2021 Photo of The Year Award

2021 Photo of The Year Award

Sometimes all it takes is a single image to catapult a photographer, project, or client to fame. In an era where images are more important than ever, what kind of impact can a single image have? The 2021 Photo of the Year Award seeks to find the single most captivating image created by an architectural photographer—a tall order, no doubt!

Submissions for this category are the simplest of all, and we are expecting a wide range of entries from architectural details to wide shots of entire cities and developments. As long as the built environment is visible, the image is welcome.

The intent of this award is to find images that powerfully communicate the sense of place, beauty, and design prowess inherent in our architectural world. Submissions can feature people or be devoid of them entirely, can show interiors or exteriors. We’re looking for unforgettable images that not only tell a story but also display photographic talent and mastery; whether through composition, lighting, mood, or impact.


First prize: $1500 USD and the first annual APALMANAC Photo of the Year 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 the runner-up APALMANAC Project of the Year trophy. Just as cool, but a little smaller and less baller.

Sample awards – Yes, these are the real deal! Your name and title of award will be engraved.

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

Judging Criteria

Impact: In an era where people are inundated with imagery, does the submitted photo make the viewer stop and look? How many images are we exposed to every day, and how many of them truly stick with us? Can we find an image that cuts through the noise and stands above the rest?

Technical prowess: It goes without saying that the photograph must be very well executed from a technical standpoint.

Subject: While we aren’t looking for the most expensive or grandiose subject matter, we are looking for how well the photographer has captured their subject of choice and what kind of decisions went into creating the photograph.

Story: Can a single image tell a story? Can we relate to it, see ourselves in the space, understand the plight, or joy, or beauty of the subject without being there?

Submission Deadline

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

Entries are now closed.

Entry instructions:

Upload one image in JPEG format, no larger than 10MB total. 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.

Please upload a .JPEG file with the following naming convention: LASTNAME_DD_MM_YYYY.JPEG, where LASTNAME is your last name and the date is the date of entry in DD-MM-YYYY format. Example: KELLEY_08_21_2021.JPEG. Your name and any identifying information will be stripped from images before they are submitted for judging.

Upload the zip file below, and follow the instructions to pay and submit your entry.

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