Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards are run by photographers for photographers. TPOTY is truly global – wherever you live in the world and whether you are amateur or professional, beginner or expert, young or old, Travel Photographer of the Year is for you!
Thanks to our hugely supportive sponsors there are some fantastic prizes to be won, but TPOTY is also about more than prizes. This prestigious award offers massive exposure for your work through our media activities, books, photographer profiles and exhibitions.
TPOTY-winning photographers have had their work showcased around the world: established photographic careers received a huge boost, new careers were kick-started, and people who never thought they’d see their photographs in print have had a happy surprise!
The awards are judged by leading photographers and experts in the field, whose distinction and integrity add greatly to the prestige that comes with being one of our winners – or even being shortlisted.
But whether you’re a winner or not, it’s also about fun – the fun of challenging yourself to shoot to a theme, to look at your images with fresh eyes, to be a part of the TPOTY experience. To be part of the adventure!
Inspirations and aspirations: The beginning
The international Travel Photographer of the Year awards were founded in 2003 by professional photographer Chris Coe and his wife and business partner Karen, a PR and marketing consultant. There were very few other global photography competitions in those days, let alone travel photography ones. Our original logo (left) was created using some of Chris’s pictures.
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 and so on. Travel photographers must be multi-skilled, able to make many types of images and work in all lights.
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.
TPOTY has quickly grown into one of the world’s most prestigious photography awards and is truly global, receiving entries from more than 140 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.
Enjoy the books, cards and prints…
The beautiful Journey series of portfolio books has 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.
We also have a magnificent selection of postcards, greetings cards, mini prints and fine art prints – with the featured photographers all receiving royalties from those sales.
…and the exhibitions….
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 the University of Greenwich in the heart of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site for two years. Our first exhibition there welcomed visitors from 165 countries.
In 2016 and 2017 our touring exhibitions were seen by 250,000 visitors. The 2018 and 2019 London exhibitions were at London Bridge City, next to City Hall and close to Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and the Shard. They seen by more than two million visitors. And in 2020 TPOTY moved to a new London home – the historic Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross.
And TPOTY has exhibited internationally – in Sintra (Portugal), on Malta, in Dubai and Sharjah and in China.
We’re still growing!
TPOTY is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading photographic competitions but that’s no reason to sit back and pat ourselves on the back. We’re always looking to take TPOTY further.
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.
Protecting your rights
We are passionate about protecting photographers’ copyright: your images always remain yours, and we do not request or grant unlimited license to use them. As a result, we are proud to say that TPOTY is an approved award, featuring on the Artists Bill of Rights, Rights-On list.