Seeking new voices in art photography
Closed for new entries.
  • conceptual
  • experimental
  • landscape
  • alternative process
  • cameraless
  • narrative
  • cinematic
  • fashion
  • abstract
  • still life
  • portraiture
  • environmental
  • found imagery
  • analog
The LensCulture Art Photography Awards aim to celebrate talented visual artists around the world who are using photographic processes and images to realize their creative ideas.
Show us how you’re pushing the photographic medium, experimenting with different techniques or creative approaches to bring your ideas to life. There are no limits or definitions for this award, we’re hoping to see all kinds of submissions from conceptual work and prints made for gallery walls, to images made from alternative processes, to totally new forms and formats that speak to our digital age. What matters is your unique creative vision and your skills in translating that vision into exceptional and original work.
Do you have work you’d like to share with the world? Read on for information about our expert international jury for this award and the prizes up for grabs. Winners will enjoy career-changing opportunities including exhibition in New York, extensive media coverage, projection at international photography festivals, cash prizes and more.
We look to seeing your work and, in a time where connection is more important than ever, we invite you to participate in our global photography community of photography thinkers, makers and lovers.
Be seen by our international jury
Lesley A. Martin
Creative Director
United States
About Lesley »

Lesley A. Martin is creative director at the Aperture Foundation and publisher of The PhotoBook Review. She has edited numerous photobooks, including Takashi Homma’s Tokyo (2008), Rinko Kawauchi’s Illuminance (2011), LaToya Ruby Frazier’s The Notion of Family (2013), and recent books by Richard Misrach and Gregory Crewdson. Lesley cofounded the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards and has curated exhibitions for Aperture. Her writing on photography has been published in Aperture, FOAM, Ojo de Pez, and Lay Flat among other publications and she currently teaches a graduate course on the photobook at the Yale University School of Art.

Mark Sealy
United Kingdom
About Mark »

Dr. Mark Sealy is interested in the relationships between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. He has been director of London-based photographic arts institution Autograph ABP since 1991. He has produced numerous artist publications, curated exhibitions, and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide, including the critically acclaimed exhibition “Human Rights Human Wrongs” at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto in 2013 and at The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 2015.

Sealy has written for many international photography publications, including Foam Magazine, Aperture and the Independent Newspaper in London. He has written numerous essays for theoretical publications and artist monographs. In 2002, Sealy and professor Stuart Hall co-authored “Different”, which focused on photography and identity politics. His notable projects include the exhibition “Self Evident” at Ikon Gallery Birmingham, “The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding / Decoding” for the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and seminal projects on the works of James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Mahtab Hussain, Maud Sulter and Sunil Gupta are just a few of the many exhibitions he has curated. He was also the guest curator for Houston Fotofest 2020 working under the title of African Cosmologies Photography Time and the Other.

His recent book, “Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time”, was published in 2019 by Lawrence and Wishart. His PhD was awarded, by Durham University England and focused on Photography and Cultural Violence. Sealy is currently serving as Principal Fellow Decolonising Photography at University of the Arts London.

Pauline Benthede
Global Director of Exhibitions
About Pauline »

Pauline Benthede is the Global Director of Exhibitions at Fotografiska and Chairman of Fotografiska’s Exhibition Committee. She has worked at Fotografiska since the inauguration of Fotografiska Stockholm in 2010 and is today strategically and creatively responsible for the exhibitions that tour Fotografiska Stockholm, New York and Tallinn, and strategically responsible for exhibitions in the planning of future Fotografiska museums. She has produced, managed and/or curated a significant number of exhibitions with international artists such as Andres Serrano, David LaChapelle, Inez & Vinoodh, Hassan Hajjaj, Sarah Moon, Cooper & Gorfer, Ren Hang, Patrick Demarchelier, Martin Schoeller, Motohiko Odani, Anton Corbijn, Bettina Rheims, Isaac Julien and Sebastiao Salgado, to name a few.

Pauline Benthede holds a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Gothenburg University and studied curating at Stockholm University and photography history at Umeå University.

Matthew Flowers
Managing Director
Flowers Gallery
United Kingdom
About Matthew »

Matthew Flowers (b. 1956) is a British contemporary art dealer and the Managing Director of Flowers Gallery, London, Hong Kong and New York. Flowers Gallery, which is now in its 50th year, is one of the longest-standing international contemporary art galleries and currently represents over 50 international artists and artist’s estates, working across a wide range of media. Established in 2008, the Gallery's dedicated photography programme is recognised for its engagement with important socio-cultural, political and environmental themes. Throughout his career Matthew has been on boards and committees of international art fairs and arts institutions and spent 12 years as a non-executive Director of DACS (visual artists’ rights management organisation).

Natsumi Araki
Curator/Associate Professor
Tokyo University of the Arts
About Natsumi »

Natsumi Araki is a curator and associate professor of inter-media art and global art practice based in Tokyo. Since 1994, she has been involved in the organization of exhibitions and educational programs as a curator for the Mitaka City Arts Foundation, Mori Art Museum, and Tokyo University of the Arts. Exhibitions she has curated include “Odani Motohiko: Phantom Limb,” “Go-Betweens: The World Seen through Children,” “Dinh Q. Lé: Memory for Tomorrow,” and “Roppongi Crossing 2016: My Body, Your Voice.” She most recently curated “Listen to Her Voice,” a group exhibition of 11 women artists at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Kathryn Humphries
Art Director
Harper’s Magazine
United States
About Kathryn »

Kathryn Humphries is the art director of Harper’s Magazine, where she produces and edits features. She currently teaches in the art history department at the School of Visual Arts and has taught at the International Center of Photography and the Educational Alliance Art School. She has served as a reviewer for the New York Portfolio Review; the International Center of Photography’s Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism, New Media Narratives, and ICP-Bard MFA programs; and United Photo Industries The Fence, among others. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and an MFA from CUNY.

Michael Foley
Foley Gallery
United States
About Michael »

Michael Foley opened his eponymous gallery in the fall of 2004 in New York after fourteen years of working with notable photography galleries including Fraenkel Gallery, Howard Greenberg Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

The gallery has since been invited to participate in over thirty international and national art fairs including Paris Photo, Pulse, AIPAD, VOLTA, and the London Art Fair. Gallery exhibitions and artists have been reviewed and written about in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters and ArtNEWS.

Foley is the founder of The Photo Community, which offers classes and commentary on contemporary photography. He continues his interest in education by serving on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography where he teaches and lectures on issues in contemporary photography.

Arianna Rinaldo
Artistic Director
Cortona On The Move Festival
About Arianna »

Arianna Rinaldo is a freelance professional working as a photo editor, reviewer, curator and teacher. She is the Director of OjodePez, the documentary photography quarterly published by LaFabrica, Madrid. She is also the artistic director of Cortona On The Move, an annual international photo festival, taking place in the beautiful region of Tuscany, Italy. In 2014, she was the guest artistic director of DOCfield14, a city-wide celebration of documentary photography in Barcelona, involving more than 40 institutions and organized by Photographic Social Vision.

Adam Harding
Centre for Contemporary Photography
About Adam »

Adam begin his training at the Geelong Art Gallery in 1998, he spent seven years as the assistant curator at the Warrnambool Art Gallery. In 2007 he moved to the Horsham Regional Art Gallery (HRAG) as a curator, and in February 2009 he was appointed director. At HRAG, he continued to strengthen Horsham’s commitment to community engagement while reinterpreting the Gallery’s collection and its installations to focus on the Gallery’s three main areas of collecting; artworks and images of Horsham and the Wimmera, the Mack Jost Collection of Australian Art, and its nationally significant collection of Australian photography. In 2018 he was appointed Director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography.

Ângela Ferreira
Curatorial Member
Museu de Fotografia
About Ângela »

Ângela is a Portuguese artist and and independent photography curator, pos-doc researcher at Escola de Belas Artes Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Brazil, developing studies on contemporary visual practices that problematize the hybrid forms of photography. Ângela Ferreira is Co-Founder of the Portuguese PhotoFestival Encontros da Imagem, where she has collaborated as Artistic Director and Curator. She has lectured on contemporary photography throughout Europe and Latin American countries, particularly in Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia, and acted as a curator for both national and international exhibitions. She is curatorial member of Photography Museum in Fortaleza, Brazil and artistic advisor of the FotoFestival SOLAR, Ceará, Brazil.

Jim Casper
The Netherlands
About Jim »

Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography events, travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
– Ansel Adams
2019 LensCulture Exhibition at Aperture Gallery, New York
Exhibition during Paris Photo in New York
All winning photographers for this award will be exhibited during Paris Photo New York! An opening reception will be held for artists, invited media, photo editors and industry insiders for a night of art appreciation and networking during one the world’s largest international art fairs dedicated to photography.
Be persistent.
Many successful photographers enter the same work in several competitions before they finally win. This is an effective strategy to have your work seen by many different jurors and build your career.
Persistence is the key to getting your work seen by influential experts worldwide - it only takes one person to make a positive impact on your creative journey!
© Cathy Cone
© Dara Scully
© Clement Juillard
Free Entry
We are proud to offer free entry on single-image entries.
This special offer is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure entry to our awards, and the career-changing benefits that come along with them, is open to all photographers, no matter your location or budget for entering competitions.
© Daniel Roa
© Aleksandr Fjodorov
© Antonio Cervelo
Get a written review of your work!
Enter 5+ single images or a series into this competition and you can add a professional written review of your submission for an additional $25. This is a unique opportunity to receive valuable and specific feedback on your work from one of our experienced industry professionals.
Read what LensCulture’s community of photographers is saying about our reviews:
Competition Gallery
When you enter this award, your work will be immediately reviewed by our world-class editors. Selected submissions will be featured in our Competition gallery and published across all of our online channels, reaching a massive three million+ audience of photography lovers and experts. Enter your work early to take advantage of this incredible opportunity for global exposure! Note: While our editors review entries for inclusion on a daily basis, not every submission can be shown here.
Click on each photo to learn more about the photographer. If you like someone’s work, share their submission on Facebook or favorite their image! Your support increases the exposure for every participating photographer.
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
– Imogen Cunningham
© Susan Perrotin
© Alla Akantova
© Amaury Lelievre
© Lucas Lind
Career-Launching Exposure
Featured at International Photo Festivals
Selected works will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide. Over the past year, our winners and finalists were screened at festivals in the UK, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Serbia, The Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Spain, France, the US, and more.
LensCulture is continually forging new partnerships with leading photo festivals around the world (like FORMAT, Cortona on The Move, Lagos Photo Festival and more) to increase global exposure and showcase opportunities for the winners and finalists of our competitions.
Visibility With Industry Insiders & Creative Professionals
All it takes is one set of eyes to change the course of your career. Share your work with us for industry-wide exposure and opportunities. If our jury ranks your submission highly through the judging process, you will be included in LensCulture Discoveries, our directory of top-rated photographers. We provide this directory to photography industry insiders and creative professionals to showcase photographers and their work to key decision makers including editors, book publishers, gallery owners, festival directors, creative directors, curators, and online media publishers.
Permanent Exhibition on LensCulture online gallery
LensCulture has become a key resource for discovering new photography work all over the world.
All winners, finalists and juror’s picks for this award will be prominently featured in the permanent online gallery on our site. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your work seen by thousands of people around the world with a true love and appreciation for photography.
International press exposure
Award winners receive press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world — the kind of exposure that can lead to viral, global recognition of your work. Winners, finalists and selected entrants have been featured in major publications including BBC, The Washington Post, Internazionale, VICE, The Times of London, Huffington Post, Spiegel Online, The British Journal of Photography, and The Telegraph. Share your work with the world.
Be sure to check out our latest feature on The Guardian, a beautiful image gallery sharing the work of the 2020 Exposure Award-winners with the world.
© Laetitia de la Villehuchet
© Hiromichi Matsudaira
Series Award Winners
1st Place: $5000
2nd Place: $3000
3rd Place: $1500
Single Image Award Winners
1st Place: $3000
2nd Place: $1500
3rd Place: $1000
Jurors’ Picks
Each juror will select an individual Juror’s Pick to receive special distinction.
25 Finalists will be selected.
© Alessandra Baldoni
Benefits for all who enter
6 Winners11 Jurors’ picks25 FinalistsEditors’ Picks(1)Every Entrant
$15,000 in Cash Awards
Exhibition in New York during Paris Photo
Art Photography Awards 2021 Online Exhibition
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
Featured in International Photo Festival Projections
International Press Exposure
Massive Exposure to our Global Audience of 3 Million
LensCulture Portfolio Account(2)
Opportunity to be in LensCulture Discoveries online directory of top-rated photographers(3)
Share your Work with the Global Photography Community
Opportunities for Immediate Exposure
(1)Editors’ Picks: During the competition, LensCulture’s editors will curate hundreds of entries for immediate exposure to our global audience through the competition gallery and our Facebook page.
(2)LensCulture Portfolio Account: Available for all Series entries and 5+ Single entries
(3)Winners & Jurors Picks are automatically included in LensCulture Discoveries online directory.
conceptualexperimentallandscapealternative process
still lifeportraitureenvironmentalfound imageryanalog
Are you currently an enrolled student?
Get a 30% discount on your entry fee. Start your submission and select the option to register as a student. Your discount will then be automatically applied to your entry.
Closed for new entries.
© Cristina Coral
© Ludovic Mornand
Recognition in the global photography community
For 15 years, LensCulture has been committed to helping photographers of all levels move forward creatively and professionally. In that time, we have heard from hundreds of photographers who were able to achieve breakthroughs in their careers through participation in the LensCulture community.
  • Aaron Elkaim
  • Alex Vasyliev
    Russian Federation
  • Ana Vallejo
  • Antonio Pulgarin
    United States
  • Diego Moreno
  • Heloisa Lodder
  • Juul Kraijer
  • Marinka Masséus
  • Mathieu Willcocks
    United Kingdom
  • Nadir Bucan
  • Rahima Gambo
  • Sheng Wen Lo
  • Tadas Kazakevičius
  • Vikesh Kapoor
    United States
  • Walter Plotnik
    United States
We respect artist’s rights
All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period. Winners, Jurors’ Picks 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.
© Chan Nyein Aung