Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 (£20,000 in prizes)

Entries are open for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019. The prize competition will reward pictures that show the importance of health in society and the impact health issues have on people and communities worldwide.

Wellcome Photography Prize

They invite photographers and other image makers from all disciplines to enter the Wellcome Photography Prize, which celebrates compelling imagery that captures stories of health, medicine and science. They’re looking for entries that can captivate people with stories of science and medicine, and start conversations about some of the health challenges humanity faces today.

Whether you are a research scientist, a documentary or clinical photographer, an artist, or a photojournalist, this is a great opportunity for you to inspire people to think differently about health, medicine and life.



There are four categories in the competition:

  • Social perspectives – explore how health and illness affect the way we live
  • Hidden worlds – reveal details hidden to the naked eye
  • Medicine in focus – show health and healthcare up close and personal
  • Outbreaks (2019 theme) – capture the impact of disease as it spreads.

The images shown in each category are to inspire you but are for illustration only. Your entry doesn’t necessarily need to be in a similar style or about a similar topic. We’re open to all perspectives.


Images will be shortlisted and then winners chosen by a panel of high-profile judges.

  • The winner of each category will receive £1,250, with the overall winner receiving a prize of £15,000. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in London on 3 July 2019.
  • All the winning and shortlisted entries will go on show in a major public exhibition at Lethaby Gallery(opens in a new tab), Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, from 4-13 July 2019.
  • If you’re a winner, we will also offer you opportunities to take part in events to showcase your work to a range of audiences. The winning images receive extensive international media coverage each year.
  • The winner of the Medicine in Focus category will be invited to produce the Julie Dorrington commission, a photo story exploring and documenting a patient’s journey with their condition.

Eligibility for Wellcome Photography Prize

  • Submissions must be in digital format but the original imagery does not need to be eg high-quality scans of artworks are acceptable.
  • There is no limit on the number of images an individual can submit.
  • People under the age of 18 must have consent from a parent or legal guardian before submitting images into the prize and by entering are confirming that they have permission.
  • Each image can only be entered once into the prize.
  • Each image can only be entered in one category. Wellcome reserves the right to move any image into a different category if it feels that is more appropriate.
  • Each image will be judged individually and must work as a standalone image. If submitting more than one image from the same series of work, please consider which images have the most impact and only submit those that each offer something unique.
  • Diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs will be accepted if they are submitted as a single image.
  • Images that have won or been shortlisted previously in the prize cannot be entered again.
  • Any works originally commissioned by Wellcome are not eligible for submission.
  • Images that have been previously published can be entered into the prize.
  • Watermarks, names or other information identifying the image creator or copyright holder, their representative, or any institutional affiliations or publications, must not be visible in the images themselves. This information will be asked for as part of the submission process and can be included in the accompanying metadata.
  • Any manipulations or alterations made to an image in post-production (eg false colouring an electron micrograph or intentionally distorting part of an image for creative purposes) are allowed as long as they are clearly described in the accompanying image caption.
  • All images must be accompanied with accurate captions and metadata containing all the information described in the guidance provided during the submission process. For any submissions not provided in English, Wellcome reserves the right to translate these into English.
  • All images must be submitted as high-resolution files suitable for printing as winning images will be reproduced including in print format. Images must be at least 15Mb in size (uncompressed file size) and use Adobe RGB (1998) colour model and profile. TIFF or high-resolution JPG formats are preferred.
  • Wellcome reserves the right to disqualify any submissions not of acceptable quality or where the accompanying caption and metadata is insufficient, unclear or untrue.


  • You can enter as many images as you like, but you can’t enter the same image into more than one category. Each entry will be judged individually and should work as a standalone image.
  • If you’re submitting more than one image from the same series, consider which images have the most impact and only submit those that offer something unique.
  • As the image maker you will retain full copyright over your own work. We just ask for permission to use your images in the context of the prize (in exhibitions, promotions, publications and media coverage including social media) and to support Wellcome’s broader charitable work.

Read the competition terms and conditions for more information.

For more information, visit Wellcome Photography Prize.

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