7 Art Photography Competitions You Need to Apply in March 2021

We all sincerely hoped that 2021 would bring us fresh energy to act and create. However, three months into the promising new year and the slow, introvert reality of 2020 doesn’t seem to leave us just yet. In the meantime, it’s already the end of March, and you have only realised that you missed most of the big photography open calls such as Belfast Photo Festival, Circulation(s), Getxophoto, Prix Pictet and the Mac First Book Award.

Head’s up, it’s never too late for open calls. Here we present to you a list of photography competitions and grants still waiting for your participation. 

#Reunioncalling: Phest2021

Deadline: March 31

PhEST – the international festival of photography and arts in Monopoli (Italy), has decided to virtually reunite ourselves, in order to keep together. The topic ‘Reunion’ – invites photographers to reflect on the repercussions the COVID-19 pandemic had on our relations with family, partners, friends, schoolmates, teams, music groups and so on. What happens when we finally reunite?

The images of the reunion and a short text telling the story of the separation will be posted on PhEST’s Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #ReunionCalling – becoming a modern postcard travelling the web.

A jury made of PhEST artistic direction, Leica Akademie Italy, FIAF and PHmuseum will assign vouchers for the prestigious Leica Akademie workshops and rental equipment offered by Camera Service Group. The best works will be also published on the PHmuseum News website and on their social channels. What’s more a selection of works will become part of an official, physical PhEST exhibition.



Deadline: April 1

OpenWalls – organised by the 1854 media agency (publisher of British Journal of Photography) – is an international photography award dedicated to elevate the careers of both emerging and established photographer by exhibiting their work in prestigious and historic locations around the world.

This years OpenWalls Arles edition, a collaboration between Galerie Huit Arles and 1854 Media, invites photographers to respond to the theme ‘Then & Now’. Looking back at the past year, how did our relations to our family, friends, home and planet change? The projects might be a result of the past year but can also entail archival footage and old forgotten projects.

The prize includes a group show, international press coverage and a feature on the website.


Analogue Photography Grant, The Richard and Siobhán Coward Foundation

Deadline: April 2

If you are an analogue photography lover and your work focuses on technique and precision, this once for you! The small charitable foundation established to honour the life and work of Richard Coward seeks to promote, preserve, develop and practice the art of analogue photography. The foundation is also working towards providing art therapy through photography for disabled and disadvantaged children and youth.

The centrality of traditional analogue techniques is key to a successful application. Here, the execution and final results matters more than the concept or research. The selected artist collective or individual will be granted a significant amount of money for developing an analogue photo project.


Charlie Riddell in Soho

Home’21, International Photography Prize by Lens Culture

Deadline: April 21

The International Photography Prize organised by Lens Culture seeks remarkable photography from around the world that has been made at home or explores the often abstract idea of home. Over the past year our connection and experience of home has shifter drastically – for some, home became a safe escape for others a source of frustration, compromising ones mental health.

Out of all applicants, a profession jury will eventually select 25 finalists. Three winners for both series and single image will be granted cash awards and solo online exhibitions, permanently visible on the LensCultue website. The winners, finalists and juror’s pick will be also publish in a dedicated  HOME’ 21 photobook as well as prominently featured in the permanent LensCulture online gallery.


Female in Focus

Deadline: June 10

Co-founded by 1854 Media – the publisher of British Journal of Photography, the Female in Focus, celebrates, promotes and rewards the work of extraordinary female and non-binary photographers across the world.

In the recent years the awareness around gender inequality has successfully entered smaller and bigger industries however the numbers of women photographers isn’t changing quick enough. Globally, 70-80% photography students are women – yet they account for only 13-15% of professional photographers.

The work of the applicants will be judged by leading women in the art industry. Among others from The New Yorker, Women Photography Internation Ariche and various international galleries and publications. The finalists will be granted a group show in Photoville and Artspace in New York City and an international press coverage in magazines such as Vogue, The Guardian, The Times and more.


Eva Watkins, Synchronised Swimming

Firecracker Photographic Grant

Deadline: summer 2021

Firecracker was established in 2011 by Fiona Rogers to promote women working in photography, through a variety of online features, networking opportunities and public events. A year later, the organisation launched a Photography Grant, awarded to female, female identifying and non-binary photographers to assist with completing a documentary project.

Fiona Rogers is the Director of Photography and Operations for Webber Represents and Webber Gallery. Prior to that she was a Chief Operating Officer of Magnum Photos. Since 2020 the Grant was adapted to support practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, through a combination of self funding, entries and donation the Firecracker team was able to raise 4500 pound to provide nine international photographers with a contribution of 500 pound each.


Palm* Photo Prize 2021

Deadline: March 30

Palm* Photo Prize was first launched in 2018 by Palm Studios – a London based publisher focusing on photography. The submission based exhibition aims to support, elevate and showcase the best image makers of the year. The submission is free of charge and open to people from all over the world. The specially appointed judges will select 100 photographs to be exhibited at East Photography Gallery sponsored by Spectrum.

The exhibited entries will be in the running to win the 1st and 2nd Judge’s Panel as well as People’s Choice Award and the East Photography Up and Coming Award. The finalists will be rewarded with cash prizes, vouchers and Palm* features.


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About The Author


Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

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