11 Best Wildlife Photography Competitions You Should Enter
Your hard drive is inevitably full of pictures, some better than others, so why not enter your favourite shots into a competition? There are many wildlife photography competitions out there now, and some are considered very prestigious to be successful in.
Even if you don’t win, it is still good fun and the final exhibitions of these contests are often fantastic to look around.
I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular wildlife photography competitions around today, although many of these competitions also feature categories for landscape photography and other areas of nature photography.
Why enter a wildlife photography competition?
First off, why bother? Well, these competitions are a great way to further your career. Success in one, or multiple, contests really does get your name “out there” and provides a lot of coverage through the press and exhibitions.
Not only that, but they provide a regular focal point for your photographic calendar. It’s nice to have something to work towards and take part in, celebrating nature and your time spent in the field each year.
A lot of these competitions have been around for a long time, and they attract images from all over the world. Wildlife photography competitions can be a great source of inspiration, too.
So, let’s take a look at some wildlife photography competitions you should enter.
1. Nature TTL Photographer of the Year
Well, we couldn’t have this list without our very own competition. The Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition offers photographers the chance to win this prestigious title.
This competition sees more than 8,000 entries from 117 countries submitting. The Overall Winner takes home a £1,500 cash prize.
2. Bird Photographer of the Year
A highly prestigious, international wildlife photography competition specialising in bird images. The competition supports conservation through imagery, with strong ties to the Birds on the Brink charity.
The competition has a huge prize fund, with the overall winner taking home £5,000.
3. British Wildlife Photography Awards
The premier competition that celebrates UK wildlife and wild spaces. Photographers from any country are welcome, but your images must be taken in the UK.
The Overall Winner takes home a £5,000 cash prize.
4. Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The dream of most wildlife photographers is to one day win the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The competition receives over 40,000 entries each year from some of the biggest names in the world of wildlife photography. The competition is extremely tough to place in, so being shortlisted in itself is an achievement. The overall winner nets £10,000.
5. Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
This is one of our favourites to see the winners of! The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards has a unique take on wildlife photography competitions, and provides a platform for those humorous moments in nature.
The winner takes home a host of goodies and photography kit, as well as a safari in Kenya for two people.
6. GDT Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Also known as “European Wildlife Photographer of the Year”, this is another very prestigious competition worth entering. Attracting images from all over Europe, there is a €2,000 top prize.
7. Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards
This USA-based competition is open to photographers all around the world. There is no prize money in this particular competition, but successful images do get displayed in the famous Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
8. Zoological Society London Animal Photography Prize
Another UK competition, but accepting entries from all over the world, is the ZSL Animal Photography prize. Some of the world’s best wildlife photographers enter (and have won) this competition. Each category winner takes £2,000.
9. Underwater Photographer of the Year
The biggest and best competition for photographers who spend their time below the waves.
Prizes awarded include various equipment and kit for underwater work, as well as some cash prizes.
10. British Bird Photograph of the Year
With a top prize of £1,000, this lesser-known competition is definitely worth entering.
11. Sony World Photography Awards – Nature & Wildlife Category
With a category for nature & wildlife, the SWPA are free to enter. The “Open” competition gives the overall winner $5,000. The category winner gets camera equipment and is showcased in a London exhibition and winners book.
In the “Pro” competition, the overall winner nets $25,000! Category winners again get camera equipment, a place in the exhibition and book, and also flights to London and VIP tickets to the award gala ceremony. Fancy!
Think you’re ready? Now check out our advice on How to Win a Wildlife Photography Competition. And good luck! If you are successful in any of these competitions, do let us know in the comments.