The Portrait Masters Awards: June 15th – July 15th 2021

June 15, 2021 Portrait Master Awards


Image credit: January 2021 Creative Portrait Finalist Irina Jomir. Follow her on Instagram.

We are so excited to announce that the second round of 2021 Awards & Accreditation is here! Be sure to check out all the updated (including the recent country/state eligibility updates) rules, FAQs, and all the resources in one place for the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation Program.

Opens: 9am PST, Tuesday, June 15th
Closes: 11:59pm PST, Thursday, July 15th
Results Announced: Time TBA, August 15th

We created this program to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate high-quality, professional work and to arm you with the public recognition you deserve in your field. As someone who did not receive a formal education, achieving these standards were amongst Sue Bryce‘s proudest moments of owning a professional photography business. Winning accolades like these made Sue feel proud and validated as a photographer.

We feel a deep pride that the portrait industry is getting stronger and more valued all around the world and can’t wait to see what you create next!

Image credit:  January 2021 Creative Portrait Finalist Kristen Lauber.

NEW! This Round is Open to Non-SBE Members

For the first time, we are opening our contest to non-SBE Members!

$40 per submission

One free submission with promo code (which will be emailed to you on June 15th), then
50% off, or $20 per subsequent submission

NEW! Permanent Category: MOVEMENT

This category celebrates the art of movement. Portraits that illustrate the idea of movement or motion can be entered into this new category. The concept of movement can be captured in so many creative ways, and we are looking forward to seeing what you all bring to the table in this category!

Some Example Ideas: Sport, Action, Dance, Liquid in Motion, Fabric in Motion, High Speed Flash Sync, Single Capture in Time, Multi-Flash Captures, Long Exposures. Remember that each entry must be a portrait of an individual or group.

Amber Griffin’s Movement Category Winning Photograph January 2021. Follow Amber on Instagram.

NEW! Challenge Category: SELF-PORTRAIT

This category celebrates the portraits you take of yourself. For centuries, the self-portrait has been a window into the artist’s soul, providing an opportunity to see them in a moment in time enveloped in their own perceptual aesthetic. We look forward to seeing you and all that you bring to bear during these historical times!

Some Example Ideas: See below for self-portrait examples from long-time members. 

Cat Ford Coates Self-Portraits. Follow Cat on Instagram.

“Self-portraiture is somewhat therapeutic – a way to hold space for myself, my emotional well-being, and because I AM a creator. It can be an opportunity to honor aspects of who I am in a fleeting moment, or give a voice to my experience, or simply to create a tangible memory of who I am in a moment of time. No matter what unfolds, self portraits are always an opportunity to declare that I am “enough” exactly as I am.”  – Cat Ford Coates

Self-Portraits by Erin Groot. Follow Erin on Instagram.

“In 2017, I found myself processing a lot of painful life experiences for the first time. Instead of stuffing down the emotions, I began to create self-portraits as a way of allowing myself to feel through the pain. Later that year, the #MeToo movement gave me the courage to begin to share my story more openly – not only through the images I was creating, but also through the words I wrote to accompany them.

As I began to share in this very vulnerable way, I was blown away by how many people, especially women, responded with their own stories, often ending with saying it was the first time they’d ever told someone. It is one of the greatest honors of my life to know that my work has helped people find the strength to give voice to their deepest pains because I know that bringing those pains out into the open is the first, bravest step towards healing them and releasing their power over one’s life.

Self-portraiture is a wonderful way to get comfortable in front of your camera, process your feelings, or simply to play with new techniques. I highly encourage all photographers to include self-portraiture in their artistic practice.”  – Erin DeGroot

NEW! Category Winner Perks

Once again in this round, winners of each category as well as the competition Grand Champion, will get their own episode on The Portrait System Podcast AND a feature in The Portrait System Magazine!  (Next issue will be released soon!)

Subscribe to The Portrait System Podcast

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June 2021 Award Quicklinks:


   Awards resources & content

Updated competition rules

Previous round category winners

Enter your images HERE