2024 Student Awards

The 2024 AOP Student Awards – shining a light on the next generation of photographers and image makers

© Natalia Krezel

© Matthew Marshall, Best In Show Winner 2024. 

AOP Student Awards 2024

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

Announcing the Category Winners and Best In Show Winner for the 2024 AOP Student Awards

Entry to the AOP Student Awards 2024 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 39th AOP Photography Awards Book which is published in time for AOP Awards Showcase in late September 2024.

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.
  • 3500 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

Sponsored By

"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." 


“It's a genuine privilege to work with Fujifilm, which is offering an incredible prize, in the form in the form of cameras and lenses to support upcoming projects and other opportunities of working with the brand. It is an amazing prize that will genuinely support a student or graduate’s journey into the professional world and help develop their confidence along the way. We couldn’t ask for a better industry offer that delivers on professional practice and supports new talent.”


  • A tailored AOP Membership Package designed with your career path in mind, along with advice on advancing your business practice as a professional photographer awarded to the Best in Show winner, pus Gold and Silver winners.

  • FUJIFILM UK are offering a commissioned project to the overall winner / Best In Show of the 2024 AOP Student awards. 

    – The winner will receive a £5,000 worth of FUJFIILM equipment and support from the Fujifilm team.

    FUJIFILM will also support the creation of a short marketing video to promote their next campaign.

    – Additionally, the winner will work closely with a FUJIFILM approved Professional Lab who will advise and print a series of images for their portfolio.

  • The Best in Show winner will also receive a £500 booking credit from PEERSPACE, to book studio spaces for your shoots, to be used within a year of being awarded the prize.

  • Complimentary 1-year subscription to CAPTURE ONE ‘All in One’ for Gold and Silver winners.
  • Complimentary access to the CAPTURE ONE Online Certification (COOC) on Thinkific for all students who submit entries to the award.
  • Eligibility for the CAPTURE ONE Graduate offer for all students who submit entries to the award (normally made available to graduates from photography schools, when they complete their education).


[Winners will be contacted by the AOP and prizes will be issued following the official finalists and winners announcements]


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: Michael Wharley, AOP Accredited Photographer. GOLD Winner 37th AOP Photography Awards - Documentary

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.


Judge: Sachini Imbuldeniya, CEO House of Oddities

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: Frankie Turner, AOP Accredited Photographer. GOLD Winner 38th AOP Photography Awards - Food and Drink

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.

Student Awards Judges

Meet our judges for the 2024 Student Awards

1. michael-wharley-©-michael-shelford-800x1200

Michael Wharley, Photographer

Category: People

Photographer Michael Wharley has been shooting for 14 years, earning a reputation both for sensitive portraiture of people and places, and for cinematic imagery that lends itself to the advertising world. With leading entertainment clients including Netflix, Disney, Warner Brothers, Audible and The National Theatre his key art campaigns for film, TV and theatre are seen globally, while his portrait work regularly features in national press and won him an AOP Gold Award in 2022. 

Sachini Imbuldeniya, CEO, House of Oddities

Category: Places

Sachini Imbuldeniya is the CEO of full–service content agency House of Oddities. Built on the principle that ‘difference makes a difference’, she has dedicated her career to making the creative industry a more equitable and inclusive space both in front of and behind the camera.

From founding an artist agency that champions exceptional talent from the most underrepresented groups in the UK’s creative sector, to producing a short film for the United Nations to support the plight of first, second and third generation immigrants that attracted 300 million views worldwide. She is also a UN Women UK delegate to the United Nations Commission on the status of women (CSW68), and has made it her mission to use her voice to advance the rights of women and girls, and accelerate the achievement of gender equality globally

With a background in graphic design, art direction and creative direction, Sachini has worked at editorial publications including The Sunday Times Magazine and GQ and has created award-winning campaigns for some of the biggest brands on the planet including Gucci, Google, Cartier, Snapchat, Audi, M&S, Samsung, British Airways, Tesco, NSPCC, Kia, Tom Ford, AMEX, Sky, National Geographic, McDonalds, Chanel, Unicef and Virgin. 

Sachini has featured on Campaign & Creative Equals Future Leaders List, Creative Pool Annual’s Top 100 Creative Leaders of the Year and was an Honouree for Diversity & Inclusion at Campaign’s Female Frontier Awards. She is also a regular judge for the D&AD awards and the Creative Review Annual.

Frankie Turner_HeadShot

Frankie Turner, Photographer

Category: Things

Hello, I’m Frankie a London based photographer.

I take pictures that involve food, sometimes people, and often products.
Working out of my Peckham studio, I’m lucky enough to work with some of the most creative and innovative individuals within the food and drink industry.

AOP Student Awards Finalists will be exhibited at Free Range graduate exhibition, Truman Brewery between 21 June – 23 June 2024

Private View: 20 JUNE
Exhibition Open: 21 – 22 – 23 JUNE

Gold and Silver Winners, along with Best in Show
to be announced online and in-person at Free Range:
20 JUNE @ 18:45
Join us for our professional STARTING OUT programme on 21 – 22 – 23 JUNE: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
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.

2023 Best In Show - Jimmy Fletcher

University of Gloucestershire, Photography: Editorial and Advertising BA (Hons)


I visited Bempton Cliffs for the first time in July 2021, and I was completely blown away by what I witnessed there. The sound was immense. Crashing waves and erratic bird calls seemed to surround me and engulfed the entire cliff tops. As I looked down from the cliff tops, I was absolutely astonished. The sky, the sea, and every inch of cliffs and outcrops seemed to be dominated by Seabirds. The sky was filled with Gannets flying back and forth with food and nesting materials, the cliff faces saw Gannets feeding young, mating, building nests, clashing beaks and fighting for territory. I immediately fell in love with this almost prehistoric looking scene and decided that I wanted to recreate this emotive experience, so I came up with the idea of my multi-screen short film, Bempton. Bempton was filmed over the course of a year, from March 2022 – March 2023 and documents the entire breeding season of the Northern Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire. Each year these cliffs are brought to life with the incredible sights and sounds of over 200,000 seabirds who use them as a space to raise their chicks between the months of March and October. The film, spread over three screens, captures the changing landscape of the cliffs, the fight for territory, and the beauty of the Gannets’ courtship over the course of a year. The imagery is accompanied by an incredibly immersive soundtrack, which is comprised of both an emotive score (composed by Simon Turner) and the natural sounds of the landscape and birdlife.

See 2023 Winners and Finalists Here

2024 AOP Student Awards Exhibition + Starting Out Programme

Save the date:
Join us at Free Range 2024, Truman Brewery
from 20 June to 23 June for an exhibition of AOP Student Awards 2024 finalists work, and for our Starting Out Programme.

Privite View 20 June

Exhibition Open: 21·22·23 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  on Thursday 20 June 2024. 



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

© John Buchanan

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.

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 for the 2024 AOP Student Awards are now open

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.

© Kasia Kowalska. Flora – Teasel I / SILVER – THINGS 2023

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.
Find out more about our 39th AOP Awards…