POY Latam celebrates excellence in documentary and artistic photography in Latin America. Our commitment is on transparency and our mission: to connect and build communities through competitions, exhibitions, publications, and educational opportunities.
4 January 2021
4:59 AM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.


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Información del concurso en español y portugués aquí

PDF con las reglas en español

PDF com as regras em português

We are honored to announce that POY Latam, the most prestigious photography contest in Latin America, celebrates 10 years of uninterrupted work in 2021, and will be judged virtually under the auspices of POY International, Janssen, and the University of Miami School of Communication.

POY Latam was created by Loup Langton and Pablo Corral Vega in 2011 to celebrate excellence in documentary and artistic photography in Ibero-America. It has become the largest and one of the most important competitions in the region. POY Latam is not for profit and seeks to reach the general public through the organization of the contest, exhibitions, workshops and publications.

All topics have become secondary in the face of the global health crisis caused by the pandemic and the consequent economic crisis. For that reason, in this edition POY Latam will have several categories about health sponsored by the company Janssen. For the first time, we have opened three categories in Instagram for amateurs and independent photographers.

We have had to adjust to the new normality. The judges will meet virtually and each will make a pre-selection on their own. Those essays or individual photos that receive at least two votes will go to the final rounds, which will be broadcast live.

The contest will open on November 30 and will close on January 2, 2021. The photo judging will take place from January 15th to 17th and the video and web judging from January 22nd to 24th. Please read the categories and rules on this page very carefully. We will soon announce the names of the judges.

What winners receive

The winner of the category “photographer of the year” receives a thousand dollars cash prize. The winners of Janssen’s categories on health also receive a thousand dollars cash prize. The winners of other categories receive a certificate.

About POY Latam

POY Latam is not for profit and seeks to reach the general public through the organization of the contest, exhibitions, workshops and publications.

How to enter

POY Latam is open only to photographers from Ibero-America (Latin America, Portugal and Spain) or residents for at least one year from a country in Ibero-America. The winning photographers will have to prove their nationality or their status as residents.

The categories

Important note: In the 2021 POY Latam, we will only accept images made in Ibero-America between January 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2020, except in the News categories and Ibero American Photographer of the Year, where images made anywhere in the world will be accepted.

01 Everyday Life (single) -- A natural image not posed, reflecting human experience, culture or celebrating life. Respect for the dignity of the subject is essential.

02 Everyday Life (series) -- Up to ten images that reflect human experience, culture or celebrate life. Respect for the dignity of the subject is essential.

03 News (single) -- A photograph of a news event or a current social issue. This category allows the presentation of single photo made anywhere in the world.

04 News (series) -- A series of up to ten photographs of a news event or current social issue. This category allows the presentation of series or essays made anywhere in the world.

05 Portrait (single) -- A posed photograph of one or several people that reveals their essence or personality.

06 Portrait (series) -- A series of up to ten portraits of people or groups of people that reveal their essence or personality.

07 Sports (single) -- A photograph that captures a peak moment in an individual or collective sport, that promotes an appreciation of sport or celebrates the role sport plays in the lives of professional athletes, amateurs or the public.

08 Carolina Hidalgo Vivar Environmental Award (series) -- This special category awards a photo essay of up to ten images that expands our understanding of the damage humans are doing to the environment and the enormous challenges of climate change. The pandemic has made us more aware of the need to respect the environment.

09 The Nuestra Mirada Award (series) -- This special category of up to ten images rewards documentary or artistic work that reflects on the times we are living. This category is the only one in which the photos may have been taken at any time and also the only one that accepts real or digital manipulations, as long as they are conceptually justified. It is forbidden to submit essays that have already been presented in previous editions of POY Latam.

10 The Latin American Photographer of the Year (portfolio) -- This special category is open to all photographers. Submit a maximum of forty (40) photographs. A portfolio must be diverse and must include at least four individual photographs and two photo essays. Only one of the essays can be made outside of Latin America. Individual photos within this portfolio must not be repeated in the essays. Organize the portfolio with the individual photos first, followed by the photo essays. Insert a black image (.jpg) at the beginning of each essay to separate them. No text should be included in these separators. Photographers should present the individual photos and essays in other categories so that the judges are familiar with the work. POY Latam will not take photos from one category for inclusion in another. If you want to enter other categories you must submit duplicate files. This portfolio must include work published or created in the twenty-four months prior to the closing of the contest.

Janssen's special categories on health

11 The Pandemic in Ibero-America (series): Up to ten documentary images and/or portraits. While the world searches anxiously for a vaccine, hundreds of thousands of people have suffered the direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic: confinement, overflowing hospital services, economic crisis, illness and in many cases, death.  This category is related to the new reality to which society has had to adapt due to the pandemic.

12 Patients (series): Up to ten documentary images and/or portraits that reflect the experience of patients coping with illnesses other than COVID-19 in this time of pandemic. This category will reward images of patients around Latin America who suffer from diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, multiple myeloma, psoriasis among many others, and who have seen the world come to a halt, but their diseases have not.  Respect for the dignity of the subject is essential.

13 Caregivers (series): Up to ten documentary images and/or portraits that reflect the passion and dedication that caregivers (doctors, nurses, health care providers, family and friends) have shown for their patients. This category is dedicated to those who do a quiet job caring for patients or loved ones who suffer from illnesses other than COVID-19 and who have not put their admirable work on hold.

14 Mental Health (series): Up to ten documentary images and/or portraits showing the importance of mental health in times of pandemic. This category seeks to show strategies people are using to care for their mental, physical and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: The photographs submitted to the contest will not be used by Janssen outside the context of promoting POY Latam and its winners. Any other use will be agreed upon directly by Janssen and the photographers, upon payment of appropriate compensation.

The book category will not be judged this year due to the inability to gather the judges in one place.

Judging criteria

The judges will meet virtually and each will make a pre-selection on their own. Those essays or individual photos that receive at least two votes will go to the final rounds, which will be broadcast live.


Call for entries open
30 November 2020
Submission deadline
4 January 2021
Winner announcement
29 January 2021



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Juror information

Gael Almeida (México)
Regional Director for National Geographic in Latin America

Gael has over 20 years of experience working in nature conservation, coordination of collective impact initiatives and interdisciplinary group work, as well as development of project funding strategies. She has collaborated with governments, academic institutions, and civil society organizations. In 2017, Gael joined the National Geographic Society as Regional Director for Latin America. Her activities include identifying new projects and supporting Latin American researchers, conservationists, educators, and photographers who are funded by National Geographic Society to generate greater impact and outreach about their work.

Daniel Rodrigues (Portugal)
Contributing photographer to the New York Times

Daniel Rodrigues started his career as a professional photographer after finishing his studies at the Portuguese Institute of Photography (2010). His journey began at the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã, followed by his work at the Global Imagens agency, responsible for media published in newspapers such as Jornal de Notícias, Diário de Notícias and O Jogo. Currently based in Portugal, Daniel works as a freelance photographer around the world and has been a contributing photographer to the New York Times since May 2015. In 2013 he was awarded first place in the World Press Photo competition, in the Daily Life category. In 2015, he was granted third place as the POYi Photographer of the Year. In 2017 he was named Ibero-American Photographer of the Year at POY Latam, and received third place in the category Photographer of the Year at NPPA – Best of Photojournalism, among other awards. His work has been featured in well-known media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, among others.

Gisela Volá (Argentina)
Photographer, teacher, curator and cultural manager.

Gisela is a member of Cooperativa Sub, Vist project, Women Photograph and Foto Féminas as well as a 6×6 Global Talent Program Nominator for the World Press Photo. Currently, she co-directs the Laboratory of research and visual creation at Sub, an educational platform in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a professor of the Master of Photography at Efti (International Center of Photography and Film) in Madrid, Spain, Activator of MUFF, study program and Photography Festival of the CDF (Center of Photography of Montevideo, Uruguay) and Mentor of the Women Photograph Mentorship Program 2021. In the past 15 years she has participated in numerous photography gatherings, festivals, colloquiums and conversations across Latin America and Europe. The award-winning photographer has received several distinctions and nominations including first place in the POY LATAM Picture of the year Latin America (2019/2011/ 2012) , first prize in the Cuenca Art Biennial, Ecuador (2009), among others.

Magdalena Herrera (Francia)
Director of Photography for Geo France

Magdalena has worked on books and magazines, spending ten years as Art Director and head of the photography department for National Geographic France before becoming Director of Photography for Geo France. Magdalena leads international workshops and seminars and her photographic experience makes her a sought-after juror in various photography competitions. She was president of the World Press Photo 2018 competition.

Mallory Benedict (USA)
Photo Editor on the History and Culture desk for National Geographic Magazine

Mallory Benedict is a Photo Editor on the History and Culture desk for National Geographic Magazine, commissioning original photography across print, digital, and mobile platforms. She uses the past to understand present-day issues in her work, including stories on the legacy of the Suffrage movement and the Stonewall Riots. She also works on stories related to social justice and geopolitics, and in 2020 has worked on stories about the national protests against police violence and systemic racism, as well as the political upheaval in Hong Kong. Her work has been recognized by the American Society of Magazine Editors, Society of Publication Designers, National Press Photographer’s Association, and Pictures of the Year International. Benedict is also the Programs Manager for Women Photograph, an initiative designed to elevate the work of women and non-binary photographers around the globe. Benedict graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism where she studied photojournalism, anthropology, and political science.

Karla Gachet

Ecuadorian photographer Karla Gachet has documented Latin America extensively for nearly 15 years with a focus on culture, territory, indigenous rights, and environmental issues. She is committed to telling stories that inspire change, generate empathy, and connect people on a human level. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally and has been recognized by World Press Photo, POYi, and POY LATAM among others. Karla is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine and has published in Geo France, Smithsonian, The New York Times, Washington Post among other publications. She is co-author of two books, Short Stories: From Ecuador to Tierra de Fuego and Gypsy Kings. She is a member of the collectives Runa Photos and Ayün Fotógrafas as well as a member of Women Photograph and Foto Féminas. Karla has given various talks about her experience in the region and has organized group projects and workshops, including one next year with Latinx youth from the Central Valley in California. She has taught at the Universidad de Las Americas in Quito, has been a mentor and editor for emerging photographers, and will be a Women Photograph mentor in 2021. For the last four years she has been documenting the Latinx community in the United States, which has been published in National Geographic Magazine.


  • All series must have 5 to 10 photos.
  • All images must be taken in Latin America, except in the category News (series) and/or Photographer of the Year.
  • The photos do not need to be published to participate in the contest.
  • Anyone can participate, however most participants are professional photographers.
  • The photographs must have been taken between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020, but there is a special category – The Nuestra Mirada Award – which is not subject to this time frame.
  • Photographs must include captions within the digital file. You will be able to verify that the information is correctly incorporated into the file when you upload your images to Picter. Please do not send photos without information.
  • Each photographer or group must fill out an individual registration form.
  • The deadline for uploading your work is January 2, 2021 at 11:59pm (Quito or Bogotá time).
4 January 2021
4:59 AM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.