2021 World Press Photo Storytelling Contests (€5000 Cash Prize)

World Press Photo Storytelling Contests

The World Press Photo Storytelling Contests recognize and celebrate the best visual journalism produced over the last year. An independent jury selects the prize-winning photographs and productions.

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This year presents a first for the World Press Photo Foundation. Every year we look forward to welcoming industry professionals from all over the world to Amsterdam to judge the best of visual storytelling.

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, judging will take place online and jury chairs will be joined digitally by a team of experts from around the world to decide on the best visual storytelling of 2020.

Entering the World Press Photo Storytelling Contests is free and open to all professional visual journalists around the world. 

World Press Photo Storytelling Contests Requirements

The judging process for the 2021 World Press Photo Contest will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The jury will judge the entries in several rounds over a six-week period, from 16 January to 23 February 2021.

Seven independent specialist juries first shortlists entries in eight categories. Each jury has a chair responsible for maintaining the integrity of the process, ensuring the deliberations are conducted in accordance with the highest standards, and that all jury members are fully involved in the judging process.

An independent General Jury, a new set of jurors consisting of the 2021 Photo Contest jury chair and six different members, then selects the winners. The General Jury will be made up of jury members whose backgrounds and expertise cover the eight different categories of the Photo Contest.

The General Jury is assisted by a secretary. The secretary is responsible for all procedural matters and ensures the rules and procedures are fairly and properly applied. The secretary does not contribute to debate on the merits of any entry, and has no vote in the balloting.

Photo Contest Categories

  • Contemporary Issues
  • Environment
  • General News
  • Long­-Term Projects
  • Nature
  • Portraits
  • Sports
  • Spot News

An international jury selects the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year and awards first, second, and third prizes in all categories.

All nominated photographers of the photo contest receive:

  • Inclusion in the annual World Press Photo year-long worldwide exhibition
  • Inclusion in the annual collectible yearbook, available in multiple languages with a worldwide distribution of more than 30,000
  • Publication in the online collection and a personal profile on World Press Photo’s website
  • Promotion on World Press Photo’s platforms
  • Invitation 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

In addition, nominees are often featured in major publications and invited to speak at public events, exhibition openings, and lectures throughout the year.

Digital Storytelling Contest categories

  • Interactive
  • Long
  • Short

The 2021 Digital Storytelling Contest has three categories: Interactive, Long and Short. There are three prizes in each category. Whilst the Long and Short categories reward winners with first, second, and third prizes, recognition in the Interactive category is achieved differently. The constant development in media and technology is celebrated through three equally-weighted awards, and given the diversity of interactive formats, the jury chooses the approaches they wish to acknowledge as outstanding.

How to Apply

Winning images are used for the production of our book and exhibition. Pictures must meet the following specifications:

  • 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 reproduction.
  • Guidance on how to write captions and avoid manipulation is available here.
  • If manipulation is detected in an entry, the photographer(s) will be contacted in the period mentioned above to offer an explanation that will be forwarded to the jury. Participants must provide 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 – 24 February 2021. Failure to provide these files when requested will lead to the exclusion of the entry.
  • In the same period, participants can be contacted and asked to verify their captions and metadata with the fact-checking team.
  • Entries open: 1 December 2020, 12.00 noon CET
  • Entries close: 12 January 2021, 12.00 noon CET
  • Nominees and winners announced: TBC


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