Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Find out everything you need to know about entering photos into the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and submit your photos.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 60 competition is now closed for entries. Thank you to all who have taken part this year.

We'll be in touch in January if you've made it to the Final Round, and in March with the results.

Good luck!

There is no fee to enter the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Entries will not be accepted after the closing date of 7 December 2023 (11.30am GMT).

For Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, you can submit up to 10 photos into one of the three age group categories.

  • 10 Years and Under
  • 11-14 Years
  • 15-17 Years

Images can cover any aspect of wildlife and the natural world, whether wild plants or animals or their natural environments, or illustrate our interaction with nature, good or bad.

The winner of each age category will be considered for the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title.

Find out what other prizes you could win if you enter your images into the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.

Before submitting photos to a competition category, be sure to read the rules.
The competition rules have been translated into 15 languages, read the translated rules here.

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

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 telephotos lenses are permitted. An animal’s welfare must always come first.

Your images must report on the natural world in a way that is creative, 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) images must not portray captive, restrained, 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.

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.

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.

Entries 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. Please do not include borders, watermarks or signatures.

Once your files have been uploaded and saved through the entrant's portal, they are automatically included in the competition. You will be able to log in to add or delete images up until the competition closes.

If your image is selected for the Final Round of judging you will need to provide a RAW file, original untouched JPEG (with a range of ‘before’ and ‘after’ original untouched JPEG files), original transparency or negative so the judges can check any adjustments comply with the rules. If you cannot supply these, your entry will be withdrawn from the competition.

If you provide an original transparency or negative, we may keep it until October 2024. If you're not successful, your transparency or negative will be returned to you by May 2024.

Unless DNG is the native RAW format of your camera, DNG files will not be accepted as we will be unable to check if any digital adjustments made fall within the competition rules. However, if you have embedded the original RAW in the DNG during the conversion process, you'll be able to extract it and submit it as proof of authenticity.

You will also need to supply a high-resolution file suited to printing in all media. A TIFF file is preferred.

This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at full resolution. Please do not upscale.

Acceptable digital adjustments

A limited number of digital adjustments to photos are permitted providing they comply with the competition's principles of authenticity and so do not misrepresent the reality of nature. These include:

  • tone adjustments
  • contrast adjustments
  • burning
  • dodging
  • cropping
  • sharpening
  • noise reduction
  • minor cleaning work (such as the removal of sensor dust or scratches on transparencies/scans, or the removal of chromatic aberration, lens distortion and vignetting)
  • HDR
  • stitched panoramas
  • 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.

Prohibited digital adjustments

The following digital adjustments are not allowed:

  • 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 or painting out the background
  • AI generated photographs or images
  • Post processing methods that add new image content to the photograph via AI algorithms or by manual intervention

You can submit up to 10 images into your age category.

There is no time limit on when a photo had to be taken to enter it, and photos can have been previously published.

Colour and black and white images can be entered into all of the categories.

Preparing an image for submission

Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your files meet the entry requirements.

1. Make a duplicate of your image. Keep the original file as it will be needed later for authentication.
In the duplicate, clear tags such as ratings and labels.

2. In your editing software, insert image information into the caption metadata field. You must include:

  • a description: the background story, a description setting out the behaviour observed, the exact location, any use of bait and of what nature (see rule 4.5), and whether the species is of scientific interest. Photographers are encouraged to keep captions concise – a maximum of 2,500 characters.

Do not include:

  • your name in the image caption, title or on the image 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.

3. Set the Colour Space to Adobe RGB (1998). Preferably use a calibrated monitor - allowances will not be made for poor colour managed or corrected images.

4. Make any digital adjustments required and permitted within the competition rules.

5. Save as a TIFF. This should be 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) at full resolution and a sufficient file size to be reproduced in all media and exhibitions if successful.

6. Open the TIFF above and make a copy. Resize the copy to 1920 pixels on the longest dimension.

7. Save the file as a JPEG at a high-quality setting of at least 8 in Photoshop. This is the image that will be judged - there is no set requirement for how to name your file.

You may find helpful tips for following these steps in your software's help pages. Some popular software past entrants have used include:

We appoint a panel of judges and a chair to evaluate all entries. Each submission is reviewed anonymously. Judging comprises two rounds. During the second round, images will undergo an authenticity check to ensure the entry complies with our rules and ethics.

The panel will be looking for photographic excellence, artistic merit, relevance to themes of biodiversity and sustainability, freshness of composition, technical proficiency, innovation, narrative form and ethical practice - so these should be reflected in all submissions.

The jury will favour images that have not already been awarded (winner, runner-up, commended, honourable mention etc) in other international competitions.

Find out more about the panel.

Contact the competition team

On this page we have provided the answers to our frequently asked questions.

If we haven't answered your particular question here, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition team are happy to answer any queries you have about entering the competition.

Ask a question