An Overview of Architectural Photography Awards Contests – Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Work Recognized

An Overview of Architectural Photography Awards Contests – Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Work Recognized

APA Awards Architecture Commentary

As architectural photographers, we are not wanting for options to get our work recognized.  Awards for architectural photography are abundant, with new contests seemingly popping up each year.

Last year was the first year that I decided to submit some of my work to these competitions. I found the process of looking for and reviewing all the information and criteria for the various contests a bit onerous and time-consuming.  This year I decided to be more organized and create a cheat-sheet summary of all the major contests available to us.  If you do decide that 2022 is the year to seek out recognition for your work, the overview below attempts to summarize the most significant architectural photography contests available to photographers around the globe.

For each, I’ve endeavored to include the following information to help you find the contest that works best for you:

  • Photography category types
  • Entry Fees
  • Eligibility
  • Dates/schedule
  • Jury
  • Dates active
  • Press coverage
  • Prizes

Whether or not you believe these contests are worth your time (and money!) is something that you’ll need to decide for yourself.  The cynics will tell you that many of these competitions may not end up identifying the best work and perhaps give preferential treatment to a handful of social media savvy photographers who have amassed a large following.  There seems to be a lot of truth to that perception.  But if you do decide to go for it, hopefully this guide will help focus your efforts.  Good luck!


APAlmanac Photography Awards

The first Architectural Photography Almanac competition seeks to create a contest for and by architectural photographers, judged by professionals working in the fields of architecture, publishing, and museum curation.

APAlmanac Photography Awards
Web Link

APAlmanac Photography Awards

Categories

• Early Career & Emerging Talent

• Photo of the Year

• Project of the Year

Entry Fees

  • Early Career and Emerging Talent Award: 25 USD
  • Photo of the Year Award: 25 USD
  • Project of the Year Award (submit up to eight images of a single project or subject): 75 USD
  • Eligibility

    The Early Career and Emerging Talent Award is open to anyone with five years or less of experience in the genre. Photo and Project of the Year Awards are open to anyone.

    Dates / Schedule

    2021’s submission window was from September 1st until December 31st.

    Jury

    Real working photo buyers and clients experienced in editorial and commercial contexts. No self-congratulating photographers judging other photographers here!

    Dates Active

    2021 was the inaugural year.

    Press

    Being featured as a winner on APAlmanac should be on every architectural photographer’s wish list.

    Prizes

  • Early Career and Emerging Talent Award: 1,500 USD for the winner
  • Photo of the Year Award: 1,500 USD for the winner
  • Project of the Year Award: 2,500 USD for the winner
  • All winners and runners-up will receive a custom engraved, architect-designed trophies with their name and the title of the award etched into the surface


    Architectural Photography Awards

    Images of the built world are ubiquitous, used beyond the world of architecture and design, you will see buildings in advertisements for finance, cars, travel and more. Despite the visibility of these images, their creators are invisible. The APA crosses sectors and continents to raise awareness of the skill of these photographer; their ability to translate the sophistication of the built world – the photographer interpreting and explaining the character, detail and environment into readable and understandable two dimensions.

    Architectural Photography Awards
    Web Link

    Architectural Photography Awards

    Categories

  • Exterior
  • Interior
  • Sense of Place
  • Buildings in Use
  • Portfolio – Building with History (must submit 4 – 6 images)
  • Mobile – Greening the City
  • Entry Fees

    Single image entries are 8GBP (~11USD) per image. Entry bundles can also be purchased: six images for 30GBP (~41USD) or 36 images for 72GBP (~98USD)

    Eligibility

    Open to anyone.

    Dates / Schedule

    2022 dates have not been revealed yet. Submission window for 2021 was from mid July until early September. Shortlists announced in early October with winners being announced in early December.

    Jury

    The 2021 jury included architectural marketing professionals, architectural photographers, academics, etc.

    Dates Active

    Contest has been running since 2012.

    Press

    Reported worldwide in business and consumer channels, and supported by the World Architecture Festival – WAF.


    Architecture Photography Masterprize

    Architectural photography is an integral medium used to capture and document the look and feel of architects’ work. A good photograph helps the public to understand the designer’s vision through showcasing the spatial elements, light, shadows and surface textures of a building or architectural details. Whether used for media or artistic purposes, architectural photography plays a vital role in society’s understanding and appreciation of architecture and its cultural significance.

    Architecture Photography Masterprize
    Web Link

    Architecture Photography Masterprize

    Categories

  • Exterior (Bridges, Cultural, Historic, Landscape/Urban Design, Public, Cityscapes, Educational, Hospitality, Residential, Commercial, Healthcare, Industrial, Retail, Other, Exterior Details, Sustainable Exterior)
  • Interior (Commercial, Healthcare, Industrial, Public, Cultural, Historic, Residential, Educational, Hospitality, Retail, Other, Interior Details, Sustainable Interior)
  • Entries can consist of a single image or a series of images up to 10 in total.

    Entry Fees

    Professional entries are 50USD, with a 30% discount for adding an entry to an additional category.

    Eligibility

    Open to anyone 18 years and up. All images must be taken within the previous five years.

    Dates / Schedule

    2022 dates have not been revealed yet. Submission window for 2021 was from April until August 31st. Winners announced six weeks after close of the final submission.

    Jury

    Wide variety of professionals in architecture, journalism, interior design, art, and other related fields.

    Dates Active

    2021 was the inaugural year.

    Press

  • Press campaign directed to hundres of thousands of architecture professionals, press, and potential clients worldwide.
  • Profile in online architecture directory
  • Feature in Architecture of the Year book
  • Online Winner Certificates
  • Prizes

    Two Photographer of the Year Awards given for the best overall Exterior and Interior image(s). These two winners will receive the an Architecture Masterprize trophy. Additionally, multiple winners will be awarded in the 31 sub-categories plus honorable mentions.


    Architizer One Photo Challenge

    Send us a photo.  Tell us a story.  Can you capture a single photography that tells a powerful story about architecture?

    Architizer One Photo Challenge
    Web Link

    Architizer One Photo Challenge

    Categories

    A single category contest where photographers are to submit one photograph that powerfully communicates a piece of architecture and the experience of those who inhabit it.

    Entry Fees

    Early bird: 50USD. Regular: 65USD. Late: 75USD.

    Eligibility

    Open to all.

    Dates / Schedule

    2022 dates have not been revealed yet. The 2021 deadline was March 26th.

    Jury

    Mostly comprised of architectural photographers (2021 included names like Ema Peter, Hufton + Crow, etc.)

    Dates Active

    Contest has been running since 2020.

    Press

    350,000+ monthly unique visitors. Two million monthly pageviews. 29,000 architecture firms active on platform. 4.3 million social media followers.

    Prizes

    Two Grand Winners are chosen, each receiving 2,500USD, a Fujifilm INSTAX camera, and an exclusive interview to tell the world about your image. 100 finalists are published in Architizer Journal.


    Arch2O Photography Challenge

    The growing obsession with visual documentation is giving us a chance to learn more about our architectural context. After we build, the Architecture rebuilds and frames our stories. Taking a photo of a building might be easy, but telling a story through it is quite challenging!

    Arch2O Photography Challenge
    Web Link

    Arch2O Photography Challenge

    Categories

    Contestants submit one photograph that conveys its sense of place. Your photography should be submitted alongside a brief description (< 150 words)

    Entry Fees

    65USD.

    Eligibility

    Open to all.

    Dates / Schedule

    2022 dates have not been revealed yet. The 2021 contest’s submission window began in mid August and the late deadline was extended to the middle of February 2022. Winners will be announced in April.

    Jury

    The jury includes masters and leaders in the fields are architecture and photography.

    Dates Active

    2021 was the inaugural year.

    Press

    Publication in Arch2O’s Annual Feature ‘100 Photos About Architecture’

    Advertising on international press.

    Publication in online gallery.

    Prizes

    First prize: 1,000USD. Second prize: 700USD. Third prize: 300USD. Each winner also receives some photography gear.


    Dezeen Awards

    Now in its fifth year, Dezeen Awards celebrates the world’s best architecture, interiors and design and has become the benchmark for international design excellence as well as being the ultimate accolade for architects and designers across the globe.

    Dezeen Awards
    Web Link

    Dezeen Awards

    Categories

    Architectural Photography of the Year award is under their new ‘Media’ category.

    Entry Fees

    Early bird: 40GBP (~54USD). Regular: 50GBP (~68USD). Late: 100GBP (~136USD).

    Eligibility

    Open to all.

    Dates / Schedule

    Early bird deadline: March 30th, 2022. Regular deadline: June 1st, 2022. Late deadline: June 8th, 2022. Winners revealed in late November.

    Jury

    Comprised of 75 architects, designers, academics, etc.

    Dates Active

    2021 was the first year that Photography was included in their new ‘Media’ categories.

    Press

    Longlisted entries published on Dezeen Awards website. Shortlisted entries entered into Dezeen Awards public vote as well as featured in full in an article on Dezeen.

    Prizes

    Winners receive hand-made trophy and certificate.


    International Photography Awards

    The International Photography Awards™ conducts an annual competition for professional, amateur, and student photographers globally, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today. Our mission is to salute the achievements of the world’s finest photographers, discover new and emerging talent, and promote the appreciation of photography.

    International Photography Awards
    Web Link

    International Photography Awards

    Categories

    Architecture categories include: Abstract, Bridges, Buildings, Cityscapes, Historic, Interiors, Industrial, Other.

    IPA also includes a One Shot Challenge where each year there is a unique theme for a single image submission. The theme for 2022 is ‘Color.’

    Entry Fees

    IPA Awards – Single image: 35USD. Series of images: 60USD. Additional categories: 20% discount.

    IPA One Shot Challenge – 20USD.

    Eligibility

    Open to anyone 18 years and up.

    Dates / Schedule

    IPA Awards – Early bird deadline: February 28th, 2022.

    IPA One Shot Challenge deadline: May 31st, 2022.

    Jury

    Comprised of gallerists, photo editors/directors, art collectors, photography luminaires, etc.

    Dates Active

    Contest running since 2004.

    Press

    Winners featured in best in show exhibition in New York City, as well as published in the IPA Annual Book of Photography.

    Prizes

    IPA Awards – Winners of each main category receive 1,000USD and a trip to the Lucie Awards Gala in New York City. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd awards are given in each sub-category. Photographer of the Year Award announced at Lucie Awards Gala and given 10,000USD.

    IPA One Shot Challenge – Category winners receive 500USD. Grand winner receives 2,500USD.


    Loop Design Awards

    The LOOP Design Awards mission is to become one of the most prestigious and recognized international Award in Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Design, Product Design, Architecture Photography and Architecture Video. LOOP is an open platform to creativity and talent! We want to celebrate and honour diversity with remarkable works globally.

    Web Link

    Loop Design Awards

    Categories

    Architecture Portfolio, Exteriors, Interiors, Fine Art Architecture, Aerial Architecture Photography, Abstract Architecture Photography

    Entry Fees

    Super early bird: 80 Euro (~91USD). Early bird: 100 Euro (~114USD). Regular: 150 Euro (~171USD). Late: 200 Euro (~228USD).

    Eligibility

    Open to all.

    Dates / Schedule

    Super early bird deadline: January 31st, 2022. Early bird deadline: March 31st, 2022. Regular deadline: June 30th, 2022. Late deadline: July 31st, 2022. Winners announced in September/October 2022.

    Jury

    Comprised of around 35 top architects, interior designers, landscape designers, product designers, professors, editors and photographers.

    Dates Active

    Contest has been running since 2020.

    Press Coverage

    Several media partners including ArchDaily, DesignBoom, E-Architect, etc.

    Prizes

    The main winners of the LOOP Design Awards are eligible to receive the Winners Trophy (which will cost the winners an additional few hundred dollars each), with their entries highlighted and feature on LOOP Design Awards Winners directory throughout the coming year and a lifetime customized winner page.

    About Justin Szeremeta
    I'm an architect turned photographer based in Shanghai with a penchant for tall buildings.
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