The Big Picture

Key event details

  • Winning image used as a Big Issue cover
  • Entries accepted from 11/9/12 to 11/6/13
  • 4 categories to choose from

Ever wondered what it would be like to have your photographic skills displayed on the front cover of a national magazine? Get involved in our Big Picture photography competition to have your chance to do just that.

The award is an open competition allowing professionals and amateurs on an equal basis. It will be judged by award winning photographers including Paul Wenham-Clarke, creator of Hard Times exhibition, and the editor of The Big Issue magazine.

The award focuses upon current social and environmental issues. These maybe local or global but the images need to show something that really matters to you. There are lots of different categories to enter in, with the winning work from each category being published in the Big Issue and our overall winner, chosen from the winners, being used as a front cover of The Big Issue magazine. The overall winner will be given The Peter Welch Award for photography. There will be winners chosen from both the single and series entries in the categories where this is an option. There will also be an exhibition of the winning and highly commended photographs chosen.

Entries cost £10 for a single, £20 for a series and £30 for a project entry. A series must be a series of images on the same theme and be in a similar style. The project category is an opportunity to produce an extended piece of work on one theme or narrative. There’s no limit to the number of entries you can make. All the money raised will go to help support the work of The Big Issue Foundation. You will be able to send in your entries through this page from 11th September 2012 to 11th June 2013.

"This competition gives a fantastic opportunity for thousands of people to see images that are probably very personal to the photographers who are making them.

It doesn't matter who the photographer is, young, old, professional, or amateur. What does matter is that their commitment and passion shows through in the work.

I am hoping for hard hitting controversial images that pushes the boundaries and makes people think!"
Award winning photographer and Big Picture judge Paul Wenham-Clarke


  • Portrait: A representation of a living person or animal.
  • Life: Showing the interaction between a subject and the environment. This for example might be an insight into a way of life and could be spontaneous, or set up. This category has a single and series (between 4 and 8 separate images) entry.
  • Environmental: This can be a landscape or interior or even an object. This category has a single and series (between 4 and 8 separate images) entry.
  • Project: A series of between 8 and 20 images that portray a narrative.

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