© Tommaso Del Croce
© Scarlett Coten
© Alain Laboile
© Takako Fukaya
© Hanne Van Der Woude
© Brian Shumway
© Robert Schultz
Cash Grants | Exposure to 2.5 Million | International Festival Projections | Personal Expert Feedback on Your Submission

Seeking the New Photographic Portrait

The fourth annual LensCulture Portrait Awards strive to discover the best and most interesting portrait photography from all over the world. We’re eager to see innovative new approaches as well as stunning traditional work — from quirky self-portraits to creative portrayals of family, friends, groups and ordinary people in diverse cultures around the planet. These Awards are open to all people and all interpretations of portraiture. Whether made in a studio with professional lighting, or on the run with a smartphone, portraits are clearly the most popular form of photography today. Have you taken a great portrait? If so, we want to see it!

Drawing from the best and brightest in the photographic community, our international jury is on the lookout for a fresh vision of the photographic portrait. Six Winners, eight Jurors’ Picks, 25 Finalists and five Student Spotlights will be selected for awards and benefits including international festival projections, exposure to our audience of over 2.5 million, and so much more.

Closed for new entries.


Photography Director
Vanity Fair Magazine
New York, USA
more about Susan +

Susan White has been the photography director of Vanity Fair magazine for more than 20 years. Throughout her tenure, she has worked with many of the industry’s leading photographers, covering a wide array of subject matter. During this time, Vanity Fair received numerous nominations and awards in the photography category from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Publication Designers. In 2005, Susan was named “Photo Editor of the Year” at the Lucie Awards.

Head of Photographs
National Portrait Gallery
London, UK
more about Phillip +

Phillip Prodger, Ph.D. (Cantab.) is Head of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London, where he oversees acquisitions, research, loan and display of photographs from the 19th century to the present. Prodger has held several curatorial posts including at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Peabody Essex Museum, where he was founding Curator of Photography. The curator of numerous exhibitions worldwide and the author and editor of fourteen books and catalogues, his writings on art and photography have been translated into nine languages. He is the curator, most recently, of “William Eggleston Portraits”, which made numerous ‘best of’ lists.

Photography Director
The Wall Street Journal Magazine
New York, USA
more about Jennifer +

Jennifer Pastore is the photography director of WSJ. The Wall Street Journal Magazine. Previously, she has worked as a photo editor for various magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Jennifer teaches in the BFA photography program of The School of Visual Arts and her work has been recognized by American Photography, ASME, SPD, Graphis, PDN and the Society of Newspaper Design. Jennifer holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Florida.

Deputy Director of Photography
National Geographic
Washington, D.C., USA
more about Whitney +

Whitney C. Johnson is the Deputy Director of Photography at National Geographic. Before joining the Society in 2015, she was the Director of Photography at The New Yorker where she oversaw the photographic vision for the magazine in print, on the iPad, and at newyorker.com. Prior to that she worked at the Open Society Foundations. She has taught at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the International Center of Photography.

She is on the board of the W. Eugene Smith Fund, the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation, and the Advisory Committee for the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund.

San Francisco Bay Area, USA
more about Todd +

Todd Hido is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Wired, Elephant, FOAM, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Getty, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young, the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Pier 24 Photography, as well as in many other public and private collections. He has over a dozen published books; his monograph titled Excerpts from Silver Meadows was released in 2013, along with an innovative b-sides box set designed to function as a companion piece to his award-winning monograph in 2014. Aperture published his mid-career survey in 2016.

Global Business Development Manager
Magnum Photos
London, UK
more about Fiona +

Fiona Rogers is the Global Business Development Manager at Magnum Photos International. Fiona is also the founder of Firecracker, a platform supporting female photographers. In 2012, Firecracker launched an annual grant, offered to photographers to complete a long-term documentary photography project. Fiona has a strong interest in emerging photographers and has participated in international platforms such as Recontres D’Arles, Format Festival and the Singapore International Photography Festival. She has participated as a judge for several notable competitions including the Mack First Book Award and the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography.

Senior Photo Editor
The New Yorker
New York, USA
more about Genevieve +

Genevieve Fussell is a Senior Photo Editor at The New Yorker where she commissions and produces a range of photography for the magazine as well as contributing weekly to Photo Booth, The New Yorker’s daily photography blog. Before joining The New Yorker, she worked as the archivist for VII Photo, the international collective of photojournalists based in New York and Paris. She holds a degree in journalism from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as well as having studied photography at California College of the Arts.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
more 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. He serves on the board of directors at SPE, the Society for Photographic Education, the world’s largest association of photography educators.

It’s one thing to make the photographs, but to get those pictures in a forum to motivate change: that’s the most important thing. It’s not about me, it’s about getting my subjects’ voices heard...So to win an award from LensCulture—to be on this platform with millions of viewers—no one could ask for something better than that.

– Renée C Byer, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist

© Marta Azevedo
& Benefits


6 Winners & 8 Jurors’ Picks25 Finalists5 Student SpotlightsEditors’ Picks**Every Entrant
Expert, Written Submission Review by Photo Industry Professional*
LensCulture Portfolio Account*
Opportunities for Immediate Exposure During the Competition
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
Massive Exposure to our Global Audience of 2.5+ Million
International Press Exposure
International Photo Festival Projections
Published in the LensCulture 2017 Book
Featured Article on LensCulture
LensCulture Network Membership
$22,000 in Photographer Grants

*Submission Review and LensCulture Portfolio Account: Available for all Series entries and 5+ Single entries

**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. Also, the highest-rated entries will gain visibility with LensCulture Insiders and receive an invitation-only LensCulture Portfolio account, which serve as a great platform to reach our huge global audience.

= Jury selected \ = LensCulture


Series Award
1st Place: $5000
2nd Place: $2000
3rd Place: $1000

Single Image Award
1st Place: $3500
2nd Place: $1500
3rd Place: $1000

Jurors’ Picks
Each juror will select one photographer to receive a $1,000 Juror’s Pick Award.

25 Finalists will be selected.

Student Spotlight
5 student photographers will be selected by our international jury to receive the Student Spotlight Award. We believe that the best form of learning comes through experience, so we’ve created an opportunity for students to access creative and professional development, as well as opportunities for international exposure, while still in school!

More Awards:

  • $22,000 in Photographer Grants
  • Projections at International Photo Festivals
  • Visibility With Industry Insiders
  • Published in the LensCulture 2017 Book
  • International Press Exposure
  • LensCulture Network Membership
  • Massive Exposure to Our 2.5M+ Global Audience
  • Immediate Exposure Opportunities

About The Awards

Projections At International Photo Festivals

Angkor Photo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Art Photo Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Athens Photo Festival, Athens, Greece

Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival, Atlanta, GA, United States

Backlight Photo Festival, Tampere, Finland

Balkan Photo Festival, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bangkok Photo Festival, Bangkok, Thailand

Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland

BIP2016 – Biennial of the Possible, Liège, Belgium

BredaPhoto International Photo Festival, Breda, Netherlands

Brighton Photo Biennial, Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton, United Kingdom

Circulation(s), Paris, France

Copenhagen Photo Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark

Cortona on the Move, Cortona, Italy

DarmStadt Days of Photography, Darmstadt, Germany

Delhi Photo Festival Portfolio Reviews, New Delhi, India

Encontros da Imagem Photography Festival, Braga, Portugal

Eyes On, Vienna, Austria

FestFoto, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Festival de Fotografia de Tiradentes, Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Festival della Fotografia Etica, Lodi, Italy

Festival Internacional De Fotografia Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico

Festival Internacional Fotografia Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile

FOCUS Photography Festival, Mumbai, India

FORMAT, Derby, United Kingdom

FOTO SOLO, New York, NY, United States

FOTOFESTIWAL - International Festival of Photography, Lodz, Poland

FotoLeggendo, Rome, Italy

Fotopub Portfolio Review, Novo Mesto, Slovenia

GuatePhoto Festival, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Head On Photo Festival, Bondi Beach - Sydney, Australia

Indian Photo Fest, Madhapur, India

Krakow Photomonth Festival, Krakow, Poland

Medium Festival of Photography, San Diego, CA, United States

Miami Street Photography Festival, Miami FL, United States

Month of Photography Denver, Denver, CO, United States

Mostra São Paulo de Fotografia, São Paulo, Brazil

Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival, Kobe, Japan

Obscura Festival, Penang, Malaysia

OFF_festival Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia

Photo Romania Festival, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Photolux Festival. International Biennial of Photography, Lucca, Italy

Photomed, Sanary-sur-mer, France

PHOTOMONTH East London, London, United Kingdom

PhotOn Festival, Valencia, Spain

PhotoVisa, Krasnodar, Russia

PondyPHOTO 2017, Pondicherry, India

Porto Photo Festival, Porto, Portugal

Tbilisi Photo Festival, Tbilisi, Georgia

Tokyo International Photography Festival, Tokyo, Japan

Valongo, Valongo, Santos, Brazil

Vienna PhotoBook Festival, Vienna, Austria

Left: Exposure Awards screening at the Voies Off Festival, Arles, July 2016; Right: Our growing list of Festival Partners.

We partner with 50 photo festivals from around the world to showcase our award-winning photographers’ work year-round. Winners of the 2017 Portrait Awards will be shown at a selection of festivals from our growing list of partners this year, which include: FORMAT International Photography Festival, Voies Off Arles, Krakow Photomonth, Brighton Photo Biennial, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Photomed, Athens Photo Festival, Circulation(s) Photo Festival, Tokyo International Photography Festival, Cortona on the Move, Medium Festival of Photography, Brighton Photo Fringe and many more.

Published In The LensCulture 2017 Book

We will publish a volume of all our award-winning photographers’ work. This collection of photographic portrait work will be published by LensCulture and distributed to all the Winners, Finalists and Jurors’ Picks. In addition, this volume will be distributed to over 1,000 industry insiders and industry professionals including influential editors, curators, festival directors, publishers, gallery directors and more.

LensCulture Network Membership

Winning photographers as well as Jurors’ Picks will receive membership to the LensCulture Network, our new community for dedicated photographers looking to move forward in their careers. The LensCulture Network offers you five submissions a year across all LensCulture competitions, which saves you up to 35% on entry fees. Membership will also give you access to juried exhibition opportunities, available to Network members only. Plus you can submit your work as often as you wish to be considered for the Network Gallery, which we promote to our worldwide audience of 2.5 million. You will also receive priority Submission Reviews within 30 days of entering any of our competitions.

Aaron Schuman, Director/Editor, SeeSaw Magazine, UK

Ada Takahashi, Director, Robert Koch Gallery, USA

Adina LoBiondo, Senior Photo Editor, Sierra Magazine, USA

Afton Almaraz, Senior Picture Editor, Getty Images, USA

Alan Taylor, Senior Editor, The Atlantic, USA

Alessandra Capodacqua, Photographer, Curator and Teacher of Photography/ The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Italy

Alessandro Zuffi, Rédacteur Photo/ Photo Editor, Free lance, France

Alessia Glaviano, Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue Senior Photo Editor, Events Art Director at Conde Nast, Italy

Alexa Becker, Acquisitions Editor, Kehrer Verlag Publishers, Germany

Aline Smithson, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Lenscratch, USA

Alison Nordstrom, Independent Scholar/Curator of Photographs, Alison Nordström, USA

Alyssa Coppelman, Contributor, WIRED, USA

Amber Terranova, Marketing Manager, Schilt Publishing, USA

Amy Feitelberg, Photo Director, Los Angeles Magazine, USA

Amy Pereira, Director of Photography, MSNBC, USA

Amy Wolff, Photo Editor, Creative Director, CoEdit Collection, AARP, USA

Andy Adams, Founder & Director, FlakPhoto, USA

Andy Greenacre, Picture Editor, Telegraph Magazine, UK

Ángel Luis, González Fernández Founder and Director, PhotoIreland, Ireland

Ann Jastrab, Gallery Director, RayKo Photo Center, USA

Ann Kendellen, Photographer and Reading Specialist, USA

Anna Dickson, Content and Community Photo Lead, Google, USA

Anna Gripp, Editor-in-chief, Photonews, Germany

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

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Global Digital Director, Magnum Photos, UK

Anne McNeill, Director, Impressions Gallery, UK

Anne Morin, Director, diChroma Photography, Spain

Anne Wilkes-Tucker, Curator, Museum of Fine Arts, USA

Antony Dickson, Features Photo Editor, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

Arianna Rinaldo, Artistic Director, Cortona On The Move, Spain

Ariel Shanberg, Independent Curator and Writer, USA

Audrey Turpin, Production Manager at CENTQUATRE, General Coordinator of Circulation(s) Festival, France

Barbara Čeferin, Owner, Galerija Fotografija, Slovenia

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

Bas Vroege, Director, Paradox, Netherlands

Ben Zlotkin, Founder & Director, Edition One Books, USA

Bevin Bering Dubrowski, Curator, Photography Specialist and Arts Advocate, BBD Photography, USA

Bjarke Myrthu, Founder & CEO, Storyfriend and BLIND SPOT INC., USA

Bonnie Rubenstein, Artistic Director, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Canada

Brett Roegiers, Photo Editor, CNN.com, USA

Brian Paul Clamp, Owner/Director, ClampArt Gallery, USA

Brian Storm, Founder & Executive Producer, MediaStorm, USA

Bronwen Latimer, Deputy Director of Photography, The Washington Post, USA

Carlos Carvalho, Owner, Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporanea, Portugal

Caroline Hunter, Picture Editor, Guardian Weekend Magazine, UK

Catherine Edelman, Owner, Catherine Edelman Gallery, USA

Celeste Jovanovich, Sales Director, Fahey/Klein Gallery, USA

Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks, UK

Celina Lunsford, Artistic Director & Chief Curator, Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, Germany

Charles Guice, Founder/Director, Charles Guice Contemporary, USA

Charlotte van Lingen, Senior Curator, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands

Chelsea Matiash, Deputy Multimedia Editor at TIME Magazine, Executive Board Member at National Press Photographers Association, USA

Chris Jordan, Studio Manager, Chris Jordan Photographic Arts, USA

Chris Littlewood, Photography Director, Flowers Gallery, UK

Christophe de Jaeger, Coordinator, BOZAR Photo, Belgium

Christophe Laloi, Artistic Director, Voies Off Arles, France

Christopher Rauschenberg, Founding Member, Blue Sky Photographers' Collective and Gallery, USA

Clare Grafik, Head of Exhibitions, The Photographer's Gallery, UK

Corey Keller, Curator at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA

Corinne Tapia, Director, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, USA

Cristina De Middel, Artist, Dillon Gallery, UK

Daphné Anglès, Picture Editor/Bureau Manager, The New York Times Paris, France

Darbe Rotach, Senior Photo Editor, WebMD, USA

Darius Himes, International Head of Photographs, Christie's, USA

Darren Ching, Owner, Klompching Gallery, USA

David Alan Harvey, Full Member Photographer, Magnum Photos, USA

David Birkitt, Owner, DMB, UK

David Campbell, Communications and Marketing Manager, World Press Photo, Netherlands

David Chickey, Publisher, Radius Books, USA

David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, UK

Dr David Kogan Ph.D., Owner, Cinderella Photography, Canada

Deborah Dragon, Photo Producer / Photo Editor, USA

Deborah Klochko, Director, Museum of Photographic Arts, USA

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

Denise Wolff, Senior Editor, Aperture, USA

Dewi Lewis, Owner, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK

Dimitri Beck, Director of Photography, Polka Magazine, France

Dina Mitrani, Gallery Owner, Dina Mitrani Gallery, USA

Dmitri Beck, Director of Photography, Polka Magazine, France

Donna Cohen, Photo Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek, USA

Ed Carey, Director, Gallery 291, USA

Eder Chiodetto, Independent Photography Curator, Brazil

Eduard Planting, Owner, Eduard Planting Gallery | Fine Art Photographs, Netherlands

Elda Harrington, Owner, Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, Argentina

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

Elie Domit, Director, East Wing Gallery, Qatar

Elinor Carucci, Teacher of Photography, School of Visual Arts, USA

Elisa Medde, Managing Editor, FOAM Magazine, Netherlands

Elisabeth Biondi, Visuals Editor, Curator, Writer, Teacher, Advisor, Biondi Foto, USA

Elissa Curtis, Deputy Photo Director, The Wall Street Journal, USA

Elizabeth Avedon, Correspondent USA/Reporter, L'Oeil de la Photographie, USA

Elizabeth Johnson, Sr. Photo Editor, CNN Digital, USA

Elizabeth Lapp, Head of Social Marketing, Yahoo, USA

Els Barents, Independent Photo Historian, Writer & Researcher, Els Barents, Netherlands

Emily Adams, Photography Exhibition Specialist, Mexico

Emily Graham, Cultural & Education Manager, Magnum Photos, UK

Emma Bowkett, Director of Photography, FT Weekend Magazine, UK

Enrico Bossan, Founder and Art Director, e-photoreview.com, Italy

Enrico Stefanelli, Founder, President and Artistic Director, Photolux Festival, Italy

Erik Vroons Chief, Editor, GUP Magazine, Netherlands

Evgeny Berezner, Deputy General Director, ROSIZO State Museum&Exhibition Center, Ministry of Culture of Russia, Russia

Felicia Anastasia, Founder & Creative Director, Anastasia Photo Gallery, USA

Fiona Rogers, Global Business Development Manager, Magnum Photos, UK

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

Francoise Callier, Program Coordinator, Angkor Photo Festival, France

Frazier King, Member of Board and Exhibition Committee, Houston Center for Photography, USA

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

Frits Gierstberg, Head of Exhibitions/Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Netherlands

Gad Edery, CEO, Gad Collection, France

Gaia Tripoli, Photodesk - Deputy for Business and Assignments, International New York Times, Italy

Gail Marowitz, Creative Director, The Visual Strategist, USA

Garry Sommerfeld, Manager Photographic Services, NGV National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

Genevieve Fussell, Senior Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA

Gilles Steinmann, Photo Editor, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland

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

Gregory Eddi Jones, Founding Editor, In the In-Between, USA

Hamidah Glasgow, Executive Director/Curator, The Center for Fine Art Photography, USA

Hannah Watson, Director, TJ Boulting Gallery and Trolley Books, UK

Hélène Joye-Cagnard, Director, Journées photographiques de Bienne, Switzerland

Hideko Kataoka, Director of Photography, Newsweek, Japan

Ian Shive, CEO & Founder, Tandem Stills + Motion, USA

Iatã Cannabrava, Partner, Estúdio Madalena, Brazil

Ihiro Hayami, Director, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan

Ishida Tetsuro, Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan

Jacob Aue Sobol, Photographer, MagnumPhotos, Denmark

James Estrin, Photographer/Lens Blog Editor, The New York Times, USA

Jason Landry, Director, New Hampshire Institute of Art, USA

Jeanne Mercier, Editor, Coordinator, and Trainer, Afrique in visu, Morocco

Jeff Gates, Lead Producer, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA

Jeff Moorfoot, Editor, BETA Developments in Photography, Australia

Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Guggenheim.org, USA

Jenny Smets, Member of the Supervisory Board, World Press Photo, Netherlands

Jeremy Ross, Gallery and Sales Manager, Morrison Hotel Gallery, USA

Jessica Lim, Asia Coordinator, Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Cambodia

Jessie Wender, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic, USA

Joanne Junga, Yang Director,Y&G Art, South Korea

Johan Sjöström, Curator of Exhibitions, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden

John Duncan, Editor, Source Photographic Review, UK

Jolene Hanson, Director, The G2 Gallery, USA

Jon Jones, Director of Photography, Sunday Times, UK

Jorge de la Torriente, Owner / Photographer, De La Gallery, USA

Juli Lowe, Director, Catherine Edelman Gallery, USA

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

Karen Davis, Director/Co-owner, Davis Orton Gallery,USA

Karen Downey, Project Manager, Arts Council, Ireland

Karin Bareman, Exhibitions & Projects Organiser, Autograph Abp, Netherlands

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

Kathleen Prutting, Manager Photo Editor, CBS Broadcast Network, USA

Kathy Moran, Sr. Editor, Natural History at National Geographic Magazine, USA

Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography, The New York Times Magazine, USA

Ken Geiger, Dep. Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine, USA

Kenneth Dickerman, Digital Photo Manager, The Washington Post, USA

Kottie Gaydos, Director of Operations & Curator, Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, USA

Kris Graves, Studio Manager and Photographer, Guggenheim Museum, USA

Krzysztof Candrowicz, Director at Lodz Art Center, and Artistic Director at Hamburg Triennial of Photography, Poland

Kurt Mutchler, Senior Science Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine, USA

Lars Boering, Managing Director, World Press Photo, Netherlands

Laura Pressley, Executive Director, CENTER, USA

Laura Serani, Artistic Director, Photography Residence Foundation Treilles, France

Lauren Ford, Photographic Director, Dazed & Confused, UK

Linda Benedict-Jones, Executive Director, Silver Eye Center for Photography, USA

Lisa J. Sutcliffe, Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum, USA

Lizzy Oppenheimer, Senior Photo Editor, InStyle, USA

Louise Clements, Artistic Director, Derby QUAD Limited and FORMAT International Photography Festival, UK

Luc Rabaey, Owner, 44 Gallery, Belgium

Lucy Bell, Director, Lucy Bell Fine Art, UK

Maarten Schilt, Publisher and Gallerist, Schilt Publishing & Gallery, Netherlands

Magdalena, Herrera Director of Photography, GEO France, France

Maja Saphir, Web Photo Editor, Fast Company, USA

Manila Camarini, Photo Editor, D La Repubblica, Italy

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

Marc Prüst, Artistic Director, Photoreporter Festival Baie de St. Brieuc, Netherlands

Marcel Feil, Deputy Director of Artistic Affairs, FOAM, Netherlands

Marcia Allert, Director of Photography, The Daily Beast, USA

Margaret Kelly, Exhibition and Art Fair Manager, Pace/Macgill Gallery, USA

Margy Dudley, Owner, Open Shutter Gallery, USA

Maria Garcia Yelo, Deputy Manager, PHotoEspaña International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, Spain

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

Marion Hislen, Director, Circulations Festival, France

Marisa Schwartz Taylor, Photo Editor, The New York Times, USA

Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones, USA

Martin Parr, Award-Winning Photographer and Curator, UK

Mary Virginia Swanson, Manager of Institutional Giving, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, USA

MaryAnn Camilleri, Founder, The Magenta Foundation; Director, Flash Forward Festival, Canada

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

Matt Stuart, Independent Street Photographer, UK

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

Matt Tucker, Picture Editor, BuzzFeed, UK

Mauro Bedoni, Freelance Photo Editor, USA

Maya Byskov, Artistic Director, The Independent AIR, Germany

Meaghan Looram, Deputy Photo Editor, The New York Times, USA

Melissa Ryan, Director of Photography, Nature Conservancy Magazine, USA

Mia Diehl, Photography Director/Fortune Magazine, USA

Michael Dooney, Director, Jarvis Dooney Galerie, Germany

Michael Famighetti, Editor, Aperture Magazine, USA

Michael Foley, Owner, Foley Gallery, USA

Michael Mack, Founder, mackbooks.co.uk, UK

Michael Weir, Director/Founder, Belfast Photo Festival, UK

Michael Wichita, Director of Photography, AARP, USA

Michael Zajakowski, Features Picture Editor, Chicago Tribune, USA

Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director at Pacific Center Northwest, Founder of Minor Matters Books, USA

Miriam Romais, Independent Curator, Photographer at RomaisPhotos, USA

Miyako Yoshinaga, Director, Mikayo Yoshinga Gallery, USA

Molly Roberts, Chief Photography Editor, Smithsonian Magazine, USA

Monica Allende, Photography Editor, Curator, and Educator, UK

Moritz Neumüller, Academic Director of Photography Programs, Istituto Europeo di Design, Spain

Moshe Rosenzveig, Director, Head On Photo Festival, Australia

Mutsuko Ota Editorial, Director, IMA magazine, Japan

Natalie Matutschovsky, Senior Photo Editor, Time Magazine, USA

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

Nathalie Gallon, Director and Curator, Tarfa Project, France

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

Neil Binkley, Creative Director/Founder, BINKLEY +, USA

Newsha Tavakolian, Magnum Photographer, Iran

Olivier Laurent, Editor of LightBox, Time Magazine, USA

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

Paul di Felice, Senior Lecturer (Visual Arts), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director, Griffin Museum of Photography, USA

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, UAE

Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, UK

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

Regina Maria Anzenberger, Founder, AnzenbergerGallery, Austria

Régina Monfort, Photo Editor, FotoEvidence, USA

Richard A. Brooks, Deputy Photo Director for Asia Pacific, Agence France-Presse (AFP), China

Rina Tokura, Editor-in-Chief, IMA Magazine and Concept Stores, Japan

Roger Archibald, Photo Editor, Society of Environmental Journalists, USA

Roger Tooth, Head of Photography, The Guardian, UK

Roman Härer, Creative Director, plainpicture, Germany

Roxanne Behr, Senior Photo Editor, New York Magazine, USA

Rui Prata, Director, Museu da Imagem, Portugal

Rupert Jenkins, Founder and Head of Corrections, Durrington Edits, USA

Ruth Offen, Director/Curator, www.waterworksgallery.com, USA

Sacha Lecca, Deputy Photo Editor, Rolling Stone Magazine, USA

Sadie Quarrier, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Society, USA

Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries, USA

Sara Guerrini, Freelance Photo Editor and Photography Consultant, Italy

Sarah Bonk, Photo Editor, Forbes, USA

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

Sarina Finkelstein, Photo Editor, Money Magazine, USA

Scott McKiernan, Founder/Director, ThePicturesofTheDay.com, USA

Sean Corcoran, Curator of Prints and Photographs, Museum of the City of New York, USA

Sébastian Hau, Director, Le Bal Books, France

Selva Barni, Founder & Editor, Fantom Editions, Italy

Serge Belet, Senior Exhibitions Manager / Exhibitions Management, National Gallery of Canada, Canada

Dr. Shahidul Alam, Director, Chobi Mela Festival of Photography, Bangladesh

Silvia Mangialardi, Director, Fotomundo Magazine, Argentina

Simon Lim, Senior Photo Producer, Greenpeace East Asia, China

Stacey Baker, Owner, Stacey Baker Photographic Artistry, USA

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust, USA

Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, USA

Sujong Song, Independent Photography Professional, South Korea

Susan Spiritus, Owner, Susan Spiritus Gallery, USA

Susan Zadeh, Founder/Photography Director, Eyemazing Editions, Netherlands

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

Taj Forer, Cofounder & CEO, Fabl, USA

Tala Skari, Director of Photography, International New York Times, France

Thomas Seelig, Director, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland

Tiffany Hagler-Geard, Photo Director, SheKnows, USA

Todd Hido, Photographer, USA

Todd James, Sr. Photo Editor, National Geographic Society, USA

Todd Tubutis, Associate Director, Sheldon Museum of Art, USA

Tomoka Aya, Owner/Director, The Third EyeGallery Aya, Tokyo, Japan

Ute Noll, Photo Director, Du Kulturmagazin, Germany

Valerie Fougeirol, Co-commissioner with Rafal Lawandowski, Asymetria Gallery, France

Vangelis Ioakimidis, Director, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece

Volker Lensch, Photo Editor at Stern Magazine, G&J, Germany

Whitney Johnson, Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic, USA

Wim Melis, Curator, Noorderlicht Photography, Netherlands

Xavier Canonne, Director, Musée de la Photographie, Belgium

Xavier Soule, CEO of Abvent Group and Gallery VU, France

Yuko Yamaji, Curator, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan

Yumi Goto, Independent Curator, Editor, Researcher and Consultant, USA

Zoe Chun, Communications Director, Kukje Gallery, South Korea

Visibility With Industry Insiders

We are now connected to over 3,100 photography industry insiders all over the globe, including top photo editors, book publishers, gallery owners, festival directors, agents, curators, online media publishers, and many more. LensCulture has become a key resource for these professionals to discover new work from photographers around the world. Industry-wide exposure is critical for both emerging and established photographers—all it takes is one set of eyes to change the future of your career.

International Press Exposure

Each year, LensCulture award winners receive vast international press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world. Winners, finalists and entrants have been featured in such major publications as the BBC, the Guardian, Huffington Post, Spiegel Online, TIME LightBox, the British Journal of Photography, The Telegraph among many other national and international media outlets. This kind of press exposure can lead to viral, global recognition of your work.

Massive Exposure To Our 2.5m+
Global Audience

Selected photographers will be published in feature articles on LensCulture’s home page and published across LensCulture’s social media and editorial channels. We have found this to be a very effective strategy for getting photographers exposure that leads to career-building opportunities — see our Success Stories.

Immediate Exposure Opportunities

The sooner you enter, the better your chance to be selected by LensCulture’s editors for immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery, which is seen by our global audience. Some of these entries selected by the LensCulture editorial team will also be shared across LensCulture’s online channels – our website, mailing list, mobile platform, and social media channels. Access to additional opportunities and resources to share your work and gain recognition and exposure are provided to all participating photographers.

Showcase your work with a FREE Portfolio Account

Get a FREE LensCulture Portfolio Account when you submit five+ images or a series to the Portrait Awards! You’ll save money and countless hours updating your web site with our professional presentation of your profile and work. Our new photo viewer offers a stunning, full-screen display of your photos plus support for an unlimited number of projects. Join the world’s largest community of contemporary photographers with a global audience of over 2.5 million.

© Michal Chelbin
Free Submission Review
by Industry Professionals

We know how important critical feedback is to fine-tuning your work, and we want you to feel as confident as possible every time you submit to a call for entry. Submit five or more images to the Portrait Awards 2017 and you qualify to receive a free Submission Review. Our expert written Submission Reviews include a personalized critique on how to make your submission stronger — what is working well and what can be improved — as well as recommendations for improving your practice and preparing your work for competitions, grants, juried exhibitions, and other calls for entries. We have over 100 trusted and qualified educators, photo editors, curators, publishers, gallerists, and other industry professionals who provide meaningful critiques and actionable feedback on your photography.

Read what LensCulture’s community of photographers is saying about Submission Reviews:

I really have to say thank you (BIG TIME!) to the LensCulture team: first of all, for the submission review I received after the LensCulture Award — it really helped me to re-edit the 8 pictures for the World Press Photo Award submission, where I then won 2nd prize! Second, for the publication of this story on the front page of LensCulture. Your article went online just a few days before the judging process, so it's very well possible that that was also helpful for convincing the jury. Keep up the great work at LensCulture, you do an amazing job for photographers and the photography world!

— Christian Bobst
See Christian’s full review »

Not in my wildest dreams did I expect such a positive response! Thank you! It gives me validation to continue on my Photographic journey, always being honest and true to what I see and feel. Besides this, it was also very encouraging and thorough in critique of each image. Also noted and appreciated were all the relevant and further reading links. Thanks so much.

— James Niven
See James’s full review »

I found the comments most perceptive, precise and accurate. I will certainly bear them in mind when resuming this project (or other projects of a similar stylistic profile). I appreciate the fact that the reviewer meticulously analysed all the technical details of the photos, as well as the general idea underlying the whole series. Thank you very much!

— Alicja Dybowska
See Alicja’s full review »

Learn More and View Actual Submission Reviews »

© Veronika Bures
LensCulture’s Commitment
to Education

We believe student photographers should have access to the best tools and services to help them elevate their photography practice and prepare their work for international exposure and recognition—even before they graduate. The LensCulture EDU Program provides photography students with resources and tools for creative and professional development including:

  • Free Student Portfolio Account to showcase their work
  • 30% discount on their entry into the Portrait Awards
  • Free Submission review from photo industry professionals
  • Opportunity for global exposure in the LensCulture Student Gallery
  • Have a chance to be selected for the “Student Spotlight” awards for some LensCulture competitions, exclusive to students in the EDU program.

Educators and students can visit LensCulture EDU to learn more about our program and register for a free Student Portfolio Account.

© Sian Davey





We are focused on providing photographers with access to the best opportunities for exposure, recognition, and learning to help them move forward creatively and professionally. We believe every photographer who participates deserves an opportunity for global recognition AND expert feedback. The sooner you enter, the more opportunities you have to share your work and engage with the global photo community. Unlike most competitions, you can change your entry after you submit and all the way up to the deadline. So, get started today and don’t miss this opportunity.

There are no limitations on age, level, genre or location. For further information, please see our FAQ.

Open to All Types of Portrait Photography

Closed for new entries.
© Kremer Johnson
Career Changing

For over 10 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 a breatkthrough in their careers though participation in the LensCulture community. We continuously produce video interviews with these photographers to introduce you to individuals who have taken their work to the next level. Here are some of our favorites:

Renée C Byer
United States
Whether photographing in African electronic waste dumpsites or at the local oncology ward, Renée C Byer believes deeply in the power of photography to tell stories and affect change. Here, she describes how a LensCulture award helped her work reach a worldwide audience.
Sander Troelstra
The Netherlands
Driven by a passion to understand humanity through portraiture, Sander Troelstra travelled to South Africa to photograph his “Children of the Night.” His commitment to his craft is inspiring—hear the rest of his story.
Floriane de Lassée
Listen to Floriane de Lassée, Emerging Talent 2014 winner, tell her inspiring story about traveling around the world to photograph the loads that people carry—a journey filled with discoveries and surprises.

I had many successes after I received the award from LensCulture. Specifically, a commercial gallery in Japan asked me to exhibit my work — a very famous photo gallery in my country. They not only deal my prints but also published my photobook. Through them, I had a major career breakthrough, as they then took my work to be sold in Paris and also across the United States. All that thanks to LensCulture!

– Tetsuya Kusu, Finalist, 2015 LensCulture Portrait Awards

More Success Stories

Meet the photographers that are moving forward in their careers and gaining inspiration from the LensCulture community every day. You could be next—and we want to help you get there. Click the photographer photos to hear how their careers were impacted by winning awards.

  • Roderick McNicol
  • Peter van der Heyden
    The Netherlands
  • Pierre Abensur
  • Polly Braden
    United Kingdom
  • Irmina Walczak
  • Kris Sanford
    United States
  • Joshua Rashaad McFadden
    United States
  • Niki Boon
    New Zealand
  • Steve Scallone
  • Denny Renshaw
    United States
  • Camille Michel
  • Thomas Kiefer
    United States
  • Hans Gindlesberger
    United States
  • Daimon Xanthopoulos
    The Netherlands
  • Sandra Pereznieto
  • Tony Corocher
  • Alan Thomas Wilkie
  • Franky Verdickt
  • Bela Doka
  • Eugenio Grosso
    United Kingdom

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 LensCulture Awards competitions. LensCulture editors will select and feature hundreds (but not all) of submissions during the competition in our online gallery and social media albums (always with copyright credit noted for each participating photographer).
Details can be found in the Competition rules.

© Madoka Ikegami