Addis Foto Fest
This new and vital international photo festival out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is gaining momentum in the context of Africa’s widely diverse and rapidly evolving cultural scenes. What started as an exploration of African identity in the world has become a global visual dialogue that is rooted in Africa. Participants in the bi-annual festival are identified by their continent of residence and offer work in thematic exhibitions that delve into the history, identity and the changing nature of place.
American Society of Media Photographers
Founded in 1944, at a time when print photographers had little financial or professional organization, ASMP was created to defend the rights and interests of professional photographers. The society advocates for copyright protection, business education, professional standards and fellowship, and against work–for–hire and other abuses. ASMP has chapters all over the nation and holds valuable meetings on a range of issues of interest for photographers—pricing and administration, client relations, and technical “how to” topics, as well as talks on featured photographers. These events are not only learning but also networking and social opportunities, giving photographers, who typically work in isolation, a sense of real community.
The Aperture Foundation has built on the strength of Aperture Magazine, the respected publication founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan and Minor White, historian Beaumont Newhall and writer/curator Nancy Newhall. The Foundation publishes books, has assembled a considerable archive of important prints, offers an educational program for interns and mounts exhibitions in the Foundation’s headquarters at the Burden Gallery in Manhattan.
Art Photo Index
Curating its content through an invitation-only membership, Art Photo Index is an impressive and dynamic image and information resource that focuses on “important” international art and documentary photography. The Index’s sophisticated-but-friendly system is a showcase for photographers’ images, biographies, artist statements, links to individual websites and social media, and significantly, a cross-reference to recognition they have received elsewhere. This is important because at API, photographers are invited to join the index on the basis of their achievements, such as exhibitions, publications, prizes, grants or being represented by a major gallery. The Index is searchable by project, image and keyword, world map or “browse” functions, and visitors can create “collections” of favorite work and receive notices of recently posted images from selected artists. API now features online exhibitions featuring work from Index members, and organized by established museum curators. This may be THE new destination for discovering emerging talent, and accordingly, a desirable place to be seen.
Arte Studio Ginestrelle Artist Retreats
In the Italian hills close to Assisi, where Giotto and Cimabue dedicated their talent to St-Francis, an international artist residency invites artists working in a variety of disciplines to take in the natural beauty of their surroundings and dedicate themselves to their art. Arte Studio Ginestrelle sends invitations to select artists to work on current projects in the individual studios provided, or in one of the two refurbished barns used as workspaces. The Studio is close enough to Assisi for residents to delve into the magical art and architecture of the medieval town and far enough into the Mount Subasio Regional Park to provide a true retreat in nature. Application instructions are available through the Retreat’s site.
Athens Photography Festival
One of the oldest photo festivals going, Athens’ bi-annual event is very much open to new approaches in image production, making space for documentary slideshows, films, and photo books. Taking place over the span of two months, the Festival encompasses traditional exhibitions, portfolio reviews and workshops, but also ventures into this venerable city’s public places and smaller galleries, engaging schools, community groups and the general public with photo-based projects. This has also long been an important venue for young Greek photographers, who are given a prominent place in the event.
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar
Founded in 1973 by a group of newspaper, magazine and wire-service photojournalists, the Atlanta Seminar is a venerable institution and has long been the meeting place for working photojournalists. The seminar consists of a lecture series with a lineup of notable guest speakers working in the field, hands-on workshops dealing with techniques, technology and issues in photojournalism, as well as a merchant’s display of the latest photo gear. The annual portfolio review is one of the event’s most popular functions, with editors from all over the country critiquing portfolios of students and professionals. The non-profit also hosts an annual digital photo contest, awarding over $5,000.00 in prizes for a surprisingly wide range of editorial photographs. Categories range from “Sports News” to “Feature Picture.”
Bayt Lothan Photography Club
The Bayt Lothan Photography Club is part of private non-profit organization that aims to nurture creative expression in Kwait, and it provides a home for the amateur photographers where classes, workshops and a place to exhibit are the first steps towards competing in local and international competitions.
Blue Earth Alliance
Based on the idea that “Photographers are the eyes and conscience of society,” Blue Earth Alliance uses the knowledge and experience of its network of members to foster significant documentary projects on cultures, the environment and social issues. The Alliance accepts project proposals from photographers twice a year. Those chosen are guided by selected Alliance board members through the process of organizing, fundraising, shooting and publishing or exhibiting the project. This mentoring approach transmits invaluable experience to emerging documentary photographers, allowing them to bring their stories to light.
Bratislava Month of Photography (Mesiac Fotographie)
Originally founded to help bring Slovakian photographers who were hidden behind the “iron curtain” to public attention, Bratislava’s festival has grown in many ways and has become part of the circuit of international photo festivals united under the banner of Festival of Light. Still true to its first calling, this is the place to discover current and past Slovakian photography, but it has also become a unique international forum for Central and Eastern European photography. They have also initiated a series of new programs, including a photography book competition, films, concerts, photo auctions, and a workshop series. Perhaps most the important recent initiative is a portfolio review and networking zone adapted from FotoFest’s (Houston, TX) famous review and “Meeting Place” - all signs of a vital photo scene and a festival worth investigating.
Bursa Photo Festival
It may be the recognised birthplace of the Ottoman Empire and a Unesco World Heritage site, but the city of Bursa is also home to an international photo festival that creates a dialogue between Turkey’s photographic tradition and the global photo scene. Within a schedule of events that covers exhibitions, lectures, a portfolio review and an international photo contest, there is a desire to bring the images to the widest possible audience through non-traditional venues and public spaces, projecting images from around the world on to the walls of this venerable city.
Camera Club of New York
Camera Club is the Manhattan meeting place of those dedicated to old school film photography. In defiance of the encroaching digital revolution, the club boldly offers members camera and darkroom classes, an ongoing lecture series, both physical and online gallery space, the support of a like-minded community and 24-hour access to darkrooms. The Club also hosts an annual photo contest that is typically juried by a single, well-established photographer whose comments about the entries are published on the site.
Formerly, the Santa Fe Center for Photography, Center carries out a mission to support committed photographers. Center’s many programs and endeavors have turned the non-profit into one of the more dynamic photo organizations on the scene these days. In order to introduce important photo projects and to create networks for photographers and their supporters, Center has initiated annual events such as photographic teaching awards, and project and single photo competitions. There is also Review Santa Fe, the annual conference for photographers and picture professionals that offers portfolio review sessions, educational seminars and intensive retreats on relevant issues in photography. Oh, and let us not forget Center’s workshops and seminars or its web site’s excellent resource center.
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson
Part of the University of Arizona, the CCP manages one of the largest photo collections on the continent. Emphasizing North-American photographers, the Center opens its collections to the public, offering print viewing for the general public and consultations of the archives and collections by appointment. The collections are also the base for the CCP educational mandate, which features lectures, seminars, free public education programs, research fellowships and internships.
Center for Cultural Innovation
Stating that “knowledge is power, personal networks build community, and financial independence supports creative freedom,” The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) uses business training, grants and loans to help promote knowledge sharing, networking and financial independence for individual artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Center for Digital Storytelling
The Center for Digital Storytelling is a non-profit project development, training and research organization dedicated to assisting people in using digital media to tell meaningful stories from their lives. Focused on developing large-scale projects for community, educational and business institutions, the Center uses methods and principles from the Digital Storytelling Workshop. Acting as a clearinghouse of information about resources on storytelling and new media, the Center also offers workshops for organizations and individuals.
Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY
The Center for Photography at Woodstock’s stated intention is “to build audiences, enhance dialogue, and encourage inquiry about contemporary photography and related media.” The packed web site displays the diversity of ways in which the Center achieves its mission: workshops and lectures series, gallery exhibitions, Photography Quarterly, auctions, artists residencies and internships, as well as the Photographer’s Fellowship Fund. This group is active!
Charleston Center for Photography
Aiming to be a pillar of the photography community in the Southeastern U.S., the Charleston Center for Photography provides an unusually large range of photo-related services and activities. Beyond its stated mission to supply many levels of photography education, for school kids on up to working professionals, the Center also functions as a sort of photo agency, offering everything from aerial photography to pet portraits. They also cover the print side of the business, with printing and copywork services. Although it may seem odd to have the artistic and education aspect of photography share space with the business side of things, this must truly be The Center for photography in the region.
Chobi Mela International Photo Festival
Dhaka’s truly impressive Chobi Mela International Photo Festival is a prime venue for the under-recognized work of Bangladeshi and other South Asian photographers as well an extensive cast of international photographers. Exhibitions are searchable by photographer and by country, and are held in venues all over Dhaka, including in the city’s international cultural venues such as the Goethe Institute, the Alliance Française, and the British Council, where invited photographers also lead a series of workshops and portfolio reviews.
Committee to Protect Journalists
There have been so many recent cases of journalists being attacked, imprisoned and even murdered that the Committee to Protect Journalists is clearly a much needed voice, one that helps defend freedom of the press by helping to keep journalists safe. Acting as a sort of Amnesty International for journalists, the Committee keeps track (using strict journalistic standards) of imprisoned and missing reporters all over the globe, so that each one’s name and situation is not forgotten. While the CPJ site is certainly a testament to the hazards of reporting the news, (the home page features a grim column of statistics marking the number of journalists killed each year, and the number killed in the Iraq war since it’s beginning), it honors the work of reporters by publishing up to date alerts for infringements on freedom of the press all over the world, and calling for justice for those that pay a price to get the story. More than that, CPJ offers direct assistance, financial and non-financial, to journalists in hiding, in prison, in need of medical attention and other kinds of support, and to help keep reporters safe they publish On Assignment: Covering Conflicts Safely, A Guide for Reporting in Hazardous Situations, a frighteningly comprehensive manual.
Contact Photo Festival, Toronto
Said to be the world’s largest, Toronto’s month long Contact Photo Festival invites a wide range of participants into its tent. A lot of the Festival’s energy comes from the ground up with its “Open Call” shows, an invitation for emerging photographers and artists to be part of Contact by creating their own exhibitions non-traditional venues around the city. Contact is known for an eclectic mix of headline exhibitions, work displayed in public places such as subway stations, and alternative venue shows. Add to this a “Films on Photography” series, lectures, and a portfolio review and you have a month long, Toronto-wide photo party.
Cookeville Camera Club
A small town Tennessee camera club that has an amazing vitality and a clearly infectious love of photography that has earned it a place in the community. Calling back to the early days when mass-market cameras gave rise to many such creative fellowships, the Camera Club is a real-world hub for amateur photographers. Clearly, the craft of image making continues to be important in Cookeville.
Crusade for Art
A unique and inventive organization that supports photographers’ work after their work is done. Crusade for Art takes on the “elephant in the room” of artistic practice: who will see and buy the art that photographers make? The non-profit has created some brilliant initiatives to introduce art into the lives of people who may not have prioritized it before, including the CSA, or “Crusade Supported Art,” based on the community supported agriculture model that allows people to pay a membership fee and receive a regular delivery of signed photos in the mail. These initiatives come from the artists that participate in the annual Crusade Engagement Grants, which offer up to $10,000 to the cleverest project that creates new audiences for photography. Crusade For Art’s website, which is wonderfully innovative itself, effectively shows off the organization’s programs and publications, as well as hosting a serious blog where emerging talents are given space, and collaborations with influential photo blogs such as Behold happen.
These “Daguerreians,” fascinated with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre’s early photographic process, have built a gorgeous site that celebrates the history, science and artistry of the Daguerreotype. For those seeking reliable scholarship on the subject, the Society has a serious and comprehensive archive of reviews, commentaries, scientific analysis and, most fascinating, contemporary accounts of how this new invention was received as word of it spread around the world. The site’s image galleries contain a carefully curated ensemble of historical and modern Daguerreotypes from museums and private collections. The Society’s excellent work on this site shows us the continuity and vitality of these images.
Eddie Adams Workshop
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams founded this 4-day intensive program in order to bring together students and photojournalism veterans in an intensive long weekend of exchange. The workshop stands out for other reasons: a limited number of students are selected based on the strength of their work, each student is paired with an experienced photojournalist, and the whole thing is free (!). Not surprisingly, competition for spots in this annual workshop is stiff, and the prestige is high.
This free “photo sharing and discovery” application is designed to guide photographers towards a more engaged and more lucrative relationship with the medium. Created in Berlin by an international team, the app uses an intriguing location-centric approach to photo sharing and exploring, adding another layer to the online photography community. Behind the gorgeous design and direct interface, there is also a wonderfully buyer-and-seller-friendly marketplace for these shared images.
An online alternative to the constraints of the classic portfolio review event, the Eyeist is a review service that insures that photographers receive important feedback on their work as they need it. Whether it is in a live chat session or in an audio reply to a submitted portfolio, photographers can connect with reviewers chosen from the Eyeist’s ensemble of professional photographers, creative consultants and editors. Other Eyeist services include website reviews and editing and sequencing for portfolios and book projects.
The Fence – Photoville Brooklyn
Busting out of the confines of art galleries and museums, THE FENCE brings photo narratives from around the world to the inner city streets of Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Houston and Santa Fe. Organizers invite rising stars of documentary photography to submit photo essays, which are then printed on large-scale posters and hung, perhaps symbolically, on a fence. THE FENCE’s curating has allowed much artistically and thematically important photography to find new audiences, who may be surprised to discover art, a story or a window into another world just hanging on their neighborhood fence. THE FENCE is also a photography competition, where the Jury's Choice winner merits such prizes as an exhibition at Photoville in New York City, a $5,000 Cash Prize to contribute to future work, and a Leica T camera package.
Festival of Light
The Festival of Light is an international collaboration that offers a year-long program of photography festivals and exhibitions on three continents. This site is the contact point for more than 20 photography festivals around the world, with links that connect to each city’s photo festival web site.
In spirit of off-Broadway theater and fringe festivals everywhere, Festival-Off was created to be an inclusive, community based and un-official alternative to the official Naarden Fotofestival. The festival’s minimalist website explains the essentials of this event: photographers getting together to create their own exhibitions in non-traditional venues, and there are no selection committees, no juries, and no prizes. One thing the Festival does promise is the possibility of discovering some of the gems of emerging Dutch photography.
Format Photo Festival, Derby, UK
This festival celebrates the “diversity of photographic practice darkroom to digital” including “work that engages with contemporary culture in social, political and pictorial terms.” It can be a bit challenging to discover evidence of these goals on the Festival’s current website, which is light on past and future festival information and pictures. There are, however, specifics on Format’s ongoing non-festival events, such as panel discussions featuring photographers and photo-related professionals, portfolio reviews and film screenings. Stay tuned to this site to find out what Format has planned for the future.