Last Category - Best of Black & White!

Welcome to the final round of our Portrait competition, in conjunction with our partner One Vision Imaging, which is inviting professionals to enter their very best portrait work in a number of challenging categories.

Professional Photo Portrait Photographer of the year contest

Portraits come in all shapes and sizes and we’re hoping to see a wide variety of them over the coming months as we set six challenging categories in our brand new Professional Portrait Competition. Between now and next March we’ll be inviting photographers to submit their best single image on a chosen theme, and in each issue there will be a new subject set and we’ll be revealing our latest winner. It will be a chance to pits your wits against your fellow professionals and to battle it out for a monthly prize and a £1000 pot of money to spend at One Vision Imaging for the overall winner, who will announced on the One Vision stand at TPS 2020.

Taking the colour out of a scene can focus attention on a face while creating a portrait that’s full of character and atmosphere. We want to see your best black & white shots in this, our final round.

Colour long ago usurped monochrome as the de facto format for most images, so why is it that black and white still has such a strong following amongst portrait photographers? The answer is that, by reducing an image to its component tones, you can strip away some of the distractions that colour can create and focus attention instead on the character of your subject.

There’s also the point that you can add incredible atmosphere by building up the shadows or, conversely, by creating a high key look. By making a deliberate choice to take a black and white approach rather than being forced to go down that route, as you would once have been, by the fact that colour was more expensive and less accessible, you’re sending out a message that you’re looking to create something that’s a little different. You might even be looking to pay a nod to some of the classic vintage shots produced by the great names of the past, and there’s still much to be said for this timeless approach.

This is your last chance to enter our Portrait Photographer of the Year Competition and to put yourself in contention for a place in the final and the chance to be named our overall winner at next year’s TPS Show at the NEC. Someone is going to walk away with £1000 to spend on a range of cool products at the One Vision Imaging Lab and it could be you!

Make sure you get involved and upload your best black and white portrait shot now. Remember that each of our round winners also picks up the monthly prize of a beautiful One Vision Imaging Trinity Solo Frame, so there’s plenty to play for!

Our last Category: Black and white Portraits

Here are our guest Judge Derek Ridger's top tips for success:

What, for you, is the key benefit of using b&w in portraiture?

I suppose the key benefit of using black and white is that it’s often easier to do something that has either a strong element of design or is very dramatic. And sometimes both. If one is shooting in colour and there’s not much strong colour in the scene or the colours lack any sort of harmony, a strong sense of drama and/or graphic strength will likely be much harder to achieve. But really, I’m of the opinion there are no rules. If one can produce a great photograph in whatever which way, that’s fine by me.

 Would you usually have preconceived something as a b&w shoot?

Yes, very much so. I happen to think this is pretty much essential if you want to try to produce compelling images. It’s also one of the things a lot of students seem to sort of gloss over. It’s never enough to just take photographs of interesting or beautiful things: things still have to look good when rendered in two dimensions. The final images have to engage the viewer in some way and to do this properly IMHO one needs to have some sense of how things will likely end up. I grew up in an era – the ’50s and ’60s – when most photography was still in black and white. All my photographic memories as a kid are of black and white images – mostly in newspapers. So I suppose I still fundamentally see photography in my mind’s eye as black and white.

 How is working with tones different to working with hues?

In subdued light, in black and white, prominent grain can be quite appealing.  Sometimes strong grain can make the photograph really interesting where ordinarily it might not be so. On the other hand, in colour, subdued light can produce prominent noise.  Which is a lot less appealing. 

What You Can Win

The One Vision Imaging Trinity Solo Print is a hugely popular presentational product that sees a photographic print mounted onto a bevelled MDF block and then dropped into a deep set frame, creating a floating appearance amongst a multi layered product. Each one of our monthly winners will take home one of these, plus a prizewinner’s logo that they will be able to display on their website and in their marketing materials and they will also advance to the final where they will have the opportunity to win a trophy plus a cool £1000 of money to spend on a whole galaxy of tempting products at the One Vision Imaging pro lab.

Young Portrait Photographer of the Year

We’ll also be looking for a young professional under the age of 25 who submits what we consider to be the best portrait image across all six of the categories, so if you want to be considered for this award you’ll need to tick the box when you enter. This won’t preclude you from winning a section or indeed the overall prize, so make sure you’re in with a chance and show us what you can do!

Terms and Conditions

1 General Terms.

This competition is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle and Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or older, except for employees of So Smart Media and One Vision Imaging, their families or anyone else associated with the competition.

2 Only working professional photographers may enter this competition.

3 Only one image can be submitted per round, per photographer. Late entries will not be accepted and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries may not be sent through agencies or third parties. Photographers can enter all six rounds.

4 Entries must be entered through the Professional Photo website as JPEG or PNG files, no larger than 10MB and no more than 2000 pixels on either edge. Please retain EXIF information in image.

5 All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any images they submit have been taken with the permission of the subject and do not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws. Entrants must warrant that the photograph they are submitting is their own work and that they own the copyright.

6 Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to So Smart Media Ltd and One Vision Imaging to feature any or all of the submitted images in their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition. Winners contact info will also be shared with One Vision ltd.

7 All entries must be received by the advertised closing times and dates.

8 The final winner will be announced in Issue 170 on sale March 26, 2020.

9 The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

10 Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the promoter and, accordingly the promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the promoter as a result thereof.

11. Website Terms:

11.a To enter the contest you must register a Member Account on the site first. In doing this you agree to our main privacy policy and Terms and Conditions. It is also advisable to subscribe to our news and updates so that you can be kept in the loop about the competition. You can unsubscribe at any time.

11.b Once registered you will then be able to log in and upload your photos. In the welcome email you will also have a link to see your profile on the site, adjust it, add business information, profile photo, cover photo, specialties, website and social media links, hide it if required etc. This information is searchable by those looking for professional photographers and their specialties unless hidden.

12 Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions which you will confirm when you upload your photo.

Register to enter competition

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Once you have registered and logged in you can then upload your Photo in the gallery below by clicking on the upload button.

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Your image will appear in the gallery after upload.

Entry to the competition is FREE so all we ask is that you support the competition by following us on our social media sites.

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£1000 spend at One vision Imaging to be won!

Best of Black and White Ends 03/01 midnight








This competition is open to professional working photographers only, who are residents either of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle and Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or older.

Guest Judge –  Derek Ridgers

Derek Ridgers is one of London’s most influential club and street photographers, starting in the seventies with his documentation of the rise of the Blitz Kids, the New Romantics, Hell and Taboo in London.

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