AOP Open Award 2021-22

Entries open to all AOP Member and Non-Members.

© Todd Antony 

AOP Open Award 2021-22 is now open

View our submission guide here

© Simon Puschmann

Entries open – Noon Friday 18 February 2022 
Entries close – 17:00 Friday 18 March 2022

The AOP Open Award is run by the Association of Photographers and is an exciting opportunity  for professionals and amateurs to compete on equal terms during what is our prestigious Annual Awards season. 

Not to be confused with our Open Projects Programme which features a rolling calendar of partnered projects, the AOP Open Award aims to bring together professional and amateurs in a high profile way.

Finalists will be exhibited alongside AOP Photography Award Finalists at the official AOP Awards Showcase in April 2022 with  Gold and Silver Winners for all 2021 Awards, including the Open Award being announced live at the event. AOP Open Award Finalists will also feature in the highly collectable Annual AOP Awards Book. 

There are no categories or themes in this competition, so the choice of work submitted is entirely up to the photographer. The Open Award is a popular competition that has been running for 13 years and each year has attracted approximately 1,500 entries from around the world.  

”The Open Award is open to everyone – both professional and amateur – and are about championing exquisite imagery. There are no categories or restrictions in the Open Award, the image is the star, and exciting and innovative work is encouraged.” 


As in previous years, stills, moving image & innovation can now be entered into each category. 
All images must have been created on or after 1 January 2019 with the exception of Projects  (with a maximum entry limit of 5 images), which must have been created on or after 1 January 2017.
  • You can enter a single or series (2-5) of images. 
  • Images submitted online should be RGB and in JPEG format. They should be no larger than 3500 pixels on the longest edge. Your final file size must not exceed 10 megabytes
  • You can enter a piece of moving imagery up to 7 minutes in length, demonstrating your understanding and skills within the medium. All moving image entries must reference whether the work is a collaboration with another artist be it a director, editor, colour grader, musician etc. or whether it’s the independent work of the photographer. You may wish to illustrate the creative use of technologies for example AR, VR, CGI or an other technique. 
  • You can enter works of innovation with an example of excellence that illustrates the creative use of technologies and innovations in the production of still images. This can be AR, VR, CGI or any other technique.
  • You can enter commissioned or personal work.
  • You can win Gold and Silver.

For Full Image Specifications please see points 7 & 8 in the 2021-22 Open Awards Terms and Conditions here8

2020 Winners

Lewis Khan GOLD Winner 2020 AOP Open Awards

© Lewis Khan        Open Award / Series,       GOLD Best in Category

Finalists will be announced at the end of March 2022 and will be exhibited alongside AOP Photography Award Finalists at the prestigious AOP Awards Showcase in April 2022.

Gold and Silver Winners for all 2021 Awards will be announced live at the event. 


This is your chance to be seen by leading commissioners and names withing the photographic industry and see how your work stands amongst renowned professionals and industry names. 

Become an AOP Member

AOP members enjoy discounted entry to the AOP Awards and Open Projects programme, if you would like to become an AOP member, please  click here.

Entry Fees
(All prices include VAT @20%)

Members 18 February – 18 March 2022
Single – £15.00
Series – £25.00 
Project – £37.00

Non-Members 18 February – 18 March 2022
Single – £20.00
Series – £35.00
Project – £45.00

© Kristina Varaksina       Open Award / Single,       SILVER

Zoe Whishaw_Portrait 2015

Zoë Whishaw

Commercial Photography Consultant and Mentor

Zoe Whishaw is a Commercial Photography Consultant and Mentor providing creative direction and strategic guidance for photographers at all stages in their career. She runs seminars and hand-on workshops and meets on a one-to-one with those who need tailored guidance and an objective eye to help build their brand, focus their creative direction and plan marketing initiatives to elevate their business to the next level.

As a seasoned Editor and Art Director, Zoe has 30 years of experience analysing and critiquing imagery across a broad spectrum of genre and subject areas. She developed and contributed to the success of leading media company Getty Images, where she worked for 17 years in senior creative and strategic positions, latterly as European Director of Photography.

Zoe has been on the judging panel of a range of national and international photography competitions, including the Association of Photography Awards, Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and ArtGemini Prize and conducts portfolio reviews at industry events. Twitter: @zoewhishaw Instagram: zoewhishaw LinkedIn

Hamish Crooks

Magnum Photos: Archive Director, Online Director and Deputy Bureau Chief

1993 to 2005: Magnum Photos: Archive Director, Online Director and Deputy Bureau Chief

1996 to 2000:  The Sub-Editor, Sport Journalist for Olympics and World Cups Specials

2005 to 2014: Reuters News Agency: Product Manager, Head of Picture Products, Sport books picture editor

2014 to 2019: Magnum Photos: Global Licensing Director

2018 to Present: Abbas Photos Foundation: President

2020 to Present: Magnum Photos: Consultancy

2021 to Present: The Obsidian Collection US and UK: Consultancy

Rhiannon Adam

AOP Accredited Photographer

Rhiannon Adam (b. Cork, Ireland) is an award-winning queer London-based photographer. She specialises in long-form research-led social documentary projects that explore the liminal space between fact and fiction. The results of these explorations are captured almost exclusively in ambient light, and often make use of experimental analogue processes to contrast with the stark reality of archive material.

Throughout her career, Adam donned various hats before becoming a freelance photographer. She started out in book design, before working agent-side as a commercial photography rep, and later, as a producer and gallery co-founder/curator. These experiences have afforded her a unique insight into multiple facets of the photography industry, which she makes regular use of while teaching and lecturing at various UK universities and cultural institutions.

Adam is the author of Polaroid: The Missing Manual (pub. Thames and Hudson), and in April 2022, she will release Big Fence / Pitcairn Island, a complex monograph tackling the complex story of Pitcairn, Britain’s last remaining Pacific Overseas Territory, (pub. Blow Up Press). She is also heavily involved in the web3 space, documenting the cultural history of NFTs for a new book, and exploring decentralised arts funding mechanisms through her new venture, Endaomint. 

Her personal work has been extensively published and exhibited, including at The Photographers’ Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Houses of Parliament, Photo Vogue and the Recontres d’Arles. She has won numerous awards including The Photographers’ Gallery’s New Talent, the RPS’s President’s Bursary, and the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography.

Adam is represented commercially by At Trayler, and by L A Noble Gallery for print sales.


Frank Herholdt

Born in South Africa, where he studied fine art at the Johannesburg School of Art and a chance encounter with a photographer who offered him a job made him drop out of college and immerse himself in learning about photography.

Frank has won numerous international awards, including the New York Art Directors Club and many AOP Awards. His work has also been awarded at Cannes, Communication Arts, London Photographic Awards and B&W Spider Awards. He has worked for most of the main adverting agencies and blue chip clients all over the world.

Frank Herholdt’s photographs speak to us so forcefully because they come from a discipline that is pre-digital. His mentors are the great British Theatre and portrait photographers of the 50’s – 60’s – 70’s; and one of the last great Hollywood Cinematographers of the 70’s – 80’s.

This is why his photographs have such a theatrical and cinematic punch. Their Drama also comes from the fact that pre-digital is totally reliant on the fantastic concentration of the shoot itself. Everything you’re looking at in camera and in the moment.

In spite of the fact that Frank has embraced digital technologies, his new images still use the same disciplines and atmosphere of the pre-digital era.

Supported by

Holborn Studios

Williamson Carson

Currency UK

AOP Photography Awards

The AOP Photography Awards are known as the ‘Oscars’ of the photography world. They celebrate excellence in the creative photography and image-making industry.
This is your chance to be seen by leading commissioners and names within the photographic industry. Our 38th AOP Awards are now open…