Overview of Japan and international photo contests

Since I have been entering photo contests for many years, I would like to summarize a little about the photo contest situation in Japan and internationally.


About Photo Contests in Japan

Japan is a camera and printer powerhouse, so there are many manufacturer-based photo contests, and there are also photographer associations and magazine-based photo contests. The features of these contests are that the judges are photographers, the entries are free of charge, only private entries are accepted (social networking sites are allowed), many entries are printed (web entries are also increasing), and large contests receive between 10,000 and 40,000 entries. Many winners of the following magazine contests, which aim to "discover photographers," have gone on to become famous professional photographers.

[Manufacturer-affiliated photo contests].

[Magazine Photo Contests]

About International Photo Contests

International photo contests are organized by photographers' associations, communities, museums, camera manufacturers, etc. around the world, but anyone can enter directly on the web. Characteristically, the judges are often curators or gallerists, although some are photographers, and entries can be free or paid, and although public works are allowed, there is often a time limit on how long the photos can be taken. Entries come from all over the world, so there are at least 100,000 entries for free contests and more than 300,000 for major contests. And although there is sometimes a division between professionals and amateurs, the motivation of participants, including professionals, is "to be the best in the world" and "to be exhibited in a photo exhibition. The Sony World Photography Awards, World Press Photo of the Year, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year are held in dozens of locations around the world.

[Comprehensive Photo Contest]

  • Sony World Photography Awards (free/paid entry, the largest in the world in terms of total number of entries, total prize money (products), and exhibitions)
  • HIPA (free entry, funded by the prince of UAE: United Arab Emirates, with the world's largest total prize money: $450,000)
  • IPA (International Photography Awards) (paid entry, the largest in the USA and known as the "Academy Awards of the photography world". TIFA (Tokyo), PX3 (Paris), and other IPA-derived contests in various countries)
  • 35AWARDS (free/paid entry, Very sophisticated web system. Winners are determined by public vote and 50 judges' votes. Over 400,000 entries.)

[Photo Contests by Category]










国際的なフォトコンテストは世界各国の写真家協会やコミュニティ、博物館、カメラメーカー等の主催で行われますが、誰でもWEB上で直接応募できます。特徴としては、審査員は写真家もいますがキュレーターやギャラリストが多く、応募は無料と有料があり、公開作品もOKですが撮影期間に制限がある場合が多いです。世界中からの応募なので、無料のコンテストは少なくとも10万以上、メジャーコンテストでは30万以上の応募があります。そしてプロとアマチュアで分かれている事もありますが、プロも含めて「世界一を目指す」事と「写真展で展示される」事が参加者の応募動機です。 Sony World Photography Awards、World Press Photo of the Year、Wildlife Photographer of the Year は世界数十か所で写真展が開催されます。


  • Sony World Photography Awards  (応募無料/有料 応募総数、賞金(商品)総額、展示会などで世界最大規模 )
  • HIPA(応募無料 UAE:アラブ首長国連邦の王子が出資し、賞金総額が世界最大:45万ドル )
  • IPA(International Photography Awards) (応募有料 USA最大で「写真界のアカデミー賞」と言われる TIFA(東京)、PX3(パリ)など各国にIPAの派生コンテストがある)
  • 35AWARDS (応募無料/有料 非常に高度なWEBシステムで一般投票と50人の審査員投票で入賞者が決まる。応募総数は40万を超える)