It seems that at the moment there are photography competitions ongoing everywhere. Whilst many of these have a tendency to be orientated towards traditional photographers, there are a small number of mobile specific awards or awards that have mobile categories. This is testament to the rise of mobile photography as a recognised and legitimate branch of photography.

I thought it wold be good to look into some of these photography competitions and awards and see what is on offer. I’m sure I may have missed some, if so, let me know in the comments below.

IPPA Awards

The iPhone Photography Awards or IPPA Awards first started in 2007 and is one of the longest running iPhone photography competitions. The event attracts photographers from over 120 countries with winners selected by a jury process. Past winners have included Michal Koralewski, David Craikand and Yvonne Lu.

The IPPA’s allow photographers to submit work to a variety of categories including Animals, Abstract, Architecture, Children, Flowers, Food, Landscape, Lifestyle, Nature, News/Events, Panorama, People, Portrait, Seasons, Still Life, Sunset, Travel, Trees, Others. The cost of entry varies from $3.50 for 1 image, right up to $57.50 for 25 images. All photos entered into the IPPA must have been taken on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and not altered on a desktop computer using software such as photoshop. Editing with iOS apps is ok though.

There are several prizes up for grabs. All entries compete for the coveted Photographer of the Year award as well as 1st, 2nd, 3rd places. First place winners in each category win a gold bar with the photographer of the year getting their work published in the IPPAWARDS online gallery as well as any other published material. Those in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each category receive a certificate and for some who missed out on these top spots, will receive honourable mentions.

The deadline for this year’s awards is March 31st, 2016.

Find out more:

Mobile Photography Awards

Photo by jian wang

UNTITLED by MPA 2015 Winner, Jian Wang

The Mobile Photography Awards or MPA’s as many people refer to it as is now in it’s 5th year. The awards were founded by Dan Berman who wanted to create something that recognised the talent coming out of the mobile photography community.

The competition opens for entries, each year in October through to December with the results being announced at the start of February. Photographers can submit their work via the MPA website to a number of categories including Architecture and Design, Black and White, Digital Art, Landscapes, Macro, Nature, people, portraits, Travel, Silhouettes, street photography, visual FX, Waterscapes/Snow/Ice and a photo essay category. A small entrance fee is required to enter the competition which goes towards a cash prize for the winner, runner up prizes as well as themed exhibitions throughout the year that showcase the top entries.

Find out more:

MIRA Mobile Prize

MIRA Mobile Prize by Brendan O Se

MIRA Mobile Prize by Brendan O Se

Now is it’s third year, the MIRA Mobile Prize is another mobile only photography competition that attracts a lot of attention from all over the world. Photographic entries are judged by a jury of 8 international members which this year includes NEM’s Andrea Bigiarini, iPhoneographyCentral’s Bob Weil and digital artist Meri Aaron Walker.

The MIRA Mobile Prize is free to enter up to 3 images; however, there is a small fee for finalists to help support the cost of the exhibition. The closing date for this year’s competition is 27th February 2016 with the short list of runners up and the overall winner being announced later in March. The winner of the MIRA Mobile Prize will receive a round-trip ticket from a European capital city to Oporto in Portugal, as well as board and lodgings for a 6 day trip where they can attend the finalist exhibition.

Last year’s winner saw Brendan O Se take the overall winners prize with his superb ‘shot on iPhone’ Apple World Gallery photo.

Find out more:

New Era Musuem – Impossible Humans

The New Era Museum is a collection of digital artists from around the world who activity work to explore and promote the boundaries of mobile photography and art. This year, the NEM is hosting a photographic competition and exhibition in Rome. The competition closes on 14th February so you need to be quick if you want to be in with a chance of having your work included in the Unexpected Happening exhibition. This is just one part of a bigger jazz event being held at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome on March 12th.

The Unexpected Happening event is being organised by NEM founder Andrea Bigiarini. Submissions need to be portraits, in a square 1:1 format, shot and edited on a mobile device. The winners will be selected from a judging panel of 10 who include myself, Brendan O Se and Dilshad Corleone.

If you are interested in this one you better be quick before it closes on 14th February.

Find out more:

Hipstography Awards


The Hipstography Awards is now is its third year and is run by Eric Rozen of The awards are a celebration of Hipstamatic photography with contenders being curated and announced over a series of weeks via the website. Visitors to the website can then vote for their favourite 3 photos with the winners being announced in February. The winning photos will then see their work showcased in a series on

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Terry O’Neil Awards

Photo by Rob Pearson-Wright

2014 Mobile Device Winner, Rob Pearson-Wright

The Terry O’Neil Awards is a predominantly a DSLR photography competition which has, in recent years, opened up a mobile device category. This is yet another positive indication that mobile photography is beginning to get wider recognition in the photographic world.

To enter, photographers must submit between 3 and 10 images in a series along with a short narrative about the series. The images must have been shot during a specified period of time. Photographers can also enter the awards as many times as they like although each entry requires a separate entry fee.

At the moment, it is unclear when the next awards are open to entering.

Find out more:

Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the biggest photography competitions around, their sole aim is to recognise and reward the best in contemporary photography from around the world. While it has historically been a traditional photography competition, in 2015 Sony embraced the mobile device by including a mobile phone photographer award. Last year this was won by Turi Calafato from Italy.

The competition attracts entries from around the world and with an incredible $30,000 worth of cash prizes and the latest Sony digital equipment on offer it’s not hard to see why. The awards are currently closed.

Find out more:

Can you suggest any others?

I intend to add to this list as time goes on so let me know in the comment below if I have missed any.