2021 World Press Photo Contest nominees announced

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2021 Photo Contest.

In an unprecedented year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice protests around the globe, the nominees share a diversity of interpretations and perspectives to these and other urgent issues such as the climate crisis, transgender people's rights, and territorial conflicts.

The 2021 World Press Photo Contest nominees are 45 photographers from 28 countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United States.

2021 Photo Contest entries

The World Press Photo Contest recognizes the best visual journalism of the last year, rewarding images and stories in eight categories. This year, 4,315 photographers from 130 countries have entered 74,470 images. This is an increase from 2020, when 4,282 photographers from 125 countries entered 73,996 images.

Rodrigo Orrantia, curator and 2021 Photo Contest jury member, said about this year’s entries: “I think what stood out the most was the variety of approaches to visual storytelling. Photographers in general, but specifically photojournalists and press photographers, are discovering new ways of telling stories visually. Some entries stood out because their visual language was really sophisticated, which is a very exciting change from the classic press photography tradition.”


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judging of the 2021 Photo Contest took place entirely online. The judging process for the 2021 Photo Contest involved seven specialized juries and a general jury. The judging process involves several rounds over a six-week period, from 16 January to 23 February 2021. Seven independent specialist juries first shortlisted entries in eight categories. An independent General Jury, a different set of jurors consisting of the 2021 Photo Contest jury chair and six other members, then shortlisted the nominees. Meet the 2021 Photo Contest jury.

Winners announced on 15 April

The winners of the 2021 Photo Contest and the 2021 Digital Storytelling Contest will be announced on 15 April during an online awards ceremony. Both the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year awards carry a cash prize of 5,000 euros.

The nominees in each category are published in the World Press Photo’s online collection and promoted on World Press Photo's platforms. They are also included in the annual World Press Photo Exhibition tour and featured in the World Press Photo yearbook. In addition, nominees are invited to the World Press Photo Festival 2021 (which will take place online in April 2021).

Image credits:
Charlie Cole, Newsweek