the 2023 cycle opens soon.

If you’re looking for information on The TOG Awards, you’re in the right place. This page contains all of the necessary information that you may need to enter the awards for the 2023 cycle.

JudgesMore Info about entries

Key Dates for the 2023 cycle:

  • Entries Open: 1st January 2023
  • Entry Deadline: 1st March 2023 at 11:59 UK Time
  • Awards announced: April 2023

Entry Information:

Notification of winners will happen in two stages:

  • Stage 1: Merit images, all of which are eligible to go forwards into the final for PhoTOGrapher of the year, will be notified via email and through a specific page on The TOG Awards website.
  • Stage 2: Category and subcategory winners will be revealed in April 2023 and each winner will be contacted via email to organise prize-giving.

The first phase of judging is called pre-screening and exists to move only entries that meet the rules of the competition into the scoring phase. If an image fails pre-screening then it has either broken core entry rules or is not at professional practice standard and therefore cannot be scored by the judging team.

An online team of judges will assess entries together and allocate a score based on the photographic and post-production skills of the author in line with the following 10 areas:

  1. Impact – This is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion.
  2. Technical Excellence – Judges consider the quality of the image/print itself as presented for viewing.
  3. Lighting – Regardless of whether the light applied to an image is man-made or natural, Judges will look for the effective use of it in order to enhance an image and the purpose of the image.
  4. Creativity – Judges look for the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker to convey an idea, message or purpose.
  5. Story Telling – This refers to the image’s ability to communicate to the viewer and evoke imagination.
  6. Subject Matter – This should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
  7. Colour Balance – Judges look at the effective use of colours and tones in an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance harmony.
  8. Composition – This is central to the design of an image and should bring all the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image.
  9. Centre of Interest – This is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image.
  10. Style – Judges look for a specific style ie your specific style. This can be defined in a number of ways. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognisable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject.

Each image starts with 100 marks and marks are deducted for errors, issues or lack of continuity in the aforementioned points.

Images that score 80 or more (from 100) will be awarded a Merit. The highest scoring images will be awarded the title of “Finalist” and will be contenders for a Category Win.

The final winners will be the highest-scoring category images in the entire competition.

Core Categories:

  1. NATURAL WORLD – Images of wildlife, flora, fauna, landscapes, seascapes, drone work and images of a similar nature should be entered here. Minor retouching is permitted. Animals held in captivity cannot be entered into this category, they must be placed into a Pet category, whether they are seen as pets to the public or not.
  2. HUMAN Entires of humans without animals, including classic portraiture of children, families, newborns and more should be entered here. If retouching is extensive to augment the original nature of the subject, the image should be entered into the Open category.
  3. DOCUMENTARY / STREETImages captured in living moments, unposed and unchoreographed, should be entered here. No manipulation of the image is permitted aside for cropping, white balance, exposure, sharpening, conversion to black and white, and sensor spot removal. This list is exhaustive.
  4. COMMERCIALAny images shot for commercial campaigns, advertising, including architecture and exhibition work should go here.
  5. SPORT – This category is for all sports-related photography, editorial or artistic, featuring any competitive or recreational sport including but not limited to motor, extreme, team, winter or summer sports. Sports involving animals can be entered into this category and/or the Pets Action category.
  6. WEDDING – The Wedding category is open only to images taken in real weddings, during the cermony period and ideally, on the day that the register was signed. Images taken on portfolio days, pre- or post-wedding sessions or through workshops are not allowed.
  7. OPEN – This category is home to Fine Art, Illustrative and conceptual pieces. If the image doesn’t fit into another category, it should be here. If your image contains a large amount of retouching but would usually fit into another category, it belongs here too.>

    Pets – This category is split into sub-categories and is the place to add images of any species held in captivity, whether they would traditionally be categorised as “pets” or not. The subcategories for entry are:

  8. PET PORTRAIT: Any portrait of a domesticated animal can be entered here. The image can be taken indoors, outdoors, with or without artifical light. Studio images are accepted here. The subject should be stationery. If the subject is in motion, entries should go into Pet Action instead. There should be no humans in the image. If humans are in the image, the entry shoud go into Pets & People. If retouching drastically changes the original situation of the animal, the entry should be placed into the Open category instead.
  9. PET ACTION: Any action photograph of a domesticated animal can be entered here. The image can be taken indoors, outdoors, with or without artifical light. Studio images are accepted here. The subject should be in motion. If the subject is stationery, entries should go into Pet Portrait instead. There should be no humans in the image. If humans are in the image, the entry shoud go into Pets & People. If retouching drastically changes the original situation of the animal, the entry should be placed into the Open category instead.
  10. PETS & PEOPLE: This category aims to find the best image in the world showing the relationship and companionship between pets and their humans. Images must have a human clearly in shot along with at least one animal.
  11. NATURAL PETS: This category aims to find the best un-edited image in the world of a domesticate animal. The only retouching allowed for submissions in this category are White balance correction, Exposure, Contrast (shadows, highlights, whites, blacks), Cropping, Black and white conversion and removal of sensor spots. No other retouching, editing or alterations are allowed, this includes anything involving masks, cloning or healing. This list is exhaustive. RAW files may be requested for checking.

    We are looking for the best of photography.

    • Digital submissions should be:
      • Industry-standard high-resolution, uncompressed JPEGs
      • In the sRGB colour profile
      • At least 3000 pixels on the longest side but 
      • Not be larger than 20mb
      • Files should be named FIRSTNAMELASTNAME_###.jpg
      • “###” must be a three-digit unique number. Start at 001 with your first entry and work upwards.
    • Your filename should not contain any spaces, hyphens, or other non-alphanumeric characters. Use only uppercase characters. For example, if Dan McGovern entered an image it would be named DANMCGOVERN_001.jpg
    • Your image can be “edge to edge” or borders etc can be incorporated.
    • No identifying logos/names/etc should appear on the image unless they form an integral part of the image. i.e. Product photos may show a brand name or logo but anything which would identify the author of the image is not allowed.
    • There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit.
    • Entry is open to all under the ten category titles
    • Initial entry will be online through the official competition portal. No other entry route will be permitted.
    • Payment is required at the point of entry, no alternative payment methods can be accepted and if your payment fails, we cannot judge the submission.
    • Submissions should be industry-standard high-resolution, uncompressed JPEGs, in the sRGB colour profile and at least 3000 pixels on the longest side but not larger than 20mb.
    • Files should be named FIRSTNAMELASTNAME_###.jpg
    • “###” must be a three-digit unique number. Start at 001 with your first entry and work upwards.
    • Your filename should not contain any spaces, hyphens, or other non-alphanumeric characters. Use only uppercase characters. For example, if Dan McGovern entered an image it would be named DANMCGOVERN_001.jpg
    • Your image can be “edge to edge” or borders etc can be incorporated.
    • No identifying logos/names/etc should appear on the image unless they form an integral part of the image. i.e. Product photos may show a brand name or logo but anything which would identify the author of the image is not allowed.
    • There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit.
    • Commissioned and Non-Commissioned work is eligible for entry in all categories except Weddings, where only commissioned work is eligable.
    • Images produced on photographic workshops/seminars are not permitted. (unless you were the tutor running the workshop)
    • Plagiarism will not be tolerated by the judges and will result in disqualification.
    • All images, and all elements of an image if a composite, should have been created/produced within two years of the competition closing date by the photographer entering
    • By entering, the photographer acknowledges that any employer, client and/or subject have copyright releases or model releases giving permission for the image to be published or exhibited in connection with these awards and that he/she is the author of the work as defined in the Design, Copyright and Patents Act 1988.
    • Entrants agree that any entered image may be used by That Photography Spot in any of their printed material, publications or electronic media related to these awards.
    • Any entries which do not confirm to the rules will be withdrawn from the awards judging and no payments returned.
    • The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
    • The judges, if agreed unanimously, may transfer any image into a more appropriate category.
    • That Photography Spot reserves the right to remove from the Competition any images submitted, which in the Organisation’s opinion, contravene legal guidelines on public decency or which would bring the Organisation into disrepute.
    • Information correct at time of publication – That Photography Spot reserves the right to amend any of the above without notice.
    • Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of That Photography Spot and accordingly That Photography Spot in its absolute discretion may vary or amend the competition and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to That Photography Spot as a result thereof.
    • Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost or incorrectly submitted. That Photography Spot’s records of entry shall be the definitive record.

    To facilitate the event, prizes, promotion of winners work and the investment into systems, we have placed entry to The TOG Awards at $8 (USD) per entry. Entry fees will be automatically calculated during the entry process and payment can be made by debit or credit card.

    We have implemented the ability to pay for entries in Euro (€) or Pound Sterling (£) however these are not run on recalucalted conversion rates. The dollar ($) entry is the core entry currency.

    Although submissions can be made up of any number of images, the entry fee remains the same across any number and category of entry.

    March 1st at midnight

    Entry Deadline

    Entries close at midnight UK time on the 1st March 2023. This marks the final deadline for entries to the 2023 cycle. No further entries can be made after this point and all of the entered images are anonomysed and placed into the judging program.

    March 2023

    Judging

    Throughout the entire month of March, the judges for the 2023 cycle will spend hours assessing submitted images. As part of the judging for the 2023 cycle, each image will recieve a score that the creator can review.

    Late March 2023

    Merit Announcements

    Around the end of March every photographer who has recieved a merit for an image will recieve a notification revealing how many merited images they have acheived.

    April 2023

    Winner Announcements

    Early in April 2023, the winners will be announced in full with a variety of resources and a full gallery for view here on The TOG Awards website.

    May 2023

    Prize Distribution

    Throughout May we will commence the distribution of prize money, physical and digital prizes. Please keep an eye on your entry email address to keep up with any and all prize announcements.

    What happens next

    Prizes for the 2023 cycle:

    Master Prize

    for: Overall PhoTOGrapher of the Year

    $500 to spend on yourself

    1 x 20×16 Competition Class printed product of your choice from Digitalab

    An engraved overall The TOG Awards Winners Trophy

    Winners Certificate to display in your studio, office or home

    Winners Badge to display on your website, social media, and promotional materials

    Ample press and PR coverage and supplied Press Release for promotional ease

    Category Prize

    for: Category PhoTOGraphers of the Year

    The TOG Awards Category Winners Trophy

    Category Winners Certificate

    Category Winners Badge

    Supplied Press Release for promotional ease

    Merited Image Prizes

    for: Merited Entries

    All entries that receive a Merit score or above will receive a Merit Certificate and a Merit Badge.

    Entries are closed.

    Entries for the 2022 cycle are now closed. Entry information for 2023 will be announced in the coming weeks.