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2020 Youth competition

Seven competitions, seven chances: this year’s format for our Youth competition gives you more opportunities to be the next Youth Photographer of the Year. 

If you’re aged between 12-19 years old, you’re can submit up to three images relating to a specific theme each month. Each competition starts on the first and ends on the last day of that month. Running from June to December, they’ll be seven themes to inspire you. 
We’ll be updating this page with each month’s theme. For those that need a bit of inspiration, we’ll be sharing some great photographs relating to that month’s theme to spark your creativity. You don’t have to enter every month but the more times you do take part, the greater the chance you have of being awarded that exciting Youth Photographer of the Year as the seven monthly winners will then compete to win the prestigious title – announced in April 2020.


October's competition

open for entries from October 1 to 31 2019 WINNER ANNOUNCED November 8, 2019

This month we’re asking you to submit images relating to the theme PORTRAITURE. 

Throughout time the best portraits have revealed qualities of the sitter. Be it beauty, power, confidence – or perhaps a secretive quality – a good portrait image invites the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of the person being photographed. 

  • Studio, candid, lifestyle, fine art or conceptual, a portrait can be taken in many different environments. Self-portraits are also welcome. Judges are looking for strong images that clearly showcase the personality of a person or group of people. 


One winner and a shortlist will be announced on the World Photography Organisation’s social media and the winner will also be featured on our weekly newsletter. Share your images with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #youthofswpa.

How to enter

  • Read this month’s competition theme and select one to three images relating to that theme

  • Register or login to your account

  • Navigate to the competition section and select Youth 

  • Read the checklist below to ensure your submission will upload successfully

  • Upload one to three images relating to that month’s competition theme

Before you enter checklist

Before you enter make sure all of your images are:

  • JPG format and saved at quality 10 or above, or the maximum quality possible (depending on which software you use)

  • That your image is between 1-5 MB

  • Your image is set to the sRGB color mode (just make sure the mode is not CMYK)

  • Don’t forget! This competition is open to 12 to 19 year olds, if you’re over 19 why not considering Student, Open or Professional competitions

If you’re not entirely sure how to resize or reformat your images have a search online, there are loads of great resources immediately available to help you out. If for some reason your photographs aren’t uploading to the World Photography Organisation website, please double check your images are JPEG format and try again. If you’re still having trouble, contact us here


  • Before you get started we recommend studying some of the leading photographers of the genre. Take Julia Margaret Cameron’s classic pictures of her friends, children and family of the mid 19th century; Tim Walker’s imaginative fashion-driven portraits or Nadav Kander’s arresting photographs of the world’s most famous faces. 

  • Here are a few standout portraits entered into the Sony World Photography Awards to inspire you.


Themes, deadlines and announcements

All you need to know

All competitions close on the last day of each month at 13:00 (BST)

June competition: LANDSCAPE, open for entries from June 1 to 30 23.59.59 BST

July competition: ENVIRONMENT, open for entries from July 1 to 31 23.59.59 BST

August competition: NATURE & WILDLIFE, open for entries from August 1 to 31 23.59.59 BST

September competition: TRAVEL, open for entries from September 1 to 30 23.59.59 BST

October competition: PORTRAITURE, open for entries from October 1 to 31 23.59.59 GMT

November competition: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, open for entries from November 1 to 30 23.59.59 GMT

December competition: OPEN CALL - YOUR FAVORITE IMAGE FROM 2019, open for entries from December 1 to 31 23.59.59 GMT

Click on the competition theme below to enter your images to the Youth competition!