Still Life-competition-17

Still Life

Competition 17 - Photo project

Photo project closed

This Photo project is closed for entries.

About Still Life

In the third Photo Project of the IGPOTY competition calendar, you are invited to celebrate plants through the beautiful aesthetic of still life photography. Elevate the humble winter vegetable, produce a cornucopia of harvest delights or a timeless display of cut flowers. Use the legendary Dutch Masters as your inspiration and create works of art through the lens.

To help define what we mean by still life and still life photography in this context, Tate defines it as: “Anything that does not move”, and “Includes all kinds of man-made or natural objects..."

However, this being an IGPOTY category; entrants should focus on: cut flowers, fruit and vegetables and natural produce, with a small complement of other objects if required.

Please note, photo projects only accept 'Single Entries' not portfolios, which are separate and should be entered into the stand-alone IGPOTY competition category titled 'Portfolios'.


Still life photography can be difficult, but don’t worry, there’s one main thing past winners have all done exceptionally well, which is key to the process. This is arrangement, choice of subject matter and intention. Unlike a wildflower that you can frame against a sunrise and distant rolling hills, a still life composition must be arranged by your hand and with considerable care, with focus on number of objects, size, shape, variety and position and balance. Think about how best to focus judges’ attention and what you want to say through your still life photography and how the specific arrangement of objects and natural produce relate to this. When you’ve got the arrangement, you can take the time to experiment with light sources and exposure settings.

Wider benefits

With arranging being so central to success, you may find that you start seeing natural scenes with a more focused eye. Beyond this, you may also develop a love for studio photography where you can really invest time into achieving a specific creative vision. Still life photography also has the power to draw people in and really interrogate the photograph, asking what technique was used and how it was achieved. The technical settings and techniques developed in still life photography become like brush strokes on the canvas and have a tangible quality that can inspire others.

Prizes & Why should I enter?


First prize:

Photo project winner:


Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on display at the IGPOTY launch exhibition/in the travelling exhibition if space allows.

Second prize:

Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on display at the IGPOTY launch exhibition/in the travelling exhibition if space allows.

Third prize:

Signed individual certificate
Your image goes on display at the IGPOTY launch exhibition/in the travelling exhibition if space allows.

Entry benefits

Exposure, international press coverage, one of the world's most prestigious photographic categories for still life photography, opportunities for growth, become a stakeholder in conservation, cultivate your skills, launch/boost your photographic career, push creative boundaries, develop a unique style, hone studio skills.


General rules:

  • You may not submit watermarked images with your name or website visible on the photo. Please do not frame your images with borders.
  • Entrants may submit a maximum of 4 images per single entry token and a maximum of 6 images per portfolio entry token.
  • For free-to-enter competitions you should enter 1 image per token given, up to a maximum of 8 images (8 tokens).
  • Entrants' images must be .jpg or .jpeg format and of high enough quality.
  • We recommend all images are output to 1920px on their longest side at 72 ppi (ideally with an sRGB colour profile). Any larger than this and you are supplying images bigger than they will be seen or used by IGPOTY judges; your files will take longer to upload and/or download to judges and viewers’ screens.
  • The absolute maximum for each image must not be more than 7MB in file size and no more than 3000px on their longest side.
  • All entrants must be able to supply a high-res image (300 ppi) suitable for printing/exhibiting should the image be shortlisted. You may be asked for this when the time comes.


  • High-res source file/s need to be at least 3780 pixels (longest side) @ 300 ppi, ideally larger (and ideally with an Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile).

Full competition rules:

Please see the IGPOTY competition rules, which always prevail:

Category rules:

Still life photography only, however elements/backdrops may be entrant's own drawings/paintings/artworks.

IGPOTY runs juried competitions based on skill.

Only singular entries from 'Single Entry' main pay-to-enter categories can win the overall IGPOTY prize. Entries from 'Photo Projects' (stand-alone competitions) cannot win the overall IGPOTY prize, neither can portfolios, which will be judged as part of the IGPOTY 'Portfolios' competition category which is stand-alone. Special Awards are not eligible for the overall IGPOTY prize and are stand-alone.

Please see IGPOTY competition rules for full terms, which always prevail.

Competition details

Photo project
Online submissions
Entry start date:
July 9, 2023
Closing date:
August 30, 2023, 12 noon GMT
Cost of entry:
£16 (Single Entry Slots x 4)

How do I enter?

Please use the large, red-outlined 'ENTER NOW' button on this page.

For help please visit our Frequently-Asked-Questions page.

For help please visit our Frequently-Asked-Questions page.

Background image

Credit: © Cristina Wanjura