Rules

LEVELS OF EXPERTISE

Who is considered a professional photographer?

A professional photographer is an individual who uses photography to earn a majority of their income from, sell or publish their photography regularly or belong to professional photography organizations.

Who is considered an amateur photographer?

Photographers can submit as an amateur if you do not fall under any of the above (Professional) categories. If you have earned some or all of your living as a photographer, had photographic work published, or are a member of a professional photographic organization, then you must submit as a professional.

Who is considered a student photographer?

Photographers can submit as a student if you are currently a full-time or part-time student. It is not necessary to be studying photography. A student of any subject can qualify.

ENTRY SUBMISSION, ELIGIBILITIES AND CATEGORIES

How to submit entries?

Entry is simple. Submission is online and is completed in 4 simple steps:

  1. Register - or login if you are already a registrant.
  2. Fill in the simple online submission form -- remember you can select multiple categories for each entry.
  3. Upload JPEG or JPG files, as needed
  4. Add to Cart. Then, add more entries or checkout and pay.

Entries may be submitted in more than one category at an additional cost. No additional materials are needed for the same entry.

Submissions

  • Entries must be produced within the last FIVE (5) calendar years up through the final deadline.
  • All entries must be submitted for judging exactly as published or implemented, and may not be modified for the competition. The MUSE Photography Awards may request proof of initial production and/or publication date.
  • The Award reserves the right to re-categorize incorrectly classified entries.
  • Judges reserve the right to withhold an award in a category if submissions do not meet their expectations.

Who is eligible? (Professional, Amateur, Students and Award Agents)

The MUSE Photography Awards is open to:
  • Professional Photographers
  • Amateur Photographers
  • Student Photographers
  • Agencies
  • Designers
  • In-House Marketing
  • Business Owners
  • Anyone aged 18 and above residing anywhere in the world


How long should my entry brief be?

We recommend each synopsis to be kept at approximately 350 words. Do utilize this section to elaborate on the piece as well as providing the jury with a better understanding of your subject. A written translation or adaptation must accompany non-English entries.

Image File

The submissions should be saved in a flattened JPEG or JPG format. (keep them under 4MB, 1,200px wide is preferable, 300dpi, RGB).

What if I have trouble uploading my images?

Firstly, check if the image does not exceed the maximum size (4MB) or width (1,200 px), and the file name only contains letters or numbers. Once checked, try to upload your images again. If you’re still having trouble after this, contact our team at enter@musephotographyawards.com.

Is there a limit to the number of entries I can submit?

There are no limits on the amount of entries you can submit.

How many photographs can I enter into the same series?

A series consists of at least two and no more than eight photographs, sharing a common theme or concept and a single title. Please ensure that your images work together as a whole, as they will not be judged individually when entered as a series. The first image should be the best/strongest in the series.

Mobile Photography Category

All photos must be taken with a mobile phone or tablet. The photos are not to be altered in Photoshop or any other desktop image processing programs.
Add-on lenses can be used. However, we may ask for the original images for verification purposes. Any images that cannot be verified will be disqualified.

Can I enter one photograph into multiple categories?

Yes, entries may be submitted in more than one category as you see fit at an additional cost. No additional materials are needed for the same entry.

Can I submit a photograph that has won an award or has been entered in a previous MUSE Photography Awards competition, or in another competition?

Yes, you may submit work that has been previously submitted or has won an award. However, in an effort to promote the creation of new work and maintain a fresh flow of ideas, we encourage you to submit new work.

Can I send my photograph(s) to the competition? If so, will it be returned to me and do I need to send a return-handling fee?

It is not required for you to send actual photograph(s) to the competition. Images and a description are sufficient enough.

How will I know if my submission is complete, and what do I do if it’s not?

If a submission is incomplete at the closing of the competition (e.g. the submission has not been paid, or incorrectly uploaded images), it will not be eligible. Although we make every effort to ensure the completion of submissions, we are not responsible for incomplete entries, thus being unable to offer a refund should an entry be incomplete at the time of the closing of the competition.

Can I make changes to my entry after I have paid?

Yes, you may edit your entry until before the judging period start.

ENTRY FEE AND PAYMENT

Entry Fees

The Early Bird Entry start from $25 for the first entry of work. An additional entry fee is required if a work is submitted in more than one category.
Entry fees will not be refundable once submitted. Withdrawn entries (whether withdrawn by entrant or by the Awards for the entrant’s failure to comply with entry rules) will NOT be refunded as well. Please click here to see entry fees.

How can I pay for the photographs that I submit?

Online. You may pay for your entry after the submission of your photographs through Credit Card (VISA / MasterCard) or PayPal (AMEX / PayPal).

Are all the fees on your website in USD?

Yes, we only accept USD at this moment.

JUDGING

The juries

The prestige of the MUSE Photography competition relies in large part on the high caliber of the juries that convene each year to review submissions. MUSE Photography Awards has made a special effort to find a suitable panel of judges whose works exemplify the qualities of a Muse. The jury panel comprised of experienced professionals in their field and industry, including creative and art directors from international agencies, established photographers, photo editors, art collectors, educators or business owners. All judges are selected based on experience, availability and credibility to their respective industry.

Judging criteria

Judges score on a scale of 1-100, based on the below criteria:

  • Originality (Uniqueness of Concept / Expression of Theme)
  • Creativity / Story / Mood
  • Technical Execution (Composition, Color, Lighting, Exposure and Focus)
  • Marketability / Newsworthiness / Current / Potential Social Impact
  • Overall Impression / Wow! Factor / Memorable

Entries receiving an average score under 50 do not receive an award.

The MUSE Photography Awards and International Awards Associate’s decision are final in its sole discretion and binding in relation to all matters relating to Competitions and may not be subject to any discussions or correspondence.

Judging process

Judging is blind. All entrant information is removed from entries to prevent bias/conflict of interest.

MUSE Photography awards judging process is designed to be impartial and free from outside influences by withholding both the names of the judges on its panel as well as the contestant's names throughout the entire evaluation process. Both judge and contestant names are withheld until after award winning entries are selected. This anonymity shelters all involved from any vested interest which may attempt to influence the judges' opinions or the judging process.

WINNERS

How we choose MUSE Photography Awards winners?

Entries are judged at random without comparison to other entries in a category. Work is evaluated on criteria determined by the job's requirements (see Judging Criteria). Amateur/student photographers are not compared to Professional Photographers in the same category.

To ensure high standards of high quality, a category may have multiple winners or no winners. Work is critiqued rated by consensus, with the panel of judges determining a rating on a scale of 100 points. Winners with a score between 85 and 100 points are Platinum Winners. Entries with a score between 70 and 84 points are Gold Winners. Entries with a score between 50 and 69 points are Silver Winners.

Levels of winning and number of winning entries

There are FIVE (5) levels of achievement in the competition:

  • MUSE Photographer of the Year
  • MUSE Category Winners of the Year (10 Categories)
  • Platinum MUSE (85-100 points)
  • Gold MUSE (70-84 points)
  • Silver MUSE (50-69 points)

The number of awards presented by MUSE Photography Awards is determined by the number of submissions in a given category, the scoring range and the number of tie scores.

How do I know if I’ve won an award?

All winners will be announced on October 8, 2021 via MUSE Photography Awards official page. All registered participants can then login to see the winning works.

We will duly notify all award winners by email. Do ensure that your email address is correct, as our notifications may get caught in spam filters or receive a non-deliverable return. You may change your email address by logging into your account and updating your information.

What do the winners receive?

Each year, the MUSE Photography Awards honor the best in creativity from around the globe, while you give us a glimpse into the future of the profession.

  • MUSE Photographer of the Year (Professional Category) will receive $3,000 in cash prize and 2021 MUSE Statuette.
  • MUSE Photographer of the Year (Amateur Category) will receive $2,000 in cash prize and 2021 MUSE Statuette.
  • 10 Category Winners of the Year (Professional and Amateur Categories) will receive $100 in cash prize each.
  • All Photographer of the Year, Category Winners of the Year, Platinum, Gold & Silver winners will receive a MUSE e-certificate.
  • Top tier (Platinum, Gold, and Silver) winners will be featured on MUSE Photography Awards site's Gallery, where professionals can view your work.
  • Professionally designed logos for use on websites, in email signatures, etc.
  • In addition to the e-certificate, Platinum, Gold, and Silver winners may purchase beautiful MUSE Awards statuettes.
  • The winning entries from the MUSE Photographer of the Year, Platinum, Gold & Silver winners will be publicized on the MUSE online gallery and any published MUSE Awards materials.

Please click here to view all benefits.

Why must winners’ trophies be purchased?

The MUSE Photography Awards maintains affordable entry fees to allow start-ups, one-person firms and young people the opportunity to enter, as well as photographers from countries where the exchange rate or the economic conditions would otherwise make entering impossible.

If an entrant is recognized as a winner, there is no additional fee. Many other awards programs charge an acceptance fee. With MUSE, once you've won, you've won; there is no additional fee.

If a winner decides they want a statuette, the MUSE Photography Awards makes them available for purchase and orders them from its manufacturer. This offering process allows the Awards to maintain low entry fees and prevent non-winners’ subsidy of winners.

Some winners choose not to receive a physical memento. Their priority is the prestige of recognition and the exposure the comes with it. Others choose to order statuettes for individuals on their creative team as well as their client. It's all up to the winners!

Statuette shipping time

Winner awards are custom-made. Statuettes will ship directly from the manufacturer. Please allow 6-12 weeks for the statuettes. Shipping time may be longer during off-season. Statuettes may be ordered from our online store once winners are announced.

Entrants are liable to pay any inbound duties and taxes, should local customs authority deem appropriate.

USE OF IMAGES

Do I own still the right to my images?

Yes. Copyright and all other rights remain that of the photographer. Any photograph used by MUSE Awards shall carry the photographer’s credit line. All entrants understand and agree that any image submitted to the competition may be used by the MUSE Photography Awards and its media partners for marketing and promotional purposes of the competition only, including in any media such as exhibitions, print and digital media directly related to the MUSE Awards competition.

Winner’s Exhibition

Annually, 25 to 30 winning photographs will be chosen from both professional and amateur/student categories to be shown in a worldwide traveling exhibition. Works of the MUSE Photographer of the Year, Category Winners of the Year, Platinum MUSE and Gold MUSE will be displayed. By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to having your photographs shown in this exclusive traveling exhibition, and will not be receiving pecuniary compensation.

GENERAL

The MUSE Photography Awards sponsors?

The MUSE Photography Awards is conducted by International Awards Associate Inc (IAA). The IAA is not tied to any advertiser, magazine, trade association, ad club or other outside influence.

IAA’s goal is to provide affordable, independent competitions on an international stage that are respected as fair and open to all, regardless of company size or bottom line.

The IAA is an independent, international organization focused on creating a community of marketing creativity, effectiveness and excellence. It conducts impartial, 'blind' judged competitions and, once completed, it recognizes, celebrates and promotes creative, effective and marketing excellence in those winning companies and individuals.

We Have No Obligation to Adjudicate IP Claims

Claimants and users must understand that we are not an intellectual property tribunal. While we and our Designated Copyright Agent may in our discretion use the information provided in order to decide how to respond to infringement claims, we are not responsible for determining the merits of such claims. If a user responds to a claim of infringement by providing assurances that its content is not infringing, the user agrees that if we thereafter restore or maintain the content, the user will defend and hold us harmless from any resulting claims of infringement brought against us and our Designated Copyright Agent.

Acceptance of the Contest Rules

Participation in this competition implies acceptance of each and every one of these rules and the final decision of the jury. The Organization may resolve any case not provided therein.

Scam warning: Important information

There are many people and groups that attempt to obtain your money or personal information inappropriately through fraudulent means. Often, these people and groups misrepresent who they are in an effort to deceive you about the legitimacy of what they are claiming. Sometimes, although not always, they will claim that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes and ask that you send them money so that they can release your supposed winnings to you. In such a situation, you should be very careful and fully investigate any and all claims before you send any money. Please be aware that there are many scams that use SMS/e-mail in an attempt to defraud people using methods similar to these, and we warn strongly against your responding to this type of SMS/e-mail without rigorous investigation to establish whether it is of a genuine nature. Generally, you should treat unsolicited communication (e-mail, phone and letters) that offer financial gain with extreme suspicion; be aware that legitimate lotteries rarely, if ever, ask for a fee to release your winnings; you should not pay any requested fee in advance without fully investigating the matter; and you should not provide banking details or other sensitive financial information in response to emails, phone inquiries and letters without a thorough investigation. In recent years we have been aware of instances of individuals and fraudulent organizations that have been sending notices to people falsely claiming that the recipients have won a lottery. These notices falsely claim to be from IAA (MUSE CREATIVE AWARDS, MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, NYX AWARDS, VEGA DIGITAL AWARDS) and even have the name and contact information of IAA (MUSE CREATIVE AWARDS, MUSE DESIGN AWARDS, MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, NYX AWARDS, VEGA DIGITAL AWARDS) employees along with IAA (MUSE CREATIVE AWARDS, MUSE DESIGN AWARDS, MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, NYX AWARDS, VEGA DIGITAL AWARDS) branding. These notices are completely fraudulent, cleverly designed to trick people into sending money for prizes they will never receive. IAA (MUSE CREATIVE AWARDS, MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, NYX AWARDS, VEGA DIGITAL AWARDS) is NOT AND HAS NEVER RUN a sweepstake, a lottery OR ANY FORM OF CONTEST OF THESE KINDS and has never asked anyone to wire money to redeem a prize. Please do not respond to any SMS, email, or any other means of communication claiming that you have won a prize. If you have any question as to the validity of an offer, please contact us at info@musephotographyawards.com / iaa@iaaawards.org / info@musecreativeawards.com / info@museaward.com / info@nyxawards.com / info@vegaawards.com.