01 Sep 2021


The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the categories for its Eleventh Season of competition, which will be themed, ‘Nature’. The new season will once again contain four main categories with ‘Nature’ serving as the main theme, along with both ‘General’ (Colour / Black & White) category and ‘Portfolio (Story-Telling)’ category. Rounding off the categories will be a new category, ‘Portrait’. The Eleventh Season will be open from Wednesday, 1st September 2021 until midnight on 30th November 2021, UAE time, on the official website

The Secretary General of HIPA, Ali Bin Thalith said: “The choice of Nature as a theme was to inspire inclusivity and invite participants to expand their artistic horizons. We want to provide them the full opportunity to translate their relationship with Mother Nature and their understanding of its meanings; targeting the elements and scenes that they find attractive and framing it through their photographic works for the world to see.

Bin Thalith added, “This category gives photographers the chance to explore the different characteristics of nature across the continents of the world, and sharing with us amazing natural phenomena, scenes and habitats.”

Bin Thalith also revealed the official website,, has been updated with a new look and feel. The site is more engaging, informative, easy to read and simple to navigate. Visitors will have an enhanced experience and be treated to a gallery of art and photography

Bin Thalith concluded, “We remind participants that the grand prize of US$120,000 is within the reach of all our participants, and judges will be choosing the winner from any of the season’s categories. So we invite all our participants to expand their horizons and challenge themselves to get out there and be creative with their lens.” Submissions for HIPA’s Eleventh Season will be accepted on the official website, The deadline for submissions will be 30th November 2021 at 11.59 P.M. (UAE Standard Time).

Categories for HIPA’s Eleventh Season of competition:

Nature Category

Mother Nature is in everything that we touch; she is in everything that we see. She inspires us every day. A force to be reckoned with, she can be both cruel and kind in equal measures. There are so many words to express her, yet not a single word can capture her.

Photography speaks without words, connecting us through powerful imagery. Nature is so expansive that there is never a moment where one is not inspired to photograph her. She has so many dimensions to explore. Whether it be by land, air or sea, her beauty can be captured in her landscapes, wildlife, flora and fauna, vegetation, marine life, people or simply her breathtaking sunrise or sunset.

Nature, like any other subject, is captured from the perspective and lens of a photographer; each having a unique story to share. Nature in all her magnificence – past, present and future – is the theme for the eleventh season of HIPA’s competition.

Inspire us with your masterpieces.

Portfolio (Story-Telling) Category

The Portfolio category returns challenging photographers to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs.

A strong photographic story delves into the heart of a subject 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.

Portrait Category

A popular genre of photography characterised by exploring, identifying and capturing the personality and emotion of people and creatures around them. Portrait photography has catapulted the careers and subsequently worldwide fame of many iconic photographers and the faces they have photographed. The beauty of portrait photography lies in the ability of the photographer to decide how they want their audience to see and feel when they view their portraits. This is the opportunity for you, as a photographer, to portray what is hidden behind the faces of people and creatures on this planet and convey the uniqueness through your lens.

General Category

This category remains a favourite among photographers who have an outstanding eye for visual compositions that do not necessarily fall into any of the other categories.

Year after year, the General category has gained quality and diversity, not to mention numbers, boasting over a third of entries registered in HIPA.

Participants have two opportunities to participate in this category; one for black and white, to give deserved substance to this classic art-form, and the other for colour, giving participants the option to dazzle the jury and viewers with their vibrant compositions.

HIPA Special Awards (Invitation Only):

Photography Appreciation Award

There are many passionate 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.

The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ is a special category for a person or group who has 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 organization that has shown outstanding work or vision in the photography industry on a regional, national or international level.

About the Eleventh Season -