Photobook Review - Resources

There are numerous opportunities for photographers to have their work viewed by specialists in the field. Below is a sampling of organizations that offer everything from on-site reviews to juried exhibitions to competitions.

Arles Book Awards is an annual competition that runs at the same time as the Arles Festival. There are three categories of books; The Author Book Award, The Historical Book Award, and The Photo Text Book Award. A jury will announce the winner of each award during the first week of the festival. The grants are split between the artist and the publisher after the awards ceremony.

Center (formerly the Santa Fe Center for Photography), Santa Fe, New Mexico, hosts the annual Review Santa Fe, a three-day conference where up to one hundred photographers are selected to participate in two days of reviews with curators, editors, art directors, publishers, gallery and agency reps, and alternative market professionals. There are three award levels: the Santa Fe Prize, Project Competition, and Singular Image.

Photographers can now apply for CENTER’s Review Santa Fe, Awards, Project Development Grant and Project Launch Grant! Enter to receive $10,000, an exhibition and admittance to the world-renowned portfolio review program where one third of the participants receive scholarships. The deadline to apply is January 23, 2013.

Photographers can have their work reviewed during the Month of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia, organized by Central European House of Photography.

The staff of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, New York, offers portfolio reviews to its members. CPW also welcomes submissions throughout the year for its five group exhibitions, including guest and in-house curated shows, its annual members show, Photography Now, and five solo exhibitions. Work is sought from artists who use photography, digital imagery, multimedia, and/or installations that incorporate photography. In addition, CPW annually offers fellowships to New York photographers.

MACK publishing presents the First Book Award, established in 2012, to an artist who has not previously been published by a third-party publisher. The applicants for this award are chosen from a large selection of nominators all over the world.

The annual FOTOBOOKFESTIVAL is a weekend of lectures, talks, exhibitions and book reviews. Each year they present two different Photobook Awards. The Kassel Photobook Award recognizes about 30 books that are nominated by that year’s judges. The Kassel Dummy Award announces the 50 best unpublished photobook mock-ups, and 3 winners are chosen by an international jury. The first prize will be published by Kettler, Germany.

Portfolio reviews are a key component of the biannual FotoFest, Houston.

The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, seeks submissions for its Young Portfolios program. Professional and amateur photographers, thirty-five years old and younger, from around the world are invited to submit their published or unpublished works as potential additions to the museum’s permanent collection.

The Lucie Foundation in Los Angeles introduces the Lucie Photo Book Prize. There are two different prizes available, a Traditional prize for previously produced and distributed books, and an Independent prize for a book that was published and distributed independently. The top 30 finalists for this award will have their work displayed in New York City.

Founded in the spring of 2004, the Magenta Foundation, Toronto, is the first nonprofit arts publishing house in Canada. Magenta seeks entries from photographers age thirty-four and younger from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom for its Emerging Artists Exchange program. Selected photographers have their work published in a hardcover book and exhibited.

The Photo Review, Philadelphia, holds an annual International Photography Competition to give photographers the chance to have their work reviewed by an expert in the field. Prize-winners have their work published in the magazine, Photo Review, and exhibited in the photography gallery of the University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

Spain’s annual photography festival—PhotoEspaña—is held throughout Madrid. Among the festival’s highlights is the portfolio review, Descubrimientos PHE, which brings together international experts with photographers. In addition to receiving professional advice, photographers have an opportunity to win the Descubrimientos Prize for the Best Portfolio.

The Photographic Portrait Prize, administered by the National Portrait Gallery, London, rewards excellence in portrait photography by photographers of all ages, including students, amateurs, and professionals. Prize winners receive cash prizes and are included in a full-color book and a touring exhibition.

The Photographic Resource Center at Boston University offers monthly portfolio reviews and reviews by guest curators. PRC also invites artists to submit their work for consideration for its annual curated and juried exhibitions.

Every other spring members of the photography community gather in Portland, Oregon, for Photolucida. At the heart of the week-long gathering are the in-person portfolio reviews. In addition, Photolucida also offers an annual juried competition, Critical Mass.

Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, organizes two annual competitions: the Fellowship Competition for Award and Exhibition in the Main Gallery and the Competition for Exhibition in the Members’ Gallery & Members’ Gallery Online.

Portfolio review opportunities are available during the national conference of the Society for Photographic Education, held each year since the 1960s.

The Artshow website offers an ongoing list of competitions and shows around the country, including several focusing on photography.

The PhotoBook Review is a publication dedicated to the consideration of the photobook—focusing on the best photography books being published, from the coffee-table book to the handmade artist’s edition, and on creating a better understanding of the ecosystem of the photobook as a whole.

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