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2022 Photography Awards

Call for entries


Add that final touch

You’ve already woken up at hours you didn’t know existed to capture that perfect shot for your client, or spent days bathed in the blue light of your drawing tablet to make the perfect editorial illustration. An Applied Arts Award is the finishing touch that allows that work to go from just another piece in your portfolio, to award-winning, attention-getting, door opening, pillar. Getting an Applied Arts Award gets you in front of the top creative professionals working today to make sure that you are top of mind.

Our jury is made up of the best, like 2021 Photography and Illustration Judge Howard Poon, VP, Design, DDB Canada, responded when asked what he was looking for in a winner, “Is the image arresting? Does it make me stop to find out more?” Show this year’s judges just how arresting your work is. You won’t regret it.

This is an international competition open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished, and personal Illustration work, including these and many more categories:

  • Advertising Photography
  • Arts & Culture Photograpny
  • Cinematography
  • Corporate Photography
  • Editorial Photography
  • Environmental Factor Photography
  • Environmental/Spaces Photography
  • Event/Experiential Photography
  • Food Photography
  • Packaging Photography
  • Promotional Photography
  • Sports Photography

The competition also includes categories for newly minted professionals and Canadians working in smaller communities or smaller businesses. Please see eligibility section for details.

Be sure to review the Call for Entry kit and 2022 Categories kit for important information and tips on entering.

2022 Call for Entry Kit 2022 Photography Awards Categories Kit

2022 Photography Awards Jury

It's important that our Photography & Illustration Awards are judged by award-winning designers and art directors. After all, the quality of their work is highly dependent on the quality of the images they choose. So who better to judge award-worthy images, than a cross-section of some of the best – and most highly awarded – creatives from across Canada and beyond. A new jury is chosen each year for each of our competitions. Here is this year's chosen jury for Photography & Illustration:

Andrew Bernardi
Creative Director
Momentum Worldwide
Toronto, ON

Andrew has over a decade of experience creating disruptive work in every medium. From complex, data-driven web tools to minimalistic print campaigns to cinematic film. He's worked on global clients like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, MeToo, Axe, and BMW. As well as homegrown clients like President's Choice and the Ministry of Transportation. His work has won at almost every international award show, including a Grand Prix at Cannes and a D&AD Black Pencil.

Jeff Cheung
Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Jeff is an award-winning creative whose resume includes Ogilvy, Juniper Park, TBWA Vancouver, BBDO, and, most recently lg2 as Creative Director. His work has been recognized by the One Show, Cannes, Hypebeast, ESPN, and Billboard. Amongst his favourites are putting former Toronto Raptor Delon Wright in a comically oversized suit for Snickers and helping the Regent Park School of Music get sampled on Taylor Swift's #1 album Lover with Parkscapes.

Joanna Durkalec
Freelance Design Director
New York, NY

Joanna is an award-winning Design Director with over a decade of experience working for agencies and clients in Toronto and New York City. She is obsessed with exciting colour combos, type design, and pushing the work to places that feel fresh and distinctive. Her work spans a wide range of projects, from cross-platform campaigns to branding and packaging for global brands, small businesses, and start-ups. Throughout her career, Joanna has had the privilege to work with some of the world's most prominent brands, including Busch, Kit Kat, Stella Artois, L'Oreal, PNC Bank, Reebok, and Mailchimp.

Kristi Flango
Creative Director
Kansas City, MO

Kristi Flango is a Creative Director on Wendy's at the VMLY&R's Kansas City office. Before joining VMLY&R, she worked at McGarrah Jessee, Creature, Publicis, Cole and Weber, and Wongdoody (freelance). Originally hailing from the woods of Pennsylvania, she somehow knew early on that she was destined for advertising, and went on to obtain her BA and MA in advertising (from Penn State and The University of Texas at Austin respectively). As someone that loves a good laugh and is well known for said laugh, it's probably no coincidence that she's been behind some fun and funny work for YETI, GameStop, Sherry Wine, T-Mobile, Case Knives, Pacifico, Zippo, and the aforementioned Wendy's.

Theo Gibson
Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Theo is an award-winning creative, brand strategist and content specialist with over 14 years of experience in the marketing industry. His never-ending mission to see the beauty and obscurities in life and challenge conventional thinking has led him to work with large global brands, launch effective campaigns and create award-winning films. Theo is a graduate of Humber College's Advertising and Graphic Design program and an advisor at HXOUSE, where he mentors and runs lectures and workshops for young creatives. He also teaches at George Brown School of Design and sits on the program's advisory committee. With a focus on creative and brand strategy, Theo continuously establishes himself and his partners as progressive creatives and marketers.

Addie Gillespie
Creative Director
One Twenty Three West
Vancouver, BC

Addie is a Creative Director at One Twenty Three West in Vancouver. She really likes advertising, which is good, considering her name. Her insight-driven work has been awarded nationally and internationally for everything from John Frieda and Smartfortwo to BC Children's Hospital and the Vancouver International Film Festival. Now armed with two small girls, she divides her time between advertising, an embarrassing pop culture obsession, hiking, and trying desperately to get some terrible kid song out of her head.

Jake Hope
Associate Creative Director
Vancouver, BC

Jake is an Associate Creative Director at Rethink. After studying and working as a graphic designer in Auckland, New Zealand, he immigrated to Canada in 2010 where he made the small, but significant switch to advertising art director. His work has been awarded at Applied Arts as well as Cannes Lions, One Show, Lürzer's Archive, Communication Arts, The Marketing Awards, and ADCC.

Christian Horsfall
Creative Director
TBWA\ South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

Christian started his career as an art director in Johannesburg before moving to London in 2005 with big dreams. While in London, he worked at Draft and Publicis Modem with creative partner (and fellow Canadian) Brian Murray before moving over to The Partners (now Supeerunion) as a digital design director. Missing advertising, Christian took on the position as an associate creative director at VML in London. After nearly a decade in London, he set his sights on Toronto, Canada. Working alongside Brian Murray at Ogilvy, he managed a portfolio that includes American Express, Destination Canada, Pfizer, Pizza Hut and Huggies. Christian's most notable accolades include being part of the team that created the Dove 'Courage is Beautiful' campaign and a full-length branded content series on the Amazon Prime Platform for Destination Canada. Christian is back home in Africa, where he is the digital creative lead on MTN, Africa's largest telco.

Leo Jung
Creative Director
The California Sunday Magazine
San Francisco, CA

Leo is the Creative Director of The California Sunday Magazine, a two-time winner of the Magazine of the Year Award from the Society of Publication Designers, and Pop-Up Magazine, the critically acclaimed live magazine. He is the former Design Director at Wired and Deputy Art Director at The New York Times Magazine. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, The National Magazine Awards, and the Society of Publication Designers.

Allie Keith
Associate Creative Director
Toronto, ON

Allie is an Associate Creative Director/Art Director at Ogilvy Toronto. For over a decade she's helped brands gain recognition through brave thinking, smart branding, good strategy, and creating emotional connections. She strongly believes that we can use our talents to make beautiful things but also try to do some good in the world. She's won many awards and her work has been featured on the front page of the Toronto Star and countless other publications but none of that has helped her parents understand what she does for a living. In her off time she likes to try and make people laugh and watches Beyoncé videos.

David Landreth
Creative Director
Berlin Communications
Edmonton, AB

David is the Creative Director at Berlin Communications, an Alberta-based agency whose focus is positioning clients to win on issues of public interest. He started out in the newspaper industry with dreams of creating campaigns for the biggest brands. Eventually, he got his chance as an Art Director for DDB's office in Edmonton. A month before the world closed, he "unknowingly" took on the challenge of learning to lead a creative team from his basement amidst a pandemic. He is looking forward to the day when his team can all work together for the first time in their downtown office.

Jonathan Lavoie
Associate Creative Director
Sid Lee
Montreal, QC

Jonathan, whose background is in graphic design, started his career at BBDO Montreal, and went on to join the Sid Lee team in 2005. He has worked on projects for North Face, Adidas, Samsung, Burger King, Videotron, IGA, Loto-Quebec, Belair Direct, CN, Quebec Tourism, Kruger, SAQ, Protect Our Winters, Earthday, and many others. His work has been rewarded by Lions de Cannes, Fast Company World Changing Idea, One Show, ADC Awards, Applied Arts, Marketing Awards, IDEA, Grafika, and more. With more than 15 years of experience in advertising and communications, Jonathan is recognized in the industry for the quality of his creative and strategic power.

Letícia Luna
Creative Director
Sovereign State
Toronto, ON

A native of Brasília with over 20 years design experience, Letícia has been involved in developing brands for global clients in fashion, beauty and hospitality. Her work aims to examine—and bridge—the gap between cultural and commercial contribution, which translates to an unconventional approach to design. With an expansive toolkit she uses her skills to create and experiment while continuing to enjoy the beautiful process of effective visual communication. Letícia's keen eye for detail and a disposition to push past convention has helped create award-winning brand experiences.

Magalie Samson
Creative Director
Montreal, QC

Magalie's brand-conscious and strategic creative approach results from 22 years of experience working across many successful projects from brand identity to large-scale global campaigns for prestigious clients. Energetic and always relevant, this design geek (her kids are waaay better dressed than yours) is a breath of fresh air for the industry and an inspiring creative leader who has the power to turn good work into great work. Working at Publicis Montréal since 2013, her no BS vision of things makes her a perfect mentor for the creative team and a true beacon for the client. Storytelling, minimal design, and clear communication are the signature of Magalie's work, as well as her contagious laugh that is probably still resonating in the empty halls of the agency as you read these lines.

Jeff Simpson
Creative Director
Halifax, NS

Jeff likes things. In his office, you'll find an array of designer toys, art, mini dumpster fires, 20lbs books, and even a toy leg—all serving to fuel his creativity. His 15-plus-year career has found him working with brands such as Unilever, McDonald's, Diageo, Mars Inc., Red Cross, UNICEF, and many others. His work has been featured and awarded worldwide, but he's most proud that his two young girls think what he does is cool. Yeah, his kids are his favourite things of all—though the books and art don't complain about tiny bumps in their sock at 6AM.

Stefanie Sosiak
Art Director
Air Canada enRoute Spafax
Montreal, QC

Stefanie is an award-winning Art Director for Air Canada enRoute magazine, as well as an avid traveller and food lover. Stefanie has over 15 years of design and content marketing experience in the industry. Along with being a co-founder of a boutique design studio, she's worked with renowned companies such as Cirque du Soleil and Matt & Nat.

Judging Process

All work is entered and judged digitally. There are no hard copies. Therefore, please read our RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES, in the 2022 Categories Kit to ensure you submit your work properly for maximum impact.

The judges are divided into groups, with each viewing a different and random group of entries. Each judge reviews and scores entries separately. Judges do not confer or discuss the work and there is only one round of judging.

Entries are given one total score, based on three criteria only:

  1. Creative merit
  2. Technical excellence
  3. Suitability for end use in the category into which it is entered.

NOTE: Young Blood and Community entries are judged with the level of experience and/or available resources taken into consideration.


Open internationally to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between February 2021 and February 2022 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year's competition). Only digital entries are accepted for this competition.

Young Blood
For professionals that have graduated within the last 3 years.

Exclusively for Canadian artists and firms working in smaller communities or with smaller businesses or budgets, to help them get the recognition they deserve.

To be eligible to enter Community categories, you must be Canadian and meet one of the following criteria:

There is a stand-alone awards competition for students studying in a creative arts program at the post-secondary or high school level. Work from any year of study is eligible and may be entered up to one year after graduation. Students are only eligible to enter the Student Awards competition. Visit Student Awards for eligibility and deadlines.

Categories & Entry Fees

Entry fees vary per sub-grouping and category. Please be sure to download the 2022 Photography & Illustration Categories Kit for detailed pricing.

Advertising Photography
Arts & Culture – NEW
Catalogue Photography
Conceptual Photography
Corporate Photography
Editorial Photography
Environmental Factor Photography – NEW
Event/Experiential Photography
Fashion & Beauty Photography
Food Photography
Gallery Photography
Lifestyle Photography
Nature Photography
Packaging Photography
Photo Manipulation
Photojournalism Photography
Portrait Photography
Promotional Photography
Pro Bono/PSA/Charity Photography
Still Life Photography
Travel Photography
Unpublished/Personal Photography

MOTION – SHORT: $100 / LONG: $115

Entries can be from any application from the groupings of categories above.

Entry Material Guidelines

All entries are submitted digitally only. Hi-res, final files are to be submitted for judging. These files will be used for publication, if selected as a winner.

Main Entry Files

Your Main Entry File(s) must clearly show the images to be judged in hi-res format.


*Exceptions are noted in specific categories.

IMPORTANT NOTE RE MULTI-PAGE PDFS: Use a PDF with multiple pages to incorporate any additional images while still adhering to the maximum number of files allowed. For example, the PDF could have several pages that show the image/ illustration in final context, inside pages from a book or multiple views of 3D entries such as packaging, etc. but it only counts as 1 file. This allows you more opportunities to show your work, without going over the file limit.

Support Files

Support Files are mainly for clarity to assist the judges. They are not for publication (except where noted) and do not count towards the file limitations noted above. Upload these to the "Entry Supporting Materials" sub-section of ENTRY MATERIALS on the entry form.

Please note these important required vs. optional Support Files for certain entries:

~ English translations for French (or other language) entries:  Include any important text (e.g. headlines, entry title) either as a Support File or within a multi-page PDF as your Main Entry File.

~ Images in context of the finished piece, for example the finished ad or self-promotion piece, etc. Upload as either a Support File or within a multi-page PDF as your Main Entry File.
~ Explanatory notes for the judges: Although not recommended (except where noted in a category), brief descriptions/explanations of up to 50 words may be added for clarity (or up to 10 seconds for video files). Include either as Support File or within a multi-page PDF as your Main Entry File.
~ Case studies: While not recommended (as outcomes are not a criteria for judges in scoring), case studies can be added ONLY as a Support File and should be limited to max. 45 seconds. REMINDER: You must include the actual creative to be judged as your Main Entry File.

~ Entering URLs of the same creative as a Support File: Don’t submit a URL link if you’ve already submitted an MP4 as your Main Entry Material as a Support File. However, available links to non-static creative are requested in the Winners Information section for publishing in the online Winners Gallery.
~ Files submitted, be they Main Entry Files or Support Files (including URLs), should not identify the entrant (except for self-promotion work).

Acceptable File formats and restrictions





Entries are judged online. Here's how to help the judges:

How To Enter

The Entry Form consists of five steps. You will have the option to save your progress during each step of the process.

Create your "MY ENTRIES" Account.

This is your Applied Arts Awards account for all Awards competitions. Once logged in personal account information can be updated, a new entry can be started, copied from an existing one, or edited; and you can pay for all or some entries.

Bookmark for easy access to your account later.

NOTE: If you've entered the Applied Arts Awards previously, please use the email address associated with your account.

All entrants must complete an online entry form in My Entries, regardless of payment method, to be eligible for entry.

Step 1: entry information

Select from one of the Awards competitions, choose a category and add your entry title.

Step 2: Entry Materials

Entry format: All entries are to be submitted in digital format. See ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES section above for detailed specifications.

Step 3: Winners' Information

This section is for publication only and is not visible to the judges. Please review the information carefully. There will only be 48 hours to edit this information after the Winners have been notified.

The "Winner" field is the primary company or individual you want to be credited on the piece (i.e. company name, photographer, illustrator, Young Blood, etc.).

NOTE: In the instance that a team (e.g. AD & writer) worked together (typically for the Young Blood or Student categories), enter only the first individual of the team as in the "Winner" field. The other team member(s) should be added in the CREATIVE CREDITS section. (See Step 4: CREATIVE CREDITS for further explanation on how to enter additional names so that they are properly credited as "Winners").

Optional fields: Phone, email, web address, social handles, and the URL to the winning entry (typically, for motion entries). If these are entered, they will be published beside your winning work.

NOTE: We recommend including the URL as, due to file sizes, we don't upload the MP4 files directly for viewing in the Winners Gallery. They are only used for judging.

Description of Entry: For the purpose of providing a brief creative summary of the project to be published beside your winning entry. The description is limited to a maximum of 500 characters (includes spaces).

NOTE: The "Descriptions of Entry" are for publication use only and are not shown to the judges. If additional clarity is needed for the judges, a description/explanation may be added to either your Main Entry file(s) or as a Support File. Please limit it to 50 words or a max 10-second intro for video/broadcast.

Step 4: Creative Credits

Credits are a summary of the individuals or companies that have worked on the project.

A credit can be designated with an individuals name or an organization's. A credit role is a job function (e.g. creative director, or production house). Multiple names can be assigned to one credit role (i.e. if you have two creative directors, they are counted as only one credit role).

A maximum of 6 creative credit roles will be published in the Annual, however, any/all creative credits you entered will appear in the online Winners Gallery.


Step 5: Certificate information

Winners will receive one certificate for each winning entry. Complete the winning company/individual and/or client you wish to appear on the certificate. The entry title and the category the project won in will automatically be included on the certificate. You will have the opportunity to order additional certificates once winners have been notified.

Next: Finalizing Your Entry
After Step 5, the entry form is complete. Press the "Save" button to return to "My Entries" dashboard to submit a new entry, copy an existing entry to a new category, or submit payment.

IMPORTANT: A submitted entry is not final and entered in the competition until it's paid for. Entries may be edited until paid for. Once payment has been processed, it is final.

Payment & Refunds

Entry fees vary. Check the categories kit for entry fees. Some or all of the entries can be paid for at any given time – just select which entries to pay. Once an entry is paid it is officially in the competition and cannot be modified.

Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express (AmEx is for Canadian payments only at this time), or PayPal. US and international entry fees are payable in US funds.

NOTE: For US/International entrants, select PayPal as your Payment type, then click the "Pay with Credit Cards or VISA debit".

We only accept cheque, or direct deposit in special circumstances. These cases must be pre-approved. Contact with your request.

If you are entering a piece as both a Single and as part of a Series, ensure there are two separate entries on My Entries - one for the Series and one for the Single.

Keep a record of your submissions.


All entrants will be notified by early-March 2022 via email. At that time, you will have only 48 hours to correct or finalize creative credits and descriptions.

To ensure you don't miss the results notifications, add to your address book.

What Winners receive


  • Order additional certificates for your creative team, client, etc. with an option to order a plaque-mounted certificate
  • Order additional copies of the Awards Annual at a discounted price
  • Order a personalized, engraved Awards trophy. This attractive and original Lucite AACE cube is 3.5x3.5x3.5 square inches

*Additional fees apply

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility FAQ

Can students enter? No. Students may enter the Student Competition. Go here for categories, eligibility and deadlines for the Student Awards competition.

Can I enter something I entered last year? Not in the same competition, but if it meets the eligibility period for a different competition, then yes.

Can I enter something in multiple Awards competitions? Yes. Each competition has different eligibility periods; please check each competition for eligibility requirements.

Judging FAQ

Will the judges see my descriptions during the judging? Judges do not see the creative descriptions you have entered. These are only for publishing beside your entry if chosen as a winner. If you feel judges need an explanatory note, you may include a brief description as a Support File (no more than 50 words or 10 seconds for broadcast/video).

Categories FAQ

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries home page, click "Copy" on any entry you've created. Be sure to change the discipline and/or entry category to the new one you want to submit to.

Which category does my entry belong in? Often the best way to understand a category is to see previous work that won in that category. Check our online Winners Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, contact

NOTE: Applied Arts reserves the right to move an entry to another category if we feel it unsuitable or incorrectly categorized.

What is a single, series, and campaign? A single means 1 piece. Series means you are submitting more than 1 piece of the same project to a maximum of 3 (5 pieces for Photography & Illustration competitions). A campaign is up to 9 pieces (6 pieces for the Student competition). If an entry contains more than the specified images, we will either contact you to split the submission into multiple entries, or choose which ones will be judged, so it's best to stick to the indicated number of pieces specified.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school up to a certain number of years (3 for Photography and Illustration, and 5 for Design and Advertising). As with all categories, they are judged on creative excellence, technical merit and suitability for end use, but the jury also takes into account the level of professional experience. You will be required to specify the name of the Young Blood entrant to qualify.

What is the Community category? The Community Awards was our newest Awards program, launched in 2017, to help Canadian artists and firms working in smaller communities or with smaller budgets or local clients get the recognition they deserve. In 2019, Community Awards categories were rolled into each of the four competitions (Photography, Illustration, Design and Advertising) for added exposure.

Entry Material FAQ

At what specs do I need to submit my entry? Refer to ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES section for specifications.

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. Only digital uploads are accepted.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? No. You are saving your work as you go through each section of the entry form. If the program crashes as you are completing a certain section, it may not have been saved in that section.

The file I uploaded won't show me a preview. Why? You may not see the image preview if you haven't followed the specs outlined in ENTRY MATERIAL GUIDELINES. Check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, try clearing your browser history or contact

I uploaded the wrong file. Can I change it? Yes. You can resubmit images at any time until payment is made. Click the "X" beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

NOTE: The thumbnail image may not correctly display your new image. If this happens close your browser and log back into "My Entries" for the changes to show. If you continue to experience difficulties, try clearing your browser history or contact

Rights FAQ

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects or material used from external sources in my entry? It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure copyright is not infringed. Upon entry you must grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications, so you would most likely need to have these rights in place to protect yourself. Although you do not need to send us a copy of the release forms, we do suggest that you have them. Entrants who request we don't run their winning work because they don't have the rights will not be refunded for their entry. NOTE: Student work is often exempt from copyright rules.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights to your images.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I've won for. What do I do? We do not issue refunds in these cases, but please contact if you need the entry removed from the Winners' pool.

Payment FAQ

Can I submit more entries after paying? Yes. In My Entries, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries even if others already entered have been paid. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

I want to change something after I've paid. What do I do? Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry title, entry format, winners information, description of entry, or credits. A paid entry is final, so check carefully before proceeding to the payment field. If chosen as a winner, you will be given a small window of time add or edit information.

Can I get a refund? Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve already paid for. What do I do? We do not issue refunds, but contact if you need the entry removed from the judging or winners' pool.

I'm getting error messages when I try to pay. What do I do? If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts would be declined, even if you change your payment type. Close your browser and log back into My Entries. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact

Winners FAQ

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? We will use the image(s) you submitted on entry. In the case of series, complete, campaign or motion, we select a sampling at our discretion from the images/files submitted.


Questions? If you've checked all of the above sections and cannot find the answer to your question, or if you are having difficulty entering, contact


Applied Arts reserves the right to amend these rules throughout the competition. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Applied Arts reserves the rights to publish or exhibit entries for our print or electronic formats, or related promotions. Entries are non-refundable. Costs cover administration, processing, and the judging of the entry. Entries may be moved to a more suitable category, if Applied Arts deems the category chosen unsuitable. All descriptions and credits are subject to be edited for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.