NMA Launches Fourth Royal Rota Photography Competition

The News Media Association is launching its fourth Royal Rota photography competition to promote the outstanding work of photographers in the UK news media and the NMA’s role in supporting this important journalism through its media facilities services for members.

For the competition, NMA member photographers from local and national publishers, and other members of the rota system including agencies and freelancers, are invited to submit their best photographs from Royal or political Rota engagements over the past year.  

Images submitted before the deadline of 12pm on the 17 September will be in with a chance of winning a prize in one of the following categories: 

  • National Newspaper Rota Photo of the Year
  • Regional/Local Newspaper Rota Photo of the Year
  • Rota Picture Agency Rota Photo of the Year
  • Overall Rota Photo of the Year

Last year, an image of Meghan Markle walking down the aisle on her wedding day taken by the Press Association’s Danny Lawson, was named as the overall competition winner.

Danny Lawson - PA - Duchess of Sussex - Royal Wedding Aisle

Thousands of votes were cast in a weeklong online public vote to find the best of the 48 showcased photographs submitted by national and local newspapers, agencies and freelance photographers.

The overall winners were picked from the shortlist by a panel of expert judges. This year, the panel will be:   

  • Alan Sparrow, chairman of the UK Picture Editors Guild;
  • Lindsey Parnaby, The British Press Photographers’ Association chairman;
  • Lynne Anderson, NMA deputy chief executive;
  • Martin Keene, Press Association group picture editor;
  • Dr Michael Pritchard, Director, Education and Public Affairs, The Royal Photographic Society.

Martin Keene said: “Pictures taken by photographers working as part of the Royal Rota appear almost every day in print and online around the country and across the world. The largely unseen work that the NMA do in running the rota is an essential part of the media landscape. I am looking forward to seeing some tremendous images.”

Michael Pritchard said: “Photography plays a key role in conveying how we view the royal family, with the Royal Rota and the impressive photography produced, under what can be restricted situations, essential in keeping that connection between the public and the royals. The competition promises to highlight the best photography of the royal family and their activities.”

Alan Sparrow added: “I look forward to judging the News Media Association’s Royal photo competition. The entries are always inspirational and challenging for the judges.”

Last year, the competition received extensive coverage in The Sun, MailOnline, Express and Star, Evening Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Daily Mirror and News and Star, with newspapers urging readers to vote for their photographers.

The competition winners will then be announced in early October.

The NMA manages the Royal Rota on behalf of its members, allocating passes for the hundreds of Royal engagements undertaken by members of the Royal Family each year and ensuring that the material is pooled among members.