Entries close on 30 April 2021, but to be eligible for 'every fifth entry free', you must enter by 23 April 2021 (see rules below).

ALSO NOTE: Your portrait entry must have been photographed on or after 1 January 2019.
AND: You always retain full ownership and copyright in your Entries.

1. The International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards (Awards) incorporates the International Portrait Photographer of the Year (Photographer) and the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book (Book).

2. The Awards are open to all photographers, professional and amateur, around the world. By entering the Awards, You accept these Rules and their Terms and Conditions.


3. Closing Date: Entries and the Entry Fee must be received by 30 April 2021 (or 23 April 2021 if you want a free entry - see below). 

4. The Entry Fee is US $25 per image and if you enter prior to 23 April 2021, every fifth entry is free. So, enter and pay for four images, get one free. Enter and pay for a further four entries and the tenth entry is free. There’s no limit to the number of images you can enter, but you cannot enter the same Entry multiple times into different categories.

Entries will be accepted after 23 April until 30 April 2021. For the final week of entries, the entry fee is still US $25 per image entry, but there are no free entries.

5. To enter, you must upload your Entry(s) via the Award’s website, following the on-screen instructions.

6. The judges are looking for photographs that epitomise the art and craft of Portrait Photography. This will mean different things to different judges and in different categories. Your job is to impress the judges.

7. The Entries presented for judging must be photographic in origin (taken with a camera), but there are no restrictions on post-production except that any post-production must be the work of the entrant, and that the judges will determine if the post-production is appropriate for a portrait competition. You cannot have someone else edit or work on the image for you. We consider this part of the art of Portrait photography.

8. Entries must be from original exposures taken on or after 1 January 2019. You can enter more than one Entry of the same subject, but if two entries are considered similar by the judges, only one of them will be eligible for the Book. The decision as to which entry will be included in the Book is at the discretion of the Organisers.

9. Entries must comply with the following specifications:

• AdobeRGB colour space, 8-bit;

• Measure between 4000 and 5000 pixels on the longest side (we need large files because they may be printed), 300 dpi.

• Be saved as a JPEG (recommended setting 9 or 10).

• There is a maximum file size of 6MB, so for particularly detailed subjects, you may need to reduce the JPEG compression to setting 8.


10. There are four categories:

The Character Study
What does a subject reveal in a portrait? Or is it the viewer who responds to the visual clues presented by the image? Show us portraits where character is the key to our understanding.

The Portrait Story
Documentary. Photojournalism. Candid. Imagined. Composites. A carefully captured or created portrait can show more than the people within, it can be a part of a larger dialogue. What stories can you show us?

The Family Sitting
We all photograph our families. Some of us photograph families professionally. And great family portraits - whether singles or groups - play an important role in our personal histories and are integral to the art of portrait photography. You don't have to photograph your own family, and we're interested in classically formal portraits as well as relaxed and informal sittings. What's your take on a 'family'?

The Environmental Portrait
Whether indoors or outside, including activity and location can create a portrait that integrates the subject with their environment. What can your photographs show about your subject's life or situation?

The categories are designed to give some variety and direction for our annual awards book. There are no restrictions preventing a photograph from being entered into a category (it won't be disqualified), but if you enter a photo of a single old man with a craggy face into the Family Sitting category, the judges may not give it as high a score as if it were in the Character Study. On the other hand, that old man could fit into either the Character Study or the Environmental Portrait just as easily. So choose the category you think is the best fit. The choice of category is at the entrant's sole discretion.


11. Judging will be blind. No names, titles, captions or other indicators are allowed on the visible Entry. (However, we recommend the metadata inside your file contains your name and copyright declaration etc.)

12. Each Entry will be scored by 3 separate judges. The Organiser reserves the right to replace the nominated judges should the need arise.

13. The judging process is as follows:

• Each Entry will be given a score out of 100 by each of the three category Judges. The Judges’ scores will be totalled and then divided by 3 to give a Final Score, expressed as a percentage (out of 100).

• In each category, the 10 Entries with the highest Final Score will be presented to the judges a second time and the judges will be asked to vote for their top five entries in order. These votes will be used to determine first, second and third places, with the requirement that to win a place, at least one judge must have voted for this place or higher (e.g. an Entry can't win First Place unless at least one judge has scored it in First Place.) The Chairman of Judges will have a casting vote if needed.

• To determine the International Portrait Photographer of the Year, the First Places from each Category will be presented to all the judges and they will be asked to vote for their top three entries in order. These votes will be used to determine the overall winner, with the requirement that at least one judge must have voted for the overall winner. The Chairman of Judges will have a casting vote if needed.

• The Top 101 Entries will be determined with an initial selection as follows:

  • The 10 entries with the highest Final Score from each category will be included in the initial selection - a total of 40 photographs.
  • The remaining 61 photographs will be determined using their Final Score and proportional representation for each category. Categories with more Entries will have more Entries selected for the Top 101.
  • In order to ensure an interesting and diverse collection of portraits, when the initial Top 101 are selected, they shall be reviewed and if an Entrant has two photographs that are very similar, as determined at the Organisers’ discretion, one will be removed. Furthermore, any one entrant may not have more than two entries accepted into the top 101. Replacement photographs will be selected, based on the process outlined above.

14. Winners will be published on-line at the Awards’ website and in the Book, both in print and electronically.


15. The prizes for the winning Entries are as follows:

I n t e r n a t i o n a l   P o r t r a i t   P h o t o g r a p h e r   o f   t h e   Y e a r 

First Prize

Cash prize of US $3,000, trophy, inclusion and feature in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book, and a printed copy of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book.

I n t e r n a t i o n a l   P o r t r a i t   P h o t o g r a p h   o f   t h e   Y e a r  C a t e g o r y  W i n n e r s

First Prize

Cash prize of US $1,000, trophy, inclusion and feature in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book, and a printed copy of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book.

Second Prize

Cash prize of US $500, trophy, inclusion in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book, and a printed copy of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards  Book.

Third Prize

Cash prize of US $250, trophy, inclusion in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book, and a printed copy of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards Book.

T h e  T o p  1 0 1

Each photographer will receive a PDF certificate honouring his or her achievement and ready for printing.

They will also be able to download a PDF version of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards book, with permission to display and present on their website.

The decision of the Organiser is final.


This is all the legal stuff that lets us publish the Book and promote the results, while protecting your copyright in the Entries.

16. Winning Entrants agree to participate in related publicity and to the use of their name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation.

17. You agree and acknowledge that Pt 78 Pty Ltd (the ‘Organiser’) is permitted to receive Your registration data. All personal information will be used by the Organiser in accordance with its Privacy Policy.

18. The Organiser reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify and/or remove any Entry that does not comply with the Rules.

19. You warrant and represent, in respect of each Entry submitted by You, as follows:

• You are the sole copyright owner and creator of each Entry;

• You have the right to make Your Entry available to our Awards;

• That there is no legal reason why the subject(s) of your Entry(s) could object to the use and/or publication of your Entry in our Awards book, on our website, or in associated publicity (which is worldwide and not controlled by us), and that where appropriate, you have the subject's permission (or if the subject is a minor, the subject's parent or guardian's permission) to enter the photograph in the Awards. If the subject(s) of your Entry is (are) likely to object to the use of your Entry by us, do not enter it. This is your responsibility and as such you are indemnifying us. 

• Your Entry(s) does not contain any infringing, threatening, false, misleading, abusive, harassing, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic, profane or illegal content;

• Your Entry does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity

• Your Entry was not taken in circumstances of trespass or invading anyone's legal right of privacy, breach of industrial law or applicable industry code and does not to the best of your knowledge defame anyone, nor was your conduct in taking the image likely to be misleading or deceptive, or violate any person’s rights of privacy or publicity. 

Different countries have different laws concerning privacy and photography. As an Australian based Award, we will abide by Australian laws, but there are very few reasons a subject can object to the use of their photograph. However, this may not be the case in your own country. If your Entry is published in your country, we cannot be held responsible for any issues that may arise. Our requirement is that if you have any doubts or issues, do not submit your Entry to our Awards.

20. You agree to fully indemnify the Organiser in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person by reason of Your breaching any of the foregoing.

21. The Organiser acknowledges that You retain full ownership of the copyright in each Entry.

22. All Entrants agree that any Entry submitted to the Award may be used by the Organiser, and its Event Partners, for the purposes of judging the Competition, and marketing and promotional purposes of the Competition.

Winning entries (including the top 101) will be used as follows and only with respect to promoting the competition:

• displaying the winning entries at public exhibitions promoting the Awards;

• inclusion within the Organiser's and Event partners' websites and magazines, an awards book, magazine or similar (in both paper and digital media);

• inclusion in future publications and websites promoting the Awards, such as a 10-year anniversary compendium of past winners;

• inclusion within any material promoting the Awards;

• sub-licensing winning Entries to the press (such as magazines and websites) for reproduction in connection with the Competition and any exhibition. Please note, these organisations do not need to contact you separately for permission to use your photo in connection with the Competition - you are giving us permission here which we will give to them;

• allowing viewers of the Awards website to view images on a computer screen, PDA or mobile telephone and store such pages in electronic form on disk or on a PDA or mobile telephone for their personal, non-commercial use only.

Non-winning entries may be used solely to promote the competition for a period not to exceed 3 years from the close of the competition.

The Organiser wishes to promote the Awards with the winners' images, but we don't want to prevent our winners from benefiting commercially from sales of their own work. A small number of entrants may need to be able to license their work exclusively at some point in the future and the Organizer commits to providing a release in such circumstances upon being contacted.

23. Any photograph used by the Organiser shall carry a credit line. Any failure to provide such a credit line shall not be deemed to be a breach, as long as the Organiser uses its reasonable endeavours to rectify such failure within a reasonable period from the date of notice of such failure.

24. You acknowledge that it is Your responsibility for protecting any Entry against image misuse by any third party. The Organiser and its Event Partners assume no responsibility and are not liable for any image misuse.

25. The Organiser assumes no responsibility for any incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in the Awards, and the Organiser assumes no responsibility for technical, hardware or software failure of any kind, for lost network connections, garbled computer transmissions, other problems or technical malfunctions with regard to the Awards. The Organiser assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, corruption, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to or alteration of Entries. The Organiser is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail addressed to the Organiser on account of technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the internet or any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to Your or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in the Competition. If for any reason a contestant’s Entry cannot be viewed or is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer viruses, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud or technical failures, the Organiser assumes no responsibility.

26. In no event will the Organiser, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and related companies, Event Partners, its advertising or promotion agencies, or its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives or agents be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or punitive damages arising out of any contestant’s access to and use of the website. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, everything on the website is provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for purpose or use or non-infringement.

27. There are no alternative prizes available for prize winners.

28. To enter online, you will need to register with your real name and provide a valid email address which will be used to contact prize winners.

29. If the Organiser cannot contact a winning entrant by email within a reasonable time, the judges may award the prize(s) to another entry.

30. Entry fees and prizes are quoted in US dollars. The Organiser does not account for or have any liability for any prize winner’s bank fees and charges that may be levied in currency conversion and transactions by the participating banks or institutions. Prizes are paid in USD and will be paid to a Paypal account. If a Paypal account is not possible/legal in the prize winner's country, alternative arrangements will be made, but prize winners are responsible for their own bank fees. Currency conversions to local currency are at prize winners’ cost at the time of conversion.

Where prizes are in the form of product (e.g. book, print), the prize winners are responsible for their own import fees, tariffs and other taxes that may be levied by the Australian government or their own country's government. The Organiser is only responsible for dispatching the prize to the prize winner, paying the cost of the delivery service only.

31. Entry receipts for the competition are stored in your account details. Your purchase receipt will be listed there.

32. The Organiser’s decisions are final. Right of rejection and or right of refusal are at the discretion of the competition Organisers and can happen at any time.

33. All entries are subject to the laws of Australia and the state of New South Wales.

34. All terms and conditions subject to change without notice, with the exception of copyright and usage clauses (21 and 22).