Nikonians Photography Awards 2017
© Keith A Manning

Participate in the 1st Ever Nikonians Photography Awards!

The Nikonians Photography Awards 2017 is an opportunity for photographers of all levels to enter their work and engage with peers in the photo industry, be eligible for awards including an online exhibition of your photos, and get professional reviews and critiques of your work. With prizes including $10,000 in camera gear, online learning programs and exposure of your work to a global audience. Our international jury panel will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners as well as 25 finalists. You're invited to enter your photography! Open to all photographers and all camera types.

For the first time ever Nikonians is offering opportunities for recognition, exposure, opportunities for learning with professionals and amazing awards that can help you further develop your creativity and passion for photography. Plus through a partnership with LensCulture you will receive direct feedback on your entry from a photo industry professional through a FREE written submission review, one of their most popular service offerings. Don't delay in entering your work!

Closed for new entries.

Nikonians Photography Awards 2017 International Jury

Director of Photography
The Nature Conservancy
Arlington VA, USA
More about Ken +
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Ken Geiger recently joined The Nature Conservancy as Director of Photography after nearly twelve years with National Geographic magazine as Deputy Director of Photography and before that as Director of Photography for The Dallas Morning News. Ken’s career as a photojournalist has ranged from China to Mexico, war in Burma and Bosnia, terrorism in the Punjab, the 1990 post-Sandinista election in Nicaragua, four Olympic games, and numerous American political conventions. His awards include Society of Newspaper Design and National Headliners, and he has been named National Press Photographer’s Association and Pictures of the Year International magazine's picture editor of the year.
Brendan McCabe
Photo Editor
Smithsonian Magazine
Washington D.C. Metro Area, USA
More about Brendan +
Brendan McCabe was the photography editor at Smithsonian magazine for 11 years, and still works as a freelancer for the magazine. Before joining Smithsonian, Brendan was a photo editor for the Associated Press in its New York City headquarters on both the national and international desks. He also worked at National Geographic magazine from 1997-1999. Brendan earned a MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2002, and currently serves as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Michael Yamashita
The Photo Society
Chester NJ, USA
More about Michael +
Photographer Michael Yamashita has been shooting for the National Geographic magazine for over 30 years, combining his dual passions of photography and travel. A frequent keynote speaker for corporations and foundations, as well as a lecturer and teacher at universities and workshops around the world, Yamashita has received numerous industry awards, including those from the Pictures of the Year, Photo District News, the New York Art Directors Club, and the Asian-American Journalists Association. Major exhibits of his work have opened throughout Asia, in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Taipei and Singapore, as well as in Rome, Venice, Frankfurt, and Perpignan, France. His work has been exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. Yamashita’s most recent exhibitions, currently traveling the world, are focused on the theme of the Silk Road Journey following both the overland and maritime silk road routes. Yamashita has also published thirteen books (most inspired by his 30 National Geographic stories).
Alexander Strecker
Managing Editor
Paris, France
More about Alexander +

As the managing editor of LensCulture, Alexander shapes the site’s daily mix of features, interviews, book reviews and video content—all of which reaches a global monthly audience of 2 million photography lovers. He also manages the site’s vibrant Instagram feed, which has grown to over 400,000 followers since January 2015. One particular pleasure has been producing LensCulture’s recent written and video interviews with photographers. These interviews have been conducted all over the world — in studios, at festivals and online — with some of today’s most accomplished image-makers.

Besides his editorial work, Alexander has helped organize international exhibitions in cities such as London, Barcelona and San Francisco. He has also covered prominent festivals and exhibitions around the globe and served as an expert for numerous portfolio reviews across Europe.

Mike Hagen
Photographer, Author and Owner
Visual Adventures
Seattle, USA
More about Mike +
Mike Hagen is a professional photographer and author of eight books on photography. He runs his own travel photography company and regularly operates trips around the world to locations such as Tanzania, Iceland, Galapagos and more. He served as the Director of the Nikonians Academy from 2005 through 2016 and is well known for his excellent classroom workshops on all aspects of photography. Mike is a regular mentor/coach for photographers all around the world and is also a regular instructor.
David Summers
Moderator and Photo Contests Director, Nature & Wildlife Photographer
More about David +

David Summers is a nature and wildlife photographer from Iowa. David began his career in the visual arts as an Illustrator / Draftsman in the U.S. Navy. He was the head of the graphic arts shop at Naval Special Warfare Group One and Commander Second Fleet / Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic.

Soon after retirement his interest turned to photography. The availability of the digital darkroom and high quality color printing introduced him to many new and exciting possibilities in photography. Eager to learn and share his experience with others, David joined the Nikonians community 2006 and was soon invited to join the team as a moderator and then promoted to the position of Nikonians Photo Contests Director.

© Godofredo Baylon
WinnersFinalistsEditors’ PicksEvery Entrant
Professional Review by Photo Industry Expert*
Opportunities for Immediate Exposure with Peers & Photo Lovers
Massive Exposure to our Global Community
Nikonians Photography Awards 2017 Online Exhibition
Discount Pricing to The Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip & All Inclusive Programs Around the World
Online Learning Series from CreativeLive's Camera & Gear Curriculum
Featured Article on
Nikonians Platinum Membership
$10000 in Camera Equipment

*Professional Review: Available for all 5+ Single entries

**Editors’ Picks: During the competition, the Nikonians Photography Awards editors will curate hundreds of entries for immediate exposure to our global audience through the competition gallery and our Facebook page.

=Jury selected \ = Nikonians

Awards and Benefits

2nd Place


1st Place


3rd Place

* Value for camera equipment voucher from B&H or cash.
Plus, 25 Finalists will be selected.

$10,000 in Camera Equipment

Winning photographers will receive vouchers to purchase the camera equipment of their choice from B&H Photo Video. Cameras, lenses, drones, tripods, flashes, lighting, filters, accessaries & more are available from brands including Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica, Olympus, Sony & so many more. You can select whatever equipment you are looking for from the brand of your choice, or get the cash.

Professional Review & Critique of Your Work

Every single photographer who enters 5 or more photos will receive a submission review from our partners at LensCulture. LensCulture is the premier destination for discovering contemporary photography and they are dedicated to helping photographers of all levels move forward creatively and professionally. These submission reviews deliver insightful, critical feedback plus recommendations for improving your practice and preparing your work for such opportunities as competitions, grants, juried exhibitions, and other calls for entries. LensCulture has over 100 trusted and qualified educators, photo editors, curators, publishers, gallerists, and other industry professionals who provide meaningful critiques and actionable feedback on your photography.

Online Workshops and Learning Opportunities

Winning photographers and finalists will receive vouchers to select a series of their choice in classes from CreativeLive's Camera & Gear curriculum. Plus, enjoy a 10% off discount good for a full year of Nikonians in person learning events including workshops in Galapagos, Iceland, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Tokyo, and more as well as the twice yearly Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip.

Nikonians Platinum Membership

All winning photographers will receive a free one-year platinum membership to Nikonians.

Immediate Exposure Opportunities

The sooner you enter, the better your chance to be selected by Nikonian's editors for immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery, which is seen by our global audience. Some of these entries selected by the Nikonians editorial team will also be shared across our online channels. Access to additional opportunities and resources to share your work and gain recognition and exposure are provided to all participating photographers.

Massive Exposure to our Nikonians audience with an online exhibition

Winning images will be showcased in the Nikonians 2017 Online Exhibition, accessible by photography-lovers all over the world immediately after the results are announced as well as long after the competition closes. Selected photographers will also be published in feature articles on and published across Nikonians social media and editorial channels.

Professional Review
© Mark Kraus

Get a Free Professional Review

For the Nikonians Photography Awards 2017 we are proud to be working in partnership with LensCulture, each application you make includes an optional free Professional Review.

LensCulture believes that every photographer who applies to the Nikonians Photography Awards deserves thoughtful feedback on their work. These professional reviews deliver insightful, critical feedback plus recommendations for improving your practice and preparing your work for such opportunities as competitions, grants, juried exhibitions, and other calls for entries. LensCulture has over 100 trusted and qualified educators, photo editors, curators, publishers, gallerists, and other industry professionals who provide meaningful critiques and actionable feedback on your photography. By entering the Nikonians open call, you will have an opportunity to receive a free professional review. LensCulture’s reviewers will provide you with: Meaningful critique of your application – what worked well and what can be improved; Personalized recommendations for improving your applications; Tips and strategies for getting your work seen in more places and more often. LensCulture has been delighted with the feedback photographers have been providing on this service:

I really have to say thank you (BIG TIME!) to the LensCulture team: first of all, for the submission review I received after the LensCulture Award — it really helped me to re-edit the 8 pictures for the World Press Photo Award submission, where I then won 2nd prize! Second, for the publication of this story on the front page of LensCulture. Your article went online just a few days before the judging process, so it's very well possible that that was also helpful for convincing the jury. Keep up the great work at LensCulture, you do an amazing job for photographers and the photography world!

— Christian Bobst
See Christian’s full review »

Not in my wildest dreams did I expect such a positive response! Thank you! It gives me validation to continue on my Photographic journey, always being honest and true to what I see and feel. Besides this, it was also very encouraging and thorough in critique of each image. Also noted and appreciated were all the relevant and further reading links. Thanks so much.

— James Niven
See James’s full review »

I found the comments most perceptive, precise and accurate. I will certainly bear them in mind when resuming this project (or other projects of a similar stylistic profile). I appreciate the fact that the reviewer meticulously analysed all the technical details of the photos, as well as the general idea underlying the whole series. Thank you very much!

— Alicja Dybowska
See Alicja’s full review »

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Submission reviews are optional and will be sent AFTER the Nikonians Photography Awards deadline (it takes time to write a thoughtful review!). You need to submit your entry by January 24th, 2017 to get a free submission review, you will be contacted after the deadline.

Connect With Your Peers. Get Professional Feedback On Your Work.
© Dave Soderlund

These awards have been developed with the Nikonians community in mind. For the first time, we are thrilled to offer you awards and benefits that are directly in line with what you have asked us to provide. This is an opportunity to engage with millions of photography lovers around the world, while possibly winning incredible awards and most definitely getting some of the most valuable feedback on your work you may have ever gotten from a professional. Don't delay in entering, we look forward to seeing your work!

Accepting Entries In:


LensCulture Partnership

LensCulture is a global community of photographers and industry professionals. As one of the world’s largest online destinations for discovering contemporary photography, LensCulture also provides some of the best opportunities for global exposure, international recognition, ongoing learning and creative development. LensCulture is committed to inspiring and empowering its thriving community of over 2 million, across 145 countries and in 15 languages around the world.

Nikonians has partnered with LensCulture to open its doors to all photographers who may wish to participate with images made with any camera and help them move their photography career forward creatively and professionally. Through this partnership photographers can apply to be featured in an Online exhibition as well as gain access to many opportunities for exposure, recognition and learning through LensCulture.

We Respect Artists’ Rights

All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period. Winners and Finalists grant LensCulture limited, restricted use of winning photos only to promote the photographers themselves and in connection with marketing the Awards competition itself. Details can be found in the Competition rules