Between the lines is a student photography competition offering ambitious amateur photographers the opportunity to experience the world of professional sports photography at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


See Between the Lines

Visual storytelling is at the heart of sports photography. In a fraction of a second, moments are captured that embody emotion, disseminate drama, and transcend sport. Imaging holds the power to bring sporting events to life, taking people beyond the overt and uniting them in moments of empathy and connection.

"A great sports photo is one that makes you gasp," Eddie Keogh, England Men’s Football Photographer & Canon Ambassador

Between the Lines is a student photography competition that encourages ambitious amateur photographers to think like sports photography pros for the chance to test and develop their skills with a daylong mentorship at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

We’re encouraging you to see beyond the everyday in your imagery and offer visual stories from both within and outside of the realm of sports photography.

See the full terms and conditions here

The Prize

We are giving three winners the chance to experience first-hand what it is like to shoot at a live major sporting event. Supported by professional photographer, Paul Cunningham, the winners will be capturing the action at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Included in this prize:

  • Full day mentorship on Wednesday 3rd August
  • Post shoot editing session
  • Tickets to a sporting event for you and I guest on Thursday 4th August
  • Travel and hotel accommodation
  • Your competition winning image shared on our social media pages

CWG -Copyright - Getty Images

The Brief

We’re looking for photos that encapsulate one of the 3 core values of the Commonwealth Games Federation – Humanity, Destiny, and Equality.

  • humanity-competition-photo


    Photos that convey benevolence, togetherness, or human nature.

  • destiny-competition-photo.jpg


    Photos that convey fate, aspiration, or ambition.

  • equality-competition-photo


    Photos that convey collective spirit, fairness, non-discrimination, or inclusion.

  • What we’re looking for

    • You can submit up to three images, one per category from any field of photography

    • Your images will be assessed against the following criteria:

      • Creativity - Is your entry fresh and original?
      • Impact - Does your submission provoke strong thoughts, emotions, or reactions?
      • Technical prowess - Has the image been captured in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the abilities of the camera and the subject?


    Meet the Mentor

    Mentoring the three Between the Lines winners will be Editorial and Commercial Photographer Paul Cunningham.

    With vast experience in the sports photography discipline, shooting at major international sporting events such as the World Athletics Championships, Paralympic Games, and multiple Major Tournaments across an array of sports, Paul will offer our competition winners invaluable advice and guidance during the photography experience.

    Paul is looking forward to seeing how the Between the Lines entrants express meaning through their imagery. Speaking ahead of the competition, he said "l am confident that I will see images that successfully convey the story, lend a new perspective, ask the viewer to look deeper into the picture or encourage a reaction to the work".

    Paul Cunningham

    Paul Cunningham

    Paul is an editorial and commercial photographer, shooting campaigns for leading brands throughout the UK and Worldwide.


    The Between the Lines judges offer vast experience in the world of imaging and sport.

  • Paul Cunningham

    Paul Cunningham

    professional Commercial and Editorial Photographer

  • neale.conroy

    Neale Conroy

    Canon UK & Ireland, Marketing Director

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    Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

  • Tips and Tricks

    Although we’re looking for creativity and diversity in your entries, these editorial articles may offer inspiration towards achieving that competition-winning shot.

  • A young woman wearing a winter hat photographs autumnal leaves with a Canon camera and large lens.


    Best kit for aspiring pros

    Three Canon Ambassadors discuss the best cameras and lenses for those starting out in the industry.

  • Photographer Camilla Rutherford smiles for the camera, waves lapping the shoreline behind her.


    Cool photos close to home

    Three photographers share their advice on how to turn familiar scenes into unforgettable images.

  • tips-and-tricks


    Improve the composition of your photos

    Shoot more interesting pictures by following these image composition rules.

  • A side-profile portrait of a topless man in a dimly lit room looking towards the camera.


    Portrait photography tips and techniques

    Improve your portrait photography with these top tips and techniques.


    How to break into sports photography

    Reuters photographer Molly Darlington shares her six essential tips for young photographers wanting to forge a path in sports.

  • A skateboarder performing a fakie kickflip inside the curved brickwork structure of a viaduct, framed so that the brickwork repeats recursively into the distance.


    When action sports meets architecture photography

    Canon Ambassador Lorenz Holder shares how he used a fast-aperture telephoto zoom lens to capture a skateboarder in action under a viaduct.


    Between the Lines

    Check back here for entries as the competition progresses.