Discovering, promoting and rewarding the work of exceptional women* photographers.

The 2021 winners have been announced!

Female in Focus

Back for its third edition, Female in Focus champions the work of world-class women and non-binary photographers across the world.
*Female in Focus is a space built for all women (e.g. cis, trans and intersex) as well as non-binary artists

Awareness around gender inequality in the industry may be growing. But the numbers aren’t changing fast enough.

Globally, 70-80% of photography students are women — yet they account for only 13-15% of professional photographers.

Why enter

Get exhibited in a group show

20 images and two bodies of work will be exhibited in a group show in collaboration with the Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)  in Miami later this year. Previous venues include Photoville and Artspace in New York City.

Get judged by industry leaders

Judges this year include leading women from The New Yorker, Women Photographers International Archive and international galleries and publications.

Receive international press coverage

Past winners have been featured in Vogue Italia, the Guardian, the Times and more.

Prize list

Prize list

Stories Category

  • Two winning series will be exhibited as part of a group show in Miami at the Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)
  • NEW: Your work as part of a major UK Exhibition
  • Receive international press coverage
  • Be featured on 1854.photography

Single Image Category

  • 20 winning images will be exhibited as part of the group show in Miami at the Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)
  • NEW: Your work as part of a major UK exhibition
  • Receive international press coverage
  • Be featured on 1854.photography
  • Have your work judged by industry leaders

Stories Category

  • Two winning series will be exhibited as part of a group show in New York
  • Winners from this category will be flown to New York for the opening of the exhibition, with return flights and two nights of accommodation included
  • Receive international press coverage
  • Be featured on 1854.photography

Single Image Category

  • 20 winning images will be exhibited as part of the group show
  • Receive international press coverage
  • Be featured on 1854.photography
  • Have your work judged by industry leaders


Each year Female in Focus is judged by a panel of leading international women in photography. More judges to be announced soon!

Aldeide Delgado

Founder and Director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA)

Joanna Milter

Director of photography for The New Yorker

Anahita Ghabaian-Etehadieh

Founder and Director of Silk Road Gallery

Adama Delphine Fawundu

Visual Artist & Co-author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

Emmeline Yong

Co-Founder and Centre Director of Objectifs

Holly Fraser

Editor-in-chief of WePresent/WeTransfer

Louise Fedotov-Clements

Artistic Director, QUAD & Director, FORMAT International Photography Festival Derby

Anna Fox

Photographer and Director of Fast Forward: Women in Photography

Touria El Glaoui

Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Hear from our past winners


Meet the photographers whose work has smashed through the glass ceiling. Many are now internationally established names.

Exhibition Partners:

Exhibition Sponsor:

Media Partners:

Free applications for photographers in low-income locations

Women and non-binary photographers located in non-high-income countries can apply to Female in Focus 2021 for free. Are you eligible? See the list of qualifying countries, and complete the form via the link below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if the exhibition is unable to go ahead due to COVID-19?

The team are very aware of potential complications caused by hosting a physical exhibition. We will be working with the gallery/exhibition space to accommodate any changes that occur as a result. When the exhibition does go ahead, it will be under the guidelines provided by the government at the time.

What benefit is there for me to enter if the exhibition doesn’t go ahead due to COVID-19?

Should the exhibition not be able to go ahead, the 1854 team are dedicated to ensuring that your work still receives exposure through digital outputs via the 1854 Network, international publicity and other opportunities to help your practice grow.

I have lost the email with my entry link

If you have lost your entry, use the reset form here, to send a reminder to your email address.

Can I pay by PayPal / Cheque / Cash?

We can only accept entries paid for with a credit or debit card online

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, you may enter as many times as you choose.

I have a promotional code, how can I use it?

Please first choose the type of entry you wish to make (eg, one series entry). On the next page you will be able to enter your promotional code, and after submitting that form you will see your discount applied.

I have a promotional code, but it doesn’t work?

Please note that most codes are time-limited. If the deadline for using your code has passed, it will not be usable.

I bought too many entries / ran out of time, can I get a refund?

Sorry, but all entry fees are non-refundable, as stated in the terms and conditions that you accepted on entry.

Can I upgrade my entry?

No unfortunately we can not upgrade your entry once a purchase has been made

The entry system is saying that my entry has already been claimed when I haven’t entered. What do I do?

You may have already received an email from us with your entry link. If so, submit your images through the link provided.

I am an 1854 Access member, why am I being asked to pay for my entries?

You will need to click on the members log in section on the submission platform, and enter your membership number in order to submit your entries.

Have my images uploaded correctly?

If your images have uploaded correctly you will see a small version of each photo on the entry page, alongside the caption you entered. If you cannot see your photo, then your image has not uploaded correctly. If a caption has been stored but no image, you can delete it using the Edit option.

I can’t upload my images – I see a green bar, it says 100%, but that’s it

Our image uploader is designed to work with all modern web browsers, but some – in particular, Internet Explorer 11 – aren’t able to use it. If you are unable to upload your images please either download a modern browser (we recommend Google Chrome), or click the link on the upload page to use our Classic Uploader instead.

What’s the Classic Uploader?

The Classic Uploader uploads image files in a way that’s slower, but better supported by old browsers such as Internet Explorer 11. Please note that it can accept JPEG files of up to 5MB in size only, and that you will experience a wait after clicking the Upload button.

Can I send my photos by email / WeTransfer / on DVD / some other way

We can only accept images that are uploaded using our entry system. This ensures that each one is logged with your entry details, and made available to our judges.

I uploaded one image, and now want to go back to upload more, but the system will not let me do so – what’s wrong?

Either the competition deadline has passed, or you have previously submitted your entry to the judges. In order to do so you will have read a notice warning you, and ticked a box confirming your understanding, that doing so would prevent you from making any further changes.

There isn’t enough room for my image title, or other text

Please note that maximum lengths that apply to these texts. The length limits are noted on the form used to enter them and are given in characters (letters), not words.

I can’t see the option to submit my entry

The Submit button appears at the top of your entry page once you have uploaded at least one image.

What happens when I submit my entry?

Your entry will be confirmed on a web page after submitting, and then we will send you a confirmation email, and your images (along with their captions, statements etc) are stored, ready to be viewed by the judges.

I have submitted my entry – can I change it?

No, once your entry has been submitted you may no longer alter it in any way.

Could you please check my images / text / entry?

I’m afraid this isn’t possible – our system receives thousands of images, so we can’t check individual ones. Please ensure that you are happy with your images and statement before submitting it.

Can you please provide an invoice for my entry?

Your entry confirmation email includes a full VAT invoice, we can not provide any other invoice request

Female in Focus is an award dedicated to celebrating women in photography. We welcome entries from a multitude of female voices, including anyone who identifies as a woman.


Professional and non-professional photographers from all over the world are eligible to enter.


Images can be shot using any camera model (film or digital) or electronic device, and images may be portrait, landscape or square in format.


Each entrant will be deemed to warrant that they own the entire copyright for the work or that they have permission from the licensee and/or copyright owner/s for the uses.


Each image can be a maximum of 10MB in size. All images must be submitted as JPEG files – any files submitted in any other format (including TIFF, PDF, PSD etc) will be discarded.


You may submit a title (200 character limit) and caption (750 character limit) for each photograph entered. For the Stories Category, you can also provide an artist’s statement (1000 character limit). All accompanying text must be written in English.


We are accepting entries until the 17 June 2021 23:59 (UK time).

Judging will take place shortly after the deadline.


There is no time frame for the images


Images do not need to feature a woman as the subject to be eligible for this award.



Once your images and captions have been uploaded to the system you will see an option to submit your entry. Once submitted, your entry cannot be altered. Only submitted entries will be viewed by the judges.


The winners must be available to supply high-res files promptly for publication.


Digital files of the winning images will be created for press and publicity purposes.


1854 Media & British Journal of Photography cannot be responsible for any loss or damage to submitted work.


No copyright is transferred to 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography in respect of any works entered or accepted.


1854 Media & British Journal of Photography reserve the right to display, reproduce and publish in any media, any entry, without payment, for the sole purpose of Female in Focus – this year and in future – and its promotion and publicity.


The 2020 exhibition will take place in El Barrio’s Artspace in July 2021. The winners of the 2021 edition will be exhibited this year in a gallery based in both Miami and the UK

1854 Media will organise and cover costs from the framing, printing and production of the Female in Focus show.


A selection of images will be published through 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography digital channels.


You will be asked to pay for your entry by Credit Card. All payments are handled securely by our payment partner Stripe. After payment, you will receive an email containing a personal upload URL, where you may submit your images and statement.


All entry purchases are final. Having purchased an entry, it is your responsibility to upload and submit your images and statement before the deadline. No refunds will be issued.


In order to receive your award status, you must be subscribed to the Awards Communications list on our mailing system. If you have not received your status after the deadline, you must simply resubscribe by filling out a form to our newsletter list.


Please note that 1854 Access members entering awards as part of their membership (as opposed to a paid entry) will be required to remain a member throughout the periods when awards are judged and exhibitions/outputs are planned, for their entries to be eligible.

All entries are subject to 1854 Media’s General Competition Terms and Conditions

Our mission is to empower women-identifying people the world over to own their own stories. Are you our next winner?