Scroll Top
Network               Rentals               Stock                 Jobs               Programs             Trips             Businesses             News

The top ten nature and wildlife photographic competitions to enter

Source and succeed in competing in the worlds top wildlife photographic competitions.


Embarking on the journey of entering wildlife photography contests can be an exhilarating endeavor for any nature photographer. It presents a remarkable platform to showcase your talent, passion, and unwavering dedication to capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of our planet.

However, alongside the excitement often arise a multitude of questions and uncertainties. How do you discerningly select the most suitable contest for your work? How do you strategically position your photographs to increase your chances of success? Moreover, how can you leverage your participation to amplify the conservation issues close to your heart?

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with insightful answers to these pertinent questions. We will guide you through the process of identifying the best contests to participate in and offer valuable insights to navigate the intricate world of wildlife photography competitions.

Ultimately, our goal is not only to elevate your career as a wildlife photographer but also to empower you to make a tangible impact on the causes you deeply care about by harnessing the power of your compelling imagery.

Why enter wildlife photographic competitions?

At Gloworm, we don’t just view contests as a means for wildlife photographers to receive recognition for their aesthetic images. Participating in photo competitions as a conservation photographer presents an opportunity to shed light on critical environmental issues. It involves harnessing our talents and passion to inspire, educate, and contribute.

While winning is gratifying, our focus shifts from personal accolades to creating a broader impact. We see wildlife photography competitions as a platform to showcase the natural world to a wider audience. It empowers photographers to highlight important issues and maximize the impact of their dedicated work, which may span weeks, months, or even years.

By submitting your photographs to competitions, you have the power to provoke thought, stir emotions, and spark meaningful discussions about pressing environmental challenges. Your images can compel viewers to take action and contribute to conservation efforts.

Combining your photography skills with your commitment to conservation enables you to inspire positive change. By simply sharing your work, you contribute to increased awareness and ultimately, drive impactful transformations.

Our primary focus extends beyond individual photographers or winning awards. It lies in providing a platform for conservation stories to gain visibility, thereby fostering awareness and ultimately, catalyzing change.


Here’s the secret to maximizing your impact: choose the contests that resonate with your conservation goals and values.

To find the right one, research the contest’s and the sponsor organization’s background and reputation. Look for ones that have a track record of supporting environmental causes. Also, examine the judging panel. A contest’s judges should be credible and respected figures in the fields of photography and conservation. Their involvement lends legitimacy to the contest and can provide valuable exposure to your work. Apart from that, it is imperative that you fully understand the agreement you make when entering the contest and the sponsor(s) usage of your image entries.

Some contests may claim broad usage rights to your work, even for non-winning entries. Ensure the contest respects your copyright and that you’re completely comfortable with the potential use of your photos. To maximize your impact, strategically select contests that align with your conservation goals and values.

Before committing, thoroughly research the contest and its sponsor organization. Prioritize contests that have a history of supporting environmental causes. Examine the judging panel’s credibility and reputation in photography and conservation. Their involvement enhances the contest’s legitimacy and can provide valuable exposure for your work.

Importantly, understand the terms and conditions of the contest, particularly regarding the usage rights of your image entries. Be cautious of contests claiming broad usage rights, even for non-winning entries. Ensure that your copyright is respected and that you are comfortable with the potential use of your photos.

Conquering Wildlife Photography Contests: Strategies for Conservation Photographers?

Winning a wildlife photography contest involves more than a keen eye and impeccable timing. To stand out amidst the thousands of exceptional entries, conservation photographers can leverage several key strategies:

Develop a Unique Style:

Craft a distinctive style that resonates with your audience and sets your work apart. Convey your emotions and perspectives about the natural world through your images.

Understand the Subject:

Gain deep knowledge about your subjects. Study animal behavior, patterns, and habitats to capture never-before-seen moments. Collaborate with fellow photographers, conservationists, and local communities to enrich your understanding.

Use Powerful Imagery:

Harness photography’s storytelling capabilities to communicate conservation messages effectively. Showcase environmental degradation’s stark realities or nature’s resilience in the face of challenges. Simple, evocative shots can also convey powerful emotions and truths.

Incorporate Emotional Storytelling:

Combine technical excellence with style and substance. Each image should contribute to a larger narrative about conservation issues, such as climate change’s impact on species or ecosystem regeneration after disasters. A well-crafted visual story captivates and draws attention to pressing matters.

Utilize Captions Strategically:

Compose well-written captions that provide context and reinforce your images’ conservation message. Strong captions can enhance your photographs’ impact and make a significant difference in competitive judging rounds.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity:

Instead of submitting numerous good images, focus on a select few outstanding ones. An exceptional picture can create a greater impact than several average ones. This approach also optimizes your entry fee budget.

Continuously Learn and Improve:

Stay abreast of photography trends, experiment with various techniques, and seek constructive feedback to refine your skills. As you grow as a photographer and explore the possibilities of your medium, your chances of winning contests and making a lasting impact with your conservation message increase.


Before entering a wildlife photography contest, make sure you’ve covered all the bases with this comprehensive submission checklist:

Research the Contest:

  • Ensure the contest aligns with your conservation mission.
  • Verify the reputation of the organization hosting the contest.

Pro Tip: Study Past Winners:

  • Gain insight into the contest’s winning image criteria.
  • Understand the caliber and style of successful entries.
  • Identify the types of images that excel in different categories.

Check the Rules:

  • Familiarize yourself with the submission format, deadlines, and entry limits.
  • Pay attention to any theme or category-specific requirements.

Understand Image Rights:

  • Clarify how your photos may be used and ensure you’re comfortable with the image rights agreement.

Prepare High-Quality Images:

  • Submit your images in the highest possible quality.
  • Ensure they’re correctly formatted and sized according to contest guidelines.

Write Compelling Captions:

  • Craft engaging captions that enhance the conservation message conveyed by each image.

Proofread Meticulously:

  • Review all written materials, including captions, artist statements, and any required descriptions.

Submit Well in Advance:

  • Beat the deadline by submitting your work early.
  • Include all required fields and materials.

Pro Tip: Plan Ahead:

  • Avoid last-minute rushes to avoid potential technical issues.
  • Aim to submit your entries 5-7 days before the deadline.

Cultivate Resilience:

  • Recognize that judging is subjective and often involves behind-the-scenes discussions and compromises.
  • Remember that the outcome is not a reflection of your skills or the quality of your photographs.

10 Best wildlife and nature photo contests to enter

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

  • Sponsored by the UK Natural History Museum
  • One of the most prestigious platforms for nature and conservation photographers worldwide
  • Annually garners a plethora of entries from talented photographers looking to share powerful narratives about our planet and its diverse ecosystems
  • Lauded for its commitment to conservation, encouraging entrants to capture the pressing environmental issues of our times and evoke global awareness and love for wild animals
  • Winning photos are exhibited at the museum and tour internationally, providing the photographers an unparalleled opportunity to reach a broad audience and make a significant conservation impact with their work.

BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

  • Invites photographers globally to submit their most impressive nature photos
  • A unique opportunity to spotlight the planet’s biodiversity, emphasizing the urgency of protecting and preserving it
  • Aims to generate awareness and inspire action through the power of compelling photos
  • By submitting your work, you contribute to a larger, collective effort to conserve our planet and might even catalyze change through your powerful visual narratives.

Global Photo Contest

  • Hosted by The Nature Conservancy
  • Invites global photographers to spotlight the planet’s natural beauty, investigate environmental issues, and convey the urgency of preserving and restoring our planet’s ecosystems
  • Provides an opportunity for photographers to use their craft as a tool for environmental advocacy, weaving their conservation message into each submitted image

International Landscape Photographer of the Year

  • Recognizes and rewards the talent of landscape and nature photographers across the globe
  • Winners receive cash and gear prizes and gain the honour of having their work included in the contest’s annual book, providing a broader reach for their conservation message

The Nature Photography Contest

  • A relatively new contest but rapidly gaining recognition in the world of photography
  • Open to both amateur and professional photographers, this international competition seeks to utilize the power of photography to remind us of our planet’s breathtaking beauty and the imperative to preserve it
  • A great platform for conservation photographers to demonstrate their passion, reveal nature’s fragility, and contribute to the global conversation on environmental issues

Bird Photographer of the Year

  • A globally recognized competition that celebrates avian photography’s artistry and ecological importance
  • Provides a platform for photographers aiming to capture the beauty, diversity, and significance of birdlife around the world
  • Emphasis on conservation aligns with its mission to raise awareness about the fragile state of bird species worldwide and the necessity of their preservation
  • Winning this contest amplifies your career and contributes to global conservation efforts, as a portion of the competition’s entry fees directly supports bird conservation initiatives

Sony World Photography Awards – Nature & Wildlife Category

  • Organized by the World Photography Organisation
  • Offers a global stage for photographers to showcase the stunning diversity and fragility of Earth’s ecosystems
  • Encourages photographers to capture the raw, untouched beauty of nature and wildlife, emphasizing natural habitats, animal behavior, and environmental phenomena
  • Winning an award in this category could significantly boost your career and present an opportunity to raise global awareness about conservation issues

Audubon Photography Awards

  • Hosted by the National Audubon Society
  • Provides an extraordinary opportunity for bird photographers to share their work on an international platform, raising awareness about bird species’ beauty, diversity, and vulnerability
  • Alignment with conservation efforts makes it a perfect choice for photographers passionate about environmental preservation
  • Winning this contest with your bird images could provide an exceptional boost to your photography career while also supporting the Society’s work in bird conservation, science, and advocacy

National Wildlife Photo Contest

  • Encourages photographers to capture and share stirring pictures of wildlife and natural landscapes
  • Winning images gain international exposure and contribute to fostering a more profound appreciation for wildlife conservation
  • An opportunity to let your pictures speak volumes, telling tales of beauty, survival, and the urgent need for conservation

British Wildlife Photography Awards

  • Shines a spotlight on the rich biodiversity within the United Kingdom
  • Recognizes both amateur and professional photographers, celebrating the beauty of Britain’s wildlife while promoting awareness of its conservation
  • Participants have the opportunity to capture the remarkable variety of British flora and fauna
Partner Content
Explore Gloworm
Clear Filters

Business Directory

Find a Job

Join an Expedition

Enroll in Program

Clear Filters

How to build a life in media when you’re constantly bombarded with ‘pie-in-the-sky’ strategies

15 Essentials to pack for your trip to the island of Niue

Wildlife Photographer of the Year – the photographic competition

Diving into the Deep: A Guide to Becoming a Shark Week Host

Mastering the Depths: Essential Skills for Professional Underwater Videography

Spectacle of the Seas: Exploring the Marvels of South Africa’s Sardine Run

Navigating the Wild: A Comprehensive Guide to a Career as a Wildlife Filmmaker

Capturing the Wild: A Guide on How to Become a Successful Wildlife Filmmaker

Network    Profile        Explore       Account    Careers
Source articles                               Join Gloworm

Natural History Media Network

membership benefits

  • Build a showcase profile
  • Network with membership
  • Link your social media
  • Post / apply for jobs
  • Advertise your business
  • Rent your equipment
  • Lead an expedition
  • Sell stock footage
  • Market training programs
Search articles