The most influent photo competitions in Switzerland and the world

26 March 2019

The most influential photo competitions in Switzerland and around the world

The photo competitions held in Switzerland, Europe and all over the world reward photographers for their work and highlight the creativity they have shown to succeed in this or that cliché that stands out. Whether it is a thematic or general competition, winning a prize or a distinction in a photo competition is often a springboard for a photographer to showcase his or her expertise. These prizes reward long hours of technical improvement in photography and post-production and are some of the most influential competitions in Switzerland and around the world and their winners in 2018.

The most influential photo competitions in Switzerland

In Switzerland, various competitions or events around photography are held throughout the year. However, three of them stand out. The Swiss Photo Club Photo Award, the Swiss Press Photo Award and the Elysée Prize are among the largest photographic competitions in Switzerland.

The Swiss photo club photo award

The Swiss Photo Club organizes photography courses in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Lausanne and Geneva. From beginner courses to courses on more specific subjects such as “portrait in town”, “night and low light photography” or “culinary photography” there is something for everyone.


Every year, the Swiss Photo Club organizes a “Photo Award” which rewards members of its club but also external photographers who would like to submit their work.

Various prizes are awarded to the favourite photos of the juries and visitors to the exhibition organised for the occasion. Fifty photos are pre-selected to be printed in large format (30×45) and all photos are printed in small format (11.4×17.1). Then it is the visitors’ vote and the opinions of the juries that determine the winners of the Swiss Photo Club’s Photo Award.


In 2018, the jury members awarded the jury prize to this photograph of Samuel Nugues, entitled “Action de chasse“, photographed with a Nikon D750 + AF-S 24-120mm VR.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Action De Chasse Samuel Nugues

During the 2018 competition, the public prize was awarded to Paolo Balzarini’s photo entitled “Inle Lake Tea – Myanmar”, photographed with an Olympus OM-D E- M1 Mark II Double Zoom kit (12-40mm + 40-150mm).

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Inle Lake Tea

Swiss Press Photo

Every year, the Reinhard von Graffenried Foundation awards outstanding achievements in journalism at the national level. One of the prizes is awarded to the most emblematic photojournalists of the year in different categories, such as “News Category”, “Daily Life Category” or “Portrait Category”. At the end of the competition, the nominated photos are exhibited at the National Museum of Zurich, the LAC in Lugano, the Kornhaus Forum in Bern and finally at the Château de Prangins.

In 2018, the “News” category was won by this photo by Reto Oeschger.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Actualites

The “Daily Life” category was won by Karin Hofer with a series of shots report on the harvest of Markus Ruch’s so-called natural wines, here is an extract.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Vendanges

Finally, the “Portrait” category was won by Guillaume Perret for his moving photographic report on a 67-year-old Swiss woman who wanted to share a message of hope, that cancer can be beaten.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Reportage Cancer

Elysed Prize

The Elysée Prize is a two-year photographic project competition organized and financed by the Elysée Museum and Parmigiani Fleurier Association. Without imposing themes, genres or photographic techniques, this competition only requires a recommendation from a professional in the field and that it has been the subject of first publications or exhibitions beforehand. After an initial selection of nominees, a jury examines the candidates’ files and chooses its winner, who will then have two years to complete his project. After 2 years, the winner’s project is presented at the event of the Musée Elysée in Lausanne, the Nuit des Images.


The winner of the 2016-2018 edition is Matthias Bruggman with a project on conflicts in Syria, here is one of the photos.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Matthias Bruggman

The most influential photo competitions in the world

Recognition at the national level is a first step, at the international level it is another kind of recognition. You wish to participate in photographic competitions to promote your photographic work and you have already participated in national competitions ? Do you want to be inspired by the best for your new creations ? Then we suggest you take a look at the following list of the most recognized competitions in the world. Among the world’s largest photographic competitions are the National Geographic Photo Contest, the Greenpeace Photo Award, the Sony World Photo Award and the World Press Photo.

National Geographic Photo Contest

The National Geographic Photo Contest is a photography contest organized by National Geographic, an American monthly magazine that appeared in 1888. This contest rewards the most beautiful photos in different categories “Wildlife”, “People” and “Places”. Winners are announced in each category and the jury also awards a grand prize, all categories combined.


In 2018, the grand prize was awarded to Jassen Todorov for his photograph entitled “Unreal” featuring thousands of Volswagen and Audi cars abandoned following the US Environmental Protection Agency’s CO2 emissions test scandal.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Photographer Of The Year 2018

Greenpeace Photo Award

The Greenpeace Photo Award is a photo competition organized by Greenpeace on the theme of the environment. Every year, two photos are selected, one by the jury, one by the public. At the end of the competition, the photos are published in the magazines Géo or Greenpeace Switzerland.


The 2018 Jury Prize was won by Ian Willms for his photograph entitled “As long as the sun shines“.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Ian Willms

Sony World Photo Award

The Sony World Photo Award is considered the leading photographic competition in the world. For the past 12 years, in partnership with the Sony brand, this competition has rewarded the year’s most beautiful photographic creations, which are then exhibited each spring at Somerset House in London.


In 2018, Alys Tomlinson was named Photographer of the Year with his “Ex-Voto” series, a series of black and white portraits, one of which is shown here.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photos Portrait Alys Tomlinson

World Press Photo

Finally, like the Swiss Press Photo, since 1995 the World Press Photo has rewarded professional photographers whose photos contribute to last year’s visual journalism by nominating the photographer of the year.


This is a photo by Ronaldo Schemidt entitled “Venezuela Crisis” which was named photo of the year 2018 by the World Press Photo.

Lakeprod Blog Concours Photo Ronaldo Schemidt Venezuela

These photo competitions, in Switzerland and in Europe, reward the best photographers, those who have been able to tell a story with their photos. If you also want to tell the story of your company and your products in pictures, do not hesitate to contact us.