Cultures portfolio

The diversity of global cultures is a wonderful gift to the world and exploring these cultures is a major reason for travelling, but many of these cultures are threatened as the world becomes more homogenous with accelerated by extensive global communications. This category is for cultures from anywhere in the world, both indigenous and emerging new cultures; their lives, uniqueness, landmarks and celebrations; threatened cultures and efforts to preserve them.

In a portfolio of four images (colour or black & white) we would like you to show us indigenous people, their lives and cultures – or emerging cultures – which you encounter on your travels around the world, or find in your own home country (or even home town/village!) and celebrate them in a portfolio of four colour or B&W images. You can include portraits or candid shots of people, their expressions, encounters, interactions, communication. And show us their lives and cultures – their homes, gatherings, festivals, traditions, music, dance, food, events, colour, movement, sports.

By entering this category twice, or entering this category once plus one of the other four-image portfolio categories once, you will automatically be considered for the top award and the title of Travel Photographer of the Year 2022.

What subjects can you include?

People – portraits or candid, expressions, encounters, interactions, communication. Cultures – homes, work, families, gatherings, festivals, traditions, music, dance, food, events, colour, movement, sports.

How many images?

Four images per portfolio.

What are the judges looking for?

A portfolio of four images that captures the spirit and culture of the people you meet on your travels.

Am I eligible?

This category is open to all photographers aged 19 and above.

How many times can I enter?

You can enter this category as many times as you want.

What is the category entry fee?

£24 for each portfolio entry or £36 for two four-image portfolios. Or submit a ‘Two Plus Two’ 10-image combination of 2 One Shot/Smart Shot entries and 2 four-image portfolios entered at the same time for £50 (full price £60). Or submit an ‘Eight Image Combination’ of 8 One Shot/Smart Shot images (full price £96) OR 4 One Shot/Smart Shot images plus 1 four-image portfolio entered at the same time for £60 (full price £72).


We are offering an automatic entry fee discount as follows:

April/ May = 40% off the above entry fees

June/July = 30% off the above entry fees

August/ Sept 20th = 20% off the above entry fees

21st Sept to 25th Oct = No discount on the above entry fees

Enter TPOTY and you can also join Light Club for £1 (instead of £52) and get access to our podcast and Eye for the Light magazine with lots of interesting features.

Do I need to shoot new material to be able to enter this category?

Contemporary photography shot in recent years. As always, ‘travel starts when you leave your home’ and never has this been more important than in a time of global pandemic, so if you can travel to distant lands shoot something closer to home.

Entries close on 25th October, so there is time to shoot new material before the closing date. But we want to stress that, in these extraordinary times, entrants should not make unnecessary journeys or break any lockdown that may be in force in their country of residence in order to take photographs to submit, and archive images are always welcome in TPOTY.

Digital Manipulation

Please see the information on digital manipulation in our rules, and note that entrants who are shortlisted as finalists will be required to provide the original image files (RAW or jpeg as shot).


The winner of this category will receive a magnificent signed print from National Geographic explorer and photographer and Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation co-founder, Chris Rainier. They also receive membership of The Royal Photographic Society, Radiant Photo imaging software, plus a copy of Tonic magazine.

The judges will also select their favourite image from all the submitted portfolios. The winner of the Best Single Image award for each portfolio category receives a Genesis Imaging giclée exhibition print.

Image © Nikos Vavdinoudis

Our sponsors and partners

It would not be possible to run Travel Photographer of the Year without the support of our sponsors and partners, and we are hugely grateful for their involvement each year. Click the logo to learn more about each of Travel Photographer of the Year’s sponsor and partners.