Istanbul Photo Awards 2020 open for submissions

Anadolu Agency's international news photo contest to accept submissions through Jan. 31, 2020

Submissions have opened for Anadolu Agency's 2020 Istanbul Photo Awards, the news agency announced.

The international photo contest will accept applications until Jan. 31, 2020, according to a statement from the agency. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the contest, which is open to professional photographers.

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.

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.

Next March, an international jury will meet to select the winners who will receive awards yet to be announced.

Previous contestants of the competition think it was "successful" in terms of contributing to global visual news.

Socrates Baltagiannis, a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Athens, Greece described the contest as one of the "most notable annual competitions," in a written interview with Anadolu Agency.

"I do believe that it is a successful contest and that through the years of its existence has succeeded to become one of the most notable annual competitions regarding photojournalism worldwide," said Baltagiannis, who was one of the finalists in the Single News category in the 2016 Istanbul Photo Awards.

'High quality photos'

The quality of the photos is always of a high level, both in terms of pictures and the subjects they depict, said Baltagiannis.

He underlined that the contest contributed to global visual news in many ways, including giving the chance for people to "see, think and evaluate major events", as well as offer the means -- via its prizes -- for photojournalists to continue their work, on account of the difficulties faced by the profession in recent years.

The Istanbul Photo Awards, as with all photojournalism contests, plays "a big role" in continuing to promote quality photojournalism, Istanbul-based Australian photographer Chris McGrath told Anadolu Agency in a written interview.

McGrath won this year for his series "A Journalist's Murder" taken in the wake of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Underlining the importance of the competition in terms of "creating a visual archive of historic events," he said: "For many photographers, it is an outlet for presenting the work they've done over the year, work that will enter the archives of photo contests globally and continue to keep those stories in the public eye. And that's a very important part of photojournalism - creating a visual archive of historic events.

"Over the years, from what I have seen, the Istanbul Photo Awards has endeavored to make itself into a truly international photo award. The jury has supported international stories and issues by selecting the most truthful, relevant and unbiased photographs or stories of the year," he said.

McGrath said he planned on entering the competition again this year.

"As a staff photographer for Getty Images, at the end of every year, I enjoy the process of looking through the stories I have done and editing the best sets of photographs.

"I think the process can also help young photographers take a little step back at the end of the year and look at what they have done in the year and learn from that," he said.

Hosam Salem, an Istanbul-based Gazan freelance photojournalist, also hailed the "successful" and "distinguished" contest.

Salem received the Young Photojournalist award in 2017 with his photograph "Street Training in Gaza".

Asserting that the contest showcased the most powerful and distinguished photos and events throughout the world, he said: "After I won, I decided to participate the following year and the next."

"I will participate this year [...] with photos from outside of Gaza this time," he added.

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 on and professional photographers can apply for 2020 contest on the same website.

Comments are closed