Benefits / Resources / Articles
August 18, 2023

4 Reasons Professional Photographers Should Enter Photographic Competitions

“Why should I enter photographic competitions?” As a professional photographer, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at some point in your career. Maybe you are looking to take your photography skills to the next level, find a new focus for your work, or make new connections within your community.  

The answer is different for every photographer, but no matter what your reason, we can assure you that photographic competitions are a great opportunity to improve your technical and creative skills as both a photographer and an artist. Read our four top reasons to enter the International Photographic Competition below!


Find the Motivation to Move Beyond the Comfort Zone

Whether you find yourself at a creative crossroads, yearning to explore new photography techniques, or facing a dip in activity, entering a competition can breathe new life into your work. The process of preparing for and entering a photography competition is a great way to reignite your passion and drive for the craft.  

Competitions provide photographers with the perfect avenue to dive into their personal projects with a renewed sense of discipline. Preparing images for entry will have you viewing your work from a new light, consulting your mentors, and looking for areas to improve. By doing this, you’ll undoubtedly discover the areas where you could grow and step outside of your comfort zone. 

With a tangible goal to work toward and prize money on the line, you’ll also be inspired to put your best foot forward!

Improve Your Photography

Engaging in competition with other skilled photographers can serve as a catalyst for refining your skillset and exploring new creative horizons. The challenge of meeting competition standards will motivate you to explore new techniques and perhaps even diversify your subject material. The IPC offers photographers 16 distinct image categories to enter, and there might be a few that you’re eager to delve into! 

The judging process evaluates images based on four key criteria: Composition, Impact, Style, and Technical Excellence. These criteria are integral to the broader 12 Elements of a Merit Image, which photographers often use as a blueprint to enhance their skills. 

Experience the Thrill of Competition

The IPC is the place to witness the impact of your best work on an audience of rapt photographers. Consider entering competition to be inspired by your own community and to compete in some friendly rivalry among peers! Participating in competitions can also help you to benchmark your work with that of other photographers, but it’s not just about winning. It’s about the continuous journey of staying innovative, relevant, and creatively sharp. Enter and see how your work stands up to the industry’s creative and technical bar! 

Gain Exposure and Win Prizes

Emerging triumphant or securing a spot as a top image maker holds the potential to catapult your visibility and reputation not only within the photography community but also on a broader scale. This achievement can lead to new prospects, such as clients, collaborations, exhibitions, and even media coverage!


Participating in the competition which will be judged live is also a great opportunity to win a substantial prize purse! A total of approximately $26,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to photographers. Among these rewards, each of the 16 category winners will walk away with a $1,000 check and a trophy. The winner of the Grand Imaging Award, the industry's greatest honor, will take home the trophy and a check for $10,000. 

In closing, taking part in competitions is an excellent way to cultivate relationships with fellow photographers within your specific niche. You’ll be able to network and establish connections with like-minded professionals and strengthen your community presence. Through competition, you’ll gain insights, share experiences, and be a part of making history in the photographic industry!

There's no better way to hone your craft and improve your images than by entering work into the International Photographic Competition (IPC)! Discover the different entry categories, brush up on the rules, and submit your best work before the September 5 deadline