The annual Focus Awards is one of the most popular amateur photography competitions in Australia. In 2016 it attracted 1,800 entries and in 2017 the total prize pool is valued at over $35,000.

There are two competitions run in parallel; The Amateur Awards and the Open Competition.

The Amateur Awards are open to amateur photographers resident in Australia or New Zealand who are Members of the Focus Facebook or Flickr Groups.

The Open Competition is open to any photographer, including professionals, who are resident in Australia or New Zealand.

Images in both competitions may have been taken anywhere in the world.

The Focus Awards are designed to encourage photographers at all stages of development to improve their skills and confidence. As such, every entry into the Focus Awards receives a judges’ feedback comment. This sets the Focus Awards apart from most other leading photography competitions.

The Amateur Awards

To be eligible as a winner in the Amateur Awards, entrants must be a Member of the Focus Facebook or Flickr Groups. The organisers reserve the right to withdraw or disqualify entries from non-Members. Check for details on how to join.

In 2017 there will be six categories in the Amateur Awards :

Each entry will cost $12 and there is no limit to the number of entries an individual can submit.

In fact, to encourage Members to submit multiple images, Focus will offer one free entry for every four paid entries. So, enter four images and you receive a fifth entry free - which is effectively a 20 per cent discount on 5, 10, 15 images, and so on.

Each image can only be submitted ONCE into any of the Amateur Awards categories.

However, amateur photographers may also choose to enter the same, or different images into the Open Competition, at an additional cost of $20 per image (see below).

Photographer of The Year

Photographers entering each of the six Amateur Awards categories will also be eligible for the Photographer of The Year Award, which is decided by calculating the highest average score across all six Amateur Awards categories.

The Open Competition

The Open Competition comprises just one category for Image of The Year. There will be 3rd, 2nd and 1st place prize winners.

Each entry into the Open Competition will cost $20.

Key dates

The Focus Awards will open on 1st September 2017 and close on 30th September 2017.

Images must be from original exposures taken during the period 1st September 2016 to 30th September 2017.

(This 13-month window is designed to allow images captured in September 2016, but not processed or finished in time for entry into the 2016 competition, to be judged as part of the 2017 competition. And so on for future years. This change has been accepted by the Focus Committee on the proviso that the same image can only be entered once into an Annual Focus Awards competition. Similar files, for example from the same shoot sequence, are also likely to be removed if the same image has been submitted before).

Winners will be announced at the Focus Awards Night Dinner taking place on Saturday 18th November 2017, at the Dee Why RSL


Each entry will be scored by three separate judges. Judging will be blind (no names, watermarks or other indicators are allowed that might reveal who is the author of the entry).

Each entry will be judged in its category and the judges’ scores will be averaged to produce a final score. Entries into the Amateur Awards and the Open Competition will be judged in exactly the same way.

In 2017 the Focus Awards will be judged by three world-renowned professional photographers : Peter Eastway (lead), Christian Fletcher and Tony Hewitt. (See Meet The Judges above for more details).


Prizes are sourced from Long-Term Partners and Sponsors who support the Focus Group in a variety of ways throughout the year.

In 2017 the Focus Awards has attracted a total prize pool valued at over $35,000, making it one of the most valuable amateur photographic competitions in Australia.

Why you should enter the Focus Awards

Here are just a few reasons why entering the Focus Awards could be good for you and your photography :

Entering the Focus Awards, and if possible coming to the Focus Awards Night Dinner, is your way to contribute and be a part of the Focus community – one of the most friendly, supportive and simply most awesome photography groups on the planet !

Focus Awards Night Dinner 2017

Tickets Now Available for the Focus Awards Night Dinner 2017