2021 Early Career and Emerging Talent Award

2021 Early Career and Emerging Talent Award

The Early Career and Emerging Talent award seeks to recognize and validate the efforts of photographers who are beginning to find their own voice in their architectural photography practice. The award is open to those who have been photographing architecture for five years or less. For this contest, submit three images that exemplify who you are as a photographer—your style, your technical skills, your interpretation of architecture. These could be three images from three separate locations, or from one location. They could be interiors, exteriors, or aerials. There is no limit as long as you think the three images that you submit represent who you are as a photographer. You may enter as many times as you would like, three images per entry.

Judging Criteria

We’re not looking solely for photographs of amazing buildings and the judges have been instructed not to judge the architecture, but the photographic interpretation of the subject. An incredible photograph of an outhouse has just as much of a chance of winning as a photograph of the latest starchitect’s massive project. There is no geographic restriction on the location of the images; nor are exteriors looked upon more favorably than interiors or vice versa. Images are free to contain human or animal figures, or be strictly architectural. Commercial, personal, artistic, and every other type of image is fair game, as long as the photographs contain an architectural or man-made component.

The judging criteria consist of, but may not be limited to:

Style: Do the entries show a consistent style across images? Even if the subjects are wildly different, a consistent look or feel across images is integral to a photographer’s career.

Technical prowess: Are the images competently made? Are the subject’s proportions correct? If elements of the composition are exaggerated or distorted, do they do so in a way to improve the photograph or detract from the photograph? Is the image in focus and sharp, or if the image is imperfect in a particular way, was it done in a controlled manner that adds to the aesthetic value of the image?

Lighting: Does the lighting in the photograph work to highlight the subject or enhance the story the photograph is trying to tell? Whether the lighting is evocative and moody, light and bright, or highly technical, all are valid approaches when applied judiciously and appropriately.

Overall impression: Is there an emotional reaction to the images, do they inspire, or fall flat? Are they capable of standing on their own without explanation?


Top prize: $1500 USD and the first annual APALMANAC Emerging Photographer trophy. Architect-designed and custom made, this trophy is a show stopper and just a little cooler than the collection of soccer trophies in your bedroom from 1992. Your name will be laser etched into the solid walnut trophy and be an incredible addition to a home office or studio.

Second prize: $500 USD and a slightly smaller, yet just as cool, APALMANAC Emerging Photographer trophy

Early Career Award prototype (left)

A shortlist of the top ten emerging photographers will be published on APALMANAC. For each shortlisted entry, there will be judges’ comments and explanations of their choices.

Before prizes are distributed, we will verify that the eligibility requirements have been met once the shortlist has been selected.

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is December 31st, 11:59pm, 2021.

Entries are now closed.

Entry instructions:

Please upload three images in JPEG format, no larger than 3mb each. Images must be at least 1600px on the longest side, and no more than 4000px on the longest side. Non-JPEG images and images smaller than 1600px will not be accepted, as we would like a large enough file to be able to accurately judge the content of your photographs.

Upload the JPEG files below, and follow the instructions to pay and submit your entry.

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