2023 Student Awards

The 2023 AOP Student Awards – shining a light on the next generation of photographers and image makers

© Natalia Krezel

AOP Student Awards 2023


The AOP Student Awards were established in the early 1980s, to recognise and highlight emerging photographic talent which existed in further education institutions across the UK.
Many of the AOP Student Awards winners go on to become discovery winners as assisting photographers and then as professional photographers for our AOP Photography Awards, as we pride ourselves on nurturing talented photographers throughout their career.

Entry information

Entry to the AOP Student Awards 2023 is open to all students (including those from overseas) studying photography in the UK at FE level or higher.

Best in Show plus Gold and Silver winners, along with selected finalists, will have the chance to be showcased and appear in the official 38th AOP Photography Awards Book which is published in time for AOP Awards Showcase in late September 2023.

Entries are welcomed as:

A single image, or series of up to 4 images can be entered, created by a person.

Moving image
A piece of moving imagery up to 15 minutes in length, content is up to you but must demonstrate your understanding and skills within the medium. All 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 created by a person.

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 created by a person.

Entry Procedure, Technical Specification and Format – Stills

Stills Images or Series submitted online should be: 

  • RGB and in JPEG format.
  • 4000 pixels along the longest edge.
  • With a resolution of 300 dpi.
  • Your final file size must not exceed 10 megabytes.


Entry Procedure, Technical Specification and Format – Moving image

Only the following format will be accepted for judging: 

  • H.264  encoded .mp4 files 
  • Resolution: 1920 (width) x 1080 (Height) (HD) 
  • Maximum File size: 500MB 
  • Maximum length: 15 minutes. If your submission is successful, you may be required to submit an additional shorter edit of the winning entry, for screening during the presentation.
  • Please note - Quicktime (.mov), Flash (.swf) and Windows (.wmv) files will not be accepted, nor will .ogg or WebM encoding. 
Please make sure you read the Terms and Conditions in full to ensure your entry is within the competition guidelines and can be accepted.

Finalists’ entries will be displayed indefinitely on the AOP Awards website.

No copyright is transferred to the AOP in respect of any works entered or accepted.

£2,500 Cash Grant & Package prize for
Best In Show Winner

Fujifilm are offering a commissioned project to the overall winner of the AOP Student awards.

  • The winner will receive a cash grant of £2,500, access to Fujifilm kit to support with their next project and support from Fujifilm ambassador and AOP member Kristina Varaksina.
  • Fujifilm will also support and create the creation of a short marketing video to promote their ‘Print to Prove It’ Campaign.
  • The winner will work closely with a Fujifilm approved Professional Lab who will advise and print a series of images for their portfolio.
  • The prize in total is worth around £8,000 – further prize details will be provided to the AOP Student Awards ‘Best in Show’ winner, once announced.


“Fujifilm is proud to support the next generation of photographers through our association with the AOP’s student awards. We believe in nurturing creativity and innovation in the field of imaging, and we look forward to seeing the incredible talent that emerges from this competition. The overall winner can expect a prize that reflects our commitment to excellence in imaging solutions.”

Theo Georghiades, General Manager Fujifilm UK


“We’re delighted Fujifilm are supporting this AOP Award, which recognises the skill and talent of students who are studying photography in various forms, with such a generous prize. Both the cash grant and commissioned project is a great way to provide a helping hand towards a professional career for the judges’ selected Best in Show winner”. Isabelle Doran, CEO.

AOP Student Awards Finalists will be exhibited at Free Range graduate exhibition, Truman Brewery between 23 June – 2 July 2023
WEEK ONE – 23·24·25 JUNE
Gold and Silver Winners, along with Best in Show, will be announced on 23 June
Free Range is an annual creative showcased hosted by Truman Brewery that has been taking place for over 20 years. It allows emerging artists and graduates from an array of creative disciplines the platform to present their work in a prime location. The event is to narrow the jump from institution to industry level and assist in the difficulty in this which specifically creative students face. Not only is the event attended by students and the general public but moreover by industry professionals and therefore creates a space for great potential conversations and opportunities.

Entering the AOP Student Awards is a chance to be seen by leading commissioners and names within the photographic industry. 


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


Judge: Julia Fullerton-Batten, multi Award winning Photographer and AOP Accredited Member

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.

I, untitled.. © Paris Tankard, Best In Show + GOLD People Category Winner 2022

Untitled, philharmonic (Series, 2022), © Kate White, Nottingham Trent University. GOLD Places Category 2022.


Judge: Krishna Sheth, Head of Photography, The Economist 1843 Magazine

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.


Judge: Ian Potter, Miss Jones

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.

Aqua Fortis 1,(Series) © Madeleine Roberts, Falmouth University - GOLD Things category 2022

Entries for the AOP Student Awards 2023 open Midday, Tuesday 4 April

Entry Fees (all prices include VAT @20%)

Members – £6.00
Non-members – £9.00
Members – £10.00
Non-members – £14.00
Moving Image
Members – £6.00
Non-members – £9.00

AOP Student Members receive a discounted entry fee.
Gold and Silver winners, along with finalists, may also appear in a final showcase event and also feature in The AOP Photography Awards book.

PRIZE – £2,500 Cash Grant & Package prize for Best In Show Winner from Fujifilm UK, see above!

Renaissance of Covid Waste, © Danielle Kalinovskis, Morley College, London. SILVER People category 2022

© John Buchanan

Student Awards Judges

Meet our judges for the 2023 Student Awards

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Category: People

Julia Fullerton-Batten is a fine-art photographer renowned for her highly cinematic visual story-telling.  Her large-scale projects are based around specific themes. Each image in the project embellishes her subject matter in a series of thought-provoking narrative ‘stories’ using staged tableaux and sophisticated lighting techniques.

Julia’s use of unusual locations, highly creative settings, street-cast models, accented with cinematic lighting are hallmarks of her style. She insinuates visual tensions in her images and imbues them with a mystique that teases the viewer into continually re-examining the picture; something new coming to the fore each time. 

 Her fine-art work is globally renowned and exhibited. She has won countless awards worldwide, is frequently portrayed in photographic journals, has published three books, is a Hasselblad Ambassador and a frequent speaker at international workshops and a juror of international competitions. Her images are on the front covers of ‘A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography’. She has a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne and the Parliamentary Art Collection, Houses of Parliament.

Krishna head shot

Krishna Sheth

Category: Places

Head of Photography – The Economist 1843 Magazine

Krishna Sheth has recently joined 1843 Magazine at The Economist as the Head of Photography.  She has been an art buyer and Director of Photography commissioning for print and web content for a variety of clients, Saatchi & Saatchi, Monocle, The Financial Times, Telegraph Media Group, Airbnb, Bookings.com and Aston Martin as well as book publishers and individual luxury clients.
Krishna has more than 23 years’ experience of commissioning photography and photo research; She was Deputy Photography Director at the Telegraph Magazine for 17 years and a key player in building the visual profile of the magazine.
Krishna specialises in editorial and contract publishing, dealing directly with newspapers, magazines and commercial clients. 
She was also a tutor on the MA Photography online for Falmouth University and lectures at various universities. She has been Chair Judge for pre-selection for all Sony World Photography Awards. Krishna also reviews portfolios and book dummies and is passionate in raising awareness for emerging talent in the industry. 
Ian Potter

Ian Potter

Category: Things

Agent and Producer at Miss Jones

Ian started working in photography at the age of 19 assisting in London, and some 36 years later is still going strong. After shooting fashion for titles such as British Vogue and The Guardian he went on to art direct before creating The Miss Jones Agency in Edinburgh and London. He has produced many significant and high profile ad campaigns for brands such as Ford, Ikea, Tesco and UKGov and works with a talented roster of high end photographers and directors, to whom he provides both creative and commercial support. Ian’s personal landscape photography is also starting to gain admirers, his work published by Hoxton Mini Press and various online publications.

Finalists’ entries will be displayed indefinitely on the AOP Awards website.
No copyright is transferred to the AOP in respect of any works entered or accepted.
All students, including those from overseas, studying in the UK at FE level or higher can enter the AOP Student Awards.  

© William Turner, University of Derby – Professional & Applied (Photography).  SILVER Places 2022

Join the AOP as a Student Member

The AOP is a not-for-profit organisation run by photographers for photographers. All profits go towards providing support for photographers including lobbying, promotion of best practice and the worth of photography and photographers everywhere.

Interested in joining the AOP?  Click here to become an AOP member.

Entries open Midday Tuesday 4 April for the AOP Student Awards 2023

Save the date:
Join us at Free Range 2023, Truman Brewery from 23 June to 2 July for an exhibition of AOP Student Awards 2023 finalists work, and for our Starting Out Programme.

WEEK ONE: 23·24·25 JUNE


Gold and Silver Category Winners, along with Best in Show, the AOP Course  of the Year and the AOP Lecturer of the Year will also be announced at the event.

Further details to follow.

£2,500 Cash Grant + Package prize from Fujifilm UK for the Best in Show winner, Gold and Silver winners, along with finalists, may also appear in a final showcase event and also feature in The 38th AOP Photography Awards book.

Denouement , (Series) © Karo Birger, University of South Wales. SILVER Things 2022


© John Buchanan

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…