You’ve heard about Nikon Photo Contest but you aren’t sure your photographs will get the attention they deserve. Or maybe you don’t know whether they are a good fit for this particular competition and are looking for a better alternative. Regardless of your reasons, if you are interested in Nikon Photo Contest or other similar competitions, you are in the right place. Continue reading to find out everything there is to know about Nikon’s famous photo competition and its best alternative.

Everything about Nikon Photo Contest

Nikon Photo Contest has been around since 1969, inviting professional and amateur photographers to enroll their best photographs. The competition aims to build a strong community, create connections, and share your photographs with the world. Continuously adapting to change, Nikon Photo Contest has embraced digital photography, storytelling, and, lately, filmmaking.

Each year, Nikon proposes one theme for the photo competition and one for the short film competition. The themes are conceptual and allow a broad area of representation. Nikon doesn’t tell you what aesthetic to use or what subject matter to photograph. You have all the artistic freedom you need as long as you address the theme they propose.

As a photographer, you can enroll in the single photo category or the photo story category. It’s up to you what gear you use to create your submission. The contest isn’t restricted to Nikon camera users.

Nikon Photo Contest rewards its winners with prizes in money and objects (Nikon products, of course). In addition, winning photographs are exhibited in the Nikon Photo Contest Web Gallery, social media channels and marketing campaigns, and exhibition venues managed by Nikon. Prizes are the Grand Prize (one per competition), Excellence Award (two per category), Special Encouragement Award (four per category), and General Public Award (one per competition). The General Public Award is selected via public vote, but the public can only vote for images that pass the second round of judging.

How to Enter Nikon Photo Contest

In order to enter Nikon Photo Contest, one needs to submit their work within the entry period, which is usually about four months. You need to fill out an online form and upload your images in the required format (JPEG file under 20MB, 150 dpi or more, and sRGB color space). Submissions undergo a first round of judging and successful ones are published online. Then, the public vote and the final round of judging can commence.

Nikon Photo Contest is open worldwide to photographers of any age. However, if you are under 18 years old, you need your parents’ approval.

So, Does Nikon Photo Contest Have an Alternative?

If you don’t want to wait until Nikon Photo Contest is open or don’t find it suitable for your photographs, you have an alternative. Viewbug offers photo competitions regularly, not only once a year. Furthermore, you can choose between multiple contests and find the one that is most relevant to your work. Viewbug photo contests have themes such as nature (mountains, the sky, etc.), fashion, night photography, home décor, portraits, and more, and they change every couple of months. You don’t have to hope that your landscape photos, for example, will match a large category theme but submit them to a contest with a very precise subject matter.

Most Viewbug photo contests are free for the members of the Viewbug community. All you have to do to apply is to upload your best shot. Besides, once you enter the Viewbug community, you start to receive feedback from its members and, in time, improve your photography. Enrolling in competition frequently allows you to evaluate your work, compare it with similar photographs, and learn to become a better photographer.


Each Viewbug photo contest has a Grand Jury winner and a People’s Choice winner. The prizes consist of photography gear (e.g., the Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 lens for the Everyday Magic Photo Contest, professional photo filters for the Mountain Addiction Photo Contest, etc.), photography-related items (e.g., Lightroom preset packs), and Viewbug coins, which you can spend buying nice and useful items from the website.

In addition, winners are mentioned in social media posts and featured in blogs.

Previous Winners

Winners of previous editions appear on Viewbug’s wall of fame. On the Winners page, anyone can see them enjoying their prizes and read their thoughts on the Viewbug photo contests. It’s a way of building connections and encouraging the community to engage in dialog and exploit their shared passion.

Popular Submissions

But not only have the winners had something to gain from submitting to Viewbug photo contests. The best photographs are carefully curated by the editors and exhibited on the Curated Photography page, where they can receive feedback from the community.

Well-organized in meaningful categories, the page is a source of inspiration for aspiring photographers and pride for those featured. You can share your work on your social media channels and show the world how appreciated your photos are.

Photo Competitions and More by Nikon

Nikon Photo Contest is just one of the amazing products offered by Nikon. The company also organizes a competition for photomicrography, Nikon Small World Competition. And, according to the Viewbug community, Nikon offers the best cameras for wildlife photography, landscape photography, and product photography. Their range of lenses and photo accessories brings any photographer one step closer to professional photography and international recognition. 

However, learning photography doesn’t require professional gear. You can start with simple gear such as a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. You can also submit your photographs to Viewbug competitions and see how good they are compared with your peers. Once you’ve mastered the basics of photography technique and composition, you’ll not only need professional gear but also know exactly what you need (e.g., professional filters, a lens with a different focal length, an external flash unit, etc.). So use Nikon professional gear where it makes a difference and aim to be a sustainable photographer. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with the Viewbug community.


Prestigious photo competitions such as Nikon Photo Contest are a challenge anyone should take at some point. However, they have amazing alternatives that offer a continuous evaluation and opportunities for growth. Viewbug photo contests may be more suitable for your photography style and workflow. They may motivate you better and inspire you to fulfill your passion for photography.


How do I enter Viewbug's Photo Contests (the alternative to Nikon Photo Contest)?

To enter Viewbug’s photo contests create a free Viewbug account. Then, go to the photo contests page and select the contest that fits your photographs. They frequently change, so make sure you submit before the deadline. Nevertheless, you can submit the same photograph to multiple contests if it fits the theme. Once you’ve found the best contest, press Submit Photos and drag your photos into the upload box (or select them from your computer). Add a title and a short description, and you’re done! Your photo will appear in the contest’s gallery.