'IOM' - The Ultimate Challenge


The Guild holds various competitions throughout the year, the main one being our ‘Image of the Month’ competition.

The ‘Image of the Month’ known affectionately as the ‘IOM’ – a challenging competition which can help you develop your skills, as well as being fun to enter!

The Image of the Month

The IOM is not just a Monthly Competition – it is so much more.  It feeds…


  • Our ‘Photographer of the Year’  Title chase (with accompanying Top 10′ Photographer awards in each competition section).
  • Our ‘Image of the Year’ competition (a winner and finalists are chosen in multiple genres as well as an overall winner and a ‘Members Choice’ which is selected by members). The Finalists from the awards can be viewed here.
  • The quest to become a member of the ‘Photographers Bar‘ – (a lifelong distinction).

Getting a monthly award is one thing, but obtaining awards month after month is another.  This is why the Photographer of the Year title chases and the challenge to achieve the Photographers Bar are so demanding … as is producing that one very special image which could become an Image of the Year!

Entries are assessed by a full Panel of highly respected and qualified Judges from multiple photography association backgrounds, so it’s tough (but also very beneficial to enter as it really makes you think)!

The Judges grade entries in accordance with international judging criteria and the higher scoring images are awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or even a Platinum Bar. Those who achieve a Bronze Bar or above can utilise relevant logos to recognise their achievement.

On top of this, the first person to obtain a Platinum Bar this year will win £500 courtesy of the Guild of Photographers and our friends at InFocus Insurance.

Text reading "Awards" covered in text
Epson Printer
Multiple Images of Sponsors of the Awards

Why not push yourself, take on the ultimate challenge – Join us and enter!

Once the monthly results are released, entrants can obtain direct online 1-2-1 feedback from one of the Judges to assist with personal development should they wish, and we actively encourage members to join ‘Buddy’ groups where those who enter can learn together, sharing advice and feedback.

The awards are also of incredible value for those in business, and great personal recognition for those who are not!  Last year, there were over 16,000 images entered into the ‘IOM’ competition.  The Image of the Year finalists and winners can be found in the photography book below (as well as those from the Founders Cup which is also detailed below).

Other prizes in last year’s competition included an Epson SureColor P900 printer, a Loupedeck CT, a Loupedeck Live plus products from Digitalab.

The Founders Cup

The ‘Founders Cup’  is a prestigious photography award in memory the Guild’s founders acknowledges what they started and their aims.

Entry involves the submission of a themed three image mini portfolio or panel and is restricted to ‘Registered’ and ‘Qualified’ Guild members who have NOT previously WON any regional, national, or international photography competitions run by photographic bodies (such as the ‘Guild’s Image of the Year or Photographer of the Year titles). 

This means that in most cases those entering will be having their first taste of submitting a themed or cohesive body of work for assessment, in accordance with Roy and Ian’s desire to encourage photographers to take those initial steps to push themselves.


All finalists are acknowledged, the winners received personalised trophies plus Spyder X Photo kits from Datacolor.

black and white images of a fledgling vultures

The Founders Cup Winner – 2021

Other Competitions

These arise from time to time. For example, recent free to enter competitions have included an ‘Out
of Camera’ competition, an inter-region team knockout and ‘Snap into Action’ run in conjunction
with CEWE, and having some great prizes.

We even have a Fantasy Football league sponsored by Digitalab.