Istanbul Photo Awards to take place online

Winners of annual event to be announced on June 30

The jury of Istanbul Photo Awards 2020, organized by Anadolu Agency, Turkey's top news source, will meet online for this year’s event due to novel coronavirus.

The jury meeting of the 6th edition of the contest which is held annually with the participation of photographers from more than 100 countries, will be held on June 24-25.

The jury will follow the elimination process via a website specially prepared for the contest by the Anadolu Agency team. The winners will be announced on June 30.

Jury gathering, which was scheduled for March in Turkey, had been postponed as part of pandemic measures.

More than 10,000 photos were sent to the event in four categories. Applications were made between Nov., 2019, and Feb., 2020 at

Information on the international jury board of the contest, consisting of the most prestigious names in the world of photography, can be found at

Istanbul Photo Awards announces jury for 2020 contest

Jury members to meet this March to select winner of international photo contest

The Jury members to judge entries in the sixth Istanbul Photo Awards -- an international news photography contest held by Turkey's leading Anadolu Agency -- were announced on Wednesday.

The jury members of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2020 are Yuri Kozyrev, a photojournalist with Dutch-based NOOR Agency; Marion Mertens, a senior digital editor at Paris Match in France; Michel Scotto, AFP's head of photo business development in France; Deborah Copaken, an American photojournalist and author; Georges De Keerle, a photojournalist and visual media consultant; Cameron Spencer, Getty Images sports chief photographer; Ahmet Sel, a senior photojournalist with Anadolu Agency; Hasan Oymez, the editor-in-chief of Anadolu Agency's Visual News Department, and Firat Yurdakul, photography editor for Anadolu Agency.

Jury members will meet this March to select the winner of the international photo contest.

The Istanbul Photo Awards is organized by Anadolu Agency, which has worked with a great number of photojournalists throughout its 100 years in journalism and aims to support the profession of photojournalism.

The application period of the contest, to which photographers across the world applied in approximately three months, was extended until Feb. 15, according to a statement from the agency.

The contest has four categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, and Story Sports.

Professional photographers can apply for the contest via, the statement said.

The winner of the Single News category will be honored as Photo of the Year with a prize of $8,000, while winners in other categories will get $5,000 for first prize, $3,000 for second prize, and $1,500 for third.

Much like years past, this year's winning photos will be displayed throughout the year at exhibitions in Turkey and abroad, including New York, Istanbul and Tokyo.

Call for Entry 2020

Final weeks to apply for Istanbul Photo Awards

Anadolu Agency Photo Awards winner hails contest as ‘great launching pad for career,’ urges professional photogs to enter

There are only a few weeks left to apply for Anadolu Agency's 2020 Istanbul Photo Awards, a contest seen as a “must enter” competition by many professional photographers.

The international news photography contest will accept applications until Jan. 31. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the contest, which is open to professional photographers worldwide.

The Istanbul Photo Awards is organized by Anadolu Agency, which has worked with a great many photojournalists throughout its 100 years in journalism and aims to support the profession of photojournalism.

Adam Pretty, an Australian sports photographer who won the 2017 Istanbul Photo Awards in the Sports Single category, hailed the competition as “one of the biggest and most respected awards.”

“Pretty much everyone I know and work with enters it, so I would say it has been a big success,” he told Anadolu Agency via email.

The contest has “been a big influence and really helpful to my career in recent years as well,” he added.

Pretty began his career in 1997 as a news photographer at The Sydney Morning Herald, and in 1998 moved to sports photography at Getty Images. Since then he has been based in such far-flung locations as Los Angeles, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, and Munich.

“I will continue to support the awards and suggest it to other photographers to enter, and I know my colleagues see it as a ‘must enter’ competition during the awards season as it is a serious photojournalism competition, not just another photography contest,” he added.

According to Pretty, awards are very important for photographers and helping them gain recognition for their work.

“It also helps you assess the year that you have had and gives you a really good platform to share your work with colleagues when preparing your entry, and if you are lucky enough to be recognized it also gives you a platform to have your work published around the world,” he said.

“I was really excited to be fortunate enough to be recognized in the Istanbul Photo Awards as it was for some work that I was really happy with and was hopefully totally original, and hadn’t been previously recognized,” he said.

“So it gave me a big boost and pushed me to keep working on a similar story, which I did, and I was able to capture some other really nice imagery and continue the series.”

'Contests can help the industry'

Pretty highlighted the importance of having “proper ethics and training” in how one should cover a story, explaining: “Awards have a responsibility to help with this.”

“Contests can help the industry as sometimes work that isn’t published in the mainstream media is given a great platform to be seen in a competition and then hopefully published, so it is just another outlet for sharing the best photography for the year,” he added.

Pretty also explained what makes a photograph prize-worthy for him: “For a sports photograph I want to see something totally unique and original that I haven’t seen before, also combining a number of different elements into a single photograph or story, aesthetically beautiful, with strong action, graphics, shapes, and lighting can all combine to make a great sports image or worthy of an award.”

According to Pretty, winning an award is “an amazing boost as it can give you much-needed exposure for your work and open doors to different publications and assignments.”

He highlighted the importance of presenting works to an international jury and being recognized: “[This] often means you are on the right track with your photography and hopefully leads you to keep pushing and improving and photographing fresh stories and ideas.”

“A prize can also give you a much-needed financial boost to continue a project or work on something that is a tough sell to an editor or publication,” he added.

Seeking the offbeat

Giving tips for the 2020 award applications, Pretty said: “For sports, I think some of the major events are often pretty heavily photographed, so if you don’t have amazing imagery from a mainstream event, try and enter something more offbeat or unusual that will be fresh and stop the judges for a few seconds and make them think or ask a question.”

He suggests potential applicants show their work to as many trustworthy people as they can such as photographers, editors, partner, or close relatives before completing an entry.

“Ask questions, get opinions to help guide you,” he added.

“Above all be original, don’t enter recycled work, make it your own so that it stands out as something unique and take care to present it in the best way possible, as it can be a great launching pad for your career or you are fortunate enough to be recognized with an award,” he said.

Photographers across the world are expected to submit images capturing global events over the past year. Mainly focusing on news and sports photos, the contest has four categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, and Story Sports.

In March, an international jury, --which will be announced in a short time,-- will meet to select the winners who will receive awards.

The winner of Photo of the Year in Single News category will be awarded $8,000, while winners in other categories will be given $5,000 for first prize, $3,000 for second prize, and $1,500 for third.

All previous winning photos are available at, and professional photographers can apply for the 2020 contest on the same website.

Istanbul Photo Awards 2019 exhibition opens at UN

Anadolu Agency launched an exhibition at United Nations headquarters in New York featuring the works of award-winning photojournalists who competed in the international Istanbul Photo Awards 2019.

The event, hosted by high-level Anadolu Agency executives, opened with the attendance of Turkey's UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Sinirlioglu said: “We are very pleased to see the growing interest that Anadolu Agency’s annual photo awards have enjoyed over the years.”

Some 15,000 people from over 100 countries applied for this year’s competition, he called, and congratulated the jury members and those whose photos are on display.

Sinirlioglu highlighted that the photos depict many different emotions and expressions from the devastating impacts of natural disasters on people to the hope in the eyes of migrants who risk their lives for a better future.

“This exhibition puts the human phase on some of the most challenging issues that we as member states deliberate everyday here under the roof of the UN,” Sinirlioglu added.

He said that a photo may worth a thousand words with all its reality.

5th exhibition of Istanbul Photo Awards 2019

Bahadir Saracgil, an executive board member of Anadolu Agency, said that the event was the fifth exhibition of Istanbul Photo Awards 2019.

“As Anadolu Agency, we have witnessed photojournalists’ occupational devotion in our 100 years of journalism history. For this reason, we have initiated our Istanbul Photo Awards projects to reward the efforts of photojournalists and to encourage them,” Saracgil said.

Stating that submissions have opened on Nov. 1 for the sixth time, Saracgil said: “It is proud and exciting for all my colleagues to see that it [the competition] has a greater impact every year across the world.”

“In 2019, photographers from over 100 countries, including war, conflict and disaster areas such as Syria, Mexico, France and Indonesia, applied for our contest with 15,000 photographs.

“The jury, consisting of experienced editors and photojournalists, rewarded 12 photographers from 10 countries,” he said.

“We are happy to exhibit the same photos in another continent, while the exhibition we opened in Tokyo last month is ongoing. This situation proves the universality of news photography, which is one of the starting point of our contest,” Saracgil expressed.

He voiced hope that striking photos presenting the summary of the last year will be submitted for the contest, of which applications will be open until Jan. 31, 2020.

Saracgil also said that after three-month application process, most impressive photos of the year will be announced in March.

“I would like to thank in your presence to Turkish Cooperation and Cooperation Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines who carry our country's flag with pride all over the world and have always supported this important project since its first day,” he said.

Great pride for Anadolu Agency

“It is a great pride for us. This is the fourth exhibition of Anadolu Agency at the UN,” said Ali Turker Pirtini, another executive board member of Anadolu Agency.

He expressed hope other similar works of the agency and Turkey’s representatives to be exhibited at the headquarters in the future.

“Power of photograph reaches everywhere. It gives great acceleration in every aspect in terms of giving desired messages in a very accurate and impartial manner,” Pirtini said.

Among the attendees of the exhibit were the UN staff, foreign mission representatives and foreign journalists.