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Be our Christmas 2021 cover star!

November 1, 2021

Would you like to see one of your images in print, on the cover of the world’s number one weekly photography magazine? If so, read on…


The festive season is almost upon us, which means it’s time for Stir-up Sunday, sentimental TV adverts, and the Amateur Photographer Christmas cover contest. Here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your work featured on the front cover of the world’s number one weekly photography magazine over Christmas!

You are free to interpret the theme in any way you choose: naturally we are happy to see shots of baubles, trees and lights, but we also want pictures that show the creative potential of the season in general, so feel free to submit winter landscapes, indoor portraits, frosty flora and fauna etc.

Don’t forget that to succeed as a cover photo, images will need space at the top for the AP masthead, plus plenty of space for the coverlines.

christmas cover of robin 2017

The Christmas cover prize

The overall winner (as judged by the AP team) will see their picture grace the cover of the bumper AP Christmas Special issue (18 December 2021). They will also receive a cash prize of £100, and a one-year subscription to AP.

A selection of commended entries will be published inside the magazine.

How to enter

The competition is open to everyone, whether amateur or professional. There are two ways to enter:

1. Post them on your Instagram or Twitter feed, and be sure to use the hashtag #apxmascover. We’ll contact you for the high-res file if your picture is shortlisted.

2. Email your images to us at ap.ed@kelsey.co.uk. Emailed images should be in the JPEG format and be a minimum of 2,000 pixels wide along the longest side.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 26 November 2021

Christmas cover snowflake 2019

Tips for Christmas cover success

If you think you already have something on file, great, if not try to shoot something specifically for the competition. Here are our tips

Don’t crop in too tightly

Leave space for the magazine ‘furniture’ – masthead, coverlines and any graphic devices that we use to describe what’s in the issue. Busy images that have lots of detail are generally unsuitable as they make superimposed text tricky to read.

Shoot portrait-format pictures

While it’s not unheard of for us to use a section of a landscape-format shot, your chances are improved by shooting in the upright format.

Make eye contact

If you’re submitting a portrait, ensure good eye contact, with the subject looking directly into the lens. Make sure the eyes are pin-sharp.

Provide plenty of options

Try various angles and subject placements, with the main focal point to the left, the right and centre, to give the art editor lots of options for where to put the coverlines.


Further reading

Top tips for Christmas Day photography

Christmas Photo Project – Garden Wildlife

12 Christmas photography project ideas to try

Christmas Photo Project – Candlelight Portraits