APOY round seven is open: Portraits

July 12, 2021

It is time to enter the latest round of our Amateur Photographer of the Year competition (APOY), the biggest and best contest of its kind…

It is hard to believe but we are on round 7 of APOY already, with the theme of Portraits.

With its varied categories, there should be a round for you, no matter what you like to shoot. You might choose to enter just one category or enter them all with the aim of taking home the main prize and, of course, the title of Amateur Photographer of the Year 2021.

The competition is open to all amateur photographers* and we have again teamed up with Photocrowd, who will be hosting the competition on a simple and intuitive platform.

This year we have two new categories. Under-21s can enter the Young Amateur Photographer of the Year, with each category winner receiving a £250 voucher for MPB, and the overall winner being awarded a £500 voucher.

Finally, there’s a camera club category, where you can accumulate points for your society. The most successful club will receive a voucher for £500.

*For the purposes of this competition, an amateur photographer is defined as someone who earns 10% or less of their income from photography or photographic services.

A good portrait should tell a story, as with this image by Zay Yar Lin, which came third in last year’s portraits round

Send us your best portrait shots!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to capturing portraits. From the traditional to the unconventional, inside or outside the studio, anything goes.

Whether you choose to make yourself the subject or capture others, we’re looking for a portrait that tells a story. Great people pictures can be found in all walks of life – it’s how you capture and portray your subject that draws the viewer in. We can’t wait to see how you interpret this genre of photography.


Your guest judge
Your guest judge for Round Seven of APOY is Natasha Bella. An accomplished and experienced photographer and model, Natasha runs group and one-to-one workshops in her Leeds-based studio, in which she covers a variety of different genres, as well as lighting and posing techniques. She also gives camera club talks on collaboration and the importance of teamwork. To see more of her work, visit

Prizes worth £900 – take your pick from MPB’s huge catalogue of used gear

The winner of each round of APOY receives a £500 voucher to spend on anything at MPB. From top-of-the-range digital medium-format camera bodies, to entry-level DSLRs, telephoto zooms and wideangle lenses, MPB is a one-stop shop for used kit. And, of course, you can use your voucher towards your dream piece of kit, if it happens to cost more than £500.

For portraiture, nothing beats a classic focal length with a wide aperture, which is why 85mm primes are so popular. It’s great for both full-length and close-ups, and there’s little or no distortion to features. The focal length provides just the right amount of compression, and easily throws your background out of focus.

MPB has 85mm wide-aperture prime lenses by all the major brands, including the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM, the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G and Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM (below).

All feature outstanding optical performance and gorgeous bokeh. They start from £879, £694 and £1,029 respectively.

There are second- and third-placed prizes of £100 and £50 vouchers respectively, while the winner of the Youth category wins a £250 voucher.

Check out to take your pick from thousands of items.

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