Registration & Submission through Picter

Participation in POY Asia 2022 competition is free.

We are using Picter contest platform which is the same as other major competitions.

Create a free account at Picter if you haven’t already done so. You will receive an email with a confirmation link.

Unfortunately, Picter only has instructions in English.

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If you have already uploaded pictures for other competitions, you can access the same files to enter POY Asia. 
You can return as many times as necessary to upload your material.
Picter sends out to each photographer a very comprehensive summary of what he or she submits, including images in sequence for multiple images categories. You are encouraged to use this summary to verify your submissions.

Photo captions and information

Captions play a big role in the judging process and often decide if a picture progresses to the next stage or not.

By default, we prefer editorial captions.

They are read in the final rounds of each category. Well-written captions with relevant details strengthen your entry and will stand out compared to entries with weak captions.

Write the captions carefully. Include the date and location of where the photo was taken. They must be written in English.

Each photograph must include a caption embedded in the .jpg file’s IPTC metadata description field that meets journalistic standards for accuracy and ready-for-publication requirements.

Each caption should include a date, or an approximation of the date. For example, “The photo was taken on Feb. 4, 2020,” or “The photo was taken in February 2020.”

Captions that are inaccurate or falsely represent the picture content may be disqualified.

It is essential to complete the following IPTC fields: Creator/Photographer (name of the photographer), Caption (caption), City, Country, State.

Do not include your credit or byline in the caption. Include your credit only in the creator/author fields.

When you upload your images to Picter, the system will complete the contest information fields from IPTC metadata.

After uploading your images to Picter, you will be able to sequence the photos and see that your caption information is present in Picter.

Please edit or add information to the file BEFORE uploading to Picter, embedding the information, or replace the photo if you need to make changes.

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We don’t want or need lengthy essays or thesis but accuracy is a must.
Whenever possible, people in a picture have to be identified if there are five or fewer individuals in an image.
Context is important; direct quotes are a bonus.
There are different programs that can be used to embed the captions, such as Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, and Photomechanic.
There are online tutorials that explain how to embed the information into the files.
The following IPTC fields are required:
  • DOCUMENT TITLE is the image title
  • AUTHOR is the photographer’s name
  • DESCRIPTION is the caption (and story summary for picture stories)
  • CAPTURE DATE verify that this field is correct. If any images are outside eligible entry dates your entry may be rejected. 
  • LOCATION INFORMATION include city (or nearest city), state/province, country

File type

Images should only be submitted as .jpg files.

The .jpg image should be saved in “maximum quality”, or with a compression ratio greater than 9. Maximum size is 5,000 pixels.

If your original photos are less than 3000px on the longest side, you will need to enlarge them in Photoshop or similar program.

All images must be recorded in 8bits, in Adobe RGB (preferred) or sRGB color space.

Individual photos and series

All images must be taken in Asia.

A single image within each .jpg file. Multiple photos in the same file will not be accepted.

A photo can only be submitted once in the same category.

A photo submitted in a single category may also appear in a series.

A series can only be submitted once.

A single photograph may be submitted only once among the single-picture categories.

The order or sequence of images you create upon entering will be preserved. You may change the sequence after you upload the images.

POY Asia will not change the order of the pictures after you submit the entry.

Please include the story summary in addition to the caption in the description field in the first image of each story.

Picture Story projects should have a clearly defined structure with each image contributing unique information. In the final rounds, the judges often focus on the quality of the edit. Eliminate weak and redundant images.
Depending on the category, a picture story can range from 5 to 40 photos and counts as one project. Do not re-edit photos from the same story and then upload it as a different story.

Rules for digital processing, the use of mobile applications and the documentary nature of the images

Documentary entries should be true representations of a news scene or candid moment. Photographs cannot be posed, set up or staged. Portraits may be posed.

All captions and story summaries should meet journalistic standards for accuracy. All POY programs follow recognized standards of journalistic ethics. A good source for these standards can be found via the American photojournalism group, the National Press Photographers Association:

POY Asia accepts two types of images: color and black and white. In the case of color images, the goal is to replicate what the human eye sees. Routine corrections of tone, white balance and exposure are acceptable. Photos that have been exaggeratedly manipulated may be disqualified by the jury.

Alteration of photographic content, double exposures, masks, frames, backgrounds, text, handwritten notes, or other artistic effects are prohibited, except in the COVID Expressions and Cultural Practices category.

Diptychs or triptychs are not allowed, except in the COVID Expressions and Cultural Practices category.

Film borders are acceptable only if the image was originally taken on negative, slide or Polaroid film.

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Heavily edited images turn off judges. Color images should replicate what the human eye experiences. Flagrant pre- or post-production effects that use excessive tonal aberrations, textures, vignettes, color saturation or other manipulations may be disqualified.
The content of the submitted work must not be digitally manipulated or altered through post-production processing. Routine post-production processing of images for exposure correction, white balance and color toning is acceptable. Adding, altering, or removing elements is not permitted. Excessive saturation or desaturation is also not allowed. 
POY Asia accepts two photographic modes: color and black & white. Black & white images should be bi-tonal and display a full grayscale range of 256 intensities from deep-shadow blacks to highlight whites. Black & white image files that artificially impose a color shift, such as sepia or cyan tones, will be disqualified. 
Photos from smartphone cameras are eligible. However, the use of software capture filters that changes the image through excessive tonal aberrations, textures, vignettes, or other artistic manipulations will be disqualified. 
Diptychs and triptychs are not eligible. Digitally manufactured photo illustrations, double exposures, in-camera multiple exposures, added masks, borders, backgrounds, text, handwritten notes, or other artistic effects are all prohibited. 
Film edges will be allowed if the original photograph was shot on film (negative or transparency) or Polaroid and the border is the true nature of the medium.
POY Asia staff reviews every still photograph entry in advance of judging. We will contact photographers whose images seem to conflict with these standards and provide them with the opportunity to resubmit the photograph before judging begins. Once judging begins, judges have the discretion to disqualify entries that they think over manipulate the image.
Category 7 — COVID Expressions & Category 9 — Cultural Practices are the exceptions to the rule.

The Judging 

The judges will meet online and review each and every photo submitted to the contest. As with our inaugural contest in 2021, this year’s competition will also be 100% online. In the first round, the jurors will vote independently within the Picter platform. All subsequent rounds of discussion and judging will be broadcast ‘live’ on our social networks and open to everyone.

The decision of the judges is final.


Official list of winning entries and photographers will be announced on this website and our social media platforms shortly after the judging.

Some checks and verifications may be necessary in some cases before we make the announcement.


Digitally sent certificates.

Possible inclusion in POY programs and exhibits.

Free entry waiver for Pictures of the Year International in 2023.


Although the copyright of the works presented belongs to the respective participants, permission is granted to POY Asia and all other POY programs, irrevocable and perpetual, the authorization to reproduce the works in any of its publications, websites or exhibitions and making reference to the photographer in each case.

The participants guarantee that the work presented is original from the artist and as such is the only and exclusive owner and holder of the copyright of the work presented; and that the party that presents the work has the right to publish it or present it for its possible exhibition and grants the POY Asia all the required permissions.

Participants agree not to submit works that (1) infringe the copyright, intellectual property, industrial property, personal or moral rights of others, or of any other nature, including but not limited to, copyright, trademark, patent, professional secrecy, privacy, publicity or confidentiality obligations; and (2) in no case violate applicable state, federal, provincial or local law.

Copyrights & Usage Statement

By submitting to POY Asia, you agree to the following:


I declare that I am authorized by the holder of the copyright (or the right to copyright) to submit photographs to Pictures of the Year Asia (POY Asia). POY Asia recognizes and respects that copyrights are held by the photographer and/or news organization. I grant permission to POY Asia, and its parent programs, Pictures of the Year International and the Missouri School of Journalism, to use my submitted photographs in exhibitions, in publications, and in promotions of the competition itself, and for educational, research, and historical record purposes concerning the Pictures of the Year programs. This usage includes, but is not limited to, slides/tapes, television film/tapes, videodisc, DVDs, CDs, websites, and any other type of mechanical, electronic, or digital dissemination system. Winning photographs other images selected for historic significance become part of the permanent POY Archive.

Pictures of the Year International is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The University of Missouri is a public, tax-exempt educational institution of the State of Missouri, USA. All POY programs provide an educational mission for career development and student advancement, without profit.
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