Theatre Photograph of the Year
A new national competition with an exhibition at the National Theatre, looking to find images that reflect everything we love about theatre buildings in the UK.
The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers alike and there is a category specifically for younger budding photographers. It is sponsored by Aecom with prizes provided by Theatre Tokens.
There will be an exhibition at the National Theatre of shortlisted entries. Print for the exhibition is sponsored by FujiFilm UK.
Look out for further announcements, relating to the competition, including exclusive tours where you can take photos, on social media by following #theatrephoto2020
There are three categories – you can enter one photo in each:
- Beautiful buildings – photographs highlighting the wonderful architecture of theatre buildings, old or modern, small or grand. This could be the exterior of a building, an inside space or a particular design detail.
- Connecting communities – photographs celebrating how theatres are central to their communities. This could be a theatre shown as part of its local area or how the theatre brings people together.
- Entertaining evenings – photographs capturing the joy of going to the theatre. This could be the excitement of a performance or a lively bar / café before a show. Matinee photos are welcome too!
From the category winners, one image will be chosen as the overall Theatre Photograph of the Year.
Young Theatre Photographer of the Year
There is also a special category for younger budding photographers – the Young Theatre Photographer of the Year prize is open to anyone aged 16 or under on the closing date (30 March 2020).
Young photographers must select one photograph to enter and it can reflect any of the main competition themes. Entrants aged under 16 must have parental consent to enter.
The story behind the photo
We want to know the story behind each photograph you submit. This could be your connection with the theatre, why it matters to you or what the scene pictured says to you.
Photographs must be of a UK theatre and must have been taken within the 12 months prior to the competition closing date.
Alongside the photos, all entrants must provide a short description of their photograph (no more than 250 words), telling its story / what the theatre means to them. This will also be considered as part of the judging process.
Photographs must fulfil the category brief, be of suitable high quality (see the Terms and Conditions) and have the necessary permission from the theatre and any identifiable people pictured (please use this signed consent form if needed).
It is usually fine to take photos of theatre exteriors, foyers and bars, but entrants should check the theatre’s policy about photography in the auditorium and during performances. Entrants must also must have the consent of any identifiable people in your photos and include a signed consent form with it.
For the main competition, photographers can enter a maximum of three photographs – one per category. For the Young Photographer of the Year competition, entrants should submit one photograph, which can be under any of the categories.
As well as the glory and national recognition of winning the competition, there are also prizes, thanks to the generosity of Theatre Tokens. Each category winner and the Young Theatre Photographer of the Year will win £250 worth of Theatre Tokens, which can be spent in more than 250 theatres across the country.
The overall winner will win an additional £250 of Theatre Tokens.
Shortlisted entries will also have their image on display at an exhibition at the National Theatre from 20 May.
How to enter
Entrants should submit a high resolution photograph, along with a short description of the image, explaining the story behind it or what that theatre means to them, using the online entry form.
The deadline for entries is 23:59 on 30 March 2020.
Please read the full Terms and Conditions before entering.
Judging the competition
The judging panel includes four of the Theatres Trust's Ambassadors, Samira Ahmed, Matthew Bourne, Miranda Hart and Jude Law, alongside Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan and long-term volunteer photographer Ian Grundy. National Theatre Director Rufus Norris will also be on the judging panel.
Entries will be judged on:
- How well the photograph reflects the theme
- The artistic quality / visual impact of the photo
- The story behind the image
Judging will take place in April with the shortlist and winners announced in spring 2020.
Exhibition at National Theatre
Shortlisted entries will be on display at a free exhibition in the Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre from 20 May until September. So this is an excellent opportunity for your photographs to be seen by thousands of people.
We are grateful to our sponsors Aecom, FujiFilm and Theatres Tokens, exhibition partner National Theatre, and Ambassador judges Samira Ahmed, Matthew Bourne, Miranda Hart and Jude Law for their support.