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Capturing the moments that make us what we are

Portrait of Humanity

In an age of uncertainty, hardship and strife, it’s the little things that remind us of what it means to be human that matter more and more. Behind every struggle to protect the world that we call home, or the right to be who we are is a face of strength and courage.
Now in its fifth edition, the Portrait of Humanity award by 1854 and British Journal of Photography returns once more to celebrate that which unites us in a time of division.

Why enter

Get exhibited worldwide

Portrait of Humanity sits amongst the most viewed photographic exhibitions in global history. 30 winning images and three winning bodies of work will be part of a major internationally-touring exhibition.

Get published in a photobook

200 shortlisted images will be featured in the Portrait of Humanity book

Get judged by industry leaders

Judges from past years include Alessandra Sanguinetti and Newsha Tavakolian, Magnum photographers; Fiona Shields, Head of Photography at the Guardian, and Mallory Benedict, Photo Editor at National Geographic

Get featured in international press

Alongside coveted print and digital coverage from BJP, Portrait of Humanity award winners have been featured by BBC, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, CNN, Metro and many more

Claim your free entry

With the importance of our shared sense of humanity seemingly never more crucial than now, Portrait of Humanity Vol. 5 invites any photographer from any background, anywhere, to enter a portrait completely free of charge.

Show the world your Portrait of Humanity.

Entries to this award are now closed.


2021 Prizes

Open Category

  • 30 winning images will be exhibited worldwide in collaboration with selected photography festivals
  • 200 shortlisted images will be featured in the Portrait of Humanity book

Stories Category

  • Three winning bodies of work will be exhibited worldwide in collaboration with selected photography festivals
  • Three winning bodies of work will be published in British Journal of Photography
  • Your work will be shared with our extensive national and international press list

Open Category

  • 30 winning images will be exhibited worldwide as part of the Portrait of Humanity Global Tour 2021
  • Up to 100 commended images will also be exhibited digitally on Clear Channel screens internationally to be seen by millions
  • All commended, shortlisted and winning photographers will receive extensive international press coverage

Stories Category

  • Three winning bodies of work will be exhibited worldwide as part of the Portrait of Humanity Global Tour 2021
  • Three winning bodies of work will be published in British Journal of Photography
  • All winning photographers will receive extensive international press coverage


Each year the Portrait of Humanity jury brings together prominent photography figures from around the world. 

Sangsuk Sylvia Kang

Photographer, Journalist, and Photo Editor at TIME

Martin Usborne

Founder of Hoxton Mini Press

Daniel Boetker-Smith

Dean of Studies at Photography Studies College and Director of Centre for Contemporary Photography (Australia)

Richmond Orlando Mensah

Founder and Curator of MANJU Journal

Sunil Gupta

Artist and Educator

Simon Frederick

Photographer, Filmmaker and Broadcaster

Mari Katayama


Karen Irvine

Chief Curator and Deputy Director at Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago

Virgilia Facey

Founder, The Colour Balance

Marina Reyes Franco

Curator, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC)

Exhibition Partner

Hear from our past winners


Discover the winning photography that’s made waves across the world. 

Free applications for photographers in non-high-income locations

Photographers located in non-high-income countries can enter Portrait of Humanity Vol.5 for free. Are you eligible? See the list of qualifying countries, and complete the form via the link below.

Buy the book

As the after-effects of the pandemic continue to reverberate around the globe, this new volume of 200 intimate portraits captures faces across continents and generations, each with their own distinct story to tell, yet brought together by the hope and possibility inherent in human connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have lost the email with my entry link

If you have lost your entry, use the reset form here, to send a reminder to your email address.

The system is stating my entry has been claimed when I have not entered.

Use the reset form here to retrieve your unique entry URL

Can I pay by PayPal / Cheque / Cash?

We can only accept Memberships paid for with a credit or debit card online

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, once you become a Member you may enter as many times as you choose.

I have a promotional code, how can I use it?

Please first choose the type of entry you wish to make (eg, one series entry). On the next page you will be able to enter your promotional code, and after submitting that form you will see your discount applied.

I have a promotional code, but it doesn’t work?

Please note that most codes are time-limited. If the deadline for using your code has passed, it will not be usable.

Why is there a fee?

To find out more about why there is a fee to enter our awards visit our 1854 Awards: Why is there a fee? page

I bought too many entries / ran out of time, can I get a refund?

Sorry, but all entry fees are non-refundable, as stated in the terms and conditions that you accepted on entry.

Can I upgrade my entry?

No unfortunately we can not upgrade your entry once a purchase has been made

The entry system is saying that my entry has already been claimed when I haven’t entered. What do I do?

You may have already received an email from us with your entry link. If so, submit your images through the link provided.

I am an 1854 Access member, why am I being asked to pay for my entries?

You will need to click on the members log in section on the submission platform, and enter your membership number in order to submit your entries.

Have my images uploaded correctly?

If your images have uploaded correctly you will see a small version of each photo on the entry page, alongside the caption you entered. If you cannot see your photo, then your image has not uploaded correctly. If a caption has been stored but no image, you can delete it using the Edit option.

I can’t upload my images – I see a green bar, it says 100%, but that’s it

Our image uploader is designed to work with all modern web browsers, but some – in particular, Internet Explorer 11 – aren’t able to use it. If you are unable to upload your images please either download a modern browser (we recommend Google Chrome), or click the link on the upload page to use our Classic Uploader instead.

What’s the Classic Uploader?

The Classic Uploader uploads image files in a way that’s slower, but better supported by old browsers such as Internet Explorer 11. Please note that it can accept JPEG files of up to 5MB in size only, and that you will experience a wait after clicking the Upload button.

Can I send my photos by email / WeTransfer / on DVD / some other way

We can only accept images that are uploaded using our entry system. This ensures that each one is logged with your entry details, and made available to our judges.

I uploaded one image, and now want to go back to upload more, but the system will not let me do so – what’s wrong?

Either the competition deadline has passed, or you have previously submitted your entry to the judges. In order to do so you will have read a notice warning you, and ticked a box confirming your understanding, that doing so would prevent you from making any further changes.

There isn’t enough room for my image title, or other text

Please note that maximum lengths that apply to these texts. The length limits are noted on the form used to enter them and are given in characters (letters), not words.

I can’t see the option to submit my entry

The Submit button appears at the top of your entry page once you have uploaded at least one image.

What happens when I submit my entry?

Your entry will be confirmed on a web page after submitting, and then we will send you a confirmation email, and your images (along with their captions, statements etc) are stored, ready to be viewed by the judges.

I have submitted my entry – can I change it?

No, once your entry has been submitted you may no longer alter it in any way.

Could you please check my images / text / entry?

I’m afraid this isn’t possible – our system receives thousands of images, so we can’t check individual ones. Please ensure that you are happy with your images and statement before submitting it.

Can you please provide an invoice for my entry?

Your entry confirmation email includes a full VAT invoice, we can not provide any other invoice request

Why haven’t I received my award status?

In order to receive your award status, you must be subscribed to our newsletter. If you unsubscribe from our mailing lists, we will not be able to contact you.

If you have unsubscribed, you can resubscribe by filling out a form to our newsletter list. Once you have received an email from us, you can toggle your settings to choose what you do and don’t want to hear from us.


Portraits may be of individuals or groups of people


All relevant subject consent must have been obtained for the use of the photographs for publication and exhibition. In the case of minors (persons under 18) parental/guardian consent must be obtained.


All photographers should adhere to the 1854 Awards Standard of Practice


We welcome applications from international professional and non-professional photographers of all ages


Images can be shot using any camera model (film or digital) or electronic device, and images may be portrait, landscape or square in format.


Each entrant will be deemed to warrant that they own the entire copyright for the work or that they have permission from the licensee and/or copyright owner/s for the uses.


Each image can be a maximum of 10MB in size. All images must be submitted as JPEG files – any files submitted in any other format (including TIFF, PDF, PSD etc) will be discarded.


Once your images have been uploaded to the system you will see an option to submit your entry. Once submitted your entry cannot be altered. Only submitted entries will be viewed by the judges.


You may submit a title (200 character limit) and caption (750 character limit) for each photograph entered. For the Stories Category, you can also provide an artist’s statement (1000 character limit). All accompanying text must be written in English.


Deadline: 14 July 2022 – 23:59 (UK Time).

Judging will take place shortly after the deadline.

Entrants have an additional 24 hours following this deadline to finalise and submit their entry.


Images must have been taken after January 2021, and can have been shot anytime up to the deadline of this award.


Once your images and captions have been uploaded to the system you will see an option to submit your entry. Once submitted, your entry cannot be altered. Only submitted entries will be viewed by the judges.


The shortlisted photographers must be available to supply high-res files promptly for publication.

Digital files of the shortlisted and winning images will be created for press and publicity purposes.


1854 Media & British Journal of Photography cannot be responsible for any loss or damage to submitted work.


No copyright is transferred to 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography in respect of any works entered or accepted.


1854 Media & British Journal of Photography reserve the right to display, reproduce and publish in any media, any entry, without payment, for the sole purpose of Portrait of Humanity – this year and in future – and its promotion and publicity.


1854 Media will organise and cover costs from the curation, framing, printing and production of the Portrait of Humanity Global Tour 2022.


A selection of images will be published through 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography digital channels.

Winners will be invited to include their work in a dedicated NFT drop with our trusted partners, ART3.io. Participation in this sale is not compulsory as a condition of winning.


If through to the shortlist of Portrait of Humanity, the photo book publisher may edit the accompanying text to keep it to length if necessary


All shortlisted and winning images may be licenced by third parties and foreign rights. If the Portrait of Humanity book or exhibition is licenced in another language, we reserve the right to accept or deny permission.



You will be asked to pay for your entry by Credit Card. All payments are handled securely by our payment partner Stripe. After payment, you will receive an email containing a personal upload URL, where you may submit your images and statement.


All entry purchases are final. Having purchased an entry, it is your responsibility to upload and submit your images and statement before the deadline. No refunds will be issued.


In order to receive your award status, you must be subscribed to the Awards Communications list on our mailing system. If you have not received your status after the deadline, you must simply resubscribe by filling out a form to our newsletter list. 


Please note that 1854 Access members entering awards as part of their membership will be required to remain a member throughout the periods when awards are judged and exhibitions/outputs are planned, for their entries to be eligible.

All entries are subject to 1854 Media’s General Competition Terms and Conditions

Deadline: 14 July 2022 – 23:59 (UK Time).

1854 Access Members can enter all our awards for free!

Following a year of unprecedented global struggle, Portrait of Humanity Vol.5 is set to be more impactful than ever before.