Anna and Helen © R J Kern (USA), Silver 2017

Since 1854, the International Photography Exhibition by the Royal Photographic Society has helped shape our understanding of images and culture. In its early years, IPE (then called the International Print Exhibition) hosted work from the likes of Edward Steichen, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Roger Fenton. In its most recent years, the RPS has honored photographers like Margaret Mitchell, Carolyn Mendelsohn, Jan Klos, Jacqueline Roberts, and many more. Now in its 161st year, the IPE stands its ground as the longest-running photography exhibition in the history of the medium.

IPE is also one of the most diverse competitions of its kind, inviting photographers from all backgrounds to apply. Last year, the esteemed panel of selectors reviewed a whopping 5,000 submissions from photographers working in fifty-six countries. “The exhibition was widely acclaimed as one of the best of its kind,” Michael Pritchard, the Chief Executive of RPS, says, “and we would expect IPE 161 to be equally strong.”

All genres are welcome. IPE spans areas ranging from documentary, street, and wildlife to fine art, portrait, landscape, travel, and fashion (and everything in between). This year, the panel includes the photographer and educator Karen Knorr, the photographers Jack Latham and Jon Tonks, the artist, editor, and writer Aaron Schuman, and the curator Christiane Monarchi, who is also the founding Editor of Photomonitor. They will be looking for inspiring work made with a variety of approaches, from traditional or alternative processes to contemporary, cutting-edge methods. In their words, everything from “pinhole to Instagram.” Professional and non-professional photographers will be considered.

The RPS is offering £4,250 total in cash prizes for innovative, surprising, and visually striking work. The Gold Award winner will receive £1,500, and the Silver and Bronze winners will receive £750 and £500, respectively. There is an additional £1,500 award for a photographer who is under thirty years old. The exhibition will tour the country, starting at the RPS Gallery at HQ Bristol in the fall and moving to PHOTOBLOCK, an annual weeklong event at Old Truman Brewery in London. From there, it will visit galleries and educational institutions throughout the UK. As always, exhibiting photographers will also have their work published in the RPS Journal and exhibition catalog, joining the ranks of hundreds of award-winning artist through several generations.

Submit your work by April 4th, 2018 to be considered for IPE 161. Applicants may send up to six images. Learn all the details here.

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