The competition is now closed. The next competition will be announced on this website.
This page gives information you should read and understand if you are thinking of entering. For more detailed information see also our pages on:
When will I know if I have been successful?
The judging process will begin soon after the closing date. If you have not heard from us by the end of November you have not been short-listed this time.
Who can enter?
The competition is open to anyone except those directly involved in the organisation and judging. Amateur and professional photographers of any nationality are eligible.
Can I send in mobile phone images?
Yes, you can enter images from any digital device: camera, phone or other. Remember to capture the biggest files possible at the photography stage, to ensure the highest and best quality. If you are shortlisted or a finalist we will need you to send the biggest file at a later date.
Can I send in black and white images?
Yes, you can, and in all categories.
Does it matter when a photograph was taken?
No. We also have a special Historic category for images which pre-date 1990
Do I need permission to photograph someone in public?
No. If you are both in a public space, you do not need permission to take their photograph. But if you are on private property eg: their home, work place or private property, it is recommended you get their permission.
Do I need a model release for people or images of private property?
You need some sort of agreement with the person in the image. It is your responsibility to obtain the correct permissions whether verbal or in writing. It is important to decide what is applicable for you. The images will be used on websites, in an exhibition and book. A written agreement or model release covering this usage is recommended. BLPA accepts no responsibility for misuse or any liability from third parties. See more information in our submission guidelines and how to enter.
Don't people have a right to privacy?
In UK law there is no specific right to privacy in public places. People do not normally have a right to privacy in a public place. See more information in our submission guidelines and how to enter.
Can I be prosecuted for harassment if I take pictures without permission?
Very unlikely. In UK law harassment is defined as a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another which the defendant knows, or ought to know amounts to harassment of another. Taking a single picture or even several pictures is unlikely to be considered a course of conduct.
Can I take pictures of children in the park?
Yes, and provided the park is considered a public place, you do not require the permission of the parents. Whether this is wise or not is for you to decide. We do not advise taking photos if the child or the parents wish otherwise. Be respectful and use common sense.
Do I need permission to photograph property?
No. If the property can be photographed from a public place you do not need permission.
What about if I am on private property?
You need permission to enter private property and the owner of the property can impose any conditions they wish on your entry. This could include a ban on photography or a fee for taking pictures.
Do I have to be British to enter?
Photographers from any country are welcome to enter but photographs must have been taken in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
What age do I need to be to enter the Young British Life Photographer category?
Those under 19 years old on December 9th 2016 are eligible to enter the Young British Life Photographer category.
Can young photographers enter the adult competition?
No. If you're eligible for the Young British Life Photographer category, you are not eligible for the adult categories. Anyone aged under 19 can enter the Young British Life Photographer category and can submit images. You can make an account for your child and enter on their behalf, just make sure you say in the caption that they are the photographer, and give their age. Note that to make any new account you must use an email address that has not already been registered.
How many images can I enter?
Can I enter the same photograph in more than one category?
No. Images can be entered into one category only.
Will you move images placed into incorrect categories?
No, it is up to you to enter them into the right category. But competitors will get a chance to review their uploaded images before they finally enter them. Once the entry is submitted the category cannot be changed.
Can I enter an image that has been entered into another competition?
Yes you can, so long as it did not win a prize and that competition is over. Specifically, a picture that has already won a prize (winner, runner-up, or commended) in a major competition - which we define as one receiving more than 500 images and includes previous BLPA competitions - cannot be entered in BLPA. Images that have been entered into a major competition where the results are still pending are not eligible for entry.
Why do you charge a fee to enter?
The cost of running a competition is high. The prizes, the website, the cost of advertising, promotion and publicity and the cost of putting on an exhibition, including mounting and framing images are all examples of costs to the competition. The competition fees help to cover these costs.
Can I enter an image that has been published in a magazine or other media?
Yes. However, the judging criteria include originality and a widely published image may have a reduced chance of winning on these grounds.
What forms of digital processing are acceptable?
See information in our submission guidelines and how to enter.
My picture does not look right once it has been uploaded. Is this a problem?
Although the website shows a smaller version of your file on the screen, the judges can access higher resolution versions of your images just as you have sent them. The website makes a smaller copy of your file to display. This means that if your picture does not look exactly as you sent it on screen this is not usually a problem. The judges will be able to see the exact file you uploaded, at full size, and will not have to rely solely on the display version.