My First Photography Competition and Recommended Reading

Recently I entered my first proper photography competition, held by Magnum and LensCulture.

What I recieved back surprised me.

Honestly I don’t recall where I saw this or how I came across it, but Magnum and LensCulture are holding a World Photography Awards this year and I decided to enter.

I didn’t really have any thoughts of winning anything. What I did like though was that any series that was submitted (of up to ten images) would be ‘reviewed,’ by an industry expert.

That was pretty interesting.

Then I saw a sample review.

Ten minutes later my bank account was about $60 lighter and Magnum/Lensculture had a carefully selected top ten of my ‘Tokyo, Blind,’ series, which you can read more about HERE and HERE, sent to them.

The first bit of good news came a few days after I entered, when I recieved an email to say my series had been selected by the editors for inclusion in a curated gallery of some of the best submissions. Good start.

In around ten days or so the final results will be announced, and being as it’s Magnum and the jury is headed up by Martin Parr, whoever is lucky enough to win a prize will recieve some pretty fantastic press I’m sure.

But before all that, they sent out the series reviews. I recieved mine a few days ago, and while I expected it to be nice and complimentary (I did give them $60) I was surprised at not only how specific it was, but also the effort they went to give me some recomended work, reading and artists to look at.

Before this I had entered one or two competitions (and won one, a small one run by a local paper for music photography years and years ago) but this has certainly made me think twice now about ignoring any future competitions I may see.

The entire review is below, including the recomendations they sent me. I’ve also included the images I submitted, in the order they were submitted.

So don’t hesitate. Put your stuff out there. You never know what sort of a boost you’ll get.

And even if you don’t win, maybe you’ll end up with a reading list as long as your arm too!

Additional Recommendations

Recommended Books & Photographers

Portfolio Reviews & Festivals

Recommendations for Gaining Exposure

Other Resources



2 thoughts on “My First Photography Competition and Recommended Reading

  1. Thanks for sharing this Ryan, I’m going to pick up that Criticizing Photographs book, I’d really like to get some insight into my own intentions and how they reflect themselves in not only my work now, but how it will progress in the future. And I’ll be more open about entering contests and open calls!


    • Hey Laidric,

      Yeah I want to pick it up myyself also. Sounds an interesting read indeed!

      Glad you liked the list they sent me! Should keep me busy for a while!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s