Call for entries for the richest and most prestigious photography competition in the Middle East

The Grand Prize Award for this coming season will be USD $120,000 and the competition is open for worldwide photographers.

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the categories for its eighth season of competition which will be themed, ‘Hope’. The competition’s eighth edition will once again contain four main categories with ‘Hope’ serving as the main theme, along with both forms of the ‘General’ category and the returning ‘Portfolio’ category. Rounding off HIPA’s categories for the eighth season will be a dedicated video category, which is set to be offered by HIPA for the second year in succession.  ‘Aerial Photography (Video)’ will afford photographers the chance to enter their aerially captured submissions within the various technical specifications and rules presented by HIPA.

The Secretary General of HIPA, His Excellency Ali bin Thalith said, “In our previous season of competition, we noticed the positive feedback received as a result of the ‘Time-lapse’ category. Therefore, we wished to continue this momentum for the coming season by once again offering a video category for photographers to showcase their skills. The ‘Aerial Photography’ category is a bold move for HIPA, but we believe that it falls right in line with current modern shifts in the industry with the prevalence of aerial and drone photo and videography. ”

Bin Thalith continued, “Our main theme, ‘Hope’, resembles a natural human instinct shared by the majority of mankind which is reflected in their everyday lives. Hope is a sentiment enshrined in various cultures and traditions past and present and can be one of life’s greatest inspirations. We felt it was important to expand on this inspiration and challenge photographers from all around the world to present photographic works that best represent hope to them and their vision. “

Bin Thalith concluded, “We would also like to announce that once again, the Grand Prize Award for this coming season will be USD $120,000. The Grand Prize winning photograph will not be limited to submissions in the main category ‘Hope’, but will be awarded to any submission that takes part in the season’s competition. “

Submissions for HIPA’s eighth season will be accepted on the official website, The deadline for submissions will be the 31st of October 2018 at 11.59 P.M. (UAE Standard).


Categories for HIPA’s Eighth Season of Competition:



‘Hope’ is an instinctive human emotion that helps push us towards positivity and optimism.

Hope is also considered to be a rare human value that is shared and encouraged by various civilisations and cultures; be it ideologically, intellectually or socially.

It is also a universal language, reflected in the everyday lives of the people it connects. Some people have a talent for spreading hope in a way that makes others happy, while reducing the negativity around them.

Do you believe in the presence of hope? Then you can and try and capture a special moment portraying its beauty this coming season.



Portfolio (Story-telling)

The Portfolio category returns to afford photographers the chance to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs. A strong photographic story delves into the heart of a subject matter and leaves no margin for misinterpretation. A portfolio of photographs allows photographers to capture the hearts and minds of audiences in a way which may not be possible through a single photograph.



Aerial Photography (Video)

The higher an aircraft flies into the sky, the more amazing news it brings its owners by allowing them to discover the world from a higher perspective.

This category falls in line with the rapid growth within the photographic industry, by allowing experts of aerial and drone photography to showcase their skills within various topics and themes.

The category accepts one submission per entrant. Submissions must be a minimum three minutes long and a maximum of five minutes in overall length. Each submission must have a minimum of 30 seconds in aerial footage.

Submissions must also be a minimum Full HD quality.




This category remains a favourite among photographers who have an outstanding eye for photography which may not necessarily fall into any of the other categories on offer.

HIPA continues to offer participants two opportunities to participate in this category, instead of one. With one category open to black and white entries, to give deserved substance to this classic art form, and the other for coloured entries, giving participants the option to dazzle the jury with their vibrant compositions.


HIPA Special Awards (Invitation Only):


Photography Appreciation Award

There are many people within the photography industry who are dedicated and relentless in their pursuit for excellence. These people offer their services and expertise without expecting a return on their efforts and therefore form a vital part of the photographic community’s fabric.

The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ is a special category for a person or group who has/have shown long-standing commitment to enhancing the art of photography. By awarding the recipient, HIPA hopes to give back a small amount of the respect and appreciation they deserve.


Photography Content Creator Award

Service to photography is not limited to taking stunning photographs, but extends to editors, publishers, bloggers, researchers, inventors, promoters and all print and digital content creators that have had a positive impact on the industry and helped shape it to what it is today.


Emerging Person/Organisation in Photography Award 

This award is presented to an emerging person or organisation that has shown outstanding work or vision in the industry, be it on a regional, national or international level.


Deadline: submissions for HIPA’s eighth season will be accepted on the official website, The deadline for submissions will be the 31st of October 2018 at 11.59 P.M. (UAE Standard).

About Douglas Okasaki

is 2018 Past President of the Society for News Design

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