2015 Visual Storytelling
Awards Call for Entries

© Christopher Chadbourne
Closed for new entries.
Winners will be announced in mid-December.
If you already started a submission, click here to finish it now.

Show Us Your Story

This is the 2nd annual international call to discover the best visual storytellers today — from all corners of the world! We are searching for photography in Documentary, Personal Stories, Photojournalism, Fictional Narratives, and any other photography that tells a story. You are invited to participate with your best work!

We believe photographs tell stories that can reach the broadest audiences — across all cultures, languages, political borders and age groups. We are wide open to all themes and approaches. A picture is worth a thousand words—show us your story!

Visual Storytelling 2015 International Jury

  • Lars boering
    Lars Boering
    Managing Director
    World Press Photo
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    more about Lars

    Lars Boering is the Managing Director of World Press Photo, the world's leading international contest in visual journalism. He has been actively involved with photography for many years. He has (co)produced exhibitions with photographers, Festivals, museums and art foundations.

    In 2008, he founded Lux Photo gallery: showcasing photography that demonstrated creative integrity and intent, originality, narrative and aesthetic quality and a high level of craftsmanship. At the end of 2014, he stopped working for the gallery.

    He also worked as the director of the Federation of Dutch Professional photographers, improving the working position of photographers helping them to safeguard their copyright. In 2014 he merged all member associations into one strong professional organization called Dutch Photographers (DuPho).

    In 2010, he co-founded the successful master class 'Advanced Storytelling' at www.noorderlicht.com, where he still teaches.

  • Daphne angles a
    Daphné Anglès
    Picture Editor
    The New York Times, Paris Bureau
    Paris, France
    more about Daphné

    Daphné Anglès is a Franco-American picture editor for The New York Times in Paris. She was secretary to the World Press Photo’s annual contest jury from 2009 to 2013 and a master at the Joop SwartWPP Masterclass in 2000. She is a voting member of various photography juries (Prix Carmignac, PX3, Yves Rocher Foundation Photo Award, Belarus Press Photo Award, Canon Award for Female Photojournalists, Humanitarian Visa d’Or ICRC, AFD Photo Contest, International Sportsfolio Award.)

    She is a portfolio reviewer (Les Rencontres d’Arles, Hamburg Triennale, Visa pour l’Image, LensCulture FotoFest, Braga). She has curated photography exhibitions at Central-Dupon (Paris) and taught an Editing and Visual Storytelling masterclass (PhotoLux Festival, Lucca). In 2015 she will be on the first jury of the Young Curators PhotoLux contest. She is a nominator for Prix Pictet.

  • Matt shonfeld
    Matt Shonfeld
    Executive Director
    Institute for Artist Management
    Bath, UK
    more about Matt

    In 2009, Matt Shonfeld and Frank Evers founded INSTITUTE, an artist management company serving media, editorial, advertising, entertainment, fine art, book publishing, online/mobile media and corporate clients.

    Matt has been involved in photography for 15 years, initially as an agency photographer and latterly as an agent/artist manager.

    He is an extremely keen cyclist and even holds a level 2 coaching award. He was awarded the Freedom Of The City of London in 1998 and lives in Bath with his wife and two children.

  • Newsha tavakolian
    Newsha Tavakolian
    Tehran, Iran
    more about Newsha

    Newsha Tavakolian was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. A self-taught photographer, Newsha began working professionally in the Iranian press at the age of 16, at a women's daily newspaper “Zan.” At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, which was a turning point for the country's blossoming reformist movement and for Newsha personally as a photojournalist; a year later she joined the New York-based agency Polaris Images.

    In 2002, she began working internationally, covering the war in Iraq. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and made social documentary stories. Her work has been published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.

    In 2009, Newsha covered the Presidential elections in Iran, which ended up in chaos and forced her to temporarily halt her photojournalistic work. Instead, she started working on projects that experts describe as a mix of social documentary photography and art.

    Her work has been displayed in dozens of international art exhibitions and has been on show in museums such as the Victoria & Albert, LACMA in and the British Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Art.

    In 2014, Newsha was chosen as the fifth laureate of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. In 2015, Newsha joined Magnum Agency where she will be a nominee for two years. Just recently, she was chosen as the principle laureate of the Prince Claus Award.

  • Michae mack
    Michael Mack
    Mack Books
    London, UK
    more about Michael
    Michael Mack is a publisher, editor and designer of illustrated art and photography books.
  • Casper.sq
    Jim Casper
    Editor-in-Chief & Publisher
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    more about Jim
    Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief and publisher 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.

About the Competition

Editor's Note: Visual Storytelling

With these Awards, we are eager to discover people who are truly great at using the visual language of photography to tell amazing, remarkable, unforgettable stories. If you are “fluent” in the language of photography, please share your stories with us!

Visual storytelling is really at the heart of how humans communicate with each other — now more than ever. From the very birth of photography, people have used pictures to tell stories, to pass Read more...

We invite entries in five categories of storytelling:
Documentary, Photojournalism, Personal Stories, Fictional Narrative and an Open Category.
Entries are welcome as Series, Mini-Series or as Single Images. Winners will be selected for each category in Series and Mini-Series. The Open Category will also have a five Single Image Winners. In addition, 20 Finalists will be selected across all five categories. For inspiration, here are winners & finalists from the 2014 Visual Storytelling Awards:


Documentary photographers are invited to submit in-depth investigations of an event, situation or idea in vivid detail and nuanced understanding. This genre is widely-defined and thus is open to many interpretations — all approaches and themes are welcome here.

Fictional Narratives

Photographers can submit Fictional Narratives, in which they develop visual stories where anything is possible. Truth mixes with fantasy and we are plunged into worlds of fact, fiction, mystery and imagination. These projects capture people, places, things, and ideas that may or may not exist in the real world — but they come alive through a series of photographs.

Personal Stories

Personal Stories show us vivid subjective accounts from a unique point of view. These can be narratives about you, your family, a significant personal event or someone else in the world. Many of these projects tell specific stories that also have a universal appeal. They are filled with empathy and are rich in details, style and psychological meaning. But we’re always open to all approaches and new ideas, too!


Through a truthful visual report, photojournalism offers us penetrating insights into the world around us. Action-packed moments are frozen in time, allowing others to later revisit these stories in order to unpack and understand the details of complex, real-life events. These stories reveal to us things we would have otherwise missed during the everyday occurrence of news, from anywhere around the world.


Some photographic stories don’t fit easily into well-defined categories. A series of photos may be linked poetically or lyrically without any linear narrative or rational logic — but they evoke emotions, understandings and feelings in powerful ways. We love discovering new forms of visual storytelling. What is the photographic equivalent of haiku, pop songs, short stories, symphonies or street art? Share your vision with us! Single Image Entries can be submitted under this category.

Competition gallery

Career Launching Awards

15 Winners 20 Finalists Editors’ Picks*
$17,500 in Cash Awards
International Festival Projections
‘Visual Storytelling 2015’ Printed Annual
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
Massive Online Promotion
LensCulture Portfolio Account
Immediate Exposure on LensCulture

*Editors' Picks: LensCulture's editors will select photographers during the competition for immediate exposure to our global audience (before the judging begins). Also, over 100 of 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.


Cash Awards

Series Award:

6 - 10 Photos

Each category winner
receives $2000

Mini-Series Award:

2 - 5 Photos

Each category winner
receives $1000

Single Image:

1 Photo

Top 5 Singles:
$500 each

Win a One-Month Residency at Docking Station in Amsterdam

Move your story forward! One talented visual storyteller will win a one-month residency at the newly launched Docking Station in Amsterdam (early 2016). You will connect with a world-class creative network and give your visual story the boost it needs to travel the world! During the residency, you will stay at the "Docking Station Hub" (an apartment and workspace in Amsterdam), and will have the chance to connect with other talented people who can help you take your project to the next level. Get inspired, inspire others and leave fully charged!

Projections at International
Photo Festivals

Work from the winners will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide throughout the year. We are actively partnering with international photo festivals to showcase our competitions' winners & finalists. Our growing list of festivals includes: FORMAT International Photography Festival, Bangkok Photo Festival, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Belfast Photo Festival, Athens Photo Festival, Circulation(s) Photo Festival, Tokyo International Photography Festival, Voies Off Arles, Photolux Festival in Italy — with many more to come!

Vs15 award graphic projection

Visibility with
LensCulture Insiders

Work from hundreds of the other top-rated photographers from this competition will be shared with LensCulture Insiders, our network of influential names in the photography industry. We have significantly expanded our Insiders network to over 500 photo editors, curators, gallerists, and publishers. We believe this kind of exposure is critical for both emerging and established photographers to gain valuable jobs, opportunities, and global exposure in print and online media.

Aaron Schuman, Director/Editor, SeeSaw Magazine, UK

Ada Takahashi, Director, Robert Koch Gallery, USA

Afton Almaraz, Senior Picture Editor, Getty Images, USA

Aida Muluneh, Founder and General Manager, Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC, Ethiopia

Alan Taylor, Senior Editor, The Atlantic, USA

Alessandra Capodacqua, Instructor, Photographer and Independent Curator, NYU, Italy

Alessia Glaviano, Senior Photo Editor, Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue, Italy

Alex Webb, Photographer, Magnum

Alexa Becker, Acquisitions Editor, Kehrer Verlag Publishers, Germany

Alona Pardo, Curator, Barbican Art Gallery, UK

Amy Feitelberg, Photo Art Director, Square, USA

Amy Pereira, Photography Director, Curator and Consultant, USA

Amy Wolff, Photo Director, Hearst Digital Media, USA

Andy Greenacre, Director of Photography, Telegraph Magazine, UK

Ángel Luis González Fernández, Founder and CEO, PhotoIreland Foundation, Ireland

Anna Dickson, Visual Lead, Image Search, Google, USA

Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography, WIRED, USA

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

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

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Executive Creative Director, Culture Trip, UK

Anne Farrar, Director of Photography, National Geographic Traveler, USA

Anne McNeill, Director, Impressions Gallery, UK

Anne Morin, Director, diChroma Photography, Spain

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

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

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

Ariel Shanberg, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, USA

Azu Nwagbogu, Director, African Artists’ Foundation, Nigeria

Barbara Čeferin, Owner, Galerija Fotografija, Slovenia

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

Bernadette Tuazon, Director of Photography, CNN Digital, USA

Bevin Bering Dubrowski, Curator, Photography Specialist, BBD Photography, USA

Bisi Silva, Founder and Director, Centre for Contemporary Art, Nigeria

Bonnie Rubenstein, Artistic Director, 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, Senior Photo Editor, The Washington Post, USA

Bruno Ceschel, Director, Self Publish, Be Happy, UK

Carlos Carvalho, Director, FestFoto de Porto Allegre, Brazil

Caroline Hunter, Picture Editor, Guardian Weekend Magazine, UK

Caroline Wall, Director, Robert Mann Gallery, USA

Catherine Edelman, Owner, Catherine Edelman Gallery, USA

Celia Davies, Curator, Arts Council England, UK

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

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

Charlotte Cotton, Curator & Writer, USA

Charlotte van Lingen, Head of Presentation, Museum Het Valkhof, Netherlands

Chelsea Matiash, Senior Editor, Digiital Storytelling, The New York Times, USA

Chris Littlewood, Independent Curator, Christopher Littlewood, UK

Chris Pichler, Founder & Publisher, Nazraeli Press, USA

Christopher McCall, Director, Pier 24 Photography, USA

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

Christy Havranek, Photo Director, Huffington Post, USA

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

Claude Bussac, Director, PHotoEspaña International Festival, Spain

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

Corinne Tapia, Director, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, USA

Cristina De Middel, Artist, Juana de Aizpuru, UK

Daphné Anglès, Journalist, The New York Times Paris, France

Daphne Palmer, Director, Fraenkel Gallery

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

Darren Ching, Owner, Klompching Gallery, USA

David Alan Harvey, Photographer, Magnum Photos, USA

David Campbell, Director, Programs, World Press Photo, Netherlands

David Chickey, Publisher, Radius Books, USA

David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, UK

David Hurn, Photographer, Magnum Photos, UK

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

Donna Cohen, Photo Director, Bloomberg LP, USA

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

Ed Carey, Director, Gallery 291, USA

Eder Chiodetto, Independent Photography Curator, Brazil

Elena Boille, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Photo Editor, Internazionale, Italy

Elena Firsova, Managing Editor, Foto&Video Magazine Moscow Russian Federation

Elie Domit, Director, East Wing Gallery, Qatar

Elinor Carucci, Photographer, USA

Elisa Medde, Editor, FOAM Magazine, Netherlands

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

Elizabeth Avedon, Independent Curator, Photo Editor, USA

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

Emilia van Lynden, Art Consultant, Emilia Van Lynden Art Consultancy, Netherlands

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

Enrico Bossan, Project Head, Galerrie delle prigioni, Italy

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

Erik Vroons, Chief Editor, GUP Magazine, Netherlands

Evan Pricco, Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor, Juxtapoz Magazine, USA

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

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

Fiona Rogers, Chief Operating Officer, Magnum Photos, UK

Fiona Shields, Head of Photography, The Guardian, UK

Francesca Morisini, Photo Editor at Condé Nast Italia

Francis Hodgson, Professor of Photography, University of Brighton, UK

Francoise Callier, Program Coordinator, Angkor Photo Festival, France

Fred Ritchin, Dean of the School, International Center of Photography, USA

Frits Gierstberg, Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Netherlands

Gaia Tripoli, Photo Editor, The New York Times, UK

Gail Marowitz, Creative Director, The Visual Strategist, USA

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

Gilles Steinmann, Photo Editor, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland

Giulia Ticozzi, Photo Editor, La Repubblica, Italy

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

Gunther Dietrich, Director, Photo Edition Gallery, Germany

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

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

Hideko Kataoka, Director of Photography, Newsweek, Japan

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

Iata Cannabrava, Photographer & Festival Organizer, Estudio Madalena, Brazil

Ihiro Hayami, Director, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan

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

Jacob Aue Sobol, Photographer, Magnum Photos, Denmark

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

Jean-Jacques Viau, Digital Marketing Manager, Leica Camera, Germany

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

Jeff Moorfoot, Editor, BETA Developments in Photography, Australia

Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Guggenheim, USA

Jennifer Murray, Executive Director, Filter Photo, USA

Jennifer Pastore, Executive Photography Director, WSJ Magazine, USA

Jenny Smets, Director of Photography, Vrij Nederland, Netherlands

Jessica Lim, Director, Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Cambodia

Jessie Wender, Photo Editor, The New York Times, USA

Joanna Milter, Director of Photography, THE NEW YORKER

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, Head of Photography, Tortoise Media, 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

Kacy Burdette, Photo Editor, Adweek, USA

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

Karen McQuaid, Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery, UK

Karol Hordziej, Artistic Director, Krakow Photomonth, Poland

Kathy Moran, Senior Editor, National Geographic Magazine, USA

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

Kaycee Olsen, Art Consultant & Fine Art Appraiser, Kevin Barry Fine Art, USA

Kenneth Dickerman, Photo Editor, The Washington Post, USA

Kottie Gaydos, Curator & Editor in Chief, Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, USA

Kristen Gresh, Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA

Lars Boering, Managing Director, World Press Photo, Netherlands

Laura Moya, Director, Photolucida, USA

Laura Pressley, Executive Director, CENTER, USA

Lauren Ford, Commissioning Director and Producer, Dazed Magazine, UK

Lekgetho Makola, Director, Market Photo Workshop, South Africa

Lesley Martin, Creative Director, Aperture Foundation, USA

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

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

Lucy Conticello, Director of Photography, M Magazine, Le Monde, France

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

Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, GEO France, France

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, Photography Consultant and Curator, Netherlands

Marcel Feil, Artistic Deputy Director, FOAM, Netherlands

Marcia Allert, Director of Photography, The Dallas Morning News, USA

Margaret Kelly, Director, Exhibition and Art Fairs, Pace/Macgill Gallery, USA

Margy Dudley, Owner, Open Shutter Gallery, USA

Marion Hislen, Déléguée à la photographie, Ministere de la Culture, France

Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones, USA

Martin Parr, Photographer, Magnum Photos, UK

Mary Virginia Swanson, Photography Marketing Advisor, Educator, Author, USA

MaryAnn Camilleri, Founder, The Magenta Foundation, Canada

MaryAnne Golon, Director of Photography, The Washington Post, USA

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

Matthew Tucker, Broadcast Journalist/Picture Producer, BBC News Online, UK

Maya Byskov, Project Manager, Centrifuge, Germany

Mazie Harris, Assistant Curator, Getty Museum, USA

Meaghan Looram, Director of Photography, The New York Times, USA

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

Mia Diehl, Photography Director, Fortune Magazine, USA

Michael Dooney, Director, Jarvis Dooney Galerry, Germany

Michael Famighetti, Editor, Aperture Magazine, USA

Michael Foley, Owner, Foley Gallery, USA

Michael Hoppen, Owner, Michael Hoppen Gallery, UK

Michael Mack, Founder, MACK Books, UK

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

Michelle Dunn Marsh, Chief Strategist, Photographic Center Northwest, USA

Miyako Yoshinaga, Director, Mikayo Yoshinga Gallery, USA

Molly Roberts, Senior Photography Editor, National Geographic Magazine, USA

Monica Allende, Artistic Director, GetxoPhoto & Landskrona Foto Festival, UK

Moritz Neumüller, Academic Director of Photography, IED Madrid, Spain

Moshe Rosenzveig, Founder and Director, Head On Photo Festival, Australia

Muhammed Muheisen, Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist, Netherlands

Mutsuko Ota, Editorial Director, IMA magazine, Japan

Nadav Kander, Award-Winning Photographer, UK

Nakamori Yasufumi, Assistant Curator, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, USA

Natalie Matutschovsky, Photography Art Director, Apple, USA

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

Newsha Tavakolian, Photographer, Magnum Photos, Iran

Nicolas Jimenez, Director of Photography, Le Monde, France

Oliva Maria Rubio, Directora Artística de La Fábrica, PhotoEspaña

Olivier Laurent, Photography Editor, The Washington Post, USA

Patricia Lanza, Art Consultant & Creative Director, USA

Paul di Felice, Senior Lecturer in 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, Qatar

Phillip Prodger, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Center For British Art, USA

Raffaela Lepanto, Photo Editor/University of the Arts London, UK

Rebecca Morse, Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, LACMA, USA

Regina Maria Anzenberger, Founder, Anzenberger Gallery, Austria

Régina Monfort, Photo Editor, FotoEvidence, USA

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

Richard Renaldi, Photographer, Richard Renaldi Photography, USA

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

Ron Haviv, Visual Journalist, Filmmaker, Co-Founder, The VII Foundation, USA

Roxanne Behr, Visuals Director, GQ Magazine, USA

Roy Kahmann, Founder & Owner, Kahmann Gallery | GUP Magazine, Netherlands

Rui Prata, Director, Museu da Imagem, Portugal

Ruth Offen, Director/Curator, WaterWorks Gallery, USA

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

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

Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries and Photoville, USA

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

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

Sean O’Hagan, Critic and Writer, The Guardian and The Observer, UK

Selva Barni, Founder & Editor, Fantom Editions, Italy

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

Shoair Mavlian, Director & Curator, PHOTOWORKS, UK

Silvia Mangialardi, Artistic Director, Encuentros Abiertos, Argentina

Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director, British Journal of Photography, UK

Siobhán Bohnacker, Senior Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA

Stacey Baker, Associate Photo Editor, The New York Times Magazine, USA

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust, USA

Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, USA

Steven Evans, Executive Director, FotoFest International, USA

Sujong Song, Independent Photography Professional, South Korea

Susan Spiritus, Owner, Susan Spiritus Gallery, USA

Susan White, Photography Director, WeWork, USA

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

Taj Forer, Cofounder, Fabl and Daylight Books, USA

Thomas Seelig, Director, Folkwang Museum, Switzerland

Todd Hido, Artist and Photographer, USA

Todd James, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Society, USA

Todd Tubutis, Director, Art Museum of West Virginia University, USA

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

Ute Noll, Photo Director, Du Kulturmagazin, Germany

Volker Lensch, Photo Editor, Stern Magazine, Germany

Whitney Johnson, VP Visual Experiences, National Geographic, USA

Wim Melis, Curator, Noorderlicht Photography, Netherlands

Xavier Canonne, Director, Musée de la Photographie, Belgium

Xavier Soule, CEO, Agence VU & Gallery VU, France

Yasunori Hoki, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Super Labo Publishing, Japan

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

Yumi Goto, Curator, Editor, Publisher, Founder, Reminders Project, Japan

Yuting Duan, Festival Founder and Director, Lianzhou Foto, China

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Printed Annual 2015

A museum-quality competition catalog featuring the winning photographers' work will be distributed to hundreds of LensCulture Insiders and industry representatives including influential editors, curators, festival directors, publishers, gallery directors and more. The Insiders will have the opportunity to see the award-winning photographs in a beautiful printed form.

Vs15 award graphic annual 2 Winners & Finalists will be given full-page spreads.
Photos © Frank Herfort

Immediate Exposure on LensCulture & Social Media

Just by entering your work, you have an opportunity for immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery and across all our online channels. On average, all of our featured entries typically receive a total of 4 to 6 million views on Facebook. Our editors review incoming submissions on a daily basis — so don’t wait until the deadline to submit your work!

Sp15 award gallery

Live, Online Review Session With Photo Industry Expert

All Winners and Finalists will have the opportunity to participate in a live, online review of their work with photo industry experts using our new, online learning platform — LensCulture Sessions. Get valuable feedback and expert advice and connect with other winning photographers from around the world.

Vs15 award graphic session Photo © Michal Solarski

Massive Online Promotion

Work from the Top 35 photographers will be shared across our huge global audience including our web site, email list, mobile platforms, and multiple social media channels. We have found this to be a very effective strategy for getting photographers exposure that leads to career-boosting opportunities — see our Success Stories.

Vs15 graphic massive online Promotions include a Feature article on LensCulture, Facebook, & Flipboard.
Photo © Laura Hospes

Ongoing Exposure with a LensCulture Portfolio Account

All Winners, Finalists (plus hundreds of the top-rated photographers) will gain access to a free, invitation-only portfolio account on LensCulture! This is an invaluable platform to showcase your work to our 1.5 million global audience as well as to our network of LensCulture Insiders. LensCulture’s editors will also be able to discover your latest work and potentially feature it in articles, Editors’ Picks and social media.

Award portfolio account

Free Submission Review with Every Full Series Entry!

Enter a full series in Visual Storytelling Awards 2015 and get a free submission review! We believe that every photographer who enters deserves thoughtful feedback on their work. That's why we've recruited over a dozen top photo editors, portfolio reviewers, curators, and other industry professionals to give you constructive feedback on your photography plus recommendations for improving your practice.

This new offering has become one of the most meaningful services at LensCulture. We are delighted with the continued feedback from photographers:

“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

“LensCulture is a wonderful platform for photographers and getting the review of my submission was worth the price of entry in itself!”

— Allison Stewart

“What a wonderful service. I would like to thank the reviewer for his/her insightful and thoughtful review. Although I feel strongly about this project, as many of us do at one time or another, I was also feeling discouraged about it. The reviewer's thoughtful words have inspired me to continue. Thank you so much.”

— Jacqueline Walters

“This is the most thoughtful and useful feedback I have received on the series so far. It's short, but to the point. A great example of "less is more." It gives me clear direction on how to think where I want to lead the project to, guidelines to edit and display, and inspirational suggestions. Again, thank you so much. Worth every dollar and second invested in submitting for the competition. I really appreciate it. I look forward to more interaction like this.”

— Enrique A. Samson

“The depth of the information was amazing, and has given me a clearer direction to continue with my project. I have never received such concise feedback before on a submission. The reviewer suggested names of artists that have similar styles, and subjects for me to study, and names of books to read. I am inspired to go deeper with my subject and look at my approach in a different way. I am so thankful for this information and think this is a brilliant and unique offering from LensCulture. Thank you so much for my new found inspiration!”

— Raina Stinson

“WOW!!! Your feedback and guidance are extremely helpful and I truly appreciate the time you took out of your day to examine my work, write down your thoughts and provide such critical feedback. For me, your personal review was the most valuable part of entering the competition; more than any monetary prize. I cannot thank you enough.”

— JP Terlizzi

“I just wanted to send a huge thank you to the reviewer who took the time to look over my submission. THANK YOU! The review was not only kind, thorough, and encouraging, but really confirmed some perspectives and possibilities that I had already been considering.”

— Greta Rybus

“That was so incredibly helpful and insightful. I couldn't be more thankful for the thoughtful advice and really appreciate the time that was taken to review my work. It literally just fueled my fire to keep shooting the series. A HUGE THANK YOU!!”

— Shannon Rose

“Many thanks for the thorough and well-informed review. The personal focus and advice surpassed all my expectations with this process. The links to other competitions, photographers of interest, books and future reviews have been extremely helpful, and again - I was impressed with the level of input, and the objective consideration of future opportunities.”

— Harriet Dedman

“I really appreciate the review - it was much more in-depth than I expected. I am particularly grateful for the links you provided. I will work on my series more according to your guidelines. Thank you once again”

— Alicja Brodowicz

“Thank you SO much to the reviewer … I really appreciate the time and attention to detail that you obviously took when reviewing my images! The comments about technical execution on specific images was very helpful, and the suggestions for improvement taken very much to heart.”

— Kerry Cheah

“Getting the feedback was highly useful and super enjoyable for me. I’m new to the art world and I need advice. The review was very effective, pinpointing my mistakes and giving me courage. I have reworked my series and will continue reworking them over a few months.”

— Kristin Linnea Backe

“I was greatly encouraged by this review and it pushed me to keep going with this series. My work might not always be a big success, but it's a bit like sports — I should keep training my "creative muscle."”

— Kumi Oguro

“Thank you very much for taking the time to review my work and provide such excellent insight and information to help me further it from here.”

— Erin Mahoney

“Many thanks for your thoughtful and informative review with excellent suggestions and references. You have a keen eye.”

— Mildred Alpern

“I just would like to thank you for the wonderful review and all the interesting suggestions you gave me to inspire my work. I strongly think these type of reviews, even if they need to be brief and concise, can effectively help and encourage especially a not-too-confident photographer to keep on working and improving. To me this review meant a big 'DO NOT GIVE UP AND WORK' and I believe that's very valuable!”

— Chiara Medici

“I'm really pleased with my review; it brought to my attention details I hadn't noticed about my work, and it was really constructive. I also liked how I was recommended a couple of books to read which makes the review even more constructive. Also the reviewer's attitude is really nice, it made me feel really good about the review and my work.”

— Jorge Diaz de la Vega Castillo

“Thank you very much for the Review and your very kind and motivating words.”

— Susanne Baumgartner

“Everything has been really helpful: your positive comments, your advice, the part that you think needs an improvement,… and all the additional recommendations, that I’ll take into consideration.”

— Conchi Martinez

“Thank you very much for your lovely and constructive review!! I could tell that the person who reviewed my submission really took the time to look at my work before giving his opinion. It wasn't some pre-written review that could fit for any project which would have been really disappointing... I really appreciate it. Plus, a big thanks for the artists suggestions at the end. I will have a look at their work with pleasure!”

— Caroline-Ann Shea

“Just writing to say thanks very much for the portfolio review, it's really encouraging.”

— Roland Ramanan

“I am a self-taught photographer and over the last decade of making pictures this is truly the most helpful feedback and direction for my photography I have ever received. Most helpful of all were the suggestions for further study/research which have already sent me off in new directions (3d mapping software) that I might not have come across if the review hadn't turned me on to it.”

— JH Hardcastle

“I was so pleased that the review of my submission was thoughtful and personalized. Thanks so much for the time you took with the review. I appreciated the suggestions.”

— Jeannie Hutchins

“Thank you very much for my submission review. I found it to be very interesting and helpful. I will most definitely take it into account in progressing the project and in future submissions.”

— Suze Eyles

Learn More and View Actual Submission Reviews »

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Submit Your Story

© K.K. DePaul

We are open to all photography that tells a story about our world. Stories from all points of view, from all over the world, from anyone with a tale to tell. If you are a photographer using visual narratives in any of your photos, show us your story! Most of all, we want to be surprised and delighted: learn things we didn't know; understand situations from different points of view; see stories that sear themselves into our imaginations and become unforgettable. We want to be moved emotionally and intellectually. Inspire us!

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We respect artist’s rights

All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period.
Details can be found in the Competition rules

Visual Storytelling Community Showcase

Join us in supporting these important projects that highlight some of the best in Visual Storytelling today.

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Facing Change: Documenting America

JUST PUBLISHED! This inspiring collection of images by 10 award-­winning photographers tells the story of today’s America—and provides an enduring legacy that will inform the way we address our future. This nonprofit collective includes some of the country's most celebrated photojournalists. Order your copy of “Facing Change: Documenting America” and support this important organization.

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Sian Davey: Looking For Alice

LensCulture award-winning photographer Sian Davey shares the personal narrative of raising her daughter Alice. Deeply felt without being sentimental, the work is at once tender and beautifully seen. This moving project is now in the process of becoming a book—you can help it become a reality by backing Davey’s Kickstarter campaign.

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Social Documentary Network’s new magazine featuring leading documentary photographers from across the world exploring global themes. ZEKE combines powerful and large photographs with in-depth essays. Includes interviews with by Matt Black and Ed Kashi. Available in print and digital.

Career Changing Exposure

© Yiorgos Kordakis

We believe that competitions are one of the best ways to boost your career in photography.
Hear how the lives of these photographers were impacted by winning a LensCulture competition.

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Kurt Simonson
Long Beach, CA, USA

Kurt Simonson spent over 10 years working on his "Northwoods Journals," a photographic journey into his ancestral narrative. Learn more about this magical series and also how Kurt was able to share his story with the world.

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Raina Stinson
Portland, OR, United States

4 1/2 years ago, Raina Stinson decided to follow her dream and become a photographer. At the top of her to-do list was to be recognized by LensCulture. Today, her work has been shown all over the globe—come hear how it all happened so fast.

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Kirsty Mitchell
London, United Kingdom

Visual Storytelling 2014 winner Kirsty Mitchell shares "Wonderland," the stunning fictional narrative she just completed. See what happened after her LensCulture win was announced: it's a beautiful story on every level.

Success Stories

  • Adrien Tache
  • Heidi Woodman
    United Kingdom
  • Debi Cornwall
    United States
  • Michal Solarski
    United Kingdom
  • Daisuke Takakura
  • Candace Karch
    United States
  • Michael Joseph
    United States
  • Phillip Englehorn
    Hong Kong
  • Ulrik Tofte
  • Tony Corocher
  • Tina Schula
    United States
  • Ioana Cirlig
  • Andreas Olesen
  • Jürgen Novotny
  • Pete Muller
  • Jorge de la Torriente
    United States
  • Ali Mobasser
    United Kingdom
  • Kerry Mansfield
    United States
  • Sarah Choi
    Hong Kong
  • Daesung Lee
    South Korea

Editiononebooks logo Printing of the LensCulture Visual Storytelling 2015 Annual generously provided by Edition One Books.

2015 Visual Storytelling
Call for Entries

© Souvid Datta