Xposure International Photography Contest & Awards


Photo Video

Location (s):

  • Online
  • United Arab Emirates


A FREE to enter International Photography & Film Competition with great prizes across several genres. Photographers of all ages, backgrounds, and experience are eligible to enter the Xposure International Competitions. We have also include a category for film-makers. The panel of judges are looking to award an Overall Winner from the photography categories and additionally a winner and runner-up from each category including moving image & short-films. The Jury is looking for unique, exceptional and high quality images.


In each category, there will be:

  • 1 Winner
  • 1 Runner-up
  • 5 Shortlisted photographers

In addition to the category winners, there will be an overall winner determined from the highest score achieved, regardless of category entered.


To help you understand each of the awards categories we have provided a summary description of each of the Xposure International Award Categories. Considering the technical advances in photographic equipment with the capabilities of recording high-resolution movies, we have added a new  “Short Film” category for the benefit of film-makers. The Short Film category covers genres of documentary, drama, action or animation / stop motion. 

  • Architectural Photography is the photographing of buildings and similar structures both exterior and interior, that are both aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects. A deep depth of field is usually employed so that both the foreground and background (to infinity) are in sharp focus. Architectural photography typically shows either the exterior or the interior of buildings.
  • Drone & Aerial Photography is the taking of photographs from an aircraft or other flying object. Platforms for aerial photography include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) and balloons, Mounted cameras may be triggered remotely or automatically; hand-held photographs may be taken by a photographer.
  • Junior Category – (under 18 – restrictions apply)
  • The Junior category is separate from the main awards and open to all types of still photography recorded by phone, DLSR or mirrorless camera and produced at a Junior level (entrants must be under 18 to enter). Photos must have been taken in the past two years. Entrants must be resident in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Landscape Photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes. Landscape photography is done for a variety of reasons.
  • Portrait Photography or portraiture in photography is a photograph of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the subject by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. A portrait picture might be artistic, or it might be clinical, as part of a medical study.
  • Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images.
  • Sharjah Government Open – (Employees of Sharjah Government)
  • This open category is specifically for individuals in the employment of the Sharjah Government at the time of entry and who remain in the employment of the Sharjah Government at the time of awards. Any socially accepted genre of photography is valid and the judging criteria remain similar to other categories.
  • Short Film & Moving Image
  • The short film category includes moving image & stop motion. To enter requires uploading your file in MP4 format with a running length of at least 3 minutes up to a maximum of 18 minutes including credits to a maximum of 1GB in file size. The scope can be either documentary, drama, action, animation / stop motion or news. Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames. This does not include computer-generated animation.
  • Travel Photography is a genre of photography that may involve the documentation of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. A travel photo should be an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.
  • Wildlife Photography is a genre of photography concerned with documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat. As well as requiring photography skills, wildlife photographers may need field craft skills. Images taken in domestic environments or Zoos do not constitute wildlife photography.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

This competition is FREE to enter and open to all nationalities over the age of 18. There is a Junior Category for under 18’s resident in the UAE.

Employees of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, and each of their affiliates, subsidiaries and agents, are not eligible to enter or win a prize in the main categories, however, there is a restricted category for Sharjah Government employees.


Deadline: November 01, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Prizes & Benefits

  • Overall Winner – $3,000 (USD) / digital imaging equipment / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book
  • Category Winners – $1,500 (USD) / digital imaging equipment / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book
  • Category Runner-up – $750 (USD) / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE /Publication in the Xposure Year Book
  • Shortlisted – Online Exhibition  / displayed during the Xposure Festival

*Junior Category for under 18 – UAE Residents
A restricted “Junior” category for residents of the United Arab Emirates who are under 18. (Alternate prizes apply – see below) In addition to the main prizes of best overall entry, all winning and shortlisted photographers of each category will be included in the publication of the Xposure Year Book and featured in a gallery at Xposure.  In each category, there shall be awarded:

  • Junior Category under 18 ‘Winner’ – Photo equipment and included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book / Invitation to the Awards Ceremony.
  • Junior Category under 18  ‘Runner-up’ – Included in the Xposure festival exhibition / Invitation to the Awards Ceremony.

**Sharjah Government Open – This is a restricted category specifically for individuals who are in the employment of the Sharjah Government.

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