The Making of the TPOTY Awards
The Travel Photographer of the Year awards were founded by professional photographer Chris and Karen Coe in 2003. There were few other international photography competitions in those pre-internet days.
We wanted to show that travel photography is much, much more than holiday snaps and pretty postcards. Travel photography encompasses a wide range of genres and subjects, from landscape to food, from architecture to people and from reportage to wildlife. Travel photographers must be able to take many types of images and work in diverse, changing light.
In the early days, TPOTY was run from our home, which was flooded by thousands and thousands of prints from around the world each year when the competition opened and from the very first year. Today, TPOTY is run from an office in the Suffolk countryside (England) which has a view to rival some of the images we receive. Nevertheless, we try to keep our friendly, personal touch. Each year our pleasure in receiving amazing images from photographers around the world is as great as ever and watching the work of many of our entrants evolve over the years, and seeing how photographers take on the challenges of the competition each year, gives us a particular thrill.
Polar bear, 80 degrees north of Svalbard in the Arctic.
TPOTY 2014 © Joshua Holko, Australia.
TPOTY has quickly grown into one of the world's most prestigious photography awards and is truly global, receiving entries from nearly 123 countries each year.
Since its start, thanks to the consistently high standard of imagery, the great respect in which our panel of expert judges is held, our fantastic sponsor prizes and the fantastic support from YOU, our dream of creating the best showcase for travel photography continues to be a reality.
The beautiful Journey series of portfolio books have helped to take the awards to a higher level, and exposed the winning and other highly placed images to an even wider audience. These books are collected by travel and photography lovers around the world.
From 2010 to 2015 our association with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) saw TPOTY images displayed at a major exhibition in London each summer. Entrants reached an even wider audience, giving them fantastic exposure for their work and an enormous amount of pleasure to our many, many exhibition visitors. In 2016 we moved on to an exciting new venue in a magnificent location: 10 Stockwell Street in the heart of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our first exhibition here welcomed visitors from 165 countries.
TPOTY 2015 © Marsel van Oosten, Netherlands
But we're still growing!
TPOTY is now firmly established but that's no reason to sit back and pat ourselves on the back, because until now you've only been able to see the TPOTY exhibition in the UK.
That's changing with the exhibition going on the road, touring internationally. In 2016 alone the first TPOTY touring exhibitions were seen by 178,000 visitors. Initially in only a few countries, over the next few years our stunning exhibition will be touring more extensively - so look out for it coming to you!
TPOTY is - and always has been - about images. However without our judges, sponsors and, most importantly, YOU it couldn't happen. We would like to thank you and, above all, everyone who has entered over the years for the pleasure that their involvement has given to us on this particular journey.