Photo by the 2017 winner, Kevin Faingnaert

German optics manufacturer Zeiss has opened its annual photography competition for entries, and this year it will be offering lenses to the value of €12,000 for the best collection of images. The winning photographer will also get €3,000 to spend on travel for a photography-related project.

Now in its third year, the Zeiss Awards partner with the Sony World Photography Awards. Winners get to go to the ceremony in London, and will have their work exhibited alongside the SWPA winners in the finalists show.

The theme this year is ‘Seeing Beyond – Untold Stories’ and entrants are expected to submit between five and ten images that operate as a single series, along with a short description of the project.

The Brief:

Seeing Beyond - Untold Stories

Photographers are again asked to look beyond the ordinary and everyday to present judges with strong series of 5-10 images that capture an 'untold story'. The brief is intended to be understood in its broadest sense - the work could explore a familiar theme told from a different perspective or address an issue that has previously had little attention. All forms of photography are welcome, but judges are specifically looking for series of works that have a strong narrative. The 'untold story' the photographer is addressing must be visually clear in the submitted image.

The competition is free to enter, and you have until February 6th, 2018 to do so. For more information, including terms and conditions, see the Zeiss Photography Awards website.

Press Release

ZEISS Photography Award

Photographers from all over the world are invited to submit a photo series by 6 February 2018 in response to the topic "Seeing Beyond – Untold Stories".

The third round of the ZEISS Photography Award is underway – and ambitious photographers from all over the world are invited to present their work on the topic of “Seeing Beyond – Untold Stories” to an international expert jury. The photographers have until 6 February 2018 to submit a series of five to ten images here.

“Untold Stories” can be understood in all manner of ways, but the end result should be stories that have not yet been told (in full). The works can bring to life familiar tales from a wholly new perspective – or be dedicated to topics that have received little attention to date.

A renowned jury

All submissions will be reviewed by a renowned jury comprising three international photography experts: British Art Director Chris Hudson from National Geographic Traveller, Publisher of Dutch photo magazine GUP Magazine Peter Bas Mensink, and Patricia Morvan from French photo agency Agence VU’ who is in charge of exhibitions and cultural projects. The submissions will be judged on both their quality and creativity. All forms of photography are welcome and judges are specifically looking for series of works that have a strong narrative.

Attractive prizes: ZEISS lenses to the value of €12,000 and a photo trip

The winner and shortlist will be announced on 3 April 2018. The winner can look forward to fantastic prizes: ZEISS camera lenses of their choosing to the value of €12,000 and €3,000 to put towards a photo trip. An award ceremony will take place on 19 April 2018 in London. The winning photos plus a selection of those shortlisted will be on display at Somerset House in London alongside the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition; the winner will attend the opening of the exhibition. ZEISS will also invite the winner to the company headquarters in Germany, where they will get a peek behind the scenes of the ZEISS world and the opportunity to get to know its lenses. They will also get the chance to work with ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation.

“Due to photo editors having seen my work through the news of winning the ZEISS Photography Award, my personal documentary work has since gone on to be printed in magazines and newspaper around the world,” says last year’s winner Kevin Faingnaert, who wowed the judges with his photos of life on the Faroe Islands. “Winning the award helped secure more clients but, more importantly, my self-confidence as a photographer has certainly grown since the win.”

The ZEISS Photography Award is hosted jointly by ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation. Last year, around 4,700 photographers from 132 countries submitted more than 31,000 photos.


All the dates for the ZEISS Photography Award 2018 are listed below:

  • 10 October 2017: Competition open for submissions
  • 6 February 2018: Competition closed for submissions
  • 3 April 2018: Winner and shortlist announced
  • 19 April 2018: Award ceremony and gala dinner in London
  • 20 April to 6 May 2018: Winner’s photos and selected photos from the shortlist on show at Somerset House in London

For further details about the ZEISS Photography Award, the Terms and Conditions of Participation and to apply, please visit