ONWARD Compé is an international photography competition for emerging photographers. The exhibition of selected photographers’ images culminates in the ONWARD Summit, an annual photography festival held in Philadelphia.

Juried each year by a leading figure in contemporary photography, ONWARD Compé spotlights new, envelope-pushing work that continues to further the medium. Now in its sixth year, Compé has solidified its standing as a highly respected international competition, drawing submissions from across the U.S. and around the globe. The competition seeks to increase the exposure of talented image-makers, create outlets for artists’ work, and present compelling photographs in a cohesive and well-curated exhibition.

Compé and Summit are two prongs of ONWARD, a multifaceted photography happening that encompasses a photography festival in Philadelphia, an international competition, Galerie, an online gallery featuring selected photographers, and Workshops for discerning photographers.

Download Compé Guidelines


Prints Matter
With the goal of setting a high standard for photographic competitions, ONWARD Compé will be introducing a new and unique judging process in 2013:

  • The first round will be judged based on digital file submissions.
  • Those selected in the first round will be asked to submit an exhibition-ready print, from which the final winners will be chosen.

Frames on Us
Taking into consideration the financial challenges posed to fine art photographers, ONWARD provides standard-size frames (up to 30″x40″) for the exhibition, ensuring a uniform look to the show while decreasing costs for participating photographers.

Ongoing Exclusivity
Photographers chosen to participate in the ONWARD exhibition will have their winning image included on the new and exclusive Galerie website, which features all ONWARD photographers, past and present.

Join a Collection
One photograph from the exhibition will be selected for purchase by the West Collection, a Philadelphia-area organization that collects cutting-edge contemporary art and is committed to lending work to art museums around the world for exhibition.

Get Published
For the first time this year, the ONWARD catalog will be published as a catalog, acknowledging the importance of book publishing as a means of display in the fine art community.

Online Promotion
A selection of photographers will be featured by some of our Media Sponsors such as fototazo, PhotoArts Magazine, and others.


In addition to being featured in the ONWARD ’13 exhibit, Galerie site, and published catalog, all selected photographers will be considered for the following prizes:

2 Juror’s Awards – Grand Prize

  • A two-person show at Project Basho Gallery
  • $500 cash prize
  • Invitation to present your work at the ONWARD Summit ’13 on April 13th, 2013 in Philadelphia
  • “7 Million Dollar Home” camera bag from Crumpler
  • Free FotoVisura account

West Collection Purchase Award
One piece from the ONWARD ’13 Exhibition will be purchased by the West Collection to enter their holdings.

Honorable Mentions

  • “Bundle” camera bag from Crumpler
  • Free FotoVisura account
  • Additional gifts from our sponsors