Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who is considered a professional photographer?
A: We consider professional photographers those who earn, or have earned, the majority of their income from photography, and who sell or publish their work regularly, and belong to professional photography organizations.

Q: Who is considered a non-professional photographer?
A: We consider non-professional photographers those who treat photography as a creative endeavor or as a hobby and not necessarily a source of income. Photographers that are still students enrolled in a university are considered under the non-professional level .


Q: How many photographs can I enter into the same series?
A: A series consists of at least 2 and no more than 10 photographs ( 1 first photograph and 9 supporting pictures), sharing a common theme or concept and a single title. Series will be judged as a whole. Please be sure that the photographs work together as a body of work.

Q: What is considered a series?
A: A series consists of at least two and no more than ten photographs, sharing a common theme or concept and a single title. Please ensure that your images work together as a whole, as they will not be judged individually when entered as a series.  The first image should be the best/strongest in the series.

Q: How will I know if my submission is complete, and what do I do if it’s not?
A: If, at the time of the competition’s close, a submission is incomplete (e.g. the submission has not been paid, or the images have not been uploaded correctly), it will not be eligible for juried consideration. Though we make every effort to make contact and to ensure completion of submissions, we are not responsible for incomplete entries and are unable to offer a refund, should an entry be incomplete at the time of the competition’s close. However, you may check on your entry status at any time by logging into the Member Section and clicking on Entry History.

Q: How should I submit my photographs for the competition?
A: Once you have completed the online submission form and filled in the details of your entry, you will be directed to the upload page where you can upload your photos .

Q: What size should the digital files be?
A: Digital images should not be larger than 4 MB per image. For best results, if you use Photoshop, under the “File” menu, choose “Save for web”, with a width of 1000 pixels if the image is horizontal or square. If it is vertical, choose a height of 1000 pixels. Save the JPG file with the highest possible quality. Name the file with your last name followed by the title of the image.

If your shipment is a series of images, please list them and upload them according to their order of importance. Note: The first image should be the best one or the one that has more visual strength, in the series.

Q: My image(s) didn’t upload correctly. What should I do?
A: Make sure that the file is saved in JPG format, and check that the name contains ONLY letters and numbers (no other characters or symbols).
Please note that there are two steps to uploading your images once you are at the upload page. First you will need to select your image by clicking the “Browse” button, and then once the image is selected, click “send image” to upload that image to our server. Repeat this process for each image.
If you still have problems uploading your images after following these steps, you may also try to refresh your main submission page. Otherwise, contact our support desk for assistance at

Q: Can I enter one photograph into multiple categories?
A: Yes, you may enter the same photograph into as many categories as you wish. In fact, doing so may increase your chances of winning. There is an additional fee for each extra category that you select for a single entry: 20% off the initial entry fees for professionals, non-professionals, and student.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries I can submit?
A: No, you may submit as many entries, in as many categories, as you wish.

Q: Is there a time limit within which the photographs should have been taken?
A: Yes. All photographs should be no more than 5 years old.

Q: Can I submit a photograph that has won an award, or has been entered in a previous IPA competition, or in another competition?
A: Yes, you may submit work that has been previously submitted to IPA or another photography competition, or that has previously won an award. However, in an effort to promote the creation of new work and maintain fresh flow of ideas, we encourage you to submit new work as much as possible.

Q: What is the Book category?
A: The book category is for photographers who have published a body of work in book form within the last 5 years from the time of submission.

Submission to this category is in 2 parts. First is the online submission which must a series of 10 digital images as a sampling from the book, including the book cover (first picture). After submitting via the online process, a hard copy of the book must be mailed to our offices at the address below, bearing a postmark no later than the submission deadline. Books must clearly bear the Entry ID obtained during the online submission process. Entries will not be considered if a hard copy of the book is not received within the time-frame allowed. No refunds will be issued for incomplete entries.

Unless return arrangements are made by the submitting party on or before the date that the hard copy is received by our offices, any submitted books will become the property of IPA. If you would like to have the book returned to you after the competition, please indicate this on your submission, and include return postage when you submit your book.

Send Book entries to:
International Photography Awards
550 N Larchmont Blvd, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90004 USA

or to Filipino IPA Address :
3rd Floor, Pacla Building,
McArthur Highway, Dolores Intersection, San Fernando, Pampanga 2001

Q: Can I make changes to my entry after I have paid?
A: No, after payment has been made, entries cannot be altered. Please review your work carefully before finalizing payment.

Q: What is the “Entry History” feature of the Member Section and how do I use it?
A: The “Entry History” feature allows you to view the status of your shipments, to verify that the images have been uploaded correctly, to print receipts and to make payments.

Q: How do I know if you received my entry?
A: You should receive a confirmation email shortly after you submit and pay for your work. If you do not receive an email, please verify that your email is correct in our records by logging into the Member Section and selecting “Edit Profile.” In addition, if you are using spam-blocking software, please add “” to your approved list of recipients. If, after doing both of these, you do not receive an email, please log into the Member Section, and click on “Entry History” to view your submission status and to make payments for any unpaid entries.


Q: How can I pay for the photographs that I submit?
A: There are a couple options to pay for your submissions:
a) Online: You may pay for your entry after you submit your photographs through PayPal or credit card.

b) Pay Through Western Union in the Philippines by sending it to Hossein Farmani, International Awards account. Scan the receipt of payment and send to


IMPORTANT NOTE: Before processing payment through any of these alternate methods, please contact for additional information.

** Once a submission fee has been paid, there are no refunds provided. If you have been wrongly charged for any reason, we will be happy to credit the amount that is due.

Q: Are all the fees on your website in USD?
A: Yes, At this time we only accept US currency.

Q: Are some countries eligible for a discounted submission fee?
A: Yes, to help promote equal participation from photographers worldwide, the IPA offers discounted fees to selected countries in an effort to make this competition globally accessible and inclusive. If you are submitting from an eligible country, the discount fees are automatically applied to your online submission form.


Q: How will my images be used?
A: You will be contacted each time we identify an image for usage – and briefed on what the usage will be. Your images are NEVER used for any purpose other than the promotion of the International Photography Awards. All photographers thus far have been extremely grateful and happy with the manner in which their images have been used and promoted globally.

Q: Where will my image(s) be used/shown?
A: One of the great things about this competition is its global reach. Depending on what your image is chosen for (The Best of Show, a magazine ad for the IPA, a Postcard for the IPA etc), your image will be viewed with your full credit all around the world. From galleries in Italy, Poland, England, the US, Cambodia, France, Canada, Germany etc, to magazine ads printed in all the top photographic journals in India, Russia, Greece, Japan, among many others. The destination and promotion of your work is endless. By placing in the competition, you are agreeing to be included in the annual IPA publication that showcases the full collection of winning images.

Q: Will I be compensated for the use of my images?
A: There is no monetary remuneration for the use of your image, however in the case that it is being used for something other than the promotion of the competition, you will be contacted and given the option to decline the use of your work.

Q: If my print is selected to take part in the Best of Show, what will happen to it once the show is done traveling?
A: The exhibition will be archived at the IPA Headquarters for safe storage and POSSIBLE inclusion in the “Best Of Show” annual retrospective exhibitions for IPA. On the back of each print there is stamp that reads: “not for sale, do not duplicate, return to IPA Headquarters”. Should someone be interested in purchasing your work, we will contact you and pass on the details.


Q: Do the category winners receive an award or certificate at the Lucie Awards Ceremony?
A: No. Only the winners of the International Photographer of the Year™, Discovery of the Year Award, Moving Image of the Year, and the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year, will receive a Lucie Statue and a cash prize at the Lucie Awards Ceremony. Winners of the sixteen main categories will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the Lucie Awards.

Q: How do I know if I’ve won an award?
A: Though we do notify award winners by email, sometimes notifications get caught in server or mail filters. Fortunately, you can always check to see if you’ve won any awards by logging into the Member Section and clicking on Winner Services.

Online Submission

“There is nothing more rewarding than to have your worked honored by your peers.”

- Mark Edward Harris, 2013 IPA Finalist