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CREDIT: Mirja Kuberka

Documentary Photography Awards 2023

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

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. 

Congratulations to our Shortlisted Photographers

From hundreds of entries across the world and around 3500 images in the submitted projects, the Selectors have now shortlisted entries in each category.  

These will be taken forward to a final review to select those exhibiting and the Awards.  The shortlisted entries are posted below.

Awards Event 2023

We will be holding our Awards Event on Thursday 30 November at 7pm UK time. You can book here

We will be announcing the nine projects selected for exhibition from our shortlisted photographers. Tickets are FREE.

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CREDIT: Roland Ramanan

Shortlist - Member


Shortlist - Member Category

Alice Chapman
Sofia Conti
Philip Joyce
Michael Knapstein
Anneleen Lindsay
Robert McKenzie
Brian Morgan
Roland Ramanan
Ruth Toda-Nation
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CREDIT: Giovanna Laiso

Shortlist - Student

Shortlist - Student Category

Jubair Ahmed Arnob
Julian Cabral
Sefa Eyol
Giovanna Laiso
Mosfiqur Rahman Johan
Mirja Kuberka
Anna Poloneeva
Tamsyn Warde
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CREDIT: Anya Tsaruk

Shortlist - Open

Shortlist - Open Category

Mauro Curti
Yan Jiacheng
Alisa Martynova
Stefanos Paikos
Gerard Saitner
ChinHo Shin
Michal Siarek
Byron Smith
Amadeusz Swierk
Anya Tsaruk
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CREDIT: Alisa Martynova

Key Dates

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.

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: Mauro Curti

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


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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Previous Years: 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