LensCulture 2017 Portrait Awards

I have been taking a greater interest personally in portrait photography more than any other genre of photography since I have started the course, in particular A2 ‘Collecting‘ of Expressing Your Vision, so I have pursued this aspect further in my own time and dedicated a fair bit of resource to it and am posting this as a partial ‘reworking’ opportunity for A2.

The main ways I believe you can improve yourself is to try new things, open yourself up to critique and to challenge yourself to perfection.  As a result I decided to enter a portrait competition with LensCulture

There are so many competitions out there for photographers, I now realise, so you need to be selective with which you enter otherwise you could be throwing money down the drain.  A lot of the competitions you have to pay for entry so you need to be sure that what you are entering is worth your time.  I specifically chose the student 5+ single image package so I could get critique on my images.  I was using the submission more as a learning opportunity than a chance to win a competition.  I paid $35 USD (£29.67 GBP) to enter.

I had been receiving emails from LensCulture which were very informative and seemed to cover a wide range of photography related issues, so I decided I would enter my images to this global competition.

The images I entered are below:

LensCulture Feedback

Needless to say I didn’t win (the winners can be found here) but all the communications I received from LensCulture have been professional, encouraging and supportive.  I didn’t feel I had ‘lost’ more that there were just better entries on the day.  I was surprised as I thought it would be more dog-eat-dog.  For this approach to their communications I give total respect to Lens Culture.

And it didn’t stop there the critique I received yesterday was in the same vein and is pasted verbatim below.  I am really pleased with the encouragement given to me to improve, which will drive me on, together with links to further reading and other photographers to research.  If you are thinking of entering a competition then I would highly recommend Lens Culture for sure.

Additional Recommendations

Recommended Books & Photographers

Photo Competitions

Portfolio Reviews & Festivals

Recommendations for Gaining Exposure

Other Resources

Relevant Quotes from Past Jurors

  • “Editing is essential and good sequencing certainly helps with my selection. My mantra is less is more. Include only your best pictures — anything else will weaken the submission.” — Elisabeth Biondi, Visuals Editor, Indepedent Curator, New York City, USA
  • “All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.” – Marcel Duchamp
  • “When I judge a contest I look for photographs that make me feel something. Anything. I also look for stories that are original. I see thousands of stories a year and most are sadly quite similar. So a story that I haven’t seen before, or a unique approach to a story that I have seen before goes very, very far. Take chances!” — James Estrin, Co-Editor, New York Times Lens Blog, New York City, USA


(2017) LensCulture, Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/ (Accessed: 01/05/2017).

(2017) LensCulture 2017 Portrait Awards Winners and Finalists, Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/2017-lensculture-portrait-award-winners (Accessed: 01/05/2017).

(2017) A2 Collecting, Expressing Your Vision, Available at: https://liz515728.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/assignment-two-collecting-the-end/ (Accessed: 01/05/2017).


One thought on “LensCulture 2017 Portrait Awards

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on Part two – Imaginative Spaces and Assignment two… | BA (Hons) Photography : A Different Perspective

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