10 Photography Competitions for High School Students

Are you a high school student with a passion for photography?

Are you looking for the perfect opportunities to explore and learn more about the cinematic industry?

Well, you’re at the right place. There are a number of competitions that you can participate in to work on your skills, learn from industry experts, gain exposure, and grow as a passionate photographer. By participating in any competitions such as architecture competitions or art competitions, you set a challenge for yourself, put in great efforts, and refine your skills which broadens your horizon and introduces you to your true potential. 

Additionally, such contests foster valuable experience and allow you to reflect the same to your resume which can provide you an edge over others. So, if you want to connect with people who share the same love of photography and express your ability to capture images creatively, let us help you with our well-researched list of photography competitions for high school students in the following section of the blog.

Roll, Camera & Capture: Photography competitions for high school students

1. Scholastic Art and Writing Awards:

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are one of the most well-known and enduring art contests in the nation. High school students may submit works that are connected to photography for the competition. The range of forms that students are allowed to submit their work in includes color, black and white, and alternative techniques.

Through the competition, students may have the opportunity to have their work recognized and even win scholarships. The competition aims to not let any participant restrict to enter by offering to waive the entry fee if the participant is not able to afford so. So, if you’ve got a talent and passion for photography, this can be your chance, who knows? You might be eligible for a scholarship, cash award, or tuition assistance.

2. International Photography Awards:

This yearly competition is open to photographers of all ages from throughout the world. For young people under the age of 18, there is a division in the competition. Student submissions are accepted in the categories of advertising, architecture, fine art, and portrait photography. Through the competition, young photographers may showcase their skills and maybe gain recognition and exposure.

The winners of the competition will receive tickets to attend the Lucie Awards Gala in New York City. You can submit your photos in more than one category which can increase your chance of winning but make sure you follow the guidelines and the specifications for the submissions. Moreover, your submitted images are never used for any other purpose other than promoting the awards globally which works in your favor only.

3. World Photography Organisation Youth Competition:

A youth section is available for photographers under the age of 19 in the WPO Youth Competition, an international competition. Students can submit their work in the categories of architecture, landscape photography, and travel photography.

Thanks to the competition, young photographers have the opportunity to display their work in front of a global audience. The competition is free to enter and the winner will receive the “Youth Photographer of the Year” title along with a Sony digital imaging kit. So what are you waiting for? If you’ve got a knack for photography skills, then this can be a great opportunity & platform to learn and grow as a professional photographer.

4. The Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize:

The competition is open to documentary artists of any age and nationality. You can participate as an individual entrant or in a group. It is given to high school and college students who combine writing and photography to produce a compelling visual story about their community.

The genres for which students can submit their work include documentary, landscape, and portrait photography. Students can submit as many entries as they like but make sure to use different email addresses for every entry. You can submit your work in any format you have such as text, video, photograph, etc. The award was currently paused but the new updates will be out soon in 2023 only, so keep checking the website for updates. 

5. Fine art photography Awards:

If you’re someone with a passion for photography or if the knack for capturing beautiful pictures comes naturally to you, then this competition is for you. This contest is based on the idea of passion. It is open to all irrespective of if you’re a fresher or a professional from any part of the world.

There are about 20 categories in which you can submit your entries. The winners will be eligible for a cash award, title along with badges and certificates. Their work will be showcased at the winner’s gallery as well as international press and publicity. If you’re looking to participate in this competition then you’ll be in luck if you register for it early on. 

6. Monochrome Awards:

Also called the International Black & White Photography Contest, it focuses on celebrating the uniqueness of black & white photography. The awards aim to provide opportunities to individuals from around the world with a passion for photography to showcase their creativity to an international audience.

The awards focus on searching the talent among both freshers and professionals. The work of winners along with other submissions which will be worthy of receiving the recognition as per the judge will be published in the monochrome photography awards annual book. In addition to cash prizes, winners will receive full support in terms of promotion and advancing their career path. 

7. Monovision Black & White Photography Awards:

This award is an addition to the series of black-and-white photography contests. The aim of the competition is to discover the best talent based on the monochromatic theme. It is open to all photographers from all over the world. Participants can submit either a single photo or a series of photos having the same idea or concept.

There are more than 10 categories to choose from and you can submit the same entry in more than one category. Winners will get a cash prize along with downloadable badges and certificates. If you’ve got the knack for capturing black-and-white photos or can show your imagination and creativity through the monochromatic lens, then this contest is for you.

8. Neutral Density Photography Awards:

These awards are the main awards to participate in every budding photographer’s list. It is also open to all photographers around the world irrespective of their skill level and age. The main aim is to inspire, educate, and support the artists by providing them with opportunities to earn financial award, ticket to fame, prestige, and promotion.

There are about 6 categories for professionals and 5 categories for freshers to submit their entries. The awards offer an equal chance to win for all participants. The jury members encompass highly professional industry leaders like publishers, gallery owners, editors, and acclaimed photographers.

9. Chromatic Awards:

It is an international competition focused on providing the opportunity for artists to share their passion and stories through their clicked photographs and get a chance to promote themselves on an international level. By participating in this contest, participants can update their portfolios and gain international exposure.

It offers about 20 categories to submit your entries. It will be judged by highly skilled and professional magazine editors, gallery curators, professional agents, and other industry experts. Please note that this contest only allows colored photos and no black-and-white photos will be accepted. If you’ve got the knack to play with colors, then go check out this amazing opportunity. 

10. Travel Photographer of the Year:

This contest is for individuals who love to capture their traveling stories. The contest is open to students of age 18 and under. There are two categories for this 15-18 years old and 14 years & under. The winner will be chosen from each category. Every place has its story to share and so does the picture of that place.

If you posses the ability to capture a story through travel pictures, then this competition is for you. There is no entry fee and you can enter this category as many times as you want to. So, what are you waiting for? You can be the next travel photographer of the year.

Significance of photography competitions for high school students in advancing their careers

High school students’ participation in photography competitions can mark a key turning point in their careers. Students can receive visibility and interact with a community of like-minded photographers by participating in photography contests, which can help with their professional development as photographers.

Participating in photography contests also aid students in honing their abilities and improving their technique. Students interested in a career in photography can find this input helpful as it may help them hone their aesthetic vision and technical proficiency.

Additionally, a student’s portfolio will benefit from the noteworthy addition of winning or placing in a photographic competition, which can make them stand out when applying to colleges or looking for job prospects in the photography business. 

Overall, high school photography competitions can serve as a springboard for a fruitful photographic career and present beneficial chances for students to hone their abilities, get exposure, and engage with the photography world.


Photography competitions can be a great opportunity for high schoolers to learn, practice, and grow as a budding photographers. It gives them experience and exposure to the world of photography. Besides taking photography as a high school elective, participating in such competitions can help students build a network and connect with like-minded individuals along with an opportunity to meet industry experts.

No matter, if you win or not, participation and the valuable lessons are what can help you progress and grow. So, if you possess such a great talent and looking for the right opportunities then the above-given list of competitions is your chance. Check, participate, and explore the realm of photography.

Leave a Comment