Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

Entries have now closed. Finalists will be announced on October 21, 2021.

The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism recognise the work of photographers across a range of genres, from news and sport to portraiture and photographic essays. Some of their images are the work of a split second. Others take months of research and trust-building. Photographers interact with their subjects with perhaps more intimacy than storytellers in any other medium; they can move you with a single frame.

In selecting three finalists in each category, each year the Walkley judges look for newsworthiness, impact, creativity and technical skill. The winners are named at the Walkley Awards Gala Dinner each year and an exhibition of the winners’ and finalists’ images tours Australia.

Only photos taken between Sept 1, 2020 to Aug 31, 2021 are eligible for entry (the exception is if the photo was shot for purpose with the publication date already confirmed). Each entry must contain at least one published picture.

You may only enter once in each photography category.

The cost of entering the photographic categories, including GST, is $150. For photographers, only one fee is payable, regardless of the number of categories entered. Through its support of the Walkley Awards, MEAA covers the entry cost for its financial members as a benefit of membership. Entry to Walkley All Media categories will require an entry fee per category for non-members of $150.

Important information for photographers entering the Walkley Awards

  • Entries have now closed.
  • Photographers are also invited to enter their work in relevant All Media categories in the Walkley Awards.
  • Photographers are eligible to enter photographic work in All Media categories as an individual entrant or as part of a group or team entry.
  • A photographer may only enter once in each photography category.
  • Photographers should ensure they have read the full Walkley Terms and Conditions before entering.
  • Only photos taken between Sept 1, 2020 to Aug 31, 2021 are eligible for entry. Each entry must contain at least one published picture. 

Entry fee

For non-MEAA members, the entry fee is $150 (inc GST). For photographers, only one fee is payable, regardless of the number of categories entered. Once you have paid for your first entry please use the code PHOTOPAID to enter the other categories free of charge. This will be checked after entries closed and people will be invoiced if an initial payment has not been paid.

Submission guidelines

Below are the number of images you can submit per category.

Only photos taken between Sept 1, 2020 to Aug 31, 2021 are eligible for entry (the exception is if the photo was shot for purpose with the publication date already confirmed). Each entry must contain at least one published picture.

Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism

  • News Photography: Enter up to 5 related images
  • Sport photography: Enter up to 5 images. These do not need to be related and can represent a body of work
  • Feature/Photographic Essay: Entry can include 5 to 12 images in a series with at least one published image
  • Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year: You may enter 6-10 images representing a body of work with at least one published image

Nikon prizes

Update from Nikon Australia on photography prizes
Nikon Australia have revised the photography prizes for the 2021 competition. The 2021 Nikon Photography Prizes are:

Photo of the Year: Recognises an outstanding “hero” image worthy of individual celebration and recognition. Judges will select a single image that defines the year from photographs submitted across all categories in the awards.

Portrait Prize: Recognising excellence in portraiture, photographers can enter a single image.

The Community/Regional Prize and Contemporary Australian Daily Life Prize will no longer be offered. Regional and community photojournalists can still enter the Walkley Award category for News Photography, and other categories based on the genre or nature of their entry. Photojournalism depicting Australian daily life is eligible for the Walkley Award category for Feature/Photographic Essay. Nikon Australia remain committed to encouraging excellence in photojournalism in partnership with the Walkley Foundation and through the Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Exhibition

Entry process and requirements for photographers

Photographers entering the Awards must enter through the online form.

Upload your images and give a brief description of each photo, publication and dates as well as an overall supporting statement of up to 400 words for each category.

Material specifications for photographers

  • Images must be uploaded in .jpg/.jpeg format
  • Images should be at least 3000 pixels in length
  • Each image should be saved in the .jpg/.jpeg format with a medium to high quality
  • An embedded ICC profile is required. Adobe RGB or sRGB is recommended for colour images, Gamma 2.2 for black and white. No CMYK.
  • All required image information, such as the creation date, place and country as well as the caption/description, must be provided. It can be included in the metadata of the image files or entered on the entry website after uploading the images.
  • The content of an image MUST NOT be altered. Only retouching that conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed. No cloning, montaging or digital manipulation other than cropping, ‘digital spotting’, burning and dodging is permitted. The jury is the ultimate arbiter of these standards.
  • Entrants must not intentionally contribute to, or alter, the scene they picture by re-enacting or staging events.
  • Entrants must ensure captions are accurate and provide a supporting statement that is open and transparent about the entire process through which their pictures were taken and published.
  • Participants who are long-listed by the first round judges may be contacted and required to provide file/s as recorded by the camera for all images in order to proceed to the final stages of the contest. These file/s will be requested and examined confidentially during the judging period. A failure to provide these files, will lead to the elimination of the entry that will not proceed into the final rounds and will not become eligible for a Walkley Award.
  • Entrants may not enter the same photograph in more than one photographic category except the Portrait category which is a Nikon Prize. Entrants in this category are eligible to submit their entry again in another appropriate Photography category.
  • In the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year Award, where the body of the year’s work may include shots included in other entries.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Walkley Awards, please contact awards manager Lauren Dixon / 0413 212 890 or Barbara Blackman / 02 9158 3821.

To find out when we announce finalists and winners, sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism Winners