Seeking new talent in black and white photography
One of our most popular awards is back for a third year — the LensCulture Black & White Photography Awards!
Black and white photography holds a prominent place in our hearts and imaginations. While steeped in tradition and history, it remains an aesthetic choice of many photographers today, regardless of genre, method or subject matter. Show us how you are embracing the dynamic relationship between light, shade, and all the glorious tones in between.
Our aim is to uncover photographers from diverse backgrounds and experience levels, and connect them with global audiences and career-changing opportunities. Free entry available for single-image submissions.
Closed for new entries.
New York exhibition|Projection at International Photo Festivals|Cash Prizes|Industry recognition
Images by © Asia Cavuto, Alfred Mahlangu, Sundaram Perumal, Fred Eggen, Harry Saundry, Alfonso Briceño, Alexander Soultos, Giuseppe Cortina, José Almodóvar Muñoz, Kazuta Kawano, Alex Tsiler, Anait Sagoyan, Jean-Marie Tholl, Genavieve Coleman, Aldona Pivorienė.
2019 LensCulture New York Exhibition at Aperture Gallery
Exhibition in New York
All winning photographers for this award will be exhibited in New York alongside 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 the New York chapter of one of the world's largest international art fairs dedicated to photography.
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Lisa Hostetler
Curator in Charge
George Eastman Museum
United States

Lisa Hostetler is curator in charge of the Department of Photography at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. She has held previous positions as the McEvoy Family Curator of Photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and as Curator of Photographs at the Milwaukee Art Museum. She earned her PhD from Princeton University with a dissertation on photographer Louis Faurer while working as a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Major exhibitions she has curated with accompanying publications are David Levinthal: War, Myth, Desire (2018); Eugene Richards: The Run-On of Time (with April Watson, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2017); A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age (2016); Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman (with Kate Bussard, Princeton University Art Museum, 2013); and Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography (2010). She has also curated several shows that were the first museum exhibitions of new bodies of work, including Tanya Marcuse: Woven (2019), Gail Albert Halaban: Out My Window (2018), and Brian Ulrich: The Centurion (2015). Among her current projects are James Welling: Choreograph (2020), Breaking the Rules: Six Women Fashion Photographers (2021), and a retrospective of Nickolas Muray’s photography that will open in 2023.

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Nicolas Jimenez
Director of Photography
Le Monde

Nicolas Jimenez is director of photography of the French daily newspaper Le Monde. He studied management at Sciences Po and European studies at Sorbonne University. From 1999 to 2004 he worked with Jean-Francois Leroy for the international festival of photojournalism Visa pour l’Image. In 2005, when Le Monde decided to become a major actor of the photojournalism industry, Jimenez became national photo editor. He went on to become the head of the photo department, then chief editor in 2018. Le Monde is now one of the three biggest photojournalism producers in the French-speaking press.

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Anna Walker Skillman
Owner & Director
Jackson Fine Art Gallery
United States

Anna Walker Skillman has been a loyal and active participant in the arts community for the last 29 years. Graduated in Art History from the University of Georgia in 1991, she began her career working at the Haines Gallery, a leading contemporary art gallery in San Francisco. In 1993, Anna moved to Atlanta to manage the studio of Atlanta artist Todd Murphy. After working with Mr. Murphy to help establish his career, Anna turned to photography and joined Jackson Fine Art in 1997. In March of 2003, she purchased Jackson Fine Art from Jane Jackson, who became curator of the prestigious collection of Sir Elton John. Ms. Walker Skillman is honored to continue a reputation of excellence in exhibiting photography by both emerging and established artists. With a focus on a blend of 20th century and contemporary work, she continues her commitment to the arts in Atlanta and beyond.

Jackson Fine Art is located at 3115 East Shadowlawn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. The gallery has two exhibition spaces and rotates exhibits every two months. Represented artists include: Mona Kuhn, Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Harry Callahan, Mitch Epstein, John Chiara, Andrew Moore, Helen Levitt, Sally Mann, Abelardo Morell, Jack Spencer, Angela West and Yamamoto Masao, among others. The gallery has participated in various international art fairs including: The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) Photography Show, Paris Photo, Art Miami, and Photo Los Angeles.

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Thea Traff
Senior Photo Editor
United States

Thea Traff is a Senior Photo Editor at TIME Magazine, where she commissions photography for the print and digital editions of the magazine. Prior to TIME, Thea was a Photo Editor at The New Yorker Magazine for six years. While at The New Yorker, the team was awarded an ASME for her work on Philip Montgomery's coverage of the opioid epidemic. Thea studied Studio Art and Philosophy at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

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Munem Wasif

Munem Wasif’s photography and film investigates complex social and political issues with a humanistic language, by getting close to the people, physically and psychologically, dealing with multiple questions and contradictions. Expressionistic in style and long-term in method, Wasif often experiments beyond the tradition, tests the possibilities of fiction, by borrowing a familiar documentary language. His interest is often on the concept of ‘documents’ and ‘archives’ and it’s influence on addressing politically and geographically complex issues. He was one of the curators of Chobi Mela VIII – X International Festival of Photography. His last book on Old Dhaka was published by Clémentine de la Féronnière from France.

He had exhibitions worldwide including, Center Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo & Visa pour l’image in France, Whitechapel Gallery, Kettle’s Yard & Victoria & Albert museum in England, Museu d’Art Contemporani de in Spain, Musee de elysee, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire & Fotomuseam Winterthur in Switzerland, Kunsthal museum & Noordelicht festival in Netherlands, Museum of Modern Art in Poland, Parasite in Hong Kong,* *The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Vitenam, Gwangju biennale in Korea, Singapore biennale in Singapore, Sharjah Bienalle in UAE, Asia Pacific Triennial of contemporary art in Australia, and Dhaka Art summit & Chobi Mela in Bangladesh.

His photographs have been published in Le Monde, Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, Guardian, Politiken, Mare, Du, Days Japan, L’espresso, Libération, Wall Street Journal and many others.

He is represented by Agence Vu in Paris and Project 88 in Mumbai.

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Reinout van den Bergh
BredaPhoto Festival
The Netherlands

Since 2006, Reinout van den Bergh has worked as curator of BredaPhoto — one of Europe’s leading international photography festivals. He also supervises students and graduates of its International Talent Program.

In his personal and commercial work, he is a photographer, filmmaker and audiovisual designer. In this capacity he has travelled throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the USA and Latin America.

He has worked for various ethnographical museums, and his work has been exhibited in museums in Eastern and Western Europe and Africa, and published in several books and other publications. His latest book, Eboundja, was published in September 2020.

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Legacy Russell
Associate Curator
The Studio Museum in Harlem
United States

Legacy Russell is a curator and writer. Born and raised in New York City, she is the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Russell holds an MRes with Distinction in Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London with a focus in Visual Culture. Her academic, curatorial, and creative work focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new media ritual. Russell’s written work, interviews, and essays have been published internationally. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art and a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow. Her first book is Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto released in Fall 2020 via Verso Books.

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Jim Casper
The Netherlands

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.

© Natalia Mishina
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!
© Tanya Hawthorne
© Yunhua Zhang
We are proud to offer free entry for single-image submissions. This special offer is part of our ongoing commitment to make entry to our awards and access to career-changing benefits open to all photographers, no matter your location or budget for entering competitions.
© Zahra Darvish Amiri
© Artem Tulchynskyi
© Ahmad Mohammad Taghi Shirazi
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, your work will be reviewed by our editors for immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery and across all our online channels, reaching a combined audience of over three million. Enter your work early and take advantage of this opportunity!
Note: While our editors review entries for inclusion on a daily basis, not every submission can be shown here. You can click on the photos to learn more about the photographer. If you like someone’s work, share their submission on Facebook or favorite their image! Your support help increases the exposure for every participating photographer.
© Alvaro Gomez Pidal
© Ohidul Arafat
© Simon Johansson
© Meg Hewitt
© Katarzyna Wolyniak
Career-Launching Exposure
In addition to a print exhibition in New York and cash grants, those recognized will also receive the following benefits.
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.
Visibility with industry insiders & creative professionals
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.
Permanent exhibition on LensCulture online gallery
All photographers recognized for this award will be prominently featured in the permanent online gallery on our site.
Your work showcased to our social media community
Each photographer recognized in this award will be profiled via our Instagram (one million followers) and Facebook (one million followers) accounts, sharing your work with new audiences and potentially new opportunities.
International press exposure
Award winners receive press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world. Past winners 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.
© Astrid Verhoef
© Bence Kosztolányi
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.
“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.”
– Andri Cauldwell
Benefits for all who enter
When you share your work with us, you participate in our global community of over three million. The opportunities for connection, inspiration, and participation are endless — don’t miss your chance to get involved!
LensCulture is on a mission to discover the most imaginative, talented, creative photographers out there, regardless of location, age, background or experience level.
6 Winners8 Jurors’ picks25 FinalistsEditors’ Picks(1)Every Entrant
$15,000 in Cash Awards
Exhibition in New York during Paris Photo 2021
B&W Photography Awards 2020 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.
fine artportraitlandscapearchitectureinteriorsalternative processphotojournalismdocumentaryconceptualstill lifenaturestreet photographyabstractexperimentalstagedgraphic
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.
© Ignas Avižinis
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 artists’ 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.
© Katharine Cooper. Courtesy Flatland Gallery