Student Awards

This year’s AOP Student Awards promise to be an antidote to the turmoil of last year, and will be an inspiring celebration of the very best in student photography. The AOP Student Awards can help in providing you with that all important step up to, and visibility in, the professional arena. 

© Natalia Krezel

Live Student Awards Presentation

Join us for the reveal of the winners of the 2021 AOP Student Awards. Geraint Cunnick will announce the winners of Course and Lecturer of the Year, and interviews with selected winners and finalists.

Student Awards 2021 Winners

Vanessa Fairfax-Woods

Category: People

Falmouth University
MA Photography

Andrew Fitzgibbon

Category: Places

Drifting by the Leeds and Liverpool 
University for the Creative Arts
BA (Hons) Photography Online

Duncan Petrie

Category: Places

Triumph of the Commons
Falmouth University 
BA (Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography

Course of the Year

University of Gloucestershire – 
BA (Hons) Editorial and Advertising Photography

Lecturer of the Year

Edinburgh College – Jon Lee


Whatever your vocation, passion, course or age, we invite you to inspire us with your photography.

Face with a green background
© Kevin Mora-Rosenkranz


Curator: Othello De'Souza-Hartley, photographer

This category covers any form of people-photography from portraiture to street photography, photojournalism and beyond. The People category is an opportunity to make visual comments about the human race and its ways. In previous ‘portrait’ categories, animal pictures have been featured but the originators of this category feel that entries this year should feature the human race.


Curator: Richard Seymour, photographer and AOP Board member

Rather than duplicate possible locations such as landscapes and architecture, we offer this category which provides unlimited opportunities. We promise that we will be as flexible as you need us to be.

Image of a field
© Callum Howard
Spam on a plate on green velvet tablecloth
© Bridie O'Connor


Curator: Kay Edwards, Senior Producer, At Trayler agency

This category covers almost everything else. Think Irving Penn’s found objects, Mapplethorpe’s flowers, Ori Gersht’s explosions, cats, dogs, bats and monkeys by Tim Flach, and sublime still-lifes by Richard Maxted and then make something unique and sensational of your own. We can’t wait to see your work.

Each of our curators will select ten finalists including a Gold and Silver winner for their respective category, and jointly all three will select an overall Best in Show winner.

All students are welcome to enter, AOP Student members receive discounted entry fees.

Single Images

AOP members: £5.75 per image
Non-members: £8.50 per image

Series Images – Up to four images

AOP members: £10
Non-members: £14

Call for entries closes at 12 noon, 14 June 2021. Winners will be announced at the Awards presentation in Summer 2021. Also presented will be the AOP Accredited Course of the Year and AOP Accredited Course Lecturer of the Year awards. 

Aside from recognition and kudos, winners receive great prizes, have their winning image displayed at the AOP Student Awards exhibition and feature in the AOP Awards Book.

You can enter stills or a moving image piece:

Stills – a single image or series of images (3-4) can be entered.

Moving image – a piece of moving image up to 10 minutes in length – content is up to you but must demonstrate your understanding and skills within the medium.

Entries in this category must reference whether the work is 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 any other technique.


Gold and Silver winners from each category, the overall Best In Show and all finalists will have their work exhibited here on Gold, Silver and Best in Show winners will also be exhibited at our special AOP Awards Showcase exhibition in March 2022 and be published in the AOP Awards Book 2021. The winner of the Places category will have a special one to one with curator Richard Seymour.

Entries for the AOP Student Awards are now closed

© John Buchanan

AOP Course of the Year and Lecturer of the Year

If you study on an AOP Accredited Course you can nominate your course and lecturer for AOP Course of the Year.

  • You MUST be an AOP Student Member
  • This MUST be an AOP Accredited Course

AOP Course of the Year

Why do you consider your course worth nominating? Consider the following questions in your response:

  • Has it helped you with your career aspirations or personal goals?

  • How has the course challenged you, your work and your preconceptions?

  • The value of the education you have received?

  • The values of the teaching team; for example the ethics, the copyright and business practices they teach

  • Facilities available to you and other students?

  • Interaction with professional organisations and leading figures in the industry

AOP Lecturer of the Year

Do you think your lecturer deserves special recognition? Consider the following points in your response:

  • Why you would like your lecturer to be put forward for this award?

  • Have they helped you with reaching career and personal goals?

  • Have they gone above and beyond what is expected of them?

© Caitlin Sorcha O’Neill

Student Awards' Curators

Portrait of Othello De'Souza-Hartley

Othello De'Souza-Hartley

Photographer: 'People'

Othello De’Souza-Hartley is a mixed media artist. His artistic mediums include photography, film, performance, sound, drawing and painting.

He received an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and previously studied photography at Central St Martins. De’Souza-Hartley’s work explores identity, emotions, masculinity, gender, and the changing perception of the body.

In 2019 he was nominated for Peer to Peer, a group show of 14 artists, selected by 14 curators and collectors from across the UK and China, for his Masculinity Project. He is also the recipient of numerous commissions from a range of institutions including, the Museum of Liverpool, National Portrait Gallery, The National Trust, The Photographers’ Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, and Platform for Art.

He has had solo shows at Offshoot Gallery, Koppel Project Exchange, Sulger-Buell Galley Campo XXV Aprile (Rome Art Week), The Museum of Liverpool, Camden Arts Centre, and The Underground Gallery and featured in group shows at the Sulger- Buell Gallery, Gasworks Gallery and the APT gallery London.

© Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour

Photographer & AOP Board Member : 'Places'

After a brief flirtation with a military flying career Richard moved in a radically different direction and instead attended University of Westminster in London to study professional photography. 

He claims a module on Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey changed his entire perspective.

Richard now specialises in capturing the forces of technology in our ever changing world.

Shooting stills and motion worldwide for aerospace, automotive and tech clients.

He has worked closely with Leica Camera for the past decade and his short on the manufacturing of the Leica M10 went viral with over 500,000 views.

Richard enjoys mentoring the next generation of image creators.

He has been a finalist in the AOP Awards in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019, winning best in category in 2012 and 2015. He was also a judge of the AOP Open awards in 2013

Portrait of Kay Edwards on a red background.

Kay Edwards

Senior Producer, at Trayler Agency: 'Things'

Kay Edwards has enjoyed much success in her roles as Head of Photography, Picture editor, Art Buyer, Producer and is now happily homed with At Trayer & RARE as their Head of Production. Here she uses this wealth of experience to help guide and manage productions for their 20 photographers across both Food and Lifestyle.

After graduating with a BA hons in Media Arts specialising in Photographer and Editing, Kay honed her craft within the BBC creative pictures team for 10 years. Working across all the brands, channels and programming to create iconic imagery for some of the UK’s favourites: Gavin and Stacey, Panorama, Strictly Come Dancing and Top Gear.

Since 2012, Kay has been a photographic consultant/Art buyer and producer within the corporate and advertising industry, working with some of the biggest brands in the world. Forging close relationships with Getty and AP on campaigns that have seen her travel around the globe to work with some of the best photographers in the world.

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© Todd Antony

© The Association of Photographers Ltd

Black Culture in Britain: Canary Wharf Arts+ Events

To celebrate this year’s Black History Month in October, Canary Wharf Arts + Events and the AOP are holding a special month-long exhibition at the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf. We will be celebrating black culture both through images and the stories of the photographers who have taken them.