Photo Contest Entry Rules

1. The World Press Photo Contest is only open to professional photographers. This must be established by providing proof of professional status (including, but not limited to, a scan of a press card; membership document from a professional photographic association; journalism union membership card; letter of reference from a photo agency, photo editor or publication).

2. The photographer(s) must be the author(s) of the pictures submitted in his/her/their name.

3. The photographer(s), or the agent or representative entering on their behalf, must be the copyright holder(s) or have been authorized by the copyright holder(s) to submit the pictures.

4. A picture can only be entered once, either as a single picture or as part of a story, or as part of a body of work in Long-Term Projects (individual or group). Pictures submitted more than once will not be accepted.

5. Pictures can be submitted whether or not they have been published.

6. Pictures must meet the following specifications:

  • Must be uploaded in .jpeg/.jpg format
  • Should be saved with a medium to high quality.
  • Images should be at least 3,000 pixels in length.
  • Should have an embedded ICC profile. Adobe RGB or sRGB is recommended for color pictures, Gamma 2.2 for black and white. No CMYK.

7. Pictures must not show the name of a photographer, agency, or publication, or any other information (these details can be included in the metadata of the pictures but must not be visible on the picture itself).

8. All pictures must have accurate captions, written in English only, and contain all the information described in the guidance on captions.

9. Only single exposure and single frame pictures will be accepted. The following are not accepted:

  • Multiple exposures, polyptychs (diptychs, triptychs, and so forth)
  • Stitched panoramas, either produced in-camera or with image editing software.

10. The content of a picture can not be altered by adding, rearranging, reversing, distorting or removing people and/or objects from within the frame. There are two exceptions:

(i) Cropping that removes extraneous details is permitted;
(ii) Sensor dust or scratches on scans of negatives can be removed.

See the guidance on manipulation for what is, and is not, acceptable.

11. Adjustments of color or conversion to grayscale that do not alter content are permitted, with two exceptions:

(i) Changes in color may not result in significant changes in hue, to such an extent that the processed colors diverge from the original colors.
(ii) Changes in density, contrast, color and/or saturation levels that alter content by obscuring or eliminating backgrounds, and/or objects or people in the background of the picture, are not permitted.

See the guidance on manipulation for what is, and is not, acceptable.

12. Entrants whose work has been excluded for altering content in any two contests (from, and including, the 2016 Contest) will be prevented from entering the contest for five years after the second exclusion.

13. Only entries uploaded and submitted via the entry website ( will be accepted.

14. The deadline for requesting a username and password to the entry website is 7 January 2016, 12.00 (noon) Central European Time. The closing date for submitting entries to the 2016 Contest is 13 January 2016, 12.00 (noon) Central European Time.

15. Copyright holders retain copyright of their work. For awarded pictures, copyright holders grant the World Press Photo Foundation unlimited non-exclusive use of high-resolution pictures for activities in all media, including social media, online and print, in relation to the contest, the exhibition, the yearbook, the public archive, and all promotional and educational activities for and under the auspices of the World Press Photo Foundation, without any remuneration being due.

16. For all pictures except awarded pictures, copyright holders grant the World Press Photo Foundation non-exclusive use of low-resolution pictures in a non-public archive for its educational and research activities, without any remuneration being due.

17. The copyright holders represent and warrant that submission of the pictures does not breach any law, and further that no third party can hold any claims or any objections regarding the rights granted to the World Press Photo Foundation specified in articles 15 and 16. The copyright holders will hold the World Press Photo Foundation harmless of any claims from third parties related hereto.

18. The Entry Rules and any dispute, proceedings or claim of whatever nature arising out of or in any way relating to the Entry Rules (including any non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by Dutch law.

19. Any dispute arising from the Entry Rules (whether contractual or non-contractual) shall be decided solely and exclusively by the competent court of Amsterdam.

20. The conditions set out in the Entry Rules are binding, and the World Press Photo Foundation reserves the right to refuse or exclude any entry at its own discretion.