Young Competition


If you are planning to submit an image into the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, please read the following rules.

The competition rules have been translated into 15 languages, read the translated rules here.

If you will be 18 years old or over by 7 December 2023, please read the rules for the adult categories of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Read top tips for entering Wildlife Photographer of the Year from the competition team (PDF).

Please note that any entry to Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition will immediately be subject to these Rules.

You must read and abide by these Rules as they create a legally binding contract between you and the Natural History Museum Trading Company Limited.

To the extent that your age prevents that contract taking effect, the parent or guardian authorising your entry will be bound by them on your behalf.

Unless otherwise indicated, the term "you" in these Rules shall mean both the young person entering and (where relevant) any parent or guardian bound by these Rules on behalf of that young person.

(1) The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition ("the Competition") is owned by the Natural History Museum Trading Company Limited ("us" or "we"). We are a trading subsidiary of the body corporate called the Trustees of the Natural History Museum ("the Museum"). The Museum is an exempt charity under UK law. Profit made by us is gifted to the Museum and may be used to support its activities including without limitation further Competitions and scientific research. Any contact with us regarding the Adult Competition or the Young Competition (unless specified otherwise below) should be via the email address:

(2) The Young Competition is open to photographers aged 17 and under.

(3) To promote the Competition, photographs given Awards by the Jury may be displayed in:
(i) an exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London ("the WPY Exhibition");
(ii) subsequent versions of the WPY Exhibition operated by licensees in any country ("Touring Exhibitions") and
(iii) exhibitions operated by us or the Museum or licensees at any venue that feature selected photographs from Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions ("Related Exhibitions").

The WPY Exhibition, Touring Exhibitions and Related Exhibitions shall together be referred to as "the Exhibitions" in these Rules. Section 8 below sets out the specific license rights regarding the use of photographs given Awards.

(4) The Competition and the resulting Exhibitions may be sponsored by such organisation as chosen by us in our sole discretion, ("the Official Sponsor(s)"). In addition, a Touring Exhibition Licensee’s display of the Touring Exhibition may be sponsored by separate sponsor(s) for the duration of that Touring Exhibition if nominated by the relevant Touring Exhibition Licensee and approved by NHM in advance (“Touring Exhibition Sponsor(s)”).

(1) Entries must be received by 11.30am GMT on the morning of Thursday 7 December 2023 ("the Closing Date").

(2) The Young Competition is open to anyone aged 17 or under on Thursday 7 December 2023 except young people with a family member (i) involved in its organisation or judging; or (ii) employed by the Natural History Museum Trading Company Limited, the Trustees of the Natural History Museum or if known during the entry period then the Official Sponsor(s).

(3) By submitting an entry to the Young Competition, you agree:

(i) to abide by the Rules and ensure that the entry complies with the Rules;
(ii) to maintain the highest standards in all matters relating to the Competition;
(iii) that you will be liable to us, and the Museum in respect of any damages or losses incurred as a result of a breach of the Rules by you; and
(iv) to provide any further reasonable evidence we request to verify your age, that you took the photo and (where applicable) that the parent or guardian authorising your entry is entitled to act on your behalf.

(4) All entries must be the result of photographic process using a camera. You are not permitted to submit photographs that:

(i) feature farm animals, family pets, and/or cultivated plants and fungi;
(ii) breach any of the ethical obligations set out below in Section 4 or Photograph Specification requirements set out below in Section 5.

(5) Any entry found not to comply with the Rules at any stage of the Young Competition may be disqualified. No refunds or allowances will be made in the event of disqualification and any unreceived prizes will be forfeited and you must return any prize money and fees you have received within 14 days. Where an entry is disqualified, we reserve the right to confirm the entry was disqualified in response to any enquiries. If a breach has occurred, but is discovered after an award, then we may withdraw the relevant entry from any of the Exhibitions and/or related activity and require the return or reimbursement of any prize already received. Any decision of ours relating to the Competition is final and binding. No negotiation will be considered and we will not enter into subsequent correspondence regarding such decisions.

(6) Whilst the information in these Rules is correct, we, in our sole discretion but acting reasonably, reserves the right without prior notice to:

(i) amend the Rules without refund;
(ii) change the prizes in accordance with section 6 (8);
(iii) decide whether any Competition award ceremony will be an event or carried out online only;
(iv) waive breaches of the Rules without refund; and
(v) cancel the Competition and terminate the contracts and licences created by these Rules subject to the refund of entry fees.

(7) We reserve all rights to disqualify your picture if your conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the Competition or Exhibition.

(1) Entry must be made via no later than 11.30am GMT on Thursday 7 December 2023.

(2) Entry is free

(3) The Young Competition consists of the following categories:

(i) 10 Years and Under:

(ii) 11 – 14 Years;

(iii) 15 – 17 Years

(4) You can submit a maximum of ten (10) photographs in total age category applicable to you (the young person) on Thursday 7 December 2023.

(1) Any breach of these Ethical Requirements below will constitute a breach of the Rules.

(2) Your photographs must report on the natural world in a way that is both creative and honest and ethical:

(i) entries must not deceive the viewer or attempt to disguise and/or misrepresent
the reality of nature;
(ii) caption information supplied must be complete, true and accurate; and
(iii) photographs must not portray captive, restrained, or manipulated animals, animal models, taxidermy animals, and/or any other animal being exploited for profit. The only exception is when reporting on a specific issue regarding the treatment of animals by a third party, in which case you must make clear that the animal was captive, restrained, a model or a taxidermy animal.

(3) You must not do anything to injure or distress an animal or damage its habitat in an attempt to secure a photograph. This includes flying (or flying a drone) too low or noisily over an animal and taking photographs at nests using wide angle lenses although telephoto lenses are permitted. An animal’s welfare must always come first.

(4) You are responsible for ensuring full compliance with any applicable national or international legislation (including in relation to drones) and for securing any relevant permits (which, in the case of human portraits, will include the subject’s permission) and which must be made available to us if we request it.

(5) Live baiting is not permitted, neither is any means of baiting that may put an animal in danger or adversely affect its behaviour, either directly or through irresponsible habituation. Any other means of attraction, including bird seed or scent, must be declared in the caption for the Jury and us to review. The Jury will favour non-baited photographs.

(6) If we suspect that an entry has been achieved through cruel or unethical practices, including the use of live or irresponsible bait or in any way in breach of these Rules, the entry will be disqualified and we reserve the right to report you to the applicable authorities.

(1) Photographs must have been shot within the past five years. The capture date must be after October 2018 and evidenced on request.

(2) Your entry must be in uploaded in JPEG format. High-quality scans of transparencies or negatives are also acceptable.

(3) For all categories, photographs must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high-quality setting of at least 8 in Photoshop, Adobe RGB (1998), and at 1920 pixels along the longest dimension. The Jury will not consider photographs that have borders, watermarks or signatures.

(4) If your photograph is shortlisted for the final round of judging you will be required to provide the following:

(i) RAW files (eg .ARW, .CR2/3, .NEF, .ORF, .PEF etc), or original untouched JPEGs (with a range of ‘before’ and ‘after’ original untouched JPEG files); and original transparencies or negatives, will be required for authentication. DNG files are only permitted if this is the native RAW format of the camera.
(ii) High resolution files (preferably TIFF) required for printing should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at full resolution, and match the colour and cropping of the JPEG submitted at entry. Please do not upscale. Files must not exceed 500MB.

(5) Any entry that cannot be authenticated or is not of an acceptable quality will be disqualified. We reserve the right to ask you to supply a range of ‘before’ and ‘after’ original files for any photograph that requires further authentication.

(6) Other than those set out in section 5(7) below, digital adjustments are permitted providing that they comply with the Competition’s principles of authenticity i.e. they do not deceive the viewer or misrepresent the reality of nature, or what was originally captured by the camera - tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, minor cleaning work (e.g. removal of sensor dust or scratches on transparencies/scans, removal of chromatic aberration, lens distortion and vignetting), HDR, stitched panoramas, and “stacking” – photograph stacking and combined for the purposes of; focus stacking, exposure blending, noise reduction or lengthening exposure if taken at the same location at approximately the same time (as a continuous sequence) or within the Natural Artistry category only as multiple exposures in-camera.

(7) For the avoidance of doubt the following digital adjustments are not permitted: adding, moving or removing objects, animals or parts of animals, plants, people etc; the removal of dirt, highlights, backscatter, bubbles, debris and similar; composites, painting the foreground / painting out the background or AI generated photographs or images. If any post processing method adds new image content to the photograph via AI algorithms or by manual intervention, the resulting photograph/image will have contravened these Rules.

(8) Caption information must be complete, true and accurate, and include a description setting out what is happening in the photo, why the photo is meaningful, the behaviour observed; background story; exact location, the year the photo was taken; if bait was used, and if so, of what nature (see section 4.5); and if the species is of scientific interest. Photographers are encouraged to provide information but concise captions for the Jury – a maximum of 2,500 characters.

(9) You must not include your name in the caption caption or on the photograph itself. You must not include your name in the file data i.e. owner, copyright or creator fields. If you are not able to remove your name from these fields we will do this.

(1) A panel of experts comprising a chair and judges ("the Jury") will be appointed by us to select and award approximately one hundred (100) entries from the Adult and Young Competitions combined.

(2) The Jury will consider the photographs according to judging criteria comprising originality, narrative and ethical practice. The Jury will strongly favour photographs that have not already been awarded in other similar international competitions i.e. winner, runner-up, commended, honourable mention etc. The individuals on the Jury will be set out on the Competition website here.

(3) From those entries selected by the Jury from the Young Competition, the following awards will be given ("Awards"):

(i) Category Highly Commended;
(ii) Category Winner; and
(iii) Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

(4) Only Category Winners will be considered by the Jury for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

(5) We want to encourage and reward wildlife photography that inspires hope and positive action for the natural world. To celebrate the 60th anniversary the jury will award a Special Prize, within the 100 winning images in any category, to recognise a conservation success, a story of hope and/or positive change.

(6) A further twenty-five (25) photographs from the Final Round of the Adult Competition and the Young Competition will be selected by the Jury and us and made available to the public for three (3) months for an online vote. These entries will be specially promoted including via social media and through any of our print or commercial partners. The entry with the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Special Award, with the next four (4) most popular entries being Highly Commended. However, the winner of the People’s Choice Special Award will not be considered for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

(7) If you are successful, you will be notified in strict confidence. It is a condition of entry, any Award and any prize that you do not disclose the details of any shortlisted or winning entries to any third party.

(8) The list of prizes is available on the website. They are non-transferable. We reserve the right, at our convenience, to substitute the whole or part of any listed prize with an alternative of equal monetary value or equal publicity value (but you shall not have any right to demand this). Please note that the prizes must be claimed within one year of the notification of success, or where it is a prize with a fixed occurrence date then up to one (1) month prior to that occurrence date, or in each case it will be forfeited (including any right to receive any substitute prize or publicity).

(1) You agree that, if your entry is selected by the Jury, , or by the public as part of the People’s Choice Special Award, you (the young person) or the young person you are acting on behalf of will participate in reasonable amounts of related publicity and agree to the use of your or their name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity of the Competition and/or the WPY Exhibition and/or any Related Exhibition without additional compensation.

(1) Any photograph you submit to the Competition must either be:

(i) the original photograph captured on camera by the young person; or
(ii) an original photograph captured on camera by the young person but submitted by you the parent or guardian on behalf of the young person.

(2) You the young person must either be the sole owner of the copyright of the photograph(s) submitted or have secured the written permission of the copyright owner or any joint owners of copyright to submit the entry(s) into the Competition. A copy of any such written permission must be supplied to us on confirmation to you that your photograph has been shortlisted for an Award.

(3) Ownership of the copyright in any entry submitted to the Competition will remain with the copyright owner(s).

(4) In consideration for the chance to win an Award for a photograph you submit to the Competition, you hereby grant to us and the Museum the right to reproduce, publicise and exhibit that photograph in any medium (including but not limited to physical copies, electronic copies and on social media) to enable it to be judged for an Award by the Jury or a public vote.

(5) Only with regards to any photograph you submit that wins an Award, in consideration for the Award and without need of further payment unless stated otherwise, you hereby grant us, the Museum, and if necessary any agents acting on our behalves, the right during the Licence Period to:

(i)reproduce and exhibit the photograph in any of the Exhibitions in print or digital format;
(ii) use the photograph in any medium (defined at clause 8(12)) to publicise and promote any of the Competitions or Exhibitions, without further payment unless stated in clause 8(5)(v) below;
(iii) sublicence the Official Sponsor(s) to use the photograph to promote and celebrate the Competition or WPY Exhibition and their relationship to them in any medium (defined at clause 8(12));
(iv) sublicence the Touring Exhibition venue or operator (a "Touring Exhibition Licensee") to print or organise printing of your photograph for exhibition in their Touring Exhibition venue, exhibit your photograph in their Touring Exhibition venue in print or digital format; and use your photograph to publicise and promote their Touring Exhibition in any medium (defined at clause 8(12)) with a right for the Touring Exhibition Licensee to further sublicence their Touring Exhibition Sponsor (if approved by NHM) to use the photograph to promote and celebrate the Touring Exhibition and the Touring Exhibition Sponsor’s relationship to it in any medium (defined at clause 8(12)) during the period of that Touring Exhibition; and/or
(v) print and publish your photograph in the annual Portfolio Book or the Highlights Book. Any decision to use such right shall be at the Museum’s discretion but if used then the Museum shall pay you the following fee: portfolio front cover £250.00; portfolio back cover £150.00; co editions front cover if not used already on UK edition £120.00; co editions back cover if not used already on UK edition £75.00; Highlights front cover £150.00; individual photographs £75.00 (may be used in both the Portfolio and Highlights for the one fee); Portfolio, Rising Star and Photojournalism stories £375.00 per collection.

(6) Other commercial opportunities may exist for you to benefit from the use of any entry selected by the Jury. Where such a commercial benefit is likely to arise, we will seek your permission in advance and provide you with an appropriate licence. Examples include:

(i) inclusion in merchandising associated with the Competition, or any of the Exhibitions, other than within the Portfolio Book and Highlights book; and
(ii) third-party merchandise licensing.

(7) The Licence Period shall:

(i) commence on the date you are notified of your Award and continue for a period five (5) years; and
(ii) after such period

a. the Museum shall retain archive (electronic or otherwise) copies of the photographs; and

b. the Museum and the Touring Exhibition Licence shall retain (electronic or otherwise) copies of promotional or commercial materials created to publicise, promote or commercialise the Competition or Exhibition

but in both cases must seek permission from you (the young person) if you are then 18 or over or otherwise from the parent or guardian acting on your behalf if we or they wish to use the photographs for any other purpose.

(8) We, the Museum and any organisations sublicensed under section 8(5) will, credit you (the young person) when using a photograph in accordance with these Rules. However, you agree, that we will not be liable to you or your parent or guardian , in the event of inadvertent omission of that credit.

(9) You must ensure that:

(i) any photographs you submit have been taken with the consent of:
a. anyone who is identifiable in that photograph; or
b. the consent of their parent/guardian if they are under 16, and
(ii) those individuals have been advised:
a. that the photograph may be submitted to the Competition; and
b. that their photograph may be used in accordance with these Rules.

(10) You acknowledge that entry into the Competition does not grant any rights in relation to any names, logos or other intellectual property connected to or owned by us, the Museum or the Competition. You agree not to make any public statement using such names, logos or other intellectual property without our prior written consent.

(11) We will remind the public that copyright to the Exhibition photographs remains with the photographers and we will not directly encourage members of the public to post photos of Exhibition photographs on their personal social media accounts. However, you acknowledge that neither we nor the Museum, nor the Touring Exhibition Licensees are realistically able to prevent this from happening. You waive any right you may have (if any) to bring a claim against us, the Museum or the Touring Exhibition Licensees as a result of a failure to prevent members of the public taking or sharing photos of Exhibition photographs.

(12) The term "any medium" when used in clause 8(5) shall include but not be limited to any print, book, magazine, NHM’s stakeholders communication, digital media, applications or social media channels.

(13) We reserve the right without prior notice to disqualify an entry, or remove a photograph from any Competition or Exhibition, if in our sole discretion but acting reasonably we deem our display to be criminal or infringing any third party’s rights.

(1) Proof of electronic submission is not proof of receipt by us.

(2) We cannot be held responsible for emails that do not arrive due to your email security settings or restrictions placed by your Internet Service Provider. You must ensure that your settings accept emails from and

(3) Non-awarded digital entries submitted into the Competition will not be stored or returned by us after the names of awarded photographers are announced.

(4) Except where expressly stated elsewhere in the Rules and to the fullest extent permitted by law, we will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by you in relation to the Competition, the use of your entry in accordance with these Rules or the use of any prize. This exclusion shall include but not be limited to liability for any loss of or damage to any entry, liability for the misuse of photographs; and/or failure of any third party licensee to comply with the credit obligations in these Rules.

We will collect personal data about you (and your parent/guardian where applicable) at the time of registration, and as otherwise provided in order to administer the Competition, the Exhibitions and/or all associated activities. For more information about how we and the Museum process personal data please see our Privacy Notice here

We shall not be in breach of these Rules nor liable for delay in performing, or failure to perform, any of its obligations under this Rules if such delay or failure result from events, circumstances or causes beyond its reasonable control. In such circumstances, we shall be entitled to a reasonable extension of the time for performing such obligations. If the period of delay or non-performance continues for 1 week, we may terminate the contract created by these Rules with you by giving you 14 days' written notice.

These Rules and any other webpages or documents incorporated into them constitute the entire agreement between you and us and supersedes and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter, including but not limited to any advertising or promotional materials. You agree that you shall have no remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in these Rules.

Other than rights expressed as applying to us, the Museum, the Official Sponsor(s), the Touring Exhibition Sponsor(s) or Touring Exhibition Licensees, the contract and licence created by the entrants submission in accordance with these Rules does not give rise to any third party rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of these Rules.

The Rules shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

Enter the competition

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Submit your photos

Are you 18 or over?

If you are eligible to enter the adult catgories Wildlife Photographer of the Year, please read the adult competition rules before submitting your images.

Read the rules