exhibition in paris|cash prizes|international press exposure
Your single best opportunity to be discovered by
20 influential photography experts!
Critics’ Choice 2022 is designed to maximize exposure and opportunities for talented photographers who are ready for the global stage and international markets. This year’s panel of 20 critics includes photography experts and influencers from world-renowned museums, art galleries, magazines, news media, online platforms, book publishers, and international festivals.
Each critic will personally select three photographers with outstanding talent and creative vision — so as many as 60 photographers can be recognized with this year’s honors. The awards are open to all photographers and all kinds of photography.
This is your best opportunity this year to be seen and discovered by 20 of the world’s top experts and influencers in photography – it only takes one great connection to change your career! Awards include an Exhibition in Paris during Paris Photo 2022, Solo Exhibition online, cash prizes, global media coverage, and more. Free entry for single image entries. Show us how you see your world.
Closed for new entries.
Photos in video © Tomomichi Nakamura, Tatiana Noskovich, Robert Andy Coombs, Marco Pubi, Alice Zilberberg, Hannah Norton, Wang Xueping, Ahmadreza Nategh Elahi, Cuneyt Gumushaneli, Charlie Wetzel, Andy Hann, Jacqueline Zilberberg, Katja Gragert, Carole Mills Noronha, Dean West, Eszter Cseh, Émilie Delugeau, Ali Saltan, René Dissel, Arkadiusz Trojanowicz.
Meet the International Critics
Each Critic will select 3 photographers. Up to 60 photographers will be chosen.
Emma Lewis
Assistant Curator
Tate Modern
United Kingdom

Emma Lewis is a curator specialising in photography. Recent and upcoming projects include the book “Photography – A Feminist History” (Ilex/Tate 2021) and the exhibition Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye (The Barnes, 2023). As Assistant Curator, International Art at Tate Modern (2013–ongoing) she has organised or co-organised numerous exhibitions and displays, including Dora Maar (2019), Portraits and Community (2019), and Wolfgang Tillmans (2017). She is responsible for researching photography acquisitions for the permanent collection, with a specialist focus on women’s histories and feminist practices.

Rhea Combs
Director of Curatorial Affairs
National Portrait Gallery
United States

Rhea L. Combs, PhD is the Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and works with her curatorial team along with the History, Conservation and Audience Engagement departments to grow the Portrait Gallery’s collection, develop impactful exhibitions, and draw connections between portraiture, biography and identity. Prior to this, Combs was at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where she served as supervisory curator of photography and film and head of the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts. She has curated numerous exhibitions related to film and photography both nationally and internationally, including: “Everyday Beauty: Photographs and Films from the Permanent Collection” (2016), “Represent: Hip-Hop Photography” (2018), and “Now Showing: African American Movie Posters” (2019). She is a co-curator of the forthcoming exhibition “Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898–1971,” which will be presented at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. She received a BA from Howard University and an MA from Cornell University before earning a PhD from Emory University.

Marta Weiss
Senior Curator, Photography
Victoria and Albert Museum
United Kingdom

Dr. Marta Weiss is Senior Curator of Photography at the V&A and Lead Curator of the second phase of the V&A Photography Centre, opening in 2023. She joined the museum in 2007 after two years in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She studied history of art, specialising in photography, at Harvard (BA) and Princeton (MA, PhD). Her V&A exhibitions include Julia Margaret Cameron (2015); The Camera Exposed (2016); Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s (2015); Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2013); and Light from the Middle East: New Photography (2012). She is author of four books and numerous essays, on topics ranging from Victorian photocollage to Diane Arbus. Her most recent book is Autofocus: The Car in Photography (Thames & Hudson/V&A 2019).

Jasper Bode
Ravestijn Gallery

Jasper Bode founded together with Narda van ’t Veer The Ravestijn Gallery in 2012 in Amsterdam. The gallery focuses on inquisitive and provocative approaches to contemporary photography.

Bode and Van ‘t Veer respectively bring together several decades of experience curating photography exhibitions and representing a diverse group of photographic talents in the Netherlands and abroad. The gallery showcases several exhibitions a year aimed at exploring new perspectives for photography in all its forms and showing ambitious international works.

In addition to its exhibition program and participation in international photography fairs, the gallery holds an expansive collection of photography on site and gathers pictures from the twentieth century and other contemporary photographs.

Cortney Norman
Associate Director
Yancey Richardson Gallery
United States

Cortney Norman is the Associate Director at Yancey Richardson Gallery. Founded in 1995, the gallery specializes in contemporary photography and represents a number of influential and critically recognized photographers and artists including Mitch Epstein, Anthony Hernandez, Zanele Muholi, and Mickalene Thomas. Prior to joining Yancey Richardson, Cortney was the Assistant Director at Howard Greenberg Gallery, who’s collection of over 40,000 prints acts as a living history of photography. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Art History and focus on photography.

Clare Grafik
Head of Exhibitions
The Photographers’ Gallery
United Kingdom

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.

Mark Sealy
United Kingdom

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. Along with his role at Autograph, Sealy is currently serving as Professor of Photography - Rights and Representation at the University of the Arts London, the Photography and the Archive Research Centre and the London College of Communication.

Gwen Lee
Singapore International Photography Festival

After 6 years of experience in the museum industry, Gwen Lee co-founded Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), a biennale international photography platform in 2008. Since then, she has curated & organised numerous photography exhibitions both in Singapore and overseas. In 2014, she curated Flux: Contemporary Photography from China at Art Science Museum. In 2016, she curated a special photobook exhibition with Steidl publishing at DECK, and a solo exhibition of Daido Moriyama at DECK. On a regular basis, she gives talks on professional development for photographers, and participates as a juror and portfolio reviewer in Asia and Europe.

Rebecca Morse
Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
United States

Rebecca Morse is Curator in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Recent projects include “Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge”, “Sarah Charlesworth: Doubleworld”, and “Larry Sultan: Here and Home”. She was previously Associate Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) where she organized “Amanda Ross Ho: Teeny Tiny Woman”, “Cai Guo-Qiang: Ladder to the Sky”, “Rodarte: States of Matter”, “The Artist’s Museum”, and “Florian Maier-Aichen”. Upcoming projects include a mid-career survey of the work of Barbara Kruger titled “Thinking of You I Mean Me I Mean You” and “Objects of Desire: Photography and the Language of Advertising” that examines the ways artists have appropriated the language of commercial photography.

Giuseppe Oliverio
Founder and Director
PHmuseum & PHmuseum Lab

Giuseppe Oliverio is an Italian entrepreneur and curator. In 2012, he launched PHmuseum, a platform for contemporary photography widely known for its grants program. Past grant recipients include artists Laura El-Tantawy, Max Pinckers, Diana Markosian, Jacob Aue Sobol, Sanne De Wilde, and Alejandro Cartagena. PHmuseum is based in Bologna, Italy, where Oliverio founded the PHmuseum Lab, a multifunctional space for workshops, talks, and exhibitions, and PHmuseum Days, the platform’s first international photography festival.

Oliverio has served on the juries for the Lucie Photo Book Prize, Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, UPI’s The Fence, and Happiness OnTheMove, and regularly works as a portfolio reviewer at festivals such as Unseen, Photo Vogue Festival, and Visa Pour L’Image. He has also written for TIME magazine and L’Uomo Vogue. Oliverio holds a degree in economics from Bocconi University (Milan) and a Master’s in Quantitative Finance from Cass Business School (London).

Elizabeth Renstrom
Senior Photo Editor
The New Yorker
United States

Elizabeth Renstrom is a Brooklyn-based photographer, editor, and curator. As a photographer, she uses humor as a tool to investigate themes of feminism, the way we use images, and how we craft our identities in relation to pop culture. Her style is defined by its saturation and prop-driven arrangements in both editorial commissions and in her own projects. She has shot extensively for clients like The New Yorker, Refinery 29, TIME, Instagram, and Vice among others. No matter what, she isn’t afraid to make photography weird across commercial or fine art. As an editor and curator, Elizabeth has worked in the photo departments of Marie Claire, TIME, Vice, and, most recently, The New Yorker where, as Senior Photo Editor, she commissions original photography for the weekly magazine.

Alexa Becker
Contributing Editor
Kehrer Verlag Publishers

Alexa Becker is a Contributing Editor for photography and art books for Kehrer Verlag, a Germany-based publisher founded in 1995.

After earning her Master’s in Art History from the University of Heidelberg,she started her career at Kehrer in 2003, where she is responsible for selecting and acquiring new photography-related projects.

Alexa Becker provides artistic and marketing advice for photographers concerning the content and style of their work at several international portfolio reviews. She enjoys helping photographers and others appreciate the special qualities present in their work, in particular discovering novel, genuine visions of the world.

Alexa Becker is also a freelance consultant, advising and coaching photographers independently.

Dilys Ng
Senior Photo Editor
United States

Dilys Ng is Senior Photo Editor at TIME. She commissions, produces and edits photography across platforms for high impact features and projects like TIME100, Person of the Year, Guns in America and Next Generation Leaders. She was previously at the Singapore International Photography Festival and has served as juror on multiple awards and reviews.

Catherine Hug
Catherine and André Hug Gallery

Catherine and André Hug founded their gallery in Paris in 2000. Located in the heart of the artistic and historic Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood, the Catherine and André Hug Gallery offers a photographic program that compares historical series to the most contemporary expressions. They have presented the work of Susan Meiselas, Raymond Depardon, Philippe Chancel, Kourtney Roy, Joni Sternbach, Reine Paradis, Mona Kuhn, and many more. Catherine has a degree in communications and worked as a sales director for 15 years prior to opening the gallery with her husband.

Raquel Villar-Pérez
United Kingdom

Raquel Villar-Pérez is a researcher, writer, and curator whose practice focuses on de- and anti- colonial discourses within contemporary art and literature from the ‘Global South’. She is interested in the work of image-makers who address notions of transnational feminisms, social and environmental justice, and do so in original, expansive ways.

Currently, she is the Curator at Photoworks, where she is instrumental to the development of the Photoworks Festival and she leads on the Annual, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, and the Ampersand Fellowship, among other projects. Prior to Photoworks, Raquel worked for Tate Modern as an Exhibitions Assistant. As a freelancer, Raquel has curated exhibitions of contemporary art and public programmes in London, Cambridge, Bogotá, Stockholm, Seoul, Málaga, and Valencia. Her exhibition project Poetics of Resistance from the Archive in Two Acts won the 2021 Peckham24 Open Call. She regularly sits in jury panels and contributes to publications such as British Journal of Photography, C&, C& América Latina, and Africanah.

Having graduated in Cultural Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2017, she is now a PhD candidate at Birkbeck’s School of Art. She has been recently appointed co-coordinator of the CILAVS Early Career Researchers Network and is a member of the research group Art and Identity Politics at the University of Murcia in Spain.

Dimitri Beck
Director of Photography
Polka Magazine

Dimitri Beck is the editor-in-chief of the Paris based photography magazine, Polka. Dimitri has been part of the executive management of Polka since 2008, contributing to the development of the magazine, gallery and website, including the magazine’s new feature-rich iPad version. Dimitri lectures on photojournalism at conferences and educational institutes. Prior to working at Polka, he was the Director of the Aina Photo Agency based in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Jim Casper
The Netherlands

Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover new contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper loves to meet with photographers and review their portfolios. He curates art exhibitions, publishes books, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations.

Claartje Van Dijk
Head of Exhibitions

Claartje van Dijk is head of the photography department at Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam since 2020. She curated various exhibitions including “Laia Abril - On Rape: A History of Misogyny, Chapter Two”, “Karolina Wojtas - We can’t live – without each other” and “Liz Johnson Artur - of life of love of sex of movement of hope”, among others. Previously, Claartje worked at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York as Assistant Curator, Collections. At ICP she conducted research on the museum’s collection and was a curator on numerous exhibitions, including “Perpetual Revolutions: The Image and Social Change” (2017), “Elliott Erwitt: Pittsburgh” (2018) and “Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection” (2019). Claartje has juried a number of awards including PDN: The Curator Award, Critical Mass and the Lucie Scholarship Program for The Lucie Foundation.

Catherine Edelman
Founder and Director
Catherine Edelman Gallery
United States

December 1, 2021 marked the 34-year anniversary of Catherine Edelman Gallery, a venue for contemporary fine art photography in Chicago. Since its founding in 1987, the gallery has established itself as one of the leading galleries in the US devoted to the exhibition of prominent living photographers, alongside new & young talent. The gallery showcases a broad range of subject matter, attracting both the seasoned collector and first-time buyer. Recently, CEG moved to a 4400 sq ft space, expanding its program to include artists readings and panel discussions, with a larger exhibition space and dedicated video room, as we seek to expand the vocabulary of photography. Our web site provides a wealth of information, including artist talks, interviews with art world professionals, an online only gallery for local talent, and extensive educational material.

In 2018, Catherine Edelman and Anette Skuggedal formed CASE Art Fund, a 501c3 non-profit that raises awareness about children’s human rights through the support and exhibition of photography, with the firm belief that every child has the right to an education, regardless of race, class or sexual orientation. CASE’s vision is to be at the forefront of presenting photographs that inspire and create a positive impact on social awareness, human rights, and children’s education. Photographic projects are exhibited in the public arena, including wall-pastings on the side of buildings, public libraries, art fairs, and other cultural venues.

Catherine is an active member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) and is widely respected as a leader, educator and specialist in the field of contemporary photography.

Louise Fedotov-Clements
FORMAT Festival
United Kingdom

Louise has been the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival for 18 years, which she co-founded in 2004 and the Artistic Director of QUAD a centre for contemporary art and film for 20 years. She works as an independent curator since 1998 directing commissions, publications, performances and exhibitions. Currently she leads the arts programme at Forestry England, including Earth Photo.

She serves as a Guest Curator for international exhibitions/festivals including Dong Gang (Yeongwol) South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Musée du quai Branly Paris; Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries; Dali Photo, China; Venice Biennale EM15; Photo Beijing, and LishuiPhoto China; Korea International Photo Festival. A steering Group member for FORMAT International Photography Festival, and international award nominator, she has also contributed to numerous publications as producer/writer/editor and a regular juror, portfolio reviewer, speaker in Europe, America, Africa & Asia.

Instead of winners and finalists decided by consensus vote, each critic will select three photographers who stand out to them personally. The experts will write short statements of appreciation about each of their choices. This alone is an amazing addition to any artist’s resume.
Exhibition in Paris during Paris Photo 2022!
The Top Ten chosen photographers will be exhibited at a gallery in Paris during Paris Photo, the premiere international photo fair that brings together hundreds of galleries, publishers and collectors, as well as an ambitious program of exhibitions, conversations, artist book signings and curated fair events.
An opening reception will be held for LensCulture artists, invited media, photo editors and industry insiders for a night of art appreciation and networking during the world’s largest international art fair dedicated to photography.
“Winning Critics’ Choice in 2021 has changed everything in my career as a photographer. And it gave me the confidence to believe in myself.”
Kai Yokoyama
Critics’ Choice 2021 Top Ten
© John Slavin
Awards & Benefits
Featured at International Photo Festivals
Select works will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide. In the past, our winners, finalists, and jurors’ picks were screened at festivals in the US, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, The Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Hungary, Serbia, and more.
Visibility With Industry Insiders & Creative Professionals
All it takes is one set of eyes to change the course of your career. If our critics rank 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 key decision-makers including editors, book publishers, gallery owners, festival directors, creative directors, curators, and online media publishers.
Permanent Exhibition in LensCulture Winners’ Gallery
LensCulture has become a key resource for discovering new photography work all over the world. All Critics’ Choice 2022 winning photographers will be prominently featured in the permanent online gallery on our site.
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.
Be sure to check out the latest feature by The Guardian, a full-screen image gallery highlighting the work of the 2022 Art Photography Award winners.

© Eszter Cseh
Cash Awards & Recognition
All Critics’ Choice Winners
This year, up to 60 photographers will be recognized with Critics’ Choice Awards — each of the critics will choose 3 photographers to be winners. For every winner, we will publish a short quote written by the critic about why they selected that work for this year’s prize.
Critics’ Choice Top Ten
If your work is selected by more than one critic, you have a chance of being named in our Critics’ Choice Top Ten. The top ten photographers will be featured in an exhibition at a gallery in Paris, and each will receive a $1000 cash grant.
© Harish Aravindan
© Stas Bartnikas
© Therese Brown
Competition Gallery —
Editors’ Picks
When you enter this award, your work will be immediately reviewed by our 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. (For example, more than 700 early entries were selected and featured during our HOME’21 Photography Prize open call, and more than 200 of those were promoted via LensCulture’s Instagram and Facebook platforms, garnering more than 460,000 likes and over 2,000 comments.) 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.
“Since winning the Critics’ Choice Top Ten, I have been named a finalist in The Hopper Prize and the National Portrait Gallery Competition. I had features in D Magazine la Repubblica, The Observer / Guardian, and frankie Magazine. I was shortlisted for the Belfast Photo Festival, winner in Imago Lisboa Photo Festival. And Yoffy Press published a book of the images in 2021!”
Catherine Panebianco
Winner Critics’ Choice 2020 Top Ten
© Ruth Lauer Manenti
© David Ellingsen
© Ingrid Weyland
© Alan Teller
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!
BenefitsTop 10 PicksCritics’ PicksEditors’ Picks(1)Every Entrant
$10,000 in Cash Awards
Exhibition in Paris during Paris Photo 2022
Featured in International Photo Festival Projections
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
International Press Exposure
Submission Review by Photo Industry Specialist(2)
Massive Exposure to our Global Audience of 3 Million
LensCulture Portfolio Account(3)
Opportunity to be in LensCulture Discoveries(4)
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 Instagram and Facebook pages, all updated daily. (2)Available for all Series and 5+ Single entries ($15 additional). (3)LensCulture Portfolio Account: Available for all Series entries and 5+ Single entries. (4)All photographers recognized through this award will be included in LensCulture Discoveries online directory.
Critics’ Choice 2022
This Year’s Best Opportunity for Professional Recognition and Global Visibility
open to all genresfine artportraitlandscapearchitectureinteriorsalternative processphotojournalismdocumentaryconceptualvisual storytellingstill lifeb&wnaturestreet photographyabstractexperimentalstaged
Closed for new entries.
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.
© Paul Skinner
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!
Submission Reviews
Enter 5+ single images or a series into this competition and you can add a professional written review of your submission for an additional $15. This is a unique opportunity to receive valuable and specific feedback on your work from one of our experienced industry professionals.
© Takashi Nakazawa
Success Stories
For 18 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.
  • Juul Kraijer
  • Rahima Gambo
  • Sheng Wen Lo
  • Tadas Kazakevičius
  • Nadir Bucan
  • Aaron Elkaim
  • Marinka Masséus
  • Alex Vasyliev
    Russian Federation
  • Ana Vallejo
  • Antonio Pulgarin
    United States
  • Heloisa Lodder
  • Walter Plotnik
    United States
  • Diego Moreno
  • Mathieu Willcocks
    United Kingdom
  • Vikesh Kapoor
    United States
We respect artists’ rights
All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period. All Critics’ Choice winners 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.
© Jacqueline Zilberberg