even the best photographers can’t win every time.

If you lose, then look at the winning images to help inspire and encourage you to try again by seeking out even more photography contests. You can also brush up on tips and tricks before the next contest.

Here are 10 photography contests you can choose to enter.



Who should enter: Talented amateurs and prominent professionals

Timing: Various

Type of photography: Creative

Possible prizes: Promotion and exposure around the world. If it wins, your photograph will be published in BLUR Magazine with a free automatic download of that issue and free access to the three subsequent issues.

You will also win a chance to be BLUR’s photo of the month, a chance to win a title awarded by People’s Voice and Editor’s Choice, promotional space on BLUR’s website, be featured in Facebook announcements, and get a chance your photograph will appear in both digital and printed special editions


Who should enter: Professional, non-professional, and student photographers

Timing of contests: Annually

Type of photography: 12 categories- landscape, street, portrait, after dark, wedding, panoramic, retro, HDR, travel, wildlife, drone, and macro.

Possible prizes: Exposure, recognition around the globe, an all-expenses-paid luxury photo tour in New Zealand, and the chance to meet and join renowned Australian Photographer Destin Sparks on a trip to explore the South Island of New Zealand.


Who should enter: Aspiring and professional photographers

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Real life

Possible prizes: Various prizes of different cash values


Who should enter: Budding hobbyists or seasoned professionals

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Real-time/live photo challenges using an online gaming platform

Possible Prizes: Unlisted


Who should enter: All types of artists

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: Very creative (Works with a national network of arts organizations, museums, galleries, art associations, public art programs, and many others. Once someone creates an account, they will have a platform that keeps their photography and other art forms in one spot.

Possible Prizes: Typically, a photo cart and free websites


Who should enter: Some Digital Photo Pro contests require photographers to be United States citizens, however some of its contests exist for non-resident photographers

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Online print and magazine

Possible prizes: Prestige, gear prints, exposure, and a variety of other prizes


Who should enter: Photographers from most countries may enter

Timing of contests: Annually

Type of photography: Picturesque photographs, emotional pictures, and photographs that can tell a story

Possible prizes: Money and trip prizes


Who should enter: All photographers

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: Magazine photographs and online pictures

Possible prizes: $100 cash and the photograph featured in Popular Photography magazine


Who should enter: Professional, open, youth, and student photographers

Timing of contests: Variety

Type of photography: Diverse  

Possible prizes: Gear and money


Who should enter: Portrait, landscape, or wildlife photographers

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: 3 areas- portrait (Shoot the Face), landscape (Shoot the Land), and wildlife (Shoot the Wild)

Possible prizes: Presets, photo books, free websites, and other prizes


Whether you’re a professional photographer or photography is a passionate hobby, there are many photography contests you can find both locally and online to suit all kinds of images. Photography contests are a good way to win some extra cash, build on your reputation, or further a career.

You can even win tools to help improve your work.

Many of these contests include social networks where you can communicate with other artists, learn new information, and get advice and opinions. You can focus on one contest at a time or enter multiple photography contests, depending on your schedule.

If you already have a portfolio, a big bonus is that you may already have a winner!

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