Creative in association withGear Seven

The Ocean Photography Awards Shines a Light on Threats to the Ocean

Advertising Agency
London, UK
The awards in partnership with VCCP Media celebrates the planet whilst raising money for protection

Photo by Shawn Heinrichs

The Ocean Photography Awards have officially launched with a mission to shine a light on the threats facing the ocean and raise money for its protection.  

The Awards are a celebration of our beautiful blue planet, as well as a platform to highlight the many plights it is facing.

Ocean photographers of all disciplines and experience levels are invited to submit their most impactful imagery to be judged by a panel of some of the world’s leading ocean photographers, including International Photography Hall of Fame inductee Paul Nicklen, founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Cristina Mittermeier, and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs.

Six categories will be judged, with the winner of each category awarded a selection of prizes. Several career-changing opportunities are also on offer, including joining a SeaLegacy expedition as a photographer and a one-year residency of the SeaLegacy Collective. The prizes on offer are valued at a total of more than £500,000.

Additional prizes will be announced throughout the summer. 

Entrants can submit their images from today until June 30th, 2020. All images must have been captured from July 1st, 2019 to submission deadline (except Collective Portfolio Award entries which are not date limited). Winners, including the overall winner – the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2020 – will be announced on August 20th at a gala event in London. 

A stunning exhibition will follow, where all winning images will be put on public display. The exhibition will be free to visit.

The full judging panel is: Paul Nicklen, Cristina Mittermeier, Shawn Heinrichs, Andy Mann, Paul Hilton, John Weller and Luciano Candisani. More information on each of the judges can be found on the Ocean Photography Awards website.   

The Ocean Photography Awards is produced by Oceanographic Magazine, in partnership with SeaLegacy and supported by Princess Yachts. 

Will Harrison, editor of Oceanographic Magazine and founder of the Awards, said: “The Ocean Photography Awards are very much an extension of what we strive to achieve at Oceanographic – the harnessing of striking photography to communicate important and inspiring ocean stories. We want to create something that allows people to reconnect with this beautiful blue planet of ours, to witness its staggering beauty and to wake-up to the many perils it currently faces.

“Inclusivity is a key element. These Awards are for all ocean photographers, regardless of whether they’re a diver who shoots exclusively underwater, a surfer to shoots in barrelling waves or a coastal rambler who captures stunning shots of shorelines. The Ocean Photography Awards are for the entire ocean community.” 

Cristina Mittermeier, co-founder and managing director at SeaLegacy and one of the Ocean Photography Awards judges, said: "There is no other photography competition of this calibre focused exclusively on the ocean. The time has come to change that. SeaLegacy leverages the power of digital technology, visual storytelling, and innovation to catalyse lasting cultural change that protects and replenishes the ocean and coastal communities for future generations. With themes of adventure, exploration and conservation, the Ocean Photography Awards is in perfect alignment with this work."

Kiran Haslam, chief marketing officer at Princess Yachts, the exclusive sponsor of the Awards, said: “Princess Yachts is delighted to be supporting an Awards with a powerful dual objective of bringing all ocean communities together to celebrate the ocean through beautiful imagery as well as shining a light on the ocean more broadly in a bid to connect with the many non-ocean-goers out there. Photography has the power to transform our understanding of things, our attitude towards them and our willingness to do something about the issues the images put in front of us.” 

Tara Marus, Joint CEO of VCCP Media, Princess Yachts media agency who worked with Oceanographic to establish the partnership added, 

"Since winning the Princess Yachts business five years ago, we have consistently strived to challenge the industry norms and to go beyond conventional campaigns, delivering innovative solutions amid the sea of same-ness in the category. The awards will enable Princess to build a rich and long-term partnership with Oceanographic and the ocean loving audience alike