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Thinking of entering the IGPOTY competition this year?

Here are some tips that may help you net the big prize

International Garden Photographer of the Year is the world’s premier photography competition focussing on plants and gardens.

What does it mean to win?

Whoever wins International Garden Photographer of the Year 2015 will be £5000 better off – often with a ‘stake’ of just £10! For professional photographers, the exposure gained from any of the IGPOTY awards represents a giant boost for their careers.

Abstract Impressions of a Secret Garden

"When I entered for the first time, I didn’t expect anything. Even though I am quite well known in
my field, winning has given me international exposure"
. Marianne Majerus

For amateur photographers, it can be the starting point for a new career.

If you win a category, if you are a finalist, highly commended or commended, you will play a major part in the project for the remaining year. In 2015, you will participate in an exhibition which will be launched at the Royal Botanic Gaardens, Kew, London, then tour to venues around the UK and overseas. Other venues will be added as the year progresses. Many thousands of people will see your photographic skill alongside the best in the world.

Your photographs can be included in the many magazine and other articles that are written about IGPOTY around the world. They will be included in a high quality book which you will receive as part of your prize. You may choose to participate in our print sales programme, where you will receive ongoing revenue from the project.

If you win the Portfolio award you get not only a big £2000 cash prize but the ultimate accolade of a Royal Photographic Society gold medal.

Above all, taking part in IGPOTY gives you the opportunity, along with us and RBG Kew, to celebrate our green planet, and the essential part that plants play in all our lives.

What do the judges look for?

The judges look for an individual and fresh approach to the subject. This could be a new way of looking at a flower, or a view of a stunning garden or a portrait of a gardener. This year there is more scope than ever to expand your photographic horizons – ‘Greening the City’ celebrates plants in an urban environment – ‘Breathing Spaces’ is all about people enjoying green places, in association with the National Trust. Yes, technical quality is very important – but there is always room for the ‘amateur maverick’ to win through to the final!

Fireflies by Radim Schreiber

How do I give myself the best chance of winning?

1) Be careful how you select your entries. Make sure that the image you upload is as good as it can be; is it the best shot of the sequence you photographed? Caption it well; don’t write an essay on the image – but give succinct information that may give the judges insight into why you photographed this subject – and may make your shot stand out from the crowd.

2) Make sure you enter the right category. If you have a shot of a tree, enter it into ‘Trees Woods and Forests’ – rather than ‘Beauty of Plants’. If in doubt you can enter the same shot into two or more categories – they will be viewed by different judging panels.

3) The more photographs you enter, the better chance you have of winning – but the number of entries does not affect the judges’ views – each photograph is judged on its own merits.

4) Try not to leave it to the last minute to select your entries; uploading in advance of the deadline gives the option of changing your mind and time to reflect on your final choices.

5) Don’t be worried about the entry process if you are not confident with computers. It is very simple and many thousands of people use the system – but if you have worries you can always contact us to either sort the problem out or find another way to enter the competition.

Entering IGPOTY can be a gateway to a new career, a new revenue source, and a new dimension to the photography that you love. Whether you win or lose, you will have contributed to the project’s present and future aims of celebrating our Green Planet.

Marianne Majerus speaks to Miranda Gavin of f2 magazine about her
experience of IGPOTY


2010 International Garden Photographer of the Year winner was specialist garden photographer Marianne Majerus (, who has illustrated over 50 books, and is a regular
contributor to national and international publications. In addition to the title, Majerus
won a cash prize of £5000.

“In my estimation, this is the most important competition in the specialist area of
plant and garden photography”, says Majerus. “It evolved from a small scale annual competition and exhibition among members of our professional association within the Garden Media Guild and the
Professional Garden Photographers. I don’t enter a lot of competitions, but this is recognised, and the submission procedure is quick and easy.

“As a freelance photographer, you don’t have much time to enter competitions; you have to fit it around other work. When I entered for the first time, I didn’t expect anything. Even though I am quite well known in
my field, winning the overall title has given me international exposure.”

“I would advise anyone entering photography competitions to read the terms and conditions carefully”, says Majerus, “as some demand far-reaching rights over the submitted images. One of the reasons that I enter
the International Garden Photographer of the Year is its fairness in this respect. On its website, it draws attention to the fact that it is not a rights-grabbing competition. By entering, you do give permission for your
work to be used widely to publicise it, but not the rights to use it in any other way without payment.”

The International Garden Photographer of the Year supports the Photographers' Bill of Rights, and is recommended by Pro-Imaging.

Read the full article

'Better Plant and Garden Photography'

- only available through

This book is aimed at keen photographers of any age or experience, who want to take their photography to the next level.

Drawing on contributions from some of the world’s top professional garden photographers, the book provides comprehensive guidance on how to develop your own photographic art and style. You will learn how to turn your interest in plants and gardens into inspirational and successful images.

Find out more

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