emerging talent

awards 2014

call for entries

Photo © Alejandra Cárdenas Palacios

Closed for entries. Winners will be announced in late July 2014

Seeking 50 of the World’s
Best Emerging Photographers


LensCulture’s Emerging Talent Awards 2014 is an international competition to showcase outstanding emerging photographers — from all cultures, all points of view, with no age limit.

Our mission at LensCulture is to discover and share the best of contemporary photography. New and emerging photographers often make the freshest, most exciting work — but it’s hard to gain attention when you are relatively new and not widely known. That’s where we can make a big difference. We reach an audience of more than 500,000 — and with these awards, we want to highlight many emerging talents who deserve worldwide attention.

2014 International Jury

Corey Keller
Curator of Photography
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, CA, USA
more about Corey
Corey Keller is the curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). She joined the museum in 1999 and held a number of positions before she was promoted to her current role in 2012. At SFMOMA, Keller organized the critically acclaimed exhibition Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840-1900 (2008), which explored the use of photography in 19th-century science, considering in particular the representation of phenomena invisible to the naked eye. Accompanied by an award-winning catalogue, the show traveled to the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria. With SFMOMA curators Janet Bishop and Sarah Roberts, Keller co-organized the large-scale exhibition celebrating the museum’s 75th anniversary in 2010 as well as its accompanying major catalogue. She was instrumental in organizing the much discussed symposium "Is Photography Over?" (2010) and also participated as a panelist. Other exhibitions that Keller has curated include Henry Wessel (2006) and 1906 Earthquake: A Disaster in Pictures (2006). She also coordinated the San Francisco presentations of William Eggleston: Los Alamos (2005); Looking In: Robert Frank and "The Americans" (2009); and Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century (2010), among others. She oversees Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA’s ongoing presentation of its world-class photography collection.
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Olivier Laurent
TIME LightBox
London / New York
more about Olivier

Olivier Laurent is Editor of LightBox, TIME's photography website, which provides a window into the process of how great photographs are made, and draws attention to inspiring projects and groundbreaking work by established masters and new pioneers.

Previously, he was the Associate Editor for British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest running photography magazine established in 1854, and the Editor of FLTR, the world’s first weekly magazine on smartphone photography.

He has sat on the juries of the Visa pour l'Image Web Documentary Award, the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize, the FotoEvidence First Photobook Award, the Getty Images Grants for Editorial, the Visa d’Or News and Features, Photoreporter Festival, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards and World Press Photo's Joop Swart Masterclass.

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Sujong Song
Curator and Committee Member,
Daegu Photo Biennale
Seoul, Korea
more about Sujong
Sujong Song is active in a broad spectrum of photography-related projects: publishing, exhibition curating, criticism, and teaching. She is especially interested in expanding the contact points between photography and the public, using photography’s wide ranging forms. Song has participated in several photography festivals, including the Angkor Photography Festival where she was on the executive committee. She is currently a committee member of the Daegu Photo Biennale, in South Korea. She was honored to be a judge at World Press Photo, Photo Lucida, POYi and other photographic awards. She has curated a number of exhibitions, including “Memento Vita” at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum, “Paradise Lost” at the Goeun Photography Museum, and “Mario Giacomelli” at Seoul Photography Festival.
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Clare Grafik
Head of Exhibitions
The Photographers’ Gallery
London, UK
more about Clare
Clare Grafik is Head of Exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. She earned a BA Joint Honors in Philosophy/Art History at Leeds University, and MA in Image and Communications (Photography) at Goldsmiths College. She has worked in a number of public institutions in London including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Hayward Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. She has been at The Photographers’ Gallery since 2003 working in public programming and curating exhibitions. She has worked on exhibitions and projects with artists and photographers including Lise Sarfati, Isa Genzken, Larry Sultan, Mike Mandel, Taryn Simon, Katy Grannan, Antoine D’Agata, Cuny Janssen, Zineb Sedira and Keith Arnatt. Group exhibitions include The Photographic Object (2009) and Photography & Collage (2012). She has been a Sessional Lecturer at Birkbeck College, London, has lectured at institutions including University of the Arts, University of South Wales, Sothebys Institute of Art, and written for magazines including IANN and Art Monthly. Forthcoming projects include solo exhibitions with Viviane Sassen and Charlotte Dumas and a group exhibition ‘Double Take: Drawing & Photography’ with the Drawing Room, London.
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Jim Casper
Editor & Publisher
Paris, France
more about Jim
Jim Casper is the founding editor and publisher of LensCulture, one of the leading destinations for contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography portfolio reviews in Paris, curates arts exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and portfolio reviewer, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations. He serves on the board of directors at SPE, the Society for Photographic Education, the world’s largest association of photography educators.

“One of the most authoritative and wide ranging sites.”

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“A definitive resource for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends and debates in contemporary photography.”

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exposure begins now

Photo © Mindaugas Azusilis

Career-Launching Awards


  • After the June 22nd deadline, our jury will select the Top 50 Emerging Talents to be featured in a Barcelona gallery exhibition and in festival screenings around the world. They will also receive massive online exposure on LensCulture, social media, and more.
  • The Top 50 Emerging Talents will also be included in the Emerging Talent 2014 Printed Annual sent to LensCulture Insiders’ network of influential photography professionals including editors, curators, festival directors, publishers, gallery directors, and related professionals.
  • Every day, our editors select entries to receive immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery and via social media. Enter now to be considered for this immediate exposure opportunity to over 500,000 people. Please note, we do not publish every entry, just entries selected by our editors.

Awards & Benefits

Barcelona Exhibition

A gala exhibition in Barcelona, Spain for the Top 50 Emerging Talents. Bottom Row: Images from the Gala Exhibition in London for the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013 Winners & Finalists.

Exhibition graphic

LensCulture Emerging Talent Printed Annual

A museum-quality catalogue with the work of the Top 50 photographers will be mailed to LensCulture Insiders, our network of influential photography professionals. They will have the opportunity to see the award-winning photos in beautiful printed form.

Printed annual card The Top 50 photographers will each be given a full-page spread

Worldwide Screenings

Work from the Top 50 Winners will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide throughout the year.


Massive Online Promotion

Work from the Top 50 photographers will be posted on social media channels where we have seen incredible reach — as high as 738,882 people in one week.

LensCulture Insiders Visibility

Hundreds of the top-rated submissions from this competition will be shared with LensCulture Insiders, our network of influential photography professionals. We believe this kind of exposure is critical for photographers to gain valuable opportunities.

Aaron Schuman, Editor, SeeSaw Magazine, UK

Alessandra Capodacqua, Curator, Author, Educator, Studio Marangoni, Italy

Aline Smithson, Founder/Editor, Lenscratch, USA

Alison Nordstrom, Consulting Curator for International Programs, Griffin Museum of Photography, USA

Alyssa Coppelman, Photo Editor, Slate, Feature Shoot, USA

Anna Dickson, Photography Director, AOL/Huffington Post Media Group, USA

Anna Gripp, Editor , Photonews, Germany

Anna Skillman, Owner/Director, Jackson Fine Arts, USA

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Creative Content Director, London, UK

Anne Morin, Curator/Director, diChroma photography, Spain

Barbara Tannenbaum, Curator of Photography, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

Bas Vroege, Director, Paradox and YDoc, Netherlands

Bevin Bering Dubrowski, Director, Houston Center for Photography, USA

Bjarke Myrthu, Founder & CEO, Blindspot, USA

Brian Clamp, Owner/Director, ClampArt Gallery, USA

Brian Storm, Founder & Executive Producer, MediaStorm, USA

Carlos Carvalho, Director, International Festival of Photography of Porto Alegre, Brazil

Charlotte van Lingen, Curator, Kunsthal Rotterdam , Netherlands

Christophe de Jaeger, Curator, Center For Fine Arts Brussels, Belgium

Christophe Laloi, Artistic Director, Voies Off Arles, France

Daphné Anglès, European Photo Assignment Editor, The New York Times, France

David Birkitt, Director, DMB Represents, UK

David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, Wales

Debra Klomp Ching, Owner/Director, Klompching Gallery, USA

Ed Carey, Director, Gallery 291, USA

Elda Harrington, Director, Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, Argentina

Elena Firsova, Managing Editor, Foto&Video Magazine, Russia

Elisabeth Biondi, Independent Curator, Biondi Foto, USA

Elizabeth Avedon, Photobook Designer/Blogger, Elizabeth Avedon, USA

Elizabeth Lapp, Curator and Image Guru, Flickr/Yahoo, USA

Emily Adams, Exhibitions Director, PhotoEspaña, Spain

Enrico Bossan, Editorial Director, Colors Magazine, Italy

Erik Vroons, Chief Editor , GUP Magazine, Netherlands

Francis Hodgson, Photography Critic, Financial Times of London, UK

Francoise Callier, Program Coordinator, Angkor Photo Festival, France

Freddy Denaes, Publisher, Editions de l'Oeil, France

Frits Gierstberg, Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Netherlands

Gad Edery, CEO, Gad Collection, France

Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs, National Media Museum, UK

Hannah Watson, Director, Trolley Books, UK

Hélène Joye-Cagnard, Codirectrice, Journées photgraphiques de Bienne Biel-Bienne, Switzerland

Ihiro Hayami, Director, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan

James Wellford, Photo Editor, Curator & Educator, , USA

Jason Landry, Owner/Director, Panopticon Gallery, USA

Jeff Gates, Managing Editor, American Art's Blog, Smithsonian Institution, USA

Jeff Moorfoot, Festival Director, Ballarat International Foto Biennal, Australia

Jessie Wender, Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA

Joanne Junga Yang, Director of International Committee, Seoul Photo Festival, Korea

Julien Jourdes, Co-Founder and COO, Blink, USA

Karol Hordziej, President & Art Director, Foundation for Visual Art & Krakow Photomonth, Poland

Krzysztof Candrowicz, Artistic Director, Hamburg Triennial of Photography, Germany

Lars Boering, Director, Lux Photo Gallery, Netherlands

Laura Serani, Deleguée artistique, Mois de la Photo à Paris, France

Linda Benedict-Jones, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art, USA

Louise Clements, Co-Founder/Director, QUAD and Format Festival, UK

Maarten Schilt, Publisher, Schilt Publishing, Netherlands

Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, GEO, France

Manila Camarini, Photo Editor, D La Repubblica, Italy

Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, President/Founder, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film, USA

Marie-Pierre Subtil, Chief Editor, 6 Mois, France

Marion Hislen, Director, Circulation(s) Festival, France

Mary Virginia Swanson, Author, Educator, and Consultant, MVS & Assoc., USA

Matt Shonfeld, Executive Director, Institute for Artist Management, UK

Matthew Craig, Co-Founder and CEO, Blink, USA

Michael Weir, Founder & Artistic Director, Belfast Photo Festival, Northern Ireland

Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director/Founder, Pacific Center Northwest, USA

Miriam Romais, Executive Director, En Foco Inc, USA

Molly Roberts, Chief Photography Editor, Smithsonian Magazine, USA

Moritz Neumüller, Festival Curator/Program Director, Istituto Europeo di Design, Spain

Moshe Rosenzveig, Director/Photographer, Head On Photo Festival , Australia

Natasha Egan, Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, USA

Nathalie Gallon, Director, Foundation Carmignac Gestion, France

Nathalie Herschdorfer, Curator, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland

Patricia Lanza, Content Director, Annenberg Space for Photography, USA

Paul di Felice, Director, European Month of Photography, Luxembourg

Pavel Banka, Editor in Chief, Fotograf Magazine, Czech Republic

Paweł Szypulski, Curator, Krakow Month of Photography, Poland

Peggy Sue Amison, Artistic Director, East Wing Gallery, Dubai

Raffaela Lepanto, Photo Editor/Consultant, PhotoFusion Photography Centre , UK

Richard A. Brooks, Deputy Photo Director, Agence France-Presse, China

Roman Härer, Creative Director, plainpicture, Germany

Rui Prata, Director, Museu da Imagem, Portugal

Régina Monfort, Photographer/Consulting Editor, FotoEvidence, USA

Sam Barzilay, Festival Director, Photoville, USA

Sara Guerrini, Picture Editor, Newsweek Europe, UK

Sarah Leen, Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine, USA

Scott Mc Kiernan, Vice President, National Press Photographers Association, USA

Selva Barni, Founder & Editor, Fantom Editions, Italy

Silvia Mangialardi, Editor, Fotomundo Magazine, Argentina

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust, USA

Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, USA

Susan Zadeh, Photography Director, Eyemazing Editions, Netherlands

Suzanne Opton, Photographer, Educator, International Center for Photography, USA

Sébastian Hau, Director, Le Bal Books, France

Taj Forer , Director, Daylight Magazine, USA

Xavier Soule, President/Director, Gallery VU, France

Ángel Luis González, Director, PhotoIreland, Ireland


Feature Articles on LensCulture

Work from the Top 50 photographers will be published in a series of feature articles on LensCulture along with a Home Page Spotlight for over eight weeks.

Immediate Exposure on LensCulture & Social Media

Just by entering your work, you have an opportunity for immediate exposure through our Competition Gallery and social media. Our editors review incoming work daily so we recommend not waiting until the deadline!



Five $2,000 Emerging Talent Grants

Each of our five judges will personally select a photographer to receive a $2,000 grant.

Top 5 Top 50 Editors’ Cut
Five $2,000 Emerging Talent Grants
Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain
Worldwide Screenings
Emerging Talent 2014 Printed Annual
Massive Online Promotion
LensCulture Feature Article
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
Immediate Exposure on LensCulture
LensCulture Portfolio Account

connecting talent to opportunity

Photo © Konstancja Nowina Konopka

Exposure. Reach. Results. This has been LensCulture’s mantra and it seems to be working. We are building the best platform in the world for exposing the work of talented photographers to a global audience. Often this exposure leads to career-building opportunities — see for yourself!

Success Stories

Elena Chernyshova
Moscow, Russia

“I first saw Elena’s work when her photos were highlighted earlier this year at a French festival of young photographers. We published her series Days of Night, Nights of Day and what happened next was truly astounding. The post went viral, reaching over 738K people in just one week. Her work presents a unique story that grips people from the start.” — Jim Casper, Editor

Alena fb metric
Alain Laboile
Bordeaux, France
Alain article

“When we published Alain Laboile’s series La Famille, more than 572,000 people were reached on Facebook alone. This intimate family album documents the freedom of childhood among six siblings “at the edge of the world” in rural France.” — Jim Casper, Editor

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Richard Tuschman
New York, NY

“I have had a huge increase in interest in my work since the award was announced. I have begun working with a private dealer who has purchased several prints; I have had serious interest from a dealer in Moscow; I have been approached by a commercial agency in Spain; my work will be the subject of articles in several print magazines across the globe as well as in numerous features on photo sites and blogs; about 1000 new Facebook fans; and traffic to my website increased by almost 500%!”

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Hopper Meditations
3rd Prize Portfolio Winner
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013
Yijun Liao
Brooklyn, NY

“I have to tell you that my email has been busy non-stop ever since the announcement of the LensCulture Exposure Awards. LensCulture has indeed given me great exposure worldwide. I have had really good luck in the press lately, and it’s still snowballing! It took my name to an international level. Look at where my work has been featured since I won: Huffington Post (US), iGnant (Germany), BUST (US), Daily Life (Australia), Medium, TAXI, Escapism (Canada), Il Post (Italy). Also, I have been invited to a residency in Finland, contacted by a UK collector, a Chilean Museum and a European publisher for possible projects. It’s truly been the best award I’ve won!”

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Experimental Relationship
2nd Prize Portfolio Winner
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013
Michael Marten
United Kingdom

“Winning the 2011 LensCulture portfolio grand prize and attending the portfolio reviews in Paris that November was a breakthrough for me. It led directly to the 2012 publication of my book Sea Change by Kehrer and a solo exhibition of the work at London’s Oxo Gallery. I’ve had book reviews in The Observer newspaper and Source magazine, and features in magazines and blogs from The Guardian weekend magazine to Reddit - which gave rise to a huge spike in visitors to my website. My Sea Change book is almost sold out.”

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Sea Change
1st Prize Portfolio Winner
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2011
Show More Success Stories
Carlotta Cardana
London, UK

“I have a success story to share with you! A popular monthly magazine really liked my project about Native American pride featured in LensCulture, and they have decided to commission me to go back and shoot more. So exciting that I can’t still believe it! ALSO I have seven images from the Mod Couples series in The Eyes Collection #1 exhibition (thanks to LensCulture/Fotofest, obviously!).”

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Mod Couples
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2013
Jessica Hines
Atlanta, GA

“LensCulture is wonderful. It is an excellent source of innovative photography and I highly recommend it. Winning their Grand Prize got me more exposure than just about anything else I’ve done. I received hundreds and hundreds of hits to my website and they still come through to this day. I also met some wonderful people through it. I have only good things to say about them. Go for it!”

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My Brother’s War
1st Prize Portfolio Winner
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2010
Tara Bogart
Atlanta, GA

“I just wanted to say thank you for featuring me on your website... I was contacted by the Senior Photo Editor for CNN and they are going to feature my “Hair Portraits” on CNN World Photos... She said she saw the work on LensCulture!”

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A Modern Hair Study
Feature Article, LensCulture
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show us your stuff

Photo © Ayman Oghanna

We Believe in Exposing Talented Photographers

We’re open to all types of photography, all points of view, and ALL ages. If you’re a photographer starting to seek global recognition, show us your work! Who’s an “emerging” photographer? Anyone who has not yet received significant international recognition. Please see our FAQ for more details.


Closed for entries. Winners will be announced in late July 2014

Jessica hines
“Entering Lens Culture International Exposure Awards competition was the single best thing I ever did for my career.” – Jessica Hines
We respect artist’s rights

All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period. Winners and Finalists grant LensCulture limited, restricted use of winning photos only to promote the photographers themselves and in connection with marketing the Awards competition itself. Details can be found in the Competition rules

Photo © Alain Laboile Alain bottom