CALENDAR: Five important deadlines between July 13-17!

Readers of this blog will know how strongly I feel about entering certain competitions, and attending certain portfolio review events… I consider such activities investments that can make a difference in your career.  The choices for your time and your money, however, are many.  How do you decide what competitions to enter, and which events to attend?  Five such important deadlines loom large in the coming week; below I share submission details, as well as my personal thoughts on why you should strongly consider these industry offerings in particular.  (NOTE: be mindful of dates and specific times submissions are due.)

They are in order of deadline: Aperture Portfolio Prize | Photography Book Now | FotoFest Meeting Place 2012 Portfolio Reviews | Critical Mass 2011 | Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Review.  I will add a brief commentary with each listing.


Aperture Portfolio Prize
Deadline: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 12:00 noon EDT

This annual Prize is the one opportunity per year for your work to be seen by the heads of exhibition/magazine/book publication divisions at Aperture.  Winning portfolios have a presence on the Aperture website.

Submission Fee: $25 for 15 images and entrants must be current, paid subscribers of Aperture magazine

“The purpose of the Aperture Portfolio Prize is to identify trends in contemporary photography and specific artists whom we can help by bringing them to a wider audience. In choosing the first-prize winner and runners-up, we are looking for work that is fresh and that hasn’t been widely seen in major publications or exhibition venues.”

To enter visit  For the full prospectus please visit Aperture’s website. 

Photography Book Now
Deadline: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm PDT (22:00 GMT) 

This annual self-publishing competition, sponsored by Blurb, boasts a diverse jury of industry professionals who meet together to review and discuss self-published books that have been submitted.  The cash prizes are substantial, and winning projects are featured on the Blurb website and shown at industry events internationally.  Getting your ideas for a book of your work out of your head and into print format is an important step towards publication of your work, one that you will required should you wish to submit to his important competition.   (NOTE: it is not a requirement that your book be created using Blurb’s software).

International juried competition presented by Blurb
Submission Fee (per book):
$35 | UK £20 | Eur €27.50 | CAD $35 | AUD $35

“Led by Darius Himes, PBN’s panel of world-renowned photographers, photo editors, and industry leaders reviews the entries and selects the winners. They are: Gerry Badger, Chris Boot, Matt Eich, Larry Fink, Claudia Hinterseer, Henry Horenstein, Whitney Lawson, Larissa Leclair, Jon Levy, Steve McCurry, Laura Brunow Miner, and Markus Schaden; you can learn more about all of them here.”

Visit PBN’s website for details on How to Enter and for the Rules & FAQs.


International Meeting Place Portfolio Review
FotoFest 2012 Biennial
Deadline for early registration: Thursday, July 14, 2011

The FIRST international photography biennial in the US, this event based in Houston, Texas is now in its 13th edition. The portfolio review event within the Biennial, called the “International Meeting Place” is the only review in the US where you can meet curators, gallery owners, photo editor and more from around the world.  It is by far the most international group of industry professionals to hit our shores to review your work, and you will meet your international peers as well.  Each session has an evening dedicated to sharing their work with the Houston community, as well.

There will be four 4-day sessions, with three educational workshops held on the day between the sessions, so plan to come early/stay late for these special days.  Exhibitions on view throughout the city during the Biennial are worth the trip alone.  Apply by the deadline for early registration; if the Reviews over subscribed at the end of this period, your application will automatically be included in the lottery to attend The Meeting Place.   The next Biennial will be held in 2014, so plan now to attend the 2012 event.

“If you are curious as to why we call our portfolio review program “The Meeting Place”, it’s because the Meeting Place presents the opportunity for photographic artists to meet and show their work to top arts professionals from around the world. The event is literally a “meeting place” – a place where artists, arts professionals, collectors, and colleagues are able to network, collaborate, share ideas, and establish life-long connections.

Meeting Place Registration Includes:
A minimum of 16 individual portfolio reviews during a 4-day session; participation in FotoFest’s public event, Evenings with the Artists – Open Portfolio Nights, where you can display your work to the public and other Meeting Place participants; free access to exhibitions, artist talks, lectures, and book signings; opportunities for informal reviews with roving reviewers; networking with fellow artists; discounted Workshop registration; and an image of your work included in the Artist Reference Booklet.”

Reviews are held March 16 – April 3, 2012


Photolucida Critical Mass 2011
Deadline: Friday, July 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm CDT

I can’t begin to tell you the number of bodies of work I first came to know through serving as a Judge for Critical Mass; it is an honor and a pleasure I look forward to every year.   If your portfolio is selected for inclusion in the Critical Mass Top 50, your work will have permanent presence on the Photolucida website, and selections are made from this roster for print publication. I consider this competition an excellent investment.  Edit tightly, and strive for a short but insightful statement!

Submission fee: $75 ($90 for international) for 10 images

“The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.  Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple—photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75 ($90 for international submissions). This work is then pre-screened by a committee of approximately 20 great jurors. From those votes, the 200 top Finalists are determined. These 200 Finalists then pay an additional submission fee ($200) and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world’s best curators, editors, and other professionals who have agreed to view and vote on the Finalists’ work. Using these votes, at least one photographer is chosen to receive a book award and once the monograph is published, everyone who enters and juries will receive a copy of the book(s).”

Click here for the list of this year’s jurors and here for the full prospectus.


Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio Review
deadline: Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm EDT

ACP (October) is a month-long, city-wide event that heralds photography in its many forms. One of the many highlights is a one-day juried portfolio review event, with a public viewing of the accepted works that evening.  This is a small but mighty review event is perfect for those in the region or those who have yet to attend a portfolio review event; getting a seat at the table is coveted.

“Added in 2005 at the request of photographers, the ACP Portfolio Review and Walk offers artists the opportunity to meet with highly respected curators, dealers, editors, and agency representatives from across the United States and beyond.  Sponsored in part by Turner Broadcasting and their “Turner Voices” initiative, 17 reviewers and 51 artists will meet one Saturday in October. Each photographer will meet privately with five reviewers for twenty minutes each. Every year we have many more applicants than available slots, so each application will be evaluated by ACP and a third-party judge to determine if the applicant may participate in the Reviews.  The Portfolio Walk (following the review sessions) gives participating photographers the opportunity to present their work to the general public at an evening reception, open to all.”

This portfolio review is a juried event.  Click here for the submission form and guidelines.
The review will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2011 this year. 


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