For the fifty-seventh year, the Natural History Museum’s acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has opened for entries from photographers of all ages and abilities. Spanning all corners of our jaw-dropping natural world, the global competition is a celebration of the rich diversity of life on our planet.
• The world’s oldest and most prestigious wildlife photography competition
• A global showcase for nature photography and photojournalism
• The 2020 competition marks its fifty-seventh year
• Open to photographers of all ages, nationalities and abilities
• Opened for entries on Monday 19 October 2020
• Closing on Thursday 10 December at 11.30am GMT
The results of the fifty-sixth competition were just revealed during an online awards ceremony broadcast live from the Museum to viewers around the world.
In this year’s Grand Title winner The embrace by Russian Sergey Gorshkov, the environmental and human threats posed to the rare Amur tiger are highlighted in a majestic scene. Lina Heikinnen from Finland was awarded the Young Grand Title prize for The fox that got the goose. Liina is the youngest of a family of wildlife photographers and has entered the prestigious competition for years with her parents and brothers.
With 16 categories that appeal to a wide range of interests and approaches, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has added new categories ‘Wetlands’, ‘Oceans’ and ‘Natural Artistry’ to this year’s adult competition. It is hoped that these changes will further inspire entries with a strong environmental message as their focus. Tied to the Natural History Museum’s mission, the annual competition proves an important platform to raise awareness for the issues that face our natural world as well as the stories and species close to photographers’ hearts.
New to this year’s judging panel, Dr Natalie Cooper, an evolutionary biologist and researcher at the Natural History Museum, says ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the diversity of species on our planet, and the images never fail to amaze. The categories cover such a wide range of topics, from animal behaviours to photojournalism, there’s always something new to be seen and learned from them. I’m particularly glad to see the new categories which will hopefully highlight how fragile our ecosystems are and encourage more people to engage with conservation initiatives.’
This year’s esteemed judging panel comprises of acclaimed photographers, researchers, scientists, journalists and editors. Chaired by renowned writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox, the seven experts in their respective fields will collaborate to select 100 of the most stirring nature and wildlife images. To win, professional and amateur photographers must impress the judges with their originality, narrative and ethical practice.
David Lindo, naturalist, broadcaster, writer and ‘Urban Birder’ says ‘It doesn't matter where the picture was sited, whether it was taken in the middle of ‘nowhere’ or in the centre of ‘somewhere’. I just want to be stopped in my tracks and to have an emotion, of any sort, pour from my heart.’
More than ever, the judges are eager to encourage more submissions from nationalities currently underrepresented in the competition, and female photographers. As Wildlife Photographer of the Year Programme Manager Soraia Salvador stated, ‘We want to amplify the important work of photographers from around the world and showcase varying perspectives and approaches to nature and wildlife photography.’
The Natural History Museum’s annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition showcases the captivating work of the competition winners before touring internationally to bring the beauty of nature to as wide an audience as possible. Along with a substantial cash prize for the Grand Title award winner, the 100 selected photographs will also feature in a limited-edition hardcover book, on digital platforms and across global media.
To enter, and for full details on competition rules and prizes visit
Main image - Mama’s back by Ashleigh Scully (USA), Wildlife Photographer of the Year