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No 06 Ambury Road

International Photography Exhibition 163

Entry is closed - IPE 163 is in selection phase
CREDIT: Luca Tombolini

Call for Entries has now closed

Thank you to everyone who has submitted work this year. The exhibition is now moving into the online selection and admin phase. Shortlisted entrants will be notified by 10 June.

Entry closed on 27 April 2021, 23:59 BST

Photographers and image-makers, of all ages, are invited to submit their work for the 163rd edition of the RPS International Photography Exhibition (IPE 163). Submissions are encouraged from new, emerging and established photographers worldwide.

This is an unique opportunity to exhibit in a group exhibition at The Royal Photographic Society in Bristol, UK, and other nationwide venues. Alongside a prize fund to support future photographic projects, this year we are excited to announce several new awards, including a 2-week solo exhibition and a photographic commission to create new work.

Exhibition selection is anonymous throughout, including the award winners, with a changing guest selection panel for each edition. The process is both rigorous and fair, where digital image and print work form part of the selection process. Each IPE edition is a unique celebration of photography today.

The information on this page includes all you need to know to submit your work to the International Photography Exhibition, including details of our Awards, our guest selection panel of respected industry practitioners and an extensive FAQs. If you have any further enquiries please do email the Exhibitions Team. We thank you for your support of the RPS.

Coyle_Fergus_Hankou Bund Wuhan China 2017
CREDIT: Fergus Coyle UK
Entry Overview

1. Anyone of any age can submit their images to the IPE - this includes student, amateur, professional and non-professional photographers and image-makers worldwide.
2. The IPE is an open-call exhibition; therefore all subjects and approaches can be submitted, including alternative photographic processes and experimental work. There are no predefined categories, allowing for a completely open submission. Entrants can submit four images from a series of work or four single images. One free single image entry is available to everyone.

3. Enter your work online. After the closing date, 27 April 2021, the online selection takes place and all shortlisted entrants are invited to submit prints for the final stage of selection. Entrants remain anonymous throughout the online and print selection process.


1. Shortlisted entrants are invited to submit prints for the final stage of exhibition selection. Full details, guidance and support on how to submit your prints will be available to shortlisted photographers.

2. Printing offer: Theprintspace is a leading UK professional fine art photographic printer and are supporting the IPE. It will be providing printing credit (to the value of £30) for any shortlisted entrant in the UK or overseas including free international delivery. All orders are guaranteed to reach us in time for the print selection. Shortlisted entrants also have the option to submit their own prints.

3. The RPS will prepare and frame selected prints for exhibition at no cost to the entrant.

Liminal State
CREDIT: Cody Cobb
Key Dates

Early-bird prize draw deadline:
Monday 1 March 2021

Closing date for entries:
Tuesday 27 April 2021

Notify shortlisted entrants:
UPDATED: Thursday 10 June 2021

Print submission window for shortlisted entrants:
Monday 7 June - Thursday 29 July 2021

Awards & Recognition

The International Photography Exhibition has an incredible history. This is your opportunity to exhibit in the 163rd edition of this historic photographic exhibition and also be eligible for several significant awards:

1. IPE Award  /  £1500 and 1-year free membership to the RPS

2. Under 30s Award  /  £1000 and 1-year free membership to the RPS

3. Exhibition Tour  /  100 photographs will be selected for the touring exhibition, opening at the RPS Gallery, Bristol

4. Solo Exhibition at the RPS  /  2-week solo exhibition in the RPS Gallery, awarded by the RPS. The RPS will support the selected photographer to develop and deliver the exhibition

5. RPS Photographic Commission  /  £1250 commission to create new work, awarded by the RPS

6. RPS Journal Features  /  Four opportunities for a photographer to feature in the award-winning RPS Journal, selected by the Editor

7. Visitor Prize  /  £250 prize voted for by visitors to the Bristol exhibition

8. Selectors Spotlight  /  Five photographers will receive a statement by one of the guest selectors about why they selected the work. This will be included in the exhibition

9. IPE Journal Edition  /  All selected photographers will receive a copy of the IPE edition of the award-winning RPS Journal

10. International Recognition  /  Shortlisted photographers will be celebrated across our online and digital channels, including opportunities for Instagram take-overs 

11. Membership Offer  /  All IPE entrants receive 15% discount on a new RPS membership 

12. Digital Spotlight  /  We will share stand-out entries during the entry period across RPS digital channels

RPS House Night ED
CREDIT: Evan Dawson

RPS Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom

The Royal Photographic Society is an international charitable organisation based in Bristol, UK. We are dedicated to increasing the knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of photography to the widest possible audience. Founded in 1853, the RPS is one of the world’s oldest photographic societies.

The RPS Gallery is situated in the photography hub of Bristol alongside the Martin Parr Foundation. Previous exhibitions have included Jack Latham's Sugar Paper Theories; Mandy Barker's Altered Ocean and Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond.

Membership of the RPS is open to everyone with a passion for photography.

Selection Panel

Monica Alcazar-Duarte / Non-fiction photographer

Originally from Mexico, Monica lives and works in the UK. She studied Film-making, Scenography and Photography. Her photobook Your Photos could be used by Drug Dealers was acquired in 2014 for artist book collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Yale University Gallery and the Joan Flasch Collection at the Arts Institute of Chicago.

Most recently, in 2020, Monica was nominated for a National Geographic Fellowship and awarded a Firecracker Grant. In 2019, she was awarded the Lucie Foundation Chroma Luxe scholarship, obtained a National Geographic Arena award and exhibited Ascension - an interactive AR installation - at the RPS.

Monica was selected as one of ten artists for Les Recontres d’Arles New Discovery Award in 2018 and the previous year she obtained The Photographers’ Gallery Bar-Tur Photobook Award alongside the Magnum Graduate Award.

Monica is a nominator for the Joop Swart Masterclass - a week-long intensive program, which identifies, supports, and educates new talent in the field of documentary photography, visual journalism, and visual storytelling.

CREDIT: Maryam Wahid
Sebah Chaudhry / Creative Producer, Co-Founder and Co-Director at ReFramed

Sebah is a Freelance Creative Producer and Curator. She has worked at international world-class festivals, projects and events. She is Co-Founder and Co-Director of ReFramed, a photographic visual arts network in the Midlands, supporting the community and artists who are Black, Asian, or from other ethnic minorities.

She was recently Creative Producer for The Place I Call Home, a British Council funded project with Ffotogallery, connecting the UK to the Gulf region - resulting in 10 exhibitions, in 7 countries, between Sept 2019 - Mar 2020.

Sebah was Festival Coordinator at FORMAT Festival between 2013 - 2017 and continues to work as a freelancer for FORMAT, organising the UK’s largest annual portfolio review.

She is an avid networker and an advocate for the promotion of emerging artists, particularly Black, Asian and people of colour, encouraging both artists and others to get involved in the art scene. Currently Sebah is Chair of 1623 theatre company Advisory Board; Steering Group member, FORMAT Festival; and Board Member, Redeye Photography Network.

Tim Clark / Editor-in-Chief, 1000 Words

Tim Clark is a writer, editor and curator based in London. Since 2008 he has been Editor-in-Chief at 1000 Words.

Recent exhibitions include Mutable: Multiple curated with Louise Fedotov-Clements at Derby QUAD for FORMAT International Photography Festival; Who’s looking at the family, now? as part of Photo50 at London Art Fair; and Max Pinckers: Margins of Excess for Lishui Art Museum, China, all during 2019.

Tim worked as a curatorial advisor on Masculinities: Liberation through Photography (2020) at the Barbican Centre London. He is a Guest Curator at Guernsey Photography Festival 2020 (rescheduled for 2021); a member of the Artistic Committee for Fotografia Europea 2021 in Reggio Emilia, Italy, together with Diane Dufour and Walter Guadagnini; and currently preparing an exhibition for the Portuguese Centre of Photography, Porto during the Ci.CLO Bienal 2021.

Tim is also a lecturer at The Institute of Photography, Falmouth University. His forthcoming book, Curator Conversations, comprising interviews with leading international curators working in photography, will be released in February 2021.

CREDIT: Bruce Morgan
Joy Gregory Hon.FRPS / Photographic Artist

Joy Gregory is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. She has developed a practice which is concerned with social and political issues with reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society.

Born in the UK to Jamaican parents, she has always been fascinated by the impact of European history and colonisation on global perceptions of identity, memory, folk and traditional knowledge. As a photographer she makes full use of the media from video, digital and analogue photography to Victorian print processes.

Joy has worked in art education for almost three decades and was an Honorary Research Associate at Slade School of Art [UCL] where she developed new work for the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a NESTA Fellowship, and has exhibited all over the world in many festivals and biennales. Her work is in many collections including; the UK Arts Council; V&A; Institute of Modern Art, Australia; and Yale British Art Collection.

She currently lives and works in London where she teaches Fine Art Photography at Camberwell School of Art, University of the Arts London.

CREDIT: Almudena Romero
Dr Michael Pritchard / Director of Education, RPS

Michael has been involved in photography for his whole career. He started as a photography specialist at Christie’s auction house where he curated auctions internationally. He has written and lectured on many aspects of the history of photography in the UK and abroad and holds a PhD in the history of photography. He has a particular knowledge of British photography but his interests extend across Western, Asian and African historical and contemporary photography. 

He has worked in a photographic studio and brings a practical and working knowledge of studio and location photography, both analogue and digital, along with darkroom work and alternative processes.

Michael has been a guest selector for many exhibitions including; the HIPA Awards; Travel Photographer of the Year; Food Photographer of the Year; International Photography Awards; Lucie Awards; ArtGemini Prize and Earth Photo. He has also been a selector and curator of festival exhibitions and exhibitions in China.

Michael leads the RPS's education and public programmes. He is also the founder of the online community, British Photographic History.

Anita   (Punica   granatum,   Pomegranate,   Meaning:   Fertility)
CREDIT: Leslie Sheryll

Exhibition's History

The International Photography Exhibition has been held almost every year since 1854 and is the longest running exhibition of its kind in the world.

In the early years, the exhibition included work from some of the world's most eminent photographers including Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand.

CREDIT: Matthew Genitempo USA
Inspiration from the archives

The IPE is selected from an open-call. This means that images across all genres, using different types, processes, and experimental techniques can be submitted.

Past exhibitors have documented personal stories, explored new ideas and concepts, created powerful portraits, and crafted striking landscapes of the world we inhabit.

From digital and analogue, to collage and wet collodion, all formats of photographic image-making are eligible.

Explore the collection from recent editions and be inspired to enter your work. 


IPE Collections Gallery

Recent Awardees 

IPE 162 Award: Cody Cobb

"It's an incredible honor to not only be a part of an historic exhibition but to also have my work recognized by such an esteemed committee. The support and resources of The RPS has encouraged me to continue pushing myself and my work in ways that weren’t possible before. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share my interpretation of what it means to be human on this strange and fantastic planet."
Cody Cobb, USA

IPE 162 Under 30s Award: Chirag Jindal

"As any other debut project, the work follows many long periods of experimenting, indecision and risk. It’s a privilege to have it be given this level of recognition and platform for outreach and exposure - especially amongst the high standard of photography in this year’s RPS exhibition."
Chirag Jindal, New Zealand

Catherine Hyland
IPE 161 Gold Award: Catherine Hyland

"I am extremely grateful to be awarded the Gold RPS Award from such a strong line up. I really rated the names on the judging panel and the other photographers that participated. I hoped they’d see something engaging in terms of the background story behind this project as Nevis itself is so steeped in history, so I feel both delighted and very humbled to be selected for the award."
Catherine Hyland, UK

IPE 161 Under 30s Award: Chris Bethell

"I was so shocked to hear that I had won the award – so many of my friends and peers who were also shortlisted produce such incredible work; I wasn't expecting it at all. I can't explain how happy I am for having the project recognised by such a prestigious organisation and also how grateful I am for the prize. It is going to go a long way to helping me fund my next project in the States."
Chris Bethell, UK

IPE 161 Silver Award: Alys Tomlinson

“I’m delighted that what began as a very quiet and personal study of devotion has achieved this recognition. The RPS has such a rich history and respected reputation and I’m excited to exhibit work alongside other international photographers whose work I admire.”
Alys Tomlinson, UK

The International Photography Exhibition is supported by