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.
Shortlist - Member
Shortlist - Member Category
Shortlist - Student
Shortlist - Student Category
Shortlist - Open
Shortlist - Open Category
Opening Date for Entries:
Submissions opened on 1 June 2023. All submissions were made via the online portal.
Closing Date for Entries:
Entries closed at 23:59 BST on Monday 31 July 2023
Selection: All entries are reviewed, longlisted, shortlisted and selected anonymously. Images will be initially longlisted by the RPS for the selectors and then shortlisted, followed by final review to select the category awards and projects to be exhibited.
Awards Event: will take place online in late November (TBC 30 November)
Exhibition: from early 2024 as a UK touring Exhibition to include London, Inverness, Oriel Colwyn, Oxford and RPS House, Bristol, other venues may be announced later in the year.
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.
Information on Entering our Awards
The entry process like other RPS events (such as the IPE) and used the same submission system. All entries were made online. Submissions are now closed.
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 (supporting selected award 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