This page gives information you should read and understand if you are thinking of entering. For more detailed information see also our pages on:

What is the closing date?

Midnight Saturday 2nd May 2015 for all entries.

When will I know if I have been successful?

The judging process will begin soon after the closing date. If you have not heard from us by mid-July you have not been short-listed this time.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to anyone except those directly involved in the organisation and judging. Amateur and professional photographers of any nationality are eligible.

Do I have to be British to enter?

Photographers from any country are welcome to enter but photographs must have been taken in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. 

What images are eligible?

Entries must have been taken in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. Images can be of native or migrant wild species, or non-indigenous species that reside permanently in the UK. Subjects photographed in a studio setting or a captive environment are eligible provided this information is supplied when submitting images.

We will accept both colour or black and white images, but black and white images must be entered in the Black and White category. 

What images are not eligible?

Domestic pets and farm animals are not eligible, nor is exotic wildlife photographed in British zoos, safari parks or similar locations.

An image will be rejected if in the opinion of the judges it appears that the image has been taken in such a way that wildlife law or animal welfare requirements may have been breached; protected species or habitats have been compromised; or the image has been otherwise taken in an irresponsible way. If you are licenced to take pictures or visit areas which might otherwise be unlawful you should say so, and we may ask to see the licence if your picture is shortlisted.

Photographs using model animals or live bait are not permitted.  

Cultivated forms of wild plants are not permitted. For this purpose a cultivated plant has been planted, or is maintained by human intervention, and may also have been created from another species.

Double exposures and images that have been manipulated outside of the rules are not eligible.

What age do I need to be to enter the Young People’s Award?

Those under 19 years old on  2nd May 2015 are eligible to enter the Young People's Award.

Can young photographers enter the adult competition?

No. If you're eligible for the Young People's Awards, you are not eligible for the adult categories. Anyone aged under 19 can enter the Young Photographer category and can submit up to four images to be submitted at no charge. You can make an account for your child and enter on their behalf, just make sure you say in the caption that they are the photographer, and give their age. Note that to make any new account you must use an email address that has not already been registered.

Does it matter when a photograph was taken?

We do not impose a time limit. Images taken at any time are eligible.

How many images can I enter?

See the competition fees page.

Can I enter the same photograph in more than one category?

No. Images can be entered into one category only.

Will you move images placed into incorrect categories?

No, it is up to you to enter them into the right category. But registered competitors will get a chance to review their uploaded images before they finally enter them. Once the entry is submitted the category cannot be changed.

Can I enter an image that’s been entered into another competition?

Yes you can, so long as it did not win a prize and that competition is over. Specifically, a picture that has already won a prize (winner, runner-up, or commended) in a major competition - which we define as one receiving more than 500 images and includes previous BWPA competitions - cannot be entered in BWPA. Images that have been entered into a major competition where the results are still pending are not eligible for entry.

How do I submit my images?

The way to submit still images is to use the online uploading system on our website. For video entries, follow the instructions on the video entry page.

How do I pay?

To pay for your entry online you need to buy credits from our website. Credits can then be used to upload images to different categories. Online entries are paid for via PayPal. You don’t need to have a PayPal account, but you do need a credit card. For video entries you must buy special video entry credits separately. See special instructions here

Why do you charge a fee to enter?

The cost of running a competition is high. The prizes, the awards ceremony, the cost of the website, and the cost of putting on a series of nationwide exhibitions, including mounting and framing images are all examples of costs to the competition. The competition fees help to cover these costs.

Can I enter an image that has been published in a magazine or other media?

Yes. However, the judging criteria include originality and a widely published image may have a reduced chance of winning on these grounds.

What forms of digital processing are acceptable?

See the main guidelines page

Can birds and insects be included in the 'animal' categories?

Yes, of course. In our definition of 'animal' we mean the word in its zoological sense, so pretty much anything that isn't a plant would be eligible, including fish, insects, marine invertebrates, birds, even microscopic animals if you like. 

Do I need to obtain model release forms if my pictures include people?

Yes. If your image includes a recognisable person then you will need to supply a model release form if your picture is shortlisted. We will ask for this if we need it. You do NOT need to submit a form when uploading your entry for the first stage of judging, unless we ask you for it. 

My pictures don’t look right once they’ve been uploaded. Is this a problem?

Although the website shows a smaller version of your file on the screen, the judges can access higher resolution versions of your images just as you have sent them. The website makes a smaller copy of your file to display. This means that if your picture does not look exactly as you sent it on screen this is not usually a problem. The judges will be able to see the exact file you uploaded, at full size, and will not have to rely solely on the display version.

Our guidelines request that for the first round you send files that are no more than 1024 pixels along the longest side. We do not recommend that you upload larger images, as they will be resized automatically by our server. You will almost certainly get better results if you do this resizing yourself and ensure you are happy with the output. If you prefer not to have your images resized by our server then please ensure they are no more than 1024 pixels along the longest side.