Seeking the New Photographic Portrait
LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016 is our 3rd annual competition to discover the very best contemporary portrait photography from all cultures around the world. We believe portraits are the most fundamental type of photograph — helping people to understand and celebrate human connections on a universal level. We encourage anyone, from anywhere, with a new perspective on the modern-day portrait to enter. 6 Winners, 8 Jurors' Picks and 25 Finalists will be chosen.
LensCulture is dedicated to helping all photographers move forward professionally. Through this competition, we will provide photographers from all over the world with opportunities for immediate exposure and meaningful feedback from a renowned group of industry professionals.
Alessia Glaviano is the senior photo editor for Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue. She curated a series of interviews with the masters of photography for the website version of Vogue Italia, which have acquired enormous popularity in the photography community and which are also broadcast on the Italian Sky Arte channel. Glaviano is also responsible for Photo Vogue, an innovative platform on which users can share their own photographs knowing they can rely on the curatorial supervision of professional photo editors.
Under Alessia Glaviano’s direction, Photo Vogue has reached over 120,000 users/photographers hailing from all over the world and launched a collaboration with the prestigious international agency Art & Commerce, which represents some of the most esteemed names in fashion photography, including Steven Meisel, Sølve Sundsbø, Paolo Roversi and Patrick Demarchelier. At Condé Nast, Alessia is responsible for the artistic direction of events and exhibitions for Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue. Besides her editorial activity, Alessia teaches the IED’s Master courses in Milan and holds lectures and conferences on a regular basis. Some of the institutes and universities she was invited as guest lecturer include: IED, Bocconi University and the Milan Polytechnic.
Alessia Glaviano was invited to participate as a jury member in numerous internationally acclaimed photography contests including the World Press Photo and has participated in several portfolio review sessions, including the “New York Times Portfolio Reviews.”
Financial Times Weekend Magazine
Emma Bowkett is Director of Photography at the Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine. Joining in 2009, she was integral to the small creative team who reworked the visual language of the magazine ready for the 2010 re-launch.
Furthermore, she is a visiting university lecturer, and regularly participates at international portfolio reviews, festivals, art fairs and awards, including Unseen, Foam Paul Huf, and the Kraszner-Krausz Foundation Book Award. Emma has been a Master at both Foam and Fabrica Masterclasses and is part of Magnum Photos Professional Practice, which supports young and emerging photographers. In 2015, she co-curated a Financial Times special supplement and day of events as part of Photo London. She recently won the inaugural Firecracker Contributors Award, which recognises women who have had a substantial impact on the photography industry and is voted for by professional photographers.
The magazine won Supplement of the Year 2014 in the UK Press Awards.
Emma has a Masters degree in Image and Communication from Goldsmiths University in London.
The Photographers’ Gallery
Dazed & Confused
São Paulo, Brazil
Iatã Cannabrava was born in Brazil in 1962. He has worked as a photographer for decades, developing a series of social and documentary projects over his career. He worked at newspapers like Folha de São Paulo, Jornal da Tarde and magazines like Veja (among others). He also worked with numerous Brazilian publishers and was a photographer at the São Paulo Cultural Center. His work has been included in over 40 exhibitions and he was named the winner of the prestigious P/B photography award at the São Paulo photography quadrennial. He has published 10 books and his works are held in numerous galleries and private collections.
Besides his own work, Cannabrava has been active in the photographic community at large. He served as the President of São Paulo's photographer's union. He has organized over 30 exhibitions and personally overseen over 15 workshops. In addition, he created and directed the Photography Clinic, the site of over 80 workshops.
New York, USA
Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year. Her work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions worldwide: solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, James Hyman and Gagosian Gallery, London among others. Group shows include The Museum of Modern Art New York, MoCP Chicago and The Photographers' Gallery, London.
Her photographs are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Art, among others. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Details, New York Magazine, W, Aperture, ARTnews and many more publications.
She was awarded the ICP Infinity Award in 2001, The Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and NYFA in 2010. Carucci has published three monographs to date, Closer, Chronicle Books 2002 and Diary of a dancer, SteidlMack 2005 and MOTHER, Prestel 2013.
Carucci currently teaches at the graduate program of photography at School of Visual Arts and is represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery.
Her recent solo exhibition, The Effect of Motherhood, showing images from both personal work and editorial stories, was the launching show at the new Conde Nast gallery in New York.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Open to All Types of Portrait Photography
From Around the World
Second Row, left to right: © Diambra Mariani, © Fabienne Cresens, © El Rono, © Dianne Yudelson, © Candace Karch, © Giancarlo Rado
Third Row, left to right: © Giulio Festa, © Ashley Cunningham, © Iulia Popa, © David Pace, © Rita Koehle, © Colleen Fitzgerald, © Caitlin Sas
share their submission on Facebook to help them get more exposure!
Winner, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2015
Career Launching Awards
|— JURY SELECTED —||— LENSCULTURE —|
|$22,000 in Cash Awards|
|Photo London Exhibition|
|International Festival Projections|
|‘Portrait Award 2016' Printed Annual|
|Live, Online Review with Expert|
|Featured Article on LensCulture.com|
|International Press Exposure|
|Visibility with LensCulture Insiders|
|Immediate Exposure in Competition Gallery|
|Invitation-Only LensCulture Portfolio Account|
|Submission Review by Photo Industry Expert**|
*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.
**Submission Review: Available for all Series entries, and Single Image entries with 5-or-more photos.
Awards & Benefits
1st Place: $5000
2nd Place: $2000
3rd Place: $1000
Single Image Award:
1st Place: $3500
2nd Place: $1500
3rd Place: $1000
Each juror will select one photographer to receive a $1,000 Juror's Pick Award.
Exhibition at Photo London
All Winners and Jurors' Picks work will be exhibited at Photo London 2016 — a major international photography event for collectors and the general public that will take place at Somerset House, in London, from May 19-22, 2016. This is world-class exposure at its best!
Right: The LensCulture Exposure Awards Exhibition during Photo London in May 2015.
Projections at International
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
Work from hundreds of the 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 hundreds of 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, Editor, SeeSaw Magazine, UK
Ada Takahashi, Director at Robert Koch Gallery, USA
Adina LoBiondo, Senior Photo Editor, Sierra Magazine, USA
Afton Almaraz, Senior Picture Editor, Getty Images, USA
Alessandra Capodacqua, Curator, Author, Educator, Italy
Alessandro Zuffi, Photo Editor, Le Monde, France
Alessia Glaviano, Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue Senior Photo Editor, Italy
Alexa Becker, Acquisitions Editor, Kehrer Verlag Publishers, Germany
Aline Smithson, Founder/Editor, Lenscratch, USA
Alison Nordstrom, Consulting Curator for International Programs, Griffin Museum of Photography, USA
Alyssa Coppelman, Photo Editor, Slate, Feature Shoot, USA
Amy Wolff, Photo Editor at PDN and co-founder/curator of CoEdit Collection, USA
Andy Greenacre, Picture Editor, Telegraph Magazine, UK
Ángel Luis González, Director, PhotoIreland, Ireland
Ann Jastrab, Gallery Director at RayKo Photo Center, Photography Consultant, USA
Anna Dickson, Deputy Director of Photography, The Wall Street Journal, USA
Anna Gripp, Editor, Photonews, Germany
Anna Walker Skillman, Owner/Director, Jackson Fine Arts, USA
Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Creative Content Director, London, UK
Anne Morin, Curator/Director, diChroma photography, Spain
Anne Wilkes-Tucker, Curator at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Antony Dickson, Features Photo Editor at South China Morning Post
Arianna Rinaldo, Artistic Director at Cortona On The Move and Director, OjodePez Magazine, Spain
Ariel Shanberg, Executive Director at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, USA
Audrey Turpin, Coordinatrice générale, Festival Circulation(s), France
Barbara Čeferin, Owner, Galerija Fotografija, Slovenia
Barbara Tannenbaum, Curator of Photography, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA
Bas Vroege, Director, Paradox and YDoc, Netherlands
Bevin Bering Dubrowski, Director, Houston Center for Photography, USA
Bjarke Myrthu, Founder & CEO, Blindspot, USA
Bonnie Rubenstein, Artistic Director, CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, Canada
Brett Roegiers, Photo editor at CNN.com, USA
Brian Clamp, Owner/Director, ClampArt Gallery, USA
Brian Storm, Founder & Executive Producer, MediaStorm, USA
Carlos Carvalho, Director, International Festival of Photography of Porto Alegre, Brazil
Catherine Edelman, Owner, Catherine Edelman Gallery, USA
Celeste Jovanovich, Associate Director, Fahey/Klein Gallery, USA
Celina Lunsford, Co-Curator, Imagine Reality, Ray 2015 at RAY Fotografieprojekte 2015, Germany
Charlotte van Lingen, Curator, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands
Christophe de Jaeger, Curator, Center For Fine Arts Brussels, Belgium
Christophe Laloi, Artistic Director, Voies Off Arles, France
Clare Grafik, Head of Exhibitions, The Photographer's Gallery, UK
Corey Keller, Curator at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
Daphné Anglès, European Photo Assignment Editor, The New York Times, France
Darius Himes, International Head of Photographs at Christie's, USA
Darren Ching, Owner, Klompching Gallery, USA
David Birkitt, Director, DMB Represents, UK
David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, Wales
Deborah Dragon, Deputy Photo Editor at Rolling Stone Magazine Wenner Media, USA
Deborah Klochko, Director at Museum of Photographic Arts, USA
Debra Klomp Ching, Owner/Director, Klompching Gallery, USA
Denise Wolff, Senior Editor, Book Program, Aperture, USA
Dewi Lewis, Owner, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
Dimitri Beck, Editor, Polka Magazine, France
Donna Cohen, Photo Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, USA
Ed Carey, Director, Gallery 291, USA
Elda Harrington, Director, Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, Argentina
Elena Firsova, Managing Editor, Foto&Video Magazine, Russia
Elie Domit, Director at East Wing Gallery, Dubai
Elisabeth Biondi, Independent Curator, Biondi Foto, USA
Elissa Curtis, Senior Photo Editor, MSNBC, USA
Elizabeth Avedon, Independent Curator; Contributor, L’Oeil de la Photographie
Elizabeth Johnson, Sr. Photo Editor at CNN Digital, USA
Elizabeth Lapp, Curator and Image Guru, Flickr/Yahoo, USA
Emily Adams, Exhibitions Director, PhotoEspaña, Spain
Enrico Bossan, Editorial Director, Colors Magazine, Italy
Erik Vroons, Editor, GUP Magazine, Netherlands
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 at Houston Center for Photography
Freddy Denaes, Publisher, Editions de l'Oeil, France
Frits Gierstberg, Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Netherlands
Gad Edery, CEO, Gad Collection, France
Genevieve Fussell, Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA
Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs, National Media Museum, UK
Hamidah Glasgow, Curator, USA
Hannah Watson, Director, Trolley Books, UK
Hélène Joye-Cagnard, Codirectrice, Journées photgraphiques de Bienne Biel-Bienne, Switzerland
Hideko Kataoka, Director of Photography at Newsweek, Japan
Ihiro Hayami, Director, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan
Ishida Tetsuro, Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
James Estrin, Photographer/Lens Blog Editor at The New York Times, USA
James Wellford, Photo Editor, Curator & Educator, USA
Jason Landry, Owner/Director, Panopticon Gallery, USA
Jeff Gates, Managing Editor, American Art's Blog, Smithsonian Institution, USA
Jeff Moorfoot, Festival Director, Ballarat International Foto Biennal, Australia
Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Guggenheim, USA
Jessie Wender, Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA
Joanne Junga Yang, Director of International Committee, Seoul Photo Festival, South Korea
Johan Sjöström, Curator of Exhibitions, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg, Sweden
John Duncan, Editor, Source Photographic Review, UK
Jon Jones, Director of Photography, Sunday Times, UK
Juli Lowe, Assistant Director at Catherine Edelman Gallery, USA
Julien Jourdes, Co-Founder and COO, Blink, USA
Karen Downey, Senior Curator, Belfast Exposed, Northern Ireland
Karol Hordziej, President & Art Director, Foundation for Visual Art & Krakow Photomonth, Poland
Kathy Moran, Sr. Editor, Natural History at National Geographic Magazine, USA
Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography, The New York Times Magazine, USA
Krzysztof Candrowicz, Artistic Director, Hamburg Triennial of Photography, Germany
Lars Boering, Director, Managing Director at World Press Photo, Netherlands
Laura Pressley, Executive Director at CENTER, USA
Laura Serani, Deleguée artistique, Mois de la Photo à Paris, France
Linda Benedict-Jones, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art, USA
Lisa J. Sutcliffe, Curator of Photography at Milwaukee Art Museum, USA
Louise Clements, Co-Founder/Director, QUAD and Format Festival, UK
Maarten Schilt, Publisher, Schilt Publishing, Netherlands
Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, GEO, 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, Photography Consultant and Curator, Artistic Director Photoreporter Festival Baie de St. Brieuc
Marcel Feil, Deputy Director, artistic affairs - FOAM
Marie-Pierre Subtil, Chief Editor, 6 Mois, France
Marion Hislen, Director, Circulation(s) Festival, France
Marisa Schwartz, Photo Editor, Time Magazine, USA
Mary Virginia Swanson, Author, Educator, and Consultant, MVS & Assoc., USA
MaryAnn Camilleri, Founder, The Magenta Foundation; Director, Flash Forward Festival, Canada
Matt Shonfeld, Executive Director, Institute for Artist Management, UK
Matthew Craig, Co-Founder and CEO, Blink, USA
Melissa Ryan, Dir of Photography, Nature Conservancy Magazine, USA
Mia (Diiorio) Diehl, Photography Director/Fortune Magazine, USA
Michael Famighetti, Editor, Aperture Magazine, USA
Michael Weir, Founder & Artistic Director, Belfast Photo Festival, Northern Ireland
Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director/Founder, Pacific Center Northwest, USA
Miriam Romais, Executive Director, En Foco Inc, USA
Miyako Yoshinaga, Director at Mikayo Yoshinga Gallery, USA
Molly Roberts, Chief Photography Editor, Smithsonian Magazine, USA
Monica Allende, Photography Editor, Curator, Educator, UK
Moritz Neumüller, Festival Curator/Program Director, Istituto Europeo di Design, Spain
Moshe Rosenzveig, Director/Photographer, Head On Photo Festival, Australia
Natalie Matutschovsky, Senior Photo Editor at Time Magazine, USA
Natasha Egan, Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, USA
Nathalie Gallon, Director, Foundation Carmignac Gestion, France
Nathalie Herschdorfer, Curator, Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland
Olivier Laurent, Editor of LightBox at Time Magazine, USA
Patricia Lanza, Content Director, Annenberg Space for Photography, USA
Paul di Felice, Director, European Month of Photography, Luxembourg
Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director at Griffin Museum of Photography
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, Dubai
Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs at National Portrait Gallery, UK
Raffaela Lepanto, Photo Editor/Consultant, PhotoFusion Photography Centre, UK
Regina Maria Anzenberger, Director of AnzenbergerGallery, Austria
Régina Monfort, Photographer/Consulting Editor, FotoEvidence, USA
Richard A. Brooks, Deputy Photo Director, Agence France-Presse, China
Rina Tokura, Editor in Chief, IMA Magazine and Concept Stores, Tokyo
Roman Härer, Creative Director, plainpicture, Germany
Roxanne Behr, Photo Editor, New York Magazine, USA
Rui Prata, Director, Museu da Imagem, Portugal
Rupert Jenkins, Executive Director, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, USA
Ruth Eichhorn, Photo Editor-at-Large, GEO, Germany
Sacha Lecca, Deputy Photo Editor at Rolling Stone Magazine, USA
Sam Barzilay, Festival Director, Photoville, USA
Sara Guerrini, Picture Editor, Newsweek Europe, UK
Sarah Leen, Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine, USA
Scott Mc Kiernan, Vice President, National Press Photographers Association, USA
Sébastian Hau, Director, Le Bal Books, France
Selva Barni, Founder & Editor, Fantom Editions, Italy
Shahidul Alam, Director, Chobi Mela Festival of Photography, Bangladesh
Silvia Mangialardi, Editor, Fotomundo Magazine, Argentina
Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust, USA
Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, USA
Sujong Song, Independent Photography Professional, South Korea
Susan Zadeh, Photography Director, Eyemazing Editions, Netherlands
Suzanne Opton, Photographer, Educator, International Center for Photography, USA
Taj Forer, Director, Daylight Magazine, USA
Thomas Seelig, Curator, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
Todd J. Tubutis, Executive Director, Blue Sky Gallery, USA
Tomoka Aya, Director, The Third EyeGallery Aya, Tokyo, Japan
Ute Noll, Photo Director bei Du Kulturmagazin, Germany
Valerie Fougeirol, Directeur artistique, France
Vangelis Ioakimidis, Director, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece
Whitney Johnson, Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic, USA
Wim Melis, Curator at Noorderlicht Photography, Netherlands
Xavier Soule, President/Director, Gallery VU, France
Yuko Yamaji, Curator at Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan
LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016 Annual
A museum-quality competition catalog featuring the winning photographers' work will be distributed to all the Winners, Finalists and Jurors' Picks. In addition, the catalog will be made available to our entire network of LensCulture Insiders and industry professionals which includes influential editors, curators, festival directors, publishers, gallery directors and more.
Immediate Increase in Exposure of Your Work During the Competition
Just by entering, your work will be reviewed by our editors for immediate exposure in our Competition Gallery and across all our online channels. On average, our featured entries receive a total of 4 to 6 million views on Facebook, bringing those selected photographers a massive boost of visibility to their work. While our editors review all entries on a daily basis, they can only share a limited number of them as featured entries.
Live, Online Review Session With Photo Industry Experts
All Winners, Jurors' Picks 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.
Massive Online Promotion
Work from the top winners and finalists will be shared across our huge, global audience including our web site, mailing list, mobile platforms, and multiple social media channels. We have found this to be a very effective strategy for getting photographers the exposure that leads to career-boosting opportunities — see our Success Stories.
International Press Exposure
Each year the Portrait Awards receive extensive press coverage from around the world. Winners, finalists and entrants have been featured in major publications including BBC, the Guardian, Huffington Post, Spiegel Online, the UK Telegraph, and many other national and international media outlets. This kind of press exposure can lead to viral, global recognition and appreciation of your work!
Ongoing Exposure with a LensCulture Portfolio Account
All Winners, Finalists (plus 150 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.
Free Submission Review by Industry Expert
Enter a series or 5+ single images in LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016 and get a free submission review! We believe that every photographer who enters deserves thoughtful feedback on their work. We have recruited dozens of 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 continues to be one of the most meaningful services at LensCulture, and an important part of our competitions. We are delighted with the positive feedback from photographers:
LensCulture Portrait Awards 2015
Portrait photography resonates in cultures all over the world. Why? Because people are truly interested in other people: from celebrities, politicians and cultural icons to the gaze of everyday people. We encounter portraits, self-portraits and selfies all around us, in advertising, magazines and social media. It's a captivating artform that continues to evolve with the times. At LensCulture, we are interested in discovering the full potential of 21st century portraits — the best portrait photography being made today.
Our photography competitions are different. 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. During the competition, we will receive a weekly email of helpful ideas and resources on how to move forward creatively and professionally with your work. Unlike most competitions, you can change your entry after you submit all the way up to the deadline. 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.
For a related series of 10 photos reviewed as one entry. It should work together as a group, thematically or aesthetically, and as a cumulative portrait.
For 5 single photos reviewed as 5 separate entries. You can add more photos for $10 each up to the deadline.
For 1 single photo entry. You can add more photos for $10 each up to the deadline.
Receive a free Submission Review –
For every series entry or 5+ single image entry.
IMPORTANT: Submission Reviews will be sent AFTER the Portrait Awards Deadline.
Career Changing Exposure
We believe that competitions are one of the best ways to gain valuable international exposure and to connect with the photography industry. Hundreds of photographers have used LensCulture to move forward in their careers and gain inspiration from our like-minded community. Hear how the lives of these photographers were impacted by winning a LensCulture competition.
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.
Hans GindlesbergerUnited States
Michael JosephUnited States
Candace KarchUnited States
Philipp EngelhornHong Kong
Alan Thomas WilkieNorway
Candace GaudianiUnited States
Carlotta CardanaUnited Kingdom
All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Period. Winners 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