February 2021

Addendum : 25 April 2021 : Deadline extended to 23:59 hours UTC+8 (Malaysia time), Friday 7th May 2021.

Addendum : 14 March 2021 : * KLPA have decided to curtail the SINGLE IMAGE OPEN Free Image entry on Midnight, 30 March, 2021 (UTC+8) and return to our standard entry fee structure.

The 2021 KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS is open to photographers - professional and amateurs - from all countries.


a. Must be 16 years of age or over on 30 April 2021.

b. Photographers may submit to -

    CATEGORY 1 : SINGLE IMAGE THEME - 1 to 10 images

    CATEGORY 2 : SINGLE IMAGE OPEN - 1 to 10 images /  1 free image to all participants *
    CATEGORY 3 : PROJECT GRANT - Projects must contain minimum 6, maximum 12 images

c. May submit through the KLPA website only.

d. Photographers may enter one or both categories, separately, up to three times per category.

e. Cash / bank transfers are also accepted for Malaysian entries via direct giro bank transfer. Use exchange : January 2021  $1.00 USD = RM4.00




STANDARD RATES from 1 February to 30 April, 2021


1 image           USD$15.00

2 images         USD$30.00

3 - 6 images    USD$45.00

7 - 10 images  USD$55.00


1 project         USD$45.00



Top three winners will receive :
i. 1st Prize $2000, 2nd Prize $1000, 3rd Prize $500 (USD$)

ii. all 50 finalists will have their images exposed and promoted at international festivals in conjunction with our collaborative partners.

iii. Malaysian-based entries from both Single Image categories will be entered automatically to the KLPA Canon Malaysia Award. The top three entries will be awarded :


1st Prize    Canon EOS M50 with lens

2nd Prize  Canon EOS M200 with lens

3rd Prize   Canon G7 X Mark II


Three photographers will be awarded $1000 each in June 2021 to allow them to continue and complete their work-in-progress projects. Projects must be ready to be exhibited in September.


Partner festival that will be displaying or screening finalists images as collaborations are :

San Jose Foto, Uruguay
Auckland Festival of Photography, New Zealand

Uganda Press Photo Award, Uganda

Exposure+ Photo, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photolux, Lucca, Italy

Suwon International Photography Festival, South Korea

The organisers reserve the right not to award any of these prizes if the standards are not met as determined by the panel of judges. Partner festivals decision on screening cancellations and rescheduling are final.


a. The organisers of the KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS are and KL Photoawards Malaysia and are Not-For-Profit organisations.

b. Entry fees are required to cover prize money, venue hire, catalogues, printing and organisation of events.

c. Entrants warrant to the organisers that they (the Photographer) own the work submitted, that the whole copyright in the work is vested in the Photographer or, if the copyright belongs to a third party such as an agency, that the Photographer has the right to submit the work free from encumbrances or restrictions and that if the work was commissioned for private and domestic purposes it is submitted with the permission of the person who commissioned it.

d. Entrants warrant that, if their work is selected for exhibition, they (the Photographer) have obtained the appropriate model releases from persons featured in their submitted photographs for all sales, marketing, educational and publicity uses and that no additional releases are required in respect of names, trademarks, designs or works of art depicted in the work.

e. USAGE 1: Entrants agree that their work may be exhibited by the organisers and festival collaborators at an appropriate venue, and subsequently at any other exhibition tour venues organised by them for 3 years from the close of the contest.

f. USAGE 2 : Entrants agree that the organisers may use any entries featured in the exhibition without any payment to the Photographer, model or any third party for any sales, marketing, educational and publicity use on, and in, all media worldwide including catalogues, posters, postcards, the Internet and within a television documentary related to the exhibition for 3 years from the close of the contest. However, such free use shall only be in connection with the KL INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS and its promotion or featured activities by the organisers or third parties; and the photographer, and if appropriate their agency, will receive credit for such use.

g. COPYRIGHT : The Photographer always retains the copyright of all submitted images at all times, except in relation to the previous provision (e &f), that is, any free use shall only be in connection with the promotion of KL INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS by print, web or projection by the organiser, its partners, sponsors and media companies.

h. All photographs must have been taken from 2018 to 2021, or part of a recent on-going project, started after 2017. Proof may be required at a later stage.

i. Entries may be disqualified if any of the above criteria are not adhered to. The judges' decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.

j. Employees of the organisers and sponsors may not enter the KL INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS 2021.

k. COVID-19 restrictions : Because of the uncertainty of staging public exhibitions and holding gatherings in Malaysia, and also in relation other partner international festivals, KLPA cannot guarantee to hold a finalists exhibition or displays in Kuala Lumpur this September. However, we will endeavour to do so and will provide the earliest possible update. Nevertheless, an online winners gallery will be uploaded to our website to reach a wider audience.


a. KLPA treat the exploitation of vulnerable children in photographic submissions seriously and will reject any images submitted where the subject of children within the portrait image is deemed by our panel of judges to be have been physically or mentally abused, exploited, coerced to pose (list not exhaustive), and / or inferred to by the attached title or statement.

b. We urge all photographers to adhere to the guidelines on the ethical reporting of children as set out by (see ) and by United Nations Human Rights Convention  (see ) and ( )

c. Photographers should, wherever possible, seek and obtain consent from the child and their legal guardian when taking their photographs.


a. Submissions will be received from 1 February to 30 April, 2021, (Midnight UTC+8) only, unless otherwise extended officially, as announced on this website. (Extended to Friday 7th May, 2021 at 23:59 UTC+8.)

b. All photographs must be the photographer's own works. 'Portrait' may be interpreted in its widest sense, in relation to 'photography concerned with portraying people with the emphasis on their identity as individuals in relation to their surroundings, status, and humanity'. 'Portrait-led' photo essays must contain portraits of people in the whole context of the project.

c. Commercial and advertising images, heavy digitally manipulated or post-processed, HDR (High Dynamic Range) or digitally montaged images are not permissible. eg. heavy vignetting, extreme darkening of skies, toning, filter effects. In-camera multiple exposures are allowed.

d. In all categories, minimal digital enhancement is advised, subject to basic darkroom techniques e.g. levels, curves, dodging, burning, minimal sharpening, colour correction. Photographs can be Black and White or Colour, in any format. Photographs must not have any digital borders, keyline, name, personal logos or watermarks. Scanned film images must be free of dust marks and borders. Alternative or vintage processes are allowed and must be appropriately stated, along with the technique and process.

e. Images deemed by the organisers to be exploitative, obscene or pornographic will be disqualified. Nudity is permissible but subject to local sensitivities and venue discretion for public display.

f. Submission dimensions 1,500 pixels at its longest edge, saved as .jpg at high quality, approximately 1,500kb in size in SRGB colourspace, Quality 8 and above. Submission is via online uploads from the website.

g. Filenames

All photographs must follow this format of naming, in lowercase

:   surname.firstname.number.jpg

      For example : James TAN entering 3 images -

      tan.j.01.jpg, tan.j.02.jpg, tan.j.03.jpg

h. Finalists may be required to submit their original RAW or JPEG files for verification.

i. The decision of the judges is final and no discussion or correspondence can be entered into. The organisers reserve the right to vary the awards or not to make any award. All submitted entries will be judged blindly (ie. without the names or identities of the photographers) by the panel of judges, in a live situation.


a. Submissions accepted : 1 February 2021.

b. Submission of images will only be open from 1 February - 30 April 2021 on the website. All entries must be received by 2400 hrs UTC+8 on 30 April 2021, unless otherwise extended.

c. Judging will take place in May 2021. Photographers whose entries are shortlisted by the judges will be notified by email or by post within 14 days.

d. A shortlisted finalists gallery will be available to view on this website from mid-June 2021.

e. Prize Winners and Finalists exhibition prints - the organisers will prepare, print and mount all photographs, or prepare for their projections for public exhibitions.

f. Only shortlisted finalists and winners will be contacted by email.

Notified finalists will be required to submit high-resolution image files by ftp / email by the end of June 2021. Image files not received by this date will be disqualified. High-resolution files should be at least 4,800 pixels at its shortest dimension, (approx. 50 cm x 40 cm size), and must be of exhibition quality. (Contact the organiser if in doubt). Files may be interpolated upwards in a photo editing software to the required dimensions, but image quality must be maintained.

g. The Prize Winners will be announced at an Awards Presentation ceremony and exhibition. This will take place in September 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, subject to government restrictions during the pandemic. Finalists will have their images displayed either via projection or print at the stated partner festivals in 2021, subject to the individual festival organisers decisions.

h. The sponsors, the exhibition venues or the organisers shall not be liable for any loss or damage, whether or not caused by their negligence.


a. Awards  - Prize and Grant Winners from both categories will be invited to attend the Awards event in Malaysia in September 2021.  Invited overseas winners will be provided accommodation for 3 nights during their stay in Kuala Lumpur to receive their certificates and participate in an informal gallery public ‘walk & talk’ event. There will be no trophies for KLPA2021.

b. If Prize Winners cannot attend the Awards in Kuala Lumpur, their certificates will be mailed out to them within 30 days from the date of the Awards. Prize monies will be wired to all winners within 3 weeks of the awards event.

a. Please email if you have any other questions relating to entry.