Amateur Photographer of the Year Competition – APOY 2021



Location (s):

  • Online


Amateur Photographer magazine invites amateur photographers from around the world to enter its annual competition for the chance to win monthly prizes, exposure in the magazine, and the title of ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year 2021’, which this year is brought to you in partnership with our new sponsor, MPB.



  • 10 monthly rounds to enter
  • 1 free entry per round for AP magazine readers
  • Monthly points count towards your APOY ranking
  • Amazing monthly prizes, and £11,000 in total
  • New Young APOY categories for 13-21 year olds
  • New prize for the best-performing UK camera club



Removal of colour focuses both the mind and the eye on the subject. Composition, framing and lighting all need to be spot-on and given careful consideration – it’s not a case of simply desaturating your images. Successful photographers of the genre often say that they think in a different way in the first place – learning to see in monochrome is half the challenge. Any subject can be submitted in our black and white round, so this is your opportunity to really get creative.

This contest is expert judged only with no rating by the crowd. You will be able to find out how you did when the judging or rating period has closed.


We want to see your best animal, wildlife and nature shots in this round. You don’t necessarily need to go far to find inspiration, with a broad range of subjects for you to choose from. Whether you find your muse in the local park or the wilds of the Serengeti, research and patience can be the deciding factor between an average shot and an amazing one. Please note, this is not the round for domestic animals and pets.

Round 3: HOME

We’ve all had plenty of opportunity to hone our home-photography skills over the past few months. Now’s your chance to submit them in our dedicated Home round. Anything taken at home is fair game here, whether that’s portraits of your nearest and dearest (including pets), food, close-ups, flowers from the garden, and beyond to include more creative and unusual skills such as abstracts and smoke trails. This is a broad subject with 1000s of different possibilities – it just needs to have been taken in your home.


Landscape photography is an incredibly popular genre. It’s easily accessible for most and we’ve got a whole world full of potential subjects. Because this subject is so favoured, you will need to work hard to stand out – but we’ve kept the brief fairly loose so you can show us your interpretations of landscape. Whether you want to include grand sweeping mountain vistas or concentrate on abstract details, it’s time to submit your best scenic shots for our consideration.


This round offers huge scope to create all manner of creative, dynamic shots. Whether you’re drawn to grand, traditional structures or sleek, contemporary works of art, the possibilities are endless. While we fully expect you to explore the buildings and skylines of towns and cities, don’t forget that architecture takes many forms. For example, a bridge can offer many different compositional and framing opportunities. Don’t be afraid to be a little abstract in your images too. Architecture is filled with curves, lines and other interesting details, and they can all be captured to great effect.


One of the biggest challenges in photography is capturing movement. Whether that’s freezing the action unfolding in front of you with fast shutter speeds or flash or creating an implied sense of movement with long exposures or camera panning. Whichever technique you choose to use, there are a whole host of potential subjects on offer. We’d like to see your interpretation of movement, whether it’s people on the go, sports or trains, planes and automobiles.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to capturing portraits. From the traditional to the unconventional, inside or outside the studio, anything goes. Whether you choose to make yourself the subject or capture others, we’re looking for a portrait that tells a story. Great people pictures can be found in all walks of life – it’s how you capture and portray your subject that draws the viewer in. We can’t wait to see how you interpret this genre of photography.

Round 8: TRAVEL

Visiting somewhere new, whether it’s another city, country or continent, can really get the creative juices flowing. Every location has its own unique feel and photographing the buildings, landmarks, and people you encounter will help to convey the real spirit of a place. Get up early and visit a local market or stay out late and shoot lights reflected in water. Talk to people – a smile can go a long way towards securing willing subjects. Try not to ‘steal’ a shot; be patient and courteous.

Round 9: STREET

Although street photography is easily accessible to most, it’s probably one of the most challenging genres to capture. Paying attention to the everyday movements of folk as they go about their business and spotting the extraordinary within the mundane is one thing but capturing a scene unfold in front of you at the perfect moment is another. It’s this forward-thinking that makes great photographers of this genre stand out. Take a look at the work by like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Vivian Maier or more contemporary photographers, such as Niall McDiarmid and Nick Turpin for inspiration.

Round 10: CLOSE-UPS

Getting up close and personal to your subject means you can create scenes that might otherwise be missed. A huge range of subjects can be considered for close-up photography, so you can really push your creative limits here. Plants and natural subjects will be the first port of call for many, but don’t be afraid to explore other themes that also work well – such as jewellery, shells, feathers, food and more. In short, anything you can scrutinise at close quarters is what we want to see.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

The competition is open to all amateur photographers.


Deadline: October 01, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

APOY 2021 prizes

  • The overall winner after 10 rounds will earn the title of ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year 2021’, plus a voucher for £1,000 to spend at MPB.
  • In each round, 1st place will each receive a £500 voucher; 2nd place a £100 voucher; and 3rd place a £50 voucher.
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