Connecting the world to the stories that matter.
13 January 2021
3:59 AM

2021 Photo Contest

The annual World Press Photo Contest rewards photographers for the best single exposure pictures contributing to the past year of visual journalism. Whether entered as singles or stories, these pictures are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and visually compelling insights about our world.


The winners of the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year awards receive €5,000 each. All winning photographers will be invited to a small online festival including the winners announcement, presentations, lectures and networking opportunities for the winners to connect to a selected group of jurors, editors and industry professionals. The prize-winning photographs are assembled into a worldwide year-long exhibition. The winning pictures are also published on World Press Photo's website, across our social media platforms, and in our annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages.


The contest is organized into eight categories, and judged by a jury of leading professionals. The membership of the jury changes every year. The General Jury is led by a chair and supported by a secretary who implements the rigorous judging procedures. The jury, chair, and secretary are independent of the World Press Photo Foundation. The staff, board, and partners of the World Press Photo Foundation cannot direct the jury’s decisions. For details of the 2021 Photo Contest jury, click HERE.

Before you enter

Make sure you have read the Code of Ethics and Entry Rules. Guidance on how to write captions and to what extent processing is allowed is available at these links:


Code of Ethics:

Entry Rules:



Participants must provide their file(s):

  • Upload images with the original pixel size (unless cropped). Do not scale and do not change the resolution.

  • ICC profile must be embedded. AdobeRGB, sRGB or grayscale Gamma 2.2 are recommended. No CMYK.

  • Must be uploaded in JPEG format with high-quality compression. We will use winning images for high-quality production of the yearbook and exhibitions.

  • Participants must provide their file(s) as recorded by the camera for all images that proceed to the final stages of the contest. These file(s) will be requested and studied confidentially between 16 January and 24 February 2021. Failure to provide these files when requested will lead to the exclusion of the entry.

  • Entrants whose work has been identified during the verification process as having content altered according to entry rule 12 (the content of a picture must not be altered by adding, rearranging, reversing, distorting or removing people and/or objects from within the frame) will be excluded and, if applicable, all other entries from that entrant will be excluded from the contest and informed after the nominees have been announced.

  • Entrants whose work has been identified during the verification process as having content altered according to entry rule 13 (adjustments of color or conversion to grayscale that do not alter content are permitted) will be contacted for an explanation before the jury makes a final decision on whether to exclude the entry. Once contacted, entrants have 24 hours to respond. The entrant will be informed of the final decision after the nominees have been announced. If the jury decides to exclude a picture that is part of a story, the remaining pictures in the story that are free from manipulation can be transferred to a singles category.

  • In the same period, participants can be contacted and asked to verify their captions and metadata with the fact-checking team.

How to enter

  1. Create your personal Picter account here. If you have entered the Photo Contest before, please log-in using your log-in details.

  2. On Picter, register for the 2021 World Press Photo Contest (starts on 1 December 2020 12.00 (noon) CET). This requires your personal data as well as your proof of professional status. You can register until 12 January 2021 12.00 (noon) CET. Your registration will be reviewed to ensure compliance with our entry rules, we reserve the right to ask for additional information to help clarify your professional status.

  3. While your status as a professional is under review, you can already upload your images, add captions, metadata, and other information.

  4. The deadline to submit your entry is 12 January 2021 12.00 (noon) CET. Until the deadline, you can always log back into your account and edit your submission.

Why you should enter

  • It is free to enter
  • Open to all professionals around the world
  • Your work is presented anonymously to the jury
  • Independently judged by leaders in visual journalism
  • Winners are showcased in global exhibitions and yearbook
  • The winners of the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year awards receive €5,000 each.


Call for entries open
1 December 2020
Registration Deadline
12 January 2021
Submission deadline
13 January 2021



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    1 to 99 files per submission

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    Allowed file types: JPG

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    At least 3000px on the long edge


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    Image creation date must be between Jan 1, 2020 and Dec 31, 2020

About the Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling, founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest (“World Press Photo”) to expose their work to an international audience. Since then the contest has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography competition, and through our successful worldwide exhibition program, we present to millions of people the stories that matter. The World Press Photo Foundation is a creative, independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



Image © Esther Horvath, for The New York Times

13 January 2021
3:59 AM