To All Awards

2024 Photography Awards



You are a photographer, perhaps one who has added motion to your toolbox, or a director who now shoots stills, you have succeeded in building your niche within the creative industry, creating arresting and technically au point imagery. Now, after continually pushing past your comfort zone and flexing that creative muscle, you want everyone to know and celebrate your achievements. Look no further, winning an Applied Arts Photography Award will help you broadcast your work in front of top creative professionals working in the advertising and design industries today. Winning could be a career changer!

This is an international competition open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished, and personal work, for photographers of all levels – including newly minted professionals with three years or less industry experience.

For current students, you are ONLY ELIGIBLE to enter the Student Awards Competition where work is judged alongside your peers at a similar level of experience.

Applied Arts remains as committed to recognizing the talented artists who continue to pursue excellence within their creative projects. Our mandate is to showcase the jewels of their labour resulting from years of hard work. We provide them with the opportunity to grow their community and business by getting the eyes of established industry creatives on their work. Thus Applied Arts will not accept Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Be sure to review the Call for Entry kit and 2024 Photography & Illustration Categories kit for important information and tips on entering.

2024 Call for Entry Kit 2024 Photography Awards Categories Kit

Photography Awards Jury

It is 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.

Fabio Benedetto
San Francisco, CA

A Creative Director and Illustrator, Fabio Benedetto is mostly interested in smile-provoking projects. With over 15 years of experience in the advertising industry, Benedetto currently works as a full-time freelancer, specializing in ideas and illustration with a background in art direction. Throughout these years, Fabio has had the privilege of collaborating with brands such as Apple, Google, Volkswagen, Drake, and RedBull, among others. Additionally, he has received recognition from the most prestigious industry awards, including Cannes Lions, AD&D, and The One Show.

Félix-Antoine Brunet
Art Director
Montreal, QC

Félix-Antoine Brunet serves as an Art Director at Sid Lee, where his decade-long journey in advertising spans roles at DDB, Havas, and Taxi. His craft and creative vision have been recognized by The One Show, Clios, Communication Arts, EPICA, Marketing Awards, Atomic, Applied Arts, and IDÉA Awards. Félix-Antoine's approach combines his love for technical challenges and his commitment to impactful art direction, contributing to successful projects on national and international accounts.

Mélissa Charland
Montreal, QC

Based in Montreal, Melissa is a Creative Director. She has built impactful and memorable campaigns for brands like Volkswagen, Burger King, Nutella, Oreo, Mira and many more. Always driven by the will to challenge the status quo through creativity, her work has been awarded at national and international competitions such as Cannes Lions. Melissa has also been on the jury of the prestigious World Illustration Awards. She has a strong affection for photography, which occupies her free time.

Jackman Chiu
Toronto, ON

Jackman is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Toronto. He has worked on a variety of projects–from branding, campaign, packaging, digital and environmental design to snowboard illustration for a Canadian Olympian. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards such as D&AD, Clios, Marketing Awards and Canadian Marketing Association Awards. Besides graphic design, Jackman is very passionate about photography. Some of his photos have been featured in both print and digital platforms such as the Fast Company, CBC, Popular Photography, Time Out Group Toronto Star and Spacing Magazine.

Grace Cho
Vancouver, BC

Grace Cho is a Creative Director at Rethink. As an Art Director and Creative Director, she has led campaigns for clients like Destination Canada, McDonald's, McCain Foods and Purdys. As an illustrator she has created work for clients like the New York Times, Reader's Digest, Vancouver Mural Fest, and Phenomenal for Netflix. She will also shamelessly plug that she has illustrated a children's book that you can get online or in stores. Her work has been recognized by the Clios, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, Marketing Awards, The ADCC, Epica Awards, among others.

Jayme Fairbridge
Toronto, ON

Jayme has worked at some of Canada's top-notch advertising agencies like BBDO, Bensimon Byrne, and McCann. Her creative talents and craftsmanship have earned her numerous accolades from the world's top industry award shows, such as Cannes Lions, Effies, The One Show, Clios, The ADCC, Applied Arts, and the Marketing Awards. But here's the best part: Jayme's not just about selling stuff. She's on a mission to make the world a better place through creative ideas. Her work on Kids Help Phone has been particularly rewarding. She's the creative force with a big heart, making advertising both brilliant and impactful.

Logan Franklin
Toronto, ON

Logan Franklin is an Associate Creative Director at TAXI. Throughout his career he has worked on clients ranging from car brands, major banks, tourism, and more. His work has been recognized in local and international shows including The ADCC, Applied Arts, Clios, and The One Show, among others.

Natalie Gialluca
New York, NY

Natalie Gialluca is an award-winning visual content creator and photo producer based in New York City. Previously at Entertainment Weekly, Natalie is now the Senior Visuals Editor for Vanity Fair where she works on cover shoots and fashion portfolios. Natalie has over fifteen years of experience creating original photography for clients in editorial and advertising environments. She works for print and digital mediums, and her clients range from national magazines to social media brands, from television networks to streaming platforms. Her work has been honored by receiving numerous gold and silver medals from The Society of Publication Designers, Chosen Awards from American Photography and her 2022 Essence magazine cover of Rihanna by artist Lorna Simpson was the winner of ASME's National Magazine Award in Photography. One of her proudest career accomplishments to date.

Paul Hogarth
London, UK

Paul Hogarth has for over 20 years followed a vision of big ideas. While in Canada he worked at Flavour and Zig and since moving to the UK he has worked as Creative Director at FCB Inferno, M&C Saatchi and Publicis. Paul has now co-founded Unbound with Elspeth Lynn, an agency founded on the idea of being unbound by the stereotypes, labels and ways of the traditional agencies. His vision has been at the heart of many brand campaigns and has guided some of the world's biggest brands, across MINI, IKEA, Virgin Holidays, Cathay Pacific, Last Minute, Esprit, Hammerson, Morrisons, M&S, Peroni, Sky, UBS and many more. He's work has been recognised by Applied Arts, D&AD, Cannes, New York Art Directors, The One Show, LIAs and The Webby's.

Joel Holtby
Toronto, ON

Joel Holtby is the Founder & Co-CCO of Courage, one of the fastest growing independent agencies in Canadian history. Since starting Courage, it has grown from 3 to over 60+ people in the short span of just over a year. His work has earned more than 300+ international and national awards, including multiple Gold Cannes Lions as well as multiple medals at every major international show. Joel was named Ad Age's Creative Director of the year in 2020 and consistently ranks among the top Creative Directors in Strategy Magazine's Creative Report Card. His work has not only consistently become part of the cultural conversation, but also driven tangible business results for some of the biggest brands in the world. Also, Joel is a proud dad to two wonderful little girls, June and Blair.

Elliott Kuss
Edmonton, AB

With over 10 years of experience, Elliott's aptitude for generating creative ideas and translating them into thoughtful solutions is what continues to drive him forward. As an Art Director, his greatest joy is getting to discover, meet, and collaborate with talented people who are passionate about lifting creative work to levels that both excite and inspire. When he isn't immersed in the world of advertising, Elliott explores his passion for mind-altering visuals and affective storytelling on his weekly movie recommendation podcast, Bad Dad Rad Dad.

Nanistya Martohardjono, Rgd
Toronto, ON

Nanistya Martohardjono, RGD, Designer and Creative Director specializes in brand building, team leadership, photo and art direction. She has over two decades of experience in creative leadership positions at Taxi, Watt International, Fusion Creative, Loblaw Brands, and Haft2 Inc. She is crazy about Triple Zero (TB Gelding), Rolo (Chinese Shar Pei) and is a lover of good dumplings and well-made Chelsea boots.

Julia Morra
Chicago, IL

Julia is currently a Group Creative Director at DDB Chicago, with a backbone in art direction and strong notes of strategy. Julia's career spans agencies big and small in Toronto, garnering accolades from D&AD, The One Show, Clios, and more. Beyond keyboard shortcuts, she excels in beer league softball and has a passion for animal welfare. She is drawn to innovative ideas that stretch the boundaries of conventional advertising.

Sara Panchaud
Halifax, NS

Sara is an award-winning Art Director and Designer at District Design Co. Her multi-disciplinary background fosters a holistic approach to design, building compelling brand stories that connect with their audiences. Sara has worked in advertising agencies and design firms across Canada, illustrated several children's books, and been recognized internationally for her work.

Caroline Reumont
Montreal QC

Caroline is a Montreal-based Designer and Creative Director. She specializes in brand image and packaging design. Convinced that brand success lies in innovation rather than imitation, she considers strategy and creative collaboration essential to her work. With solid experience at renowned agencies such as Nolin BBDO, LG2, Sid Lee and Cossette, she has contributed to numerous large-scale projects for leading Quebec brands such as Saputo, Culture Gen V, Maison Riviera, Vachon, Prana, DAVIDsTEA, Café William and Les 3 Brasseurs, among others. Over the past 30 years, Caroline has been awarded nationally and internationally for her expertise in branding.

Christiaan Welzel
British Columbia

Christiaan Welzel is a fully integrated Creative Director with more decades of experience than his vanity would care to admit. He studied Design at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany as well as York University in Toronto, Canada and began his professional career as an Art Director when online advertising was still in its infancy. He sampled several agencies as a creative lead and left his award-winning mark on creative work at Bos, Publicis and Sid Lee before calling Critical Mass his agency of choice and professional residence. Christiaan has spent the last decade representing creative advertising and brand experiences for Global and national businesses such as PepsiCo, AT&T, Rolex, Dell and Clorox. His awards and accolades include The One Show, Clios, The Webby Awards and the Shorties to name just a few.

Judging Process

All work is entered and judged digitally. There are no hard copies. Therefore, please read our RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES, in the 2024 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 it was submitted to.

NOTE: Entries submitted to the Young Blood categories 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 2023 and February 2024 (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 three (3) years.

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 2024 Photography & Illustration Categories Kit for detailed pricing.

Advertising Photography
Architectural Photography
Arts & Culture Photography
Cause-Related Photography
Catalogue Photography
Conceptual Photography
Corporate Photography
Editorial Photography
Environmental Factor Photography
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
Self-Promotion Photography
Small Community/Business Photography – NEW
Sports Photography
Still Life Photography
Travel Photography
Unpublished/Personal Photography

Explainer Videos – NEW
PR Viral – NEW

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.

~ Multiple-page PDFs are allowed and are recommended over uploading individual JPG or PDF files.

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 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:

~ For non-English entries: English translations of important text (i.e. Entry title, headlines) must be included to ensure they are given full and fair consideration by the entire jury. Either as a Support File or within a multi-page PDF as your Main Entry File.

~ Images in context of the finished piece: Show 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.

~ Uploading the same creative: Don't submit the same creative either as a file or URL if it has already been added as the Main Entry File. However, available links to non-static creative are requested in the Winners Information section for publishing in the online Winners Gallery.
~ Entrant information: Do not add a watermark that identifies the entrant on either the Main Entry Files or Support Files/URLs. EXCEPTION self-promotion work is exempt.

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 (5) 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.

View a sample 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 individual's 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. 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.

Entries are non-refundable. In cases of entries submitted to the same category, entrants will have the option to move the entry to another category or enter new work in its place.

Keep a record of your submissions.


All entrants will be notified by early March 2024 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.

Award recipients will earn the following recognition of their outstanding work:


  • 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.

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, winner's 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.