Closed for entries. Winners will be announced in late November 2014

Show Us Your Story

This is an 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.

We believe photographs tell stories that can reach the broadest audiences — across all cultures, languages, political borders and age groups. There are very few rules for these Awards — we are wide open to all themes and approaches.

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!

Visual Storytelling 2014 International Jury

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James Estrin
Lens Blog Co-Editor
The New York Times
New York City, USA
more about James
A founder of Lens, The New York Times’s photography blog, James Estrin has been its co-editor since it went online in May 2009. He writes several pieces a week for Lens. He is a Senior Staff Photographer for The New York Times, and was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team in 2001. In addition to photographing, editing and blogging, he is a writer for the Times and produces audio and video for
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Magdalena Herrera
Director of Photography
Geo France
Paris, France
more about Magdalena

Magdalena Herrera is a French citizen born in Havana, Cuba. She is presently Director of Photography at GEO magazine, France. Previous to GEO, Magdalena worked as Art Director and Head of Photography at National Geographic France, since the launch of the French edition in 1999. Based in Paris, Magdalena has an academic background in art history and aesthetics, earning an honors degree at the Sorbonne before starting her career as a photographer and graphic designer. Teacher in photojournalism at Sciences Po / École de journalisme, Paris. Tutor and supervisor, photographic seminars organized by World Press Photo Foundation worldwide. Tutor, photojournalism workshops at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India. Master at Northen Lights Masterclass in Groningen, The Netherlands.

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Dewi Lewis
Dewi Lewis Publishing
Stockport, UK
more about Dewi

Dewi Lewis established his publishing house in 1994. Its list incorporates major international photographers alongside emerging talents. He works in close collaboration with a number of European publishers and is a founding member of the European Publishers Award for Photography, now in its 21st year.

Prior to launching his own imprint, Dewi Lewis was responsible for the establishment of Cornerhouse, one of the major UK Centres for Visual Arts and Film, and which, as founding Director, he ran for ten years. In 1987 he also established Cornerhouse Publications which achieved recognition internationally and was a winner of the Sunday Times Award for Small Publisher of the Year.

An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Dewi Lewis was awarded the Society’s inaugural RPS Award for Outstanding Service to Photography in 2009, and in 2012, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation presented him with an award for Outstanding Service to Photography Publishing.

He has acted as Jury member for several major competitions and as a portfolio reviewer at innumerable international photography events. He was a ‘Master’ for the 2009, 2010 & 2011 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclasses. As well as his own book, Publishing Photography, he writes occasional texts on photography and has curated exhibitions including a survey show of the famous UK magazine, Picture Post, for the 2010 Atri Festival.

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Yumi Goto
Curator, Editor,
Festival Organizer, Gallerist
Tokyo, Japan
more about Yumi
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher and consultant who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders. She is a founder of the REMINDERS PROJECT and curator of the Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery and Photobook Store in Tokyo. She is a Prix Pictet Photography Prize nominator, 2012 MAGNUM Emergency Fund nominator, Photo City Sagamihara Asia Prize nominator and a founder and curator of the Asian Women photographers showcase.
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Jim Casper
Editor & Publisher
Paris, France
more about Jim
Jim Casper is the founding editor and publisher of LensCulture, one of the leading destinations for contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography portfolio review events, curates arts 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

We invite entries in five categories of storytelling: Documentary, Photojournalism, Personal Stories, Fictional Narrative and an Open Category. Five Grand Prize Winners (one for each category) and 20 Finalists will be selected.

Career Launching Awards

Our competitions are designed to provide influential worldwide exposure for talented photographers:

  • Selected winning photographers will have international screenings of their work presented at festivals, exhibitions, and events attracting hundreds of curators, collectors, publishers and photography professionals from around the world.'
  • Our extensive list of carefully selected LensCulture Insiders will be able to review the winners' work in a museum-quality printed catalog, as well as through direct access on LensCulture, where they can view all of the top-rated photographers.
  • Every day, selected entrants are chosen by LensCulture's editors for publication and recognition. We post these photos to our Competition Gallery and social media channels, reaching a global audience of over 700,000.

Worldwide Screenings in 5 Major Cities

Work from the winners will be screened at photo festivals and events worldwide throughout the year.

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Five Photobook Publishing Grants

Each of the five Grand Prize Winners will receive a credit of $1,000 USD with our partner, Edition One Books. This can be used to print a set of photobooks, promotional catalogs, or other bound, print projects. Edition One will work directly with the winners to produce truly customized books that present each photographer's work beautifully.

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Learn more about Edition One, the leading book printer for art and design professionals.

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Massive Online Promotion

  • Every winner and finalist will be included in a feature article on LensCulture
  • Winners are featured on LensCulture's home page for over one month
  • Winning entries will be shared with LensCulture's global audience of over 700,000

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Printed Annual 2014

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.

Annual graphic Winners & Finalists will be given one full-page spread

LensCulture Insiders Visibility

Hundreds of the top-rated submissions from this competition will be shared with LensCulture Insiders, our network of influential photography professionals. We believe this kind of exposure is critical for photographers to gain valuable opportunities.

Aaron Schuman, Editor, SeeSaw Magazine, UK

Alessandra Capodacqua, Curator, Author, Educator, Studio Marangoni, Italy

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

Anna Dickson, Photography Director, AOL/Huffington Post Media Group, USA

Anna Gripp, Editor , Photonews, Germany

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

Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Creative Content Director, London, UK

Anne Morin, Curator/Director, diChroma photography, Spain

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

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

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

Daphné Anglès, European Photo Assignment Editor, The New York Times, France

David Birkitt, Director, DMB Represents, UK

David Drake, Director, Ffotogallery, Wales

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

Ed Carey, Director, Gallery 291, USA

Elda Harrington, Director, Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, Argentina

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

Elisabeth Biondi, Independent Curator, Biondi Foto, USA

Elizabeth Avedon, Photobook Designer/Blogger, Elizabeth Avedon, 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, Chief Editor , GUP Magazine, Netherlands

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

Francoise Callier, Program Coordinator, Angkor Photo Festival, France

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

Frits Gierstberg, Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Netherlands

Gad Edery, CEO, Gad Collection, France

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

Hannah Watson, Director, Trolley Books, UK

Hélène Joye-Cagnard, Codirectrice, Journées photgraphiques de Bienne Biel-Bienne, Switzerland

Ihiro Hayami, Director, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Japan

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

Jessie Wender, Photo Editor, The New Yorker, USA

Joanne Junga Yang, Director of International Committee, Seoul Photo Festival, Korea

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

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

Krzysztof Candrowicz, Artistic Director, Hamburg Triennial of Photography, Germany

Lars Boering, Director, Lux Photo Gallery, Netherlands

Laura Serani, Deleguée artistique, Mois de la Photo à Paris, France

Linda Benedict-Jones, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art, 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

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

Marion Hislen, Director, Circulation(s) Festival, France

Mary Virginia Swanson, Author, Educator, and Consultant, MVS & Assoc., USA

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

Matthew Craig, Co-Founder and CEO, Blink, 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

Molly Roberts, Chief Photography Editor, Smithsonian Magazine, USA

Moritz Neumüller, Festival Curator/Program Director, Istituto Europeo di Design, Spain

Moshe Rosenzveig, Director/Photographer, Head On Photo Festival , Australia

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

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

Paul di Felice, Director, European Month of Photography, Luxembourg

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

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

Richard A. Brooks, Deputy Photo Director, Agence France-Presse, China

Roman Härer, Creative Director, plainpicture, Germany

Rui Prata, Director, Museu da Imagem, Portugal

Régina Monfort, Photographer/Consulting Editor, FotoEvidence, 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

Selva Barni, Founder & Editor, Fantom Editions, Italy

Silvia Mangialardi, Editor, Fotomundo Magazine, Argentina

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust, USA

Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, USA

Susan Zadeh, Photography Director, Eyemazing Editions, Netherlands

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

Sébastian Hau, Director, Le Bal Books, France

Taj Forer , Director, Daylight Magazine, USA

Xavier Soule, President/Director, Gallery VU, France

Ángel Luis González, Director, PhotoIreland, Ireland

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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. Our editors review every single incoming submission on a daily basis — so don’t wait until the deadline to submit your work!

5 Winners 20 Finalists Editors’ Cut
Five Photobook Publishing Grants
Five $1,000 Cash Awards
Worldwide Screenings in 5 Major Cities
LensCulture Article & Home Page Visibility
‘Visual Storytelling 2014’ Printed Annual
Massive Online Exposure
Visibility with LensCulture Insiders
LensCulture Portfolio Account
Immediate Exposure on LensCulture

“One of the most authoritative and wide ranging sites.”

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“A definitive resource for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends and debates in contemporary photography.”

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Exposure. Reach. Results. This has been LensCulture’s mantra, and it seems to be working. We are building the best platform in the world for exposing the work of talented photographers to a global audience. Often, this exposure leads to career-building opportunities — click on a photographer and see for yourself!

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    Elena Chernyshova
    Moscow, Russia

    In this video, hear Elena’s thoughts about her long-form documentary project, Days of Night, Nights of Day, and what happened when the story went viral, reaching over 738K people in just a week. It’s a unique story that grips people from the start.

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    Laura Stevens
    Paris, France

    Emerging Talent 2014 Winner Laura Stevens shares her story of one woman's journey throughout a breakup with her project Another November, and the global exposure she received after it was published on LensCulture.

  • Success Stories

  • Tina Schula
    United States
  • Tsutomu Yamagata
  • Maroesjka Lavigne
  • Dayna Bartoli
  • Richard Tuschman
    United States
  • Carlotta Cardana
    United Kingdom
  • Michael Marten
    United Kingdom
  • Yijun Liao
    United States
  • Jessica Hines
    United States
  • Anne Berry
    United States
  • Candace Gaudiani
    United States
  • Daniele Pintore
    United Kingdom
  • Fabrice Fouillet
  • Ellie Davies
    United Kingdom
  • Claire Felicie
  • Kerry Mansfield
    United States
  • Andrejs Strokins
  • Acacia Johnson
    United States
  • Nina Roeder
  • Hebe Robinson
  • Douglas Ljungkvist
    United States
  • Michelle Sank
    United Kingdom
  • Andrea Stone
    United States
  • Tara Bogart
    United States
  • Louisa Marie Summer
    United States

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!

You may submit projects that have already been published as photobooks. Entrants can self select the category they wish to enter. For further explanation on how the competition works please see our FAQ for more details.

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Closed for entries. Winners will be announced in late November 2014

We Respect Artists’ Rights

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 the Awards competition itself. Details can be found in the Competition rules.