© Vidyun R Hebbar, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021

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The Natural History Museum’s global Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries

For the fifty-eighth year, the Natural History Museum’s acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has opened for entries from photographers of all ages, nationalities, and levels. 

Entry fees will be waived for 50 countries to further encourage submissions from global regions that are currently under-represented in the annual competition. 

  • The world’s oldest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition

  • A global showcase for nature photography and environmental photojournalism

  • The 2021 competition marks its fifty-eighth year

  • Open to photographers of all ages, nationalities, and levels

  • The prestigious international jury has been announced

  • Opened for entries on Monday 18 October 2021

  • Closing on Thursday 9 December 2021 at 11.30am GMT


The winners of the fifty-seventh competition were recently revealed during an online awards ceremony broadcast live from the Museum to viewers around the world. The competition attracted over 50,000 entries from 95 countries.  

A result of extreme dedication and technical expertise, the Grand Title winner Creation by French Laurent Ballesta captures camouflage groupers exiting their milky cloud of eggs and sperm in Fakarava, French Polynesia. Ten-year-old Vidyun R Hebbar from India was awarded the Young Grand Title prize for Dome home. Vidyun first featured in the competition when he was just eight years old and loves to photograph the often-overlooked creatures that live near his home.  

The competition’s categories appeal to a wide range of interests and approaches, from observations of animal behaviour to compelling wildlife photojournalism, and animal portraiture to urban wildlife and underwater worlds. First introduced in last year’s competition, the categories Oceans – The Bigger Picture and Wetlands - The Bigger Picture will continue to shine a light on critical ecosystems.  

The annual Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is free to enter for photographers aged 17 and under, and cash prizes have been introduced for each winner of the three categories in the young competition.  

This year’s esteemed judging panel comprises of acclaimed photographers, researchers, scientists, journalists, and editors. Chaired by renowned writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE, the seven experts in their respective fields will gather online to select 100 of the most unique nature and wildlife images. To win, professional and amateur photographers must impress the judges with their originality, narrative and ethical practice. 

Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE says, ‘Your work will be seen by millions of people around the globe. You will be able to share your love of nature and your unique perspective on your own corner of the world. And any story or message that your picture carries will have its impact multiplied. Indeed, there’s never been a more crucial time to highlight the beauty and diversity of the natural world and what’s happening to it.’ 

Dr Natalie Cooper, a researcher with the Natural History Museum and jury member, says, ‘I want see images that showcase the incredible diversity and beauty of life on Earth. I'm hoping these images can inspire us to learn more about the world around us and encourage us to fight to preserve it.’ 

The judges are eager to encourage more submissions from nationalities currently underrepresented in the competition, and girls and women photographers. As Soraia Salvador, Head of Wildlife Photographer of the Year Programming says, ‘There are talented photographers working around the world, documenting, and celebrating the diversity of nature and it is important this variety of perspectives, locations and approaches is reflected in the entries and winning images.’ 

The Natural History Museum’s annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition displays the spectacular work of the competition winners before touring internationally. Along with a substantial cash prize for the Grand Title award winners, the 100 selected photographs will also feature in a limited-edition hardcover book, on digital platforms and across global media. 

To enter, and for full details on competition rules and prizes visit  


Notes for editors

The fifty-eighth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opened for entries on Monday 18 October 2021, and closes at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 9 December 2021.

Entrants to the adult competition may enter up to 25 images for a £30 fee, which increases to £35 in the final week of the entry period from 11.30am GMT 2 December to 11.30am GMT 9 December. Entry fees are waived for the adult competition for photographers who live in these 50 countries. Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images for free. 

Rules and categories will be translated into 13 languages: Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, Arabic, Finnish, German, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Swahili, Italian and Portuguese. 

The winners of the fifty-seventh Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were announced via a public, virtual ceremony on Tuesday 12 October 2021.  

Tickets are now on sale for the exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London which opened to the public on 15 October 2021. Associate sponsors for the exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip.

About Wildlife Photographer of the Year:

Wildlife Photographer of the Year was founded in 1965 by BBC Wildlife Magazine, then called Animals. The Natural History Museum joined forces in 1984 to create the competition as it is known today. The competition is now run and owned by the Natural History Museum.

About the Natural History Museum:

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.

Media contact

For access to high-resolution images or to arrange interviews with jury members or spokespeople, please contact Josephine Higgins at the Natural History Museum Press Office.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106

Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk

Facebook: @wildlifephotographeroftheyear

Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Instagram: @nhm_wpy

Hashtag for the 2022 competition: #WPY58