expert judged
Richard McVeigh

Christmas cover star 2019

In association with Amateur Photographer

Open Rating Results

Please read 'The brief in detail' tab for tips on how to shoot successful magazine covers!

The holiday season is almost upon us, which means it’s time for Stir-up Sunday, sentimental TV adverts, and the Amateur Photographer Christmas cover contest, which is being hosted by Photocrowd.

Here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your work featured on the front cover of the world's no1 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.

If you think you already have something on file, great, if not try and shoot something specifically for the competition (see 'The brief in detail' tab for our insider tips).

Prizes include a front cover placement on Amateur Photographer’s 2019 Christmas special, a Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 bag, and a digital subscription to Amateur Photographer.

The brief in detail

Tips for cover success

Shoot portrait-format pictures. While it’s not unheard of for us to use a section of a landscape-format image, your chances are improved by sticking to the upright orientation.

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

Provide plenty of options. Try various angles and subject placements, with the focal point to the left, right and centre, to give the art director lots of options when it comes to placing the cover lines.

Don’t crop too tightly. Leave lots of space for the magazine ‘furniture’ - masthead, cover lines, bubbles and graphic devices. Busy images with lots of detail are generally unsuitable as they make superimposed text hard to read.

Prize details

Prizes include a front cover placement on Amateur Photographer’s 2019 Christmas special, a Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 bag, and a digital subscription to Amateur Photographer!

The latest model in the iconic Billingham camera bag range, the Hadley Pro 2020 offers outstanding protection and flexibility. With this new bag, Billingham has added an array of extra features including a strong, leather-reinforced top handle for comfort and grip, a removable, adjustable shoulder sling, a durable luggage trolley strap and a weather-proof zipped back pocket to stow important documents when travelling.

Manufactured in England from robust, three-layer, waterproof Billingham Canvas or FibreNyte material, the Hadley Pro 2020 ensures long-lasting protection, and easily accommodates most DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with three small to medium sized lenses and accessories. As with all Billingham products, the high-quality fabric is complemented by full-grain leather trims and solid brass fasteners for maximum longevity, and includes a removable padded insert with four foam dividers. Available in six classic colours, the Hadley Pro 2020 is worth £240 and comes with a five-year guarantee. For more information, visit

How it works

Every photo submitted will be available for the crowd to rate once the submissions period has ended. You can see all the images uploaded to a contest, but will need to rate them to see how they’re ranked once the rating period begins.

Some contests on Photocrowd also have a judge. After the submission period closes the judge chooses their favourite images and writes some image reviews. The crowd and judge results will be announced on the same day.

Entries closed
18 November 2019

18 November 2019 to 25 November 2019

Winners announced
25 November 2019

For a more detailed explanation of how rating works, see our FAQs

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