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CREDIT: Quentin Ball

Documentary Photography Awards 2023

Our popular awards open to our international audience with Open, Student and Member categories
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CREDIT: Alexander Komenda

Our Awards

The Documentary Photography Awards (DPA) is organised by the Royal Photographic Society's Documentary Group. It runs every two years. The previous editions (as DPOTY) have been running since 2012 and provides an opportunity to showcase documentary work and visual storytelling. 

The Award categories are: Open, Student and RPS Members

The selected projects will feature in a UK touring exhibition, currently planning to cover London, Bristol, Newcastle with other events in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Bursaries and support will also be offered to selected projects.

All selected projects will also have opportunities for publication in the Decisive Moment and The RPS Journal and selected photographers will be invited to present at our Engagement Talk series. 

Specifically for each category:

Open Category - in addition to the exhibition, one of the selected projects will be awarded a £500 bursary, and a selected photographer will receive development support from a leading photographer.

Student Category - in addition to the exhibition, one of the selected projects will be awarded a £300 bursary, and a selected photographer will receive development support from a leading photographer. 

RPS Member Category - in addition to the exhibition,  one photographer will be offered professional development support from a leading photographer.

We also have other prizes including free Supporter Membership of the Martin Parr Foundation and three one-year RPS memberships to award. 

Submissions have closed - selection is now in process

Entries closed on 31 July.  Thank you to all who entered.  There are around 3000 images to review in the submitted projects. The selection process has started. We will provide updates later in the year. 

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CREDIT: Nicole Mullan

Key Dates

Opening Date for Entries
Submissions will OPEN on 1 June 2023.  All submissions must be made via the online portal.

Closing Date for Entries:
Entries will close at 23:59 BST on Monday 31 July 2023

Judging: All entries are reviewed, longlisted, shortlisted and selected anonymously. Images will be initially longlisted by the RPS for judging and then shortlisted, followed by final judging to select the category awards and projects to be exhibited. 

Awards Event: 
will take place in December 2023 online (date to be confirmed later)

Exhibition: from early 2024 as a UK touring Exhibition to include RPS House, Bristol, other venues will be announced later in the year (last time our exhibition included Fujifilm House of Photography in London, Newcastle Arts Centre and Oriel Colwyn, plus venues in Inverness, Glasgow, Oxford and Chippenham)

Judges Mar2023

Our Selection Panel


Our international panel of experts and selectors currently includes:


 Alejandro Chaskielberg, photographer and curator, Buenos Aires

 Liz Hingley, photographer, curator and anthropologist, London

 Roy Mehta, Photographer and Lecturer, London

 Rosy Santella, picture editor, Internazionale, Rome

 Roger Tooth, former head of photography, The Guardian


We are looking to add to the panel and will provide an update later.



Learn more about our expert selectors
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CREDIT: Hari Katragadda

Information on Entering our Awards

The entry process follows other RPS events (such as the IPE) and uses the same submission system.  All entries can be made online. 

Link to Entry submission site, here 

The Awards have three categories:

Open - open to anyone anywhere
Student - for anyone on a recognised full-time or part-time photography degree course (and those completing in 2022-2023 academic year)
Member - for members of the RPS

Each entry requires a title, a statement and 10-15 images. You may make more than one entry and enter more than one category, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. 

Entries for Students and Members are FREE.

Please follow the link below for more information on the entry process and our terms and conditions.


Advisors (to support selected awarded photographers)

For each Category one photographer will additionally be awarded support from an Advisor, to help with the development of their project or practice. 


We are please to announce that our Advisors in each category for DPA 2023 are:

Open - Mimi Mollica 

Student - Laura Pannack

Member - Liz Hingley


For more information on our Advisors

Sponsors and Friends

We are grateful for the support of the Martin Parr Foundation and its commitment to the photo community.



We are listed on Photo Contest Deadlines - Photography Competitions Directory

We are listed on – Online List of Photo Contests

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Congratulations to our Commended entries and Winners in 2021

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CREDIT: David Collyer

RPS Members - Commended and Winner

Winner: All in a Day’s Work by David Collyer
Commended entries:
• Within/Without by Neil Johansson
• The Across Roads Project by Quentin Ball
• Y Garreg Olaf (The Last Stone) by Gareth Jenkins
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CREDIT: Aishwarya Arumbakkam

Students - Commended and Winner

Winner: ka Dingiei by Aishwarya Arumbakkan
Commended entries:
• North with the Spring by Nicole Mullan
• South of the River by Nico Froelich
• Tiramisu by Alexander Komenda
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CREDIT: Debsuddha

Open - Commended and Winner

Winner: Belonging by Debsuddha
Commended entries:
• Donde los niños no sueñan by Stefano Sbrulli
• You Can’t Step Into The Same River Twice by Hari Katragadda
• Nothing Left to Call home by Taniya Sarkar