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Photography Open Calls & Contests: Free to Enter

There are many upcoming open calls and contests with deadlines within the next months that act as a way for early career and graduate photographers to showcase their final major project or a portfolio of work. Many of which are free and will be entering them myself once my project is submitted to university. In this blog post, I will be highlighting some of these opportunities that are free to submit work and are open to all photographers of any skill level to show their projects to others within the industry.


The first two open calls I am mentioning in this post are open calls aimed at students graduating in 2021. These are Nooderlitch open student call and The Pupil Sphere’s Graduate showcase open call. As part of the Nooderlitch photo festival, this is their second student open call, with the first gaining submissions from 37 different countries. To submit work to this open call, it must be a project or body of work that fits within the theme of ‘The Makeable Mind’. This theme asks the applicants to explore the relationship between visual culture and reality through photography. Only a single image is needed to submit, and the chosen artists will be featured in an exhibition.


The Pupil Sphere open call aims to showcase work from graduating photographers from around the world. All 2021 graduates from UK and international BA/MA courses can submit up to 15 images of their final major project before the May 31st. The graduate showcase will choose 10 submissions to be featured in their ‘spotlight artists’ series, which includes interviews to further showcase their work. The panel for this open call includes Pupil Sphere’s director, Amelia Lonsdale, and the process further emphasis Pupil Sphere’s mission to act as a dedicated platform for early career photographers.


There are many other student open calls that can be found through research, but the next two contents are not limited to students. The Italian based Charta Dummy Award asks photographers to submit work that has an original approach to contemporary languages and creating a narrative through photography. As all the contests mentioned in this post are free, this one is still free to enter but applicants will have to pay for postage when sending their dummy books to Rome. To enter to this contest, photographers are asked to submit a dummy book of their project, that has not been previously published by July 9th, 2021. A shortlist of 25 applicants will be chosen to have their project exhibition during the Charta festival in Rome. The winner from the shortlist will then have their dummy book published by Yogurt Editions and awarded the Charta Prize.


Two further contests to help artists get their work published and viewed by a wider audience are being held by F-stop Magazine. With two separate competitions with different themes for the 107th June/July and the 108th August/September issues. The 107th issue, with a deadline of May 15th is open to all fine art and documentary photography projects. The 108th issue, with a deadline of July 15th has a summer theme of ‘vacation’ that asks applicants to submit work that captures escaping the everyday and relaxing. Up to 12 photographs can be submitted to each of these contests, and the featured artist that is chosen will have their work published in the magazine.


Links to read more and submit work

Nooderlitch Student Open Call


The Pupil Sphere Graduate Showcase


Charta Dummy Award


F-Stop Magazine


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