Photography contests are a great opportunity to both be recognized for your talent and to earn some money. What can be more fulfilling than being able to make some cash out of what you love doing? And although some of you may say that you only do art for yourself, let’s face it – it’s also a great way to boost your income.

After developing a portfolio and getting your work out there, photography contests are probably the second best way to promote yourself. You have no idea how many unknown, amateur photographers have managed to make a name for themselves by simply submitting a few pictures in the right places.

Photography contests man photographing landscape tripod

You have a lot of options when it comes to photo contests, but be careful. There are also a vast number of shady websites that ask for an entry fee but are not worth the effort nor the money. Pick your contests wisely and look for reliable photography competitions.

We’ve scouted the Web for some of the most appreciated online photography contests. Here’s what we came up with.

2016 and 2017 Photography Contests

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

If you’re into wildlife photography you will surely enjoy this fun photo contest. It’s all about funny animal photographs, as the name so clearly suggests. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is free to enter.

To enter the competition, just visit www.comedywildlifephoto.com and complete the entry form. Upload your pictures prior the deadline, and hope for the best. Photographers can enter up to three images per category. There’s also a Video Clip Category, which might also be of interest for some of you. Up to two short clips can be submitted.

Deadline: 1st of October, 2016.

Prizes: The overall will receive a one-week safari trip to Kenya. All expenses are, of course, paid by the organizers. The winner will be flown to Africa together with their partner of choice (spouse, friend, partner, etc.). Category winners will each receive a trophy made by people with disabilities at the WonderWorkshop.

Monochrome Photography Awards

black and white picture of a shipwreck

Both amateur and professional photographers are welcomed to participate in the Monochrome Photography Awards competition. It’s all about black and white, so we hope you enjoy shooting monochrome pictures. We think it’s a great opportunity to make use of light and shadow to create stunning B&W photographs.

There are many categories to which you can submit your entry. This being said, everyone stands a chance to display what they’re most good at. Photographers can enter their work in the following sections: abstract, architecture, conceptual, fashion, fine art, landscape, nature, nude, people, photomanipulation, portrait, wildlife.

Deadline: 20th of November, 2016.

Prizes: The overall professional winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize and other benefits. The overall amateur winner will be given a $1,000 cash prize and other goodies.

Smithsonian Photo Contest

The Smithsonian Photo Contest has made quite a name for itself. It may not be as popular as the National Geographic Photo Contest, but it’s an exceptional launching point. All photographers who are 18 or older are free to enter the photo contest.

There are seven categories into which participants can “pour” their creations: Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Mobile, Altered Images, and Sustainable Travel. Bear in mind that if you want to submit an image which has already won other photo contests, you must reconsider it because it is forbidden. So pick a stunning image which has yet to shine on the Web or go out and start shooting new photographs as soon as possible.

Deadline: 30th of November, 2016

Prizes: The Grand Prize consists of $2,500, but there are also other eight smaller prizes.

Travel Photo Contest

Candi Sewu Buddhst temple Indonesia

If you’re both a traveler and a photographer, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Since travel and photography go hand-in-hand, we are positively sure you already have some breathtaking pictures in your portfolio that should make their way to the Travel Photo Contest. Participants from all over the world are invited to take their chance and send their best travel snapshot.

There are no categories, which means that photographers are not restricted in any way.

Deadline: 31st of December, 2016.

Prizes: The Grand Prize winner stands to receive $100, the second place winner will take home $25, while the third place only gets $10. It’s not much, but you never know who’s going to notice your talent.

Photo Pills Awards

If you want to go big, say hello to one of the most generous photography contests you can find. It’s free to enter (which we love), and submitting your entries is as easy as pie. However, it’s not exactly everybody’s cup of tea, and let’s see why.

The Photo Pills Awards is open to all photographers who have what it takes to shoot for the starts. Basically, you have three big categories: Night, Moon, and Sun. This means that photographers have to submit pictures of the Moon, Supermoons, moonrises, moonsets, solar eclipses, sunsets, sunrises, sun silhouettes, the Milky Way, star trails, meteor shower, and pretty much all other celestial subjects.

Deadline: 31st of December, 2016.

Prizes: The overall annual winner will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize. Furthermore, each month you stand the chance of winning $100 regardless of the category you entered.

Embracing Our Differences Art Competition

Embracing Our Differences is a photography contest created to celebrate diversity and individuality. And what better way to embrace our unique personas than through the voice of art? To become a part of the change, photographers are invited to submit a digital art file with a short (up to 200 words) Artist Statement.

Deadline: 10th of January, 2017.

Prizes: $3,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to three winners.

RHS Photographic Competition

RHS Photography Competition 2014 entry photography competition

The RHS Photographic Competition addresses both the young and the older participants. Encouraging individuals of all ages to go outdoors with their camera, it’s one of the few photography contests dedicated to plant lovers. You might begin to look at your garden differently once you see it as a potential subject for your pictures.

There are nine categories: Celebrating RHS Gardens, Welcoming Garden Wildlife, Pure Plants, Abstract and Details, Greening Grey Britain, Social Media, Young Photographer (age 11-17), Children’s Photographer (under 11), and Portfolio.

Deadline: 28th of February, 2017.

Prizes: the RHS Photographer of the Year will receive a whopping £5,000, while the RHS Young Photographer of the Year will be given £750 worth of Wex Photographic vouchers.

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