Frequently asked questions

2023 Contest: Frequently asked questions

How does the regional contest model work? 
The 2023 World Press Photo Contest adopts a regional approach, dividing the world into six global regions. During the entry process, you will need to indicate the country/countries in which your work was shot. You will not need to place your work into the region yourself, it will be sorted into the relevant region ahead of the judging process. Find out more about the regions here and the judging process here.

Why are there six regions?
The six regions were chosen because of a geographical model that we’ve previously worked with, based on the classification of countries and regions similar to the UN M49 standard. Our aim is to increase diversity whilst keeping each region a manageable size. We do recognize, however, that no grouping is perfect. See the full list of regions here.

What if my series was shot in multiple regions? 
Entries will be judged in the region in which they have been taken. If an entry includes photographs taken in different regions the following guidelines apply:

  • If a majority of images are from one region, then the project will automatically be placed into the region where most photographs have been taken.
  • If there is no clear majority of photographs taken in one region, then please indicate the region that you prefer to have your entry judged in when entering your work on Picter.

Please see a full list of which countries fall into which region here.

What can be entered into the Open Format category?
The Open Format category welcomes visual journalism with photography at its core, that may use a range and/or mixture of storytelling approaches and/or photographic methods. Open Format is open to the following types of projects: photo stories, such as (but not limited to) polyptychs, multiple exposure images, photographic collages, alternative or experimental image processing; short photo-based videos of up to 15 minutes; and photo-centered web-based projects. 

Why should I enter the contest?
Entering the World Press Photo Contest is free and open to all professional photographers working in the field of photojournalism and/or documentary photography.

As a winner, your work will be:
  • Included in our annual travelling exhibition shown around the world in over 80 cities
  • Published on our website and social platforms with over 2 million followers
  • Included in our yearbook
You will also receive:
  • €1,000 for each of the 24 regional winners and an additional €5,000 for the four global winners
  • An invitation to a winners’ event
  • A physical award
Find out more about prizes here

Who can enter?
The World Press Photo contest is open to professional photographers working in the field of journalism and/or documentary photography. You do not need to have a press card, but you do have to provide a document with a valid date that confirms your current professional status. We accept a range of different documents because we recognize “professional” is a broad term. Read more about what we accept as proof in our entry rules.

How does the judging work?

The winners are chosen by regional and global juries. Regional juries, made up of five professionals from and/or working in that region, will first prepare a selection of entries per region. From this selection, a global jury, made up of the six regional jury chairs and one additional member, will then award the regional and global winners. Read more about the judging process.

Why do we provide information about the photographers to the jury?

To truly be representative of the world, it is key that a percentage of photographers are local to the region they are photographing in. Both local and external viewpoints are valuable, but we need to ensure a balance between the two.

Therefore, we provide the jury with a limited amount of information about the photographer, to tackle the issues of regional and gender representation. For entries to the categories Singles, Stories and Long-Term Projects, the photographer’s name will not be disclosed at any point during the judging process. For entries to the Open Format category, the photographer’s name might be integrated into the entry, for example in the credits of a video. In this case, the jury will be asked not to take this into account at any stage of the judging process.  

We feel this process is fair and effective, resulting in a better selection of winning images while improving the balance of diversity across them. Read more about the judging process and representation in the 2023 Contest.

What information about the photographer will be shared with the jury?
To ensure that judging is as fair and efficient as possible, the following information will be given in the respective rounds:

Round 1: No photographer information given.
This is to ensure that the entries progressing to Round 2 are selected for their visual quality.

Round 2 onwards: Information about photographer nationality, where they are based, and gender will be given.
From Round 2 onwards, jury members will be able to view and discuss remaining entries considering the nationality, location and gender of entrants.

Round 4 onwards: Relevant additional information given.
From Round 4 onwards, jury members will be able to discuss additional information relating to how and why the story was made, such as motivation, the type of project (assignment/personal project) and funding. This information will be requested on entry.

For entries to the categories Singles, Stories and Long-Term Projects, at no stage will we share the photographer’s name with the jury. For entries to the Open Format category, the photographer’s name might be integrated into the entry, for example in the credits of a video. In this case, the jury will be asked not to take this into account at any stage of the judging process. 

Why don’t regional juries pick the regional winners?
Our aim is to ensure our winners showcase a selection of stories and images that are balanced across the world, for everyone in the world. If the regional juries were to pick the regional winners, there is a risk that each jury would pick photos that are too similar across regions, or that don’t capture a diverse range of stories across regions.

For example, for this year we might imagine that forest fire images could be picked for every continent - which is important but this means another type of story is left out. For this reason, the global jury will pick both the regional and global winners of the contest.

How many winners will there be?

There will be 24 regional winners (four categories x six regions), and from these, there will be four global winners (one per category). The four global winners will, therefore, also be regional winners. The global jury can also choose one Honorable Mention per region. These will be announced at the same time as the regional winners.

Are you looking for more specific information? Visit one of the following pages to find out more about: 

Image credit: Lalo de Almeida, for Folha de Sao Paulo/Panos Pictures.