Photography Networking

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.

Aperture Foundation 
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.

Daguerreian Society 
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.

Eye Em
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.

Festival-Off, Naarden
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. 

Foto&Photo Festival, Cesano Maderno, Italy 
Set in the town of Cesano Maderno, near Milan, the Foto & Photo Festival is interested in specific themes in photography, past and present. Now biennial, the Festival continues to support the work of Italian photographers, while showing a consistent curiosity about international trends and artists. It seems that much of the town’s historic core plays host to photo exhibitions during Foto & Photo, including an official “Festival-Off,” or alternative festival for emerging talents set in bars and restaurants around town.

FotoFest, Houston 
The first and largest of American photography festivals, FotoFest’s organizers have created an event that celebrates photography’s role as a means of international exchange of art and ideas, but also its influence on local lives. The biennial convergence in Houston, Texas, has grown into a forum that investigates world wide trends in photography, while attracting an increasingly international crowd to its month long event. International Discoveries, an initiative of FF founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin, brings to together a group of photographers culled from festivals around the world, setting up a cross-borders dialogue in images. This exhibition and the scores of others, where established and gifted emerging photographer’s work is shown, is part of a wave of photography that takes over the city every spring. Exhibitions crowd into galleries, corporations, and public spaces all around the city, complimented by discussion forums, a film and video series, and workshops. The festival is well known for a wealth of networking opportunities, starting with the now legendary portfolio review, which takes place in a zone that has come to be known as the “Meeting Place.” Here photographers are guaranteed 4 different formal review appointments a day over the four or six day sessions, and reviews are conducted by recognized photography professionals, museum curators, critics, gallery owners, and publishers. FotoFest not only gives photographers excellent opportunities to have their work exhibited, published, purchased, but also the chance to gain the inspiration to develop their work to its full potential. There is a strong sense of global and local community at this festival, well illustrated by the Fine Print auction that benefits FotoFest’s Houston-area photography-in-schools initiative, the excellent ”Literacy Through Photography” project. 

Fotografia, Rome, Italy 
Using the eternal city of Rome as its exhibition space, the FotoGrafia Festival succeeds brilliantly in blending the art and complexity of this ancient place with the energy and immediacy of contemporary photography. The site proclaims that the whole city (including Rome’s many foreign institutes, galleries and a number of outdoor sites) is host to exhibitions and the program of collateral events, meetings, videos and portfolio reviews. This is certainly the place to see contemporary Italian photography, but the international view is also well represented.

Fotoweek. D.C. 
A week-long celebration of photography in America’s capital city, Fotoweek D.C. includes a variety of events that consider the many facets of the practice of photography. Exhibitions, lectures, talks, workshops and projections are packed into the week-long schedule, many taking place in some of Washington’s inventory of storied venues, including the Smithsonian and the National Geographic Headquarters.

George Eastman House, Rochester NY 
The George Eastman House, home of the man who reshaped the photographic medium for 20th century, could be called the spiritual home of photography, particularly as the historic house and grounds have been converted into the museum that shelters one of the largest photo collections in the world. 400,000 prints and negatives, spanning the history of the medium and featuring some of its greatest artists make up the collection. Keeping the story of photography and film alive and vital through collections, exhibitions, film series, events and lectures – not to mention Flickr, Twitter and a regular podcast - George Eastman House is considered to be a reference in the field.

ICP Infinity Awards for Excellence in Photography 
Based in New York’s elegant Avenue of the Americas, the International Center for Photography compliments its comprehensive mission as a school, a museum and a centre for photographers with its Infinity Award for Excellence in Photography. Prizes for writing, publishing and art- as well as photojournalism and applied photography- assure that the work rewarded reflects the broad range of ICP’s investigations of photography’s role in contemporary culture.

Imago Mundi 
A Polish foundation based in Krakow, Imago Mundi was established to help connect the local photography scene to the wider world by organizing exhibitions, seminars, symposiums, workshops, often in collaboration with other European and international cultural institutions.

Institute for Photographic Empowerment
The result of an important academic/nonprofit collaboration between USC Annenberg and the venerable community-based Venice Arts organization, the Institute for Photographic Empowerment is a broad-based resource for “participant–produced documentary projects.” Drawing from its founding components, the IPE supports both academic research on grass-roots documentary making as well as the documentary makers themselves. Ultimately, the intitute provides a platform for advocacy and social change through images produced by individuals and communities, documenting their own experiences and points of view.

ISLIP Art Museum
This historic Long Island mansion has become a community supported contemporary art venue that the New York Times describe as the "best facility of its kind outside Manhattan." The ISLIP Art Museum has clearly become an established art gallery, but one that stays true to its community roots. The Museum offers art classes and workshops for all age groups and also hosts an annual curated exhibition that is an open call to all emerging artists in the tri-state area.

Jentel Arts Residencies
Mountains, a converted cattle ranch offers jury-selected artists and writers a month of freedom to create. The Jentel Arts Residencies accepts applications from writers and artists in any medium that are over the age of 25 and have American residency. The original ranch buildings are complimented by newer individual artist spaces, where residents can work with the support of their fellow resident artists. The spectacular isolation of this rural setting and the excellent working conditions make this an ideal retreat for those who need to “get away from it all” and return to their art.

Les Rencontres Arles 
Ever a center for artistic inspiration, the beautiful Provencal town of Arles plays host to one of the world’s biggest annual photo meets. Stretching from July into September, the festival brings together an unusual and stimulating mix of photography. New work is presented in the Discovery Award competition for emerging talent, but also in exhibitions focusing on cutting edge currents in the international scene. It is also said that portfolios (of those exhibiting and those attending) circulate freely in an atmosphere of open exchange of ideas. Les Rencontres’s schedule is packed with lectures and discussions, seminars, symposiums, performances and workshops. To accommodate all these events and the crowds of photo-appreciators, the festival makes excellent use of Arles’s important and varied architectural heritage to display work in churches, empty shops, railway sheds, medieval cloisters and, most dramatically, late-night projections in the city’s Roman amphitheatre. Here, curators and directors from top institutions put together exhibitions and established pros serve as portfolio reviewers. Private collectors and institutions are also given space to display historical photo collections that lend a nuanced perspective to current photography. Although the bells and whistles of this stylish site actually make it harder to navigate, the content is absolutely worth investigating.

Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program
To artists from anywhere in the world working in a photo-based medium (photography, video, installation), Syracuse, NY’s Light Work offers an annual invitation to further a project in the organization’s excellent facilities. The dozen or so residents are granted full time access to the Light Work facilities, including the use of a private digital studio, a private darkroom, a stipend and an apartment in Syracuse for their month-long stay. Work that emerges from the residency becomes a part of the Light Work Collection as well as finding a platform in the annual special edition of Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual.

Los Angeles Center for Digital Art
LACDA embraces all the fascinating permutations of digital art, and the artists that make them, in its inclusive space. The Center fills its exhibition space with work selected from its busy schedule of competitions, juried and un-juried shows. All events and exhibitions are in support of emerging artists that are investigating all the digital possibilities of “our moment in culture.”

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville 
Despite its bold graphic design, the Look 3 Festival of the Photograph web site somehow transmits the feeling of a “family reunion” of photography in historic downtown Charlottesville. Founded by photographers such as National Geographic’s Michael “Nick” Nichols, the Festival has a tradition of putting on an annual “backyard party” as a showcase for emerging photographers. YourSpace is one of the festival’s largest and most dynamic events, where all Look 3 attendees are invited to print or project their work for everyone to see. This group participation extends even to featured guest photographers, such as Sally Mann, William Albert Allard, and Eugene Richards, who, beyond the standard gallery exhibition of their works, are invited to reveal more about their creative process in in-depth interviews in front of an audience of attendees.

Lucie Awards 
In the spirit of the Oscars, photography now has its own glamorous awards event. During the black tie gala evening, celebrity super models and Hollywood actors present the silver “Lucie” statuettes to honor the world’s finest photographers. 

The Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism
Hanover’s biennial Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism looks to the next generation of photojournalists to explore the impact that photojournalism exerts in our world, now more than ever. Here, young photojournalists are given the chance to have their work take center stage and to compete for the FREELENS Award, a 10.000 € prize, the 5.000 € Lammerhuber Photography Award, the 5.000 € Lumix Multimedia Award and 1.000 € Honorable Mention prizes. There are the requisite portfolio reviews and lectures, but the thrill of this festival must lie in seeing the future of photojournalism.

Maine Media Workshops 
For over 30 years, the Maine Media Workshops (formerly the Maine Photographic Workshops) has offered a surprisingly large variety of one-week intensive workshops aimed at advancing the participant’s skill levels in many areas. With over 250 workshops, photographers can explore just about any facet of their craft. The site provides clear information about the workshops, the teachers and the workshop experience.

Moscow House of Photography
Russia’s premier photography institution appears to be five photography organizations rolled into one. Exhibitions, contests, festivals, workshops, publications and special projects – the Moscow House does it all. The collections preserve Russia’s varied photographic legacy, while the exhibition schedule mixes historic and contemporary material, both Russian and international. Large online photo galleries give a good sense of current and past exhibitions. The House’s chic website is fully translated into English. 

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego 
The museum’s collection and exhibition schedule are strong on modern and contemporary work that deals with social and historical issues. Its other, complimentary, strength is a commitment to public outreach and public education programs, through lectures, workshops and after-school programs. 

National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
National Press Photographers Association site provides a central meeting place where photojournalists can discuss topics that relate to the profession. The site contains news and events pages, professional development information, competition notices and services for members. Members have access to active message boards covering a broad range of topics including business, news, current events, digital editing, ethical issues and photo gear. In a rare acknowledgement of the stresses and traumas associated with being a photojournalist, NPPA Member Services also include a crisis intervention team of professional peers, trained and ready to listen. 

New Orleans Photo Alliance
Formed in the wake of hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Photo Alliance brings together a group of independent photographers that have generated new momentum on the local photo scene with a program of exhibitions, classes and workshops, and their organization of PhotoNOLA, New Orleans’ annual photography festival. The artist-run non-profit also offers the annual Michael P. Smith Grant For Documentary Photography, a $5000 prize named for the city’s legendary documentary photographer. The site also includes galleries of current and past exhibitions and a blog with up to date NOPA news.

New York Underwater Photo Society
Although it is hardly an obvious gathering place for people fascinated by underwater photography and video, New York City is never-the-less home to the active and engaged members of The New York Underwater Photographic Society. Their monthly meetings center on themes specific to the genre and often feature the some of the more celebrated names of the underwater imaging world.

Noorderlicht Photofestival
The stylish publications that this festival produces give a good sense of the organizer’s serious intent: this is an invitation for international photographers to explore, from as many angles as possible, a given politically or culturally resonant theme. The result of the festival is an exhibition where works are chosen for the way they speak both to each other and to the central theme. Recent Noorderlicht festival exhibitions have traveled internationally and have received much critical attention. The Photofestival is part of a larger alliance of Dutch photo organizations, including USVA Noorderlicht Photogallery, where the Festival winners are exhibited; the Noorderlicht project bureau, which commissions and funds photo projects; and publishing house Aurora Borealis.

Notes on Photographs
Notes On Photographs is George Eastman House’s impressive communal resource, created for and by students, historians, collectors, curators, conservators, archivists, practitioners of photography, as well as the interested public. Its Wiki format assembles the contributions of this erudite community as a shared repository of information and investigation. “Notes” is accessible through some pretty sophisticated tools, including The Print Room, which allows one to compare the similarity and differences between prints from the same negatives. Users can search or contribute in the following categories: Marks + Inscriptions, Photographers + Prints, Materials + Techniques, Conservation, and Reference Resources.

News Photographers Association of Canada is the non-profit professional organization that brings together press photographers, freelancers, photo editors and photojournalism students from across Canada. The association offers the standard annual convention, workshops and portfolio critiques, but also a “Pictures of the Month” prize where photographers, divided into Eastern and Western zones, accumulate points in 12 monthly contests to win the title “Eastern or Western Photographer of the Year.” NPAC’s flagship event is the annual National Pictures of the Year competition, that features over C$100 000 in prizes in categories ranging from Photojournalist of the Year to Multi-media Story of the Year.

Overseas Press Club of America Awards 
Founded on the eve of the World War II, the Overseas Press Club has a longstanding reputation of defending the interests of American foreign correspondents while highlighting their best work. The Club’s prestigious annual awards recognize outstanding American reporting of international news in print journalism, radio and television, editorial cartoons and photojournalism. OPC award winners often go on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Perpignan/Visa Pour L’Image 
Something like a Cannes Festival for photojournalism, Visa Pour L’Image, is one of the largest and most important photojournalism conferences in the world. Meeting every year in Perpignan, France, thousands of international photojournalists congregate in the streets, hotels and exhibition halls. The festival allows them to connect with peers, see each other’s work, meet photo editors, publishers and image agency representatives. The focal point of the event is the nightly “soirées,” where thousands of images depicting realities from around the world are projected on a giant outdoor screen in Perpignan’s Campo Santo. Prizes, called “Visa D’or,” are awarded for Best Daily Press, Best Magazine and Best News photos. 

Photo Archive News
Catering to the editorial and stock photo world, an industry that thrives on up to the minute information, assembles and publishes trade news, interviews, video clips, and updates on pertinent current events. This is the news fix for photo librarians, photo researchers, photo editors and photographers.

If the name sounds, well… critical, the tone and content of this site is actually very friendly and inclusive. Photocritic founder Haje Jan Kamps and editor Daniela Bowker offer their take on photo-related news, and pass on genuinely useful photo tips, reviews of new photo products, and even suggestions for photo-related Christmas presents.

Photo Espana
Every year Madrid hosts this six week photo event that centers around a circuit of more than 50 exhibitions of international photography, all exploring a given theme. Among the activities are a photo-centric film festival, a portfolio review by photographers and photo-related professionals, lectures and discussion forums. Professional photographers lead workshops and master classes. 

The Photographic Historical Society
Thriving in the rich soil of Rochester, NY, the Photographic Historical Society is a club for photo-historians and camera collectors, whose international membership meets triennially to swap scholarly information in a symposium co-organized by the neighboring George Eastman House Museum. Look to the reviews of past symposia to get a sense of the sometimes arcane, sometimes familiar issues in the world of the photo historian.

Photo Historians
PhotoHistorians is a directory of people from across the globe researching the history of photography. Updated regularly, this inventory is the bottom line of who's who in academic circles. Information on research topics and fields is accessible with different search criteria.

As a combination well-connected photo agency, design studio, publisher and photo gallery, PhotoInk seems to cover a lot of ground in the world of contemporary Indian photography. The sharp-looking site is home to galleries of work by the agency’s roster of photographers, who work in a variety of styles, as well as examples of the design and publishing work that compliment both the agency and the gallery’s work. This is an excellent showcase (and market place) for current work from a vibrant and fast-changing art world.

A biennial event in Portland, Oregon, Photolucida (formerly Photo Americas) is designed to support the culture of photography by “promoting in-depth, informed, and supportive dialog between photographers, gallery owners, publishers and pundits of various sorts.” The center of this week-long gathering is comprehensive portfolio reviews given by a wide range of industry professionals including curators, publishers, gallery owners, collectors, and photo editors. To complete the exchange, there are also lectures from curators and editors, artist talks by photographers, as well as numerous photo exhibitions in Portland galleries.

Pictures prove more effective than political speeches according to this socially engaged non-profit. Photovoice gives cameras to communities that would not otherwise have the means to document their lives, trains people to identify and illustrate issues, and, finally, uses the community photographs to open a dialogue with policymakers who can affect change. The Projects page gives a list of current PV proposals, while the Gallery page shows completed projects with captions written by the photographers. 

Picture Berlin
Designed by artists for other artists and conducted in the heart of Europe’s arts Mecca, Picture Berlin is annual invitation to emerging contemporary artists and photographers to immerse themselves in an intensive 6 week program. The intention here is to blend the intensive focus of an individual studio practice with the dynamic exchange of a larger artistic community. Picture Berlin residents are provided with the space and support to advance their work, which is nourished by a schedule of lectures by Berlin-based artists, local exhibitions, studio visits and art walks, individual encounters with international artists and curators, and the supportive community of fellow residents. Perhaps the greatest attraction is Berlin’s rich art scene, always on the cutting-edge, that envelops this program.

Picture Kentuky
Full immersion into small-town Kentucky is the starting point for lessons in the craft of storytelling through photography. College-age students are challenged and inspired to discover not only their gifts for narrative, but also to hone their technical and social skills. Picture Kentucky produces an annual video that sums up the experience from the teachers’ point of view, where as the students’ work speaks for itself in individual slid shows posted on the site. 

Pixel Post.Org
Pixelpost is a self-described open-source, standards-compliant, multi-lingual, fully extensible photoblog application for the web. Anyone who has web-space that meets the requirements can download and use Pixelpost for free and contribute to the great, informal online galleries that are always revealing new work to an eager audience.

Power House Portfolio Review
Taking place at the intimidatingly spacious Power House Arena in Brooklyn, the annual Power House Portfolio Review offers students, amateurs, and up-and coming professionals precious minutes of face to face time with a wide range of photo professionals including magazine editors, professional photographers, publishers, artists, agents, gallerists, and book packagers. With such diverse expertise on offer, participants are likely receive a significant and wide-ranging evaluation from their five chosen reviewers.

Professional Women Photographers
An organization that has been building women photographers’ visibility and possibilities since the beginning of the women’s movement in 1975, the non-profit Professional Women Photographers organizes exhibitions, workshops and networking opportunities for its members, and women photographers in general. PWP organizes an annual call for entry from its diverse membership, as well as an annual international call for entry, both of which are distilled into an online exhibition on their site. Other community-building events from the PWP include a monthly lecture series, student exhibitions and a program to provide mentoring and photo classes to children and teens at risk in New York City.  

Proof: Media for Social Justice
An organization that harnesses photography’s power to document both the facts and the emotion of a situation as means to generate awareness of the lives of people in post-conflict areas such as Darfur and Rwanda. Proof’s goals are very direct; they partner with established photographers whose work chronicles the human cost of violence, and in conjunction with groups such as Amnesty International, and institutions such as Houston’s Holocaust Museum, create a visual record – or proof – of humanitarian emergencies that demand the world’s attention. Ultimately, this spare site is a call to action and there is a page full of clearly defined ways to help and to get involved. 

Radio Television Digital News Association
One of the ways in which the Radio Television Digital News Association, the largest professional organization for those in the electronic news field, serves its members is through a generous support system of programs, grants, scholarships and fellowships for young journalists. RTDNA and its Foundation offer programs for high school, undergraduate, graduate and young professional journalists, and a wealth of seminars, webinars, chats and videos that address hot topics for emerging journalists around the world.

SF Camerawork
This is the online resource center for SF Camerawork, the San Francisco based community-minded organization that fosters the work of emerging and mid-career photographers. Exhibitions in the online and physical gallery spaces, a lecture series, workshops and the journal Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts are there to engage the wider world on photography’s aesthetic and social concerns. The organization’s mentoring program invites photographers to act locally and teach the craft to youth at risk. 

Smithsonian Photography Initiative
The Smithsonian Institution boasts more than 13 million photographs covering science, art, history, technology and more - and now the Smithsonian Photographic Initiative is providing the public easy entrée to these extraordinary images. There are currently 1.1 million digitized Smithsonian images. The Initiative’s user-friendly site, which won a Webby Award, allows visitors to view images from its many museums, galleries, and research centers, even from the National Zoo! Users can search for an image by topic, country, photographer, medium, decade, collection, or simply search by key word. Each photograph has accompanying text so the viewer can learn about the subject in the photo. For a bit of hands-on fun, site visitors can click “Enter the Frame” to choose specific images, create their own photo sequence, and even e-mail it to friends. Educators should visit Learning Resources, where they’ll find lesson plans and other teaching tools. The site also offers online exhibitions, scholarly commentary, and dialogues about photographic imagery.

Society of Publication Designers 
Founded 1965, SPD’s site proclaims that it is still the only organization that specifically addresses the concerns of trade, corporate, institutional, newspaper and consumer editorial art directors. The Society provides programs that foster the collaborative work of the best illustrators, photographers and typographers, while examining “the real impact of evolving technologies.” Guidance is provided by a board of directors composed of top editorial art directors and allied professionals.

SoHo Photo
Situated in one of New York City’ s most high-profile artistic hubs, artist-run SoHo Photo comes across as an encouraging and inclusive photographic community, welcoming of alternative processes and artistic visions. Members show their work in the gallery, participate in workshops and lectures and generally benefit from the feedback of their peers. Meanwhile, SoHo Photo also hosts three annual competitions, the National, Alternative Processes… and Krappy Kamera, an international invitation to experiment with gear and darkroom processes that produces some surprising results.

Studio Marangoni Center of Contemporary Photography
The Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy is an international non-profit center for the study and exhibition of contemporary photography. FSM offers short courses, workshops and full certificate programs in traditional and digital photography for Italian and foreign students. The Fondazione is also an exhibition space that has hosted many current photography shows, has been a site for Italian photo biennial festivals, as well as collaborating in international photo festivals in Europe and the U.S. 

The Art of Photography Show 
Could be a great big springboard for photographers of any description; after all, for the price of submitting them, photos are judged and selected by a top curator, hung in a group show at recognized venue backed by plenty of publicity, a published catalog and a gala opening party to boot! Supported by a long list of recognized underwriters, the show welcomes submissions from all over the world and offers $10,000 in awards and a list of “tangible benefits” that are described on the home page.

The Society for Photographic Education 
The Society for Photographic Education champions the scholarly side of photography. The non-profit organization is made up of regional member groups that have created “a forum for the discussion of photography and related media as a means of creative expression and cultural insight.” The practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism of photography are discussed at conferences organized by regional members, culminating in the Society’s main event, the annual national SPE conference. Papers from the conference, as well as debates, reviews and news are published in the twice-annual journal of the SPE, Exposure. The Society’s web site is full of useful information, including national listings for photo exhibitions, lectures, events and job offers. 

Vision Project 
The source of a lot of outstanding documentary work, Vision Project describes itself as an organization dedicated to the development of documentary photography, investigative journalism, multimedia and education. VP is invested in a number of social issues and, bringing together the talents of photographers, journalists, academics, educators and web and multi-media experts, it uses photography to support the work of groups such as Medecins Sans Frontières, Global Vision, the Hunger Project, International Rice Research Institute and the Music Therapy Institute. Relying on the power and influence of well-constructed photo documentary to get the message out, Vision Project publishes the work in their online galleries, and the excellent online journal Witness, and makes the material available for other publications, exhibitions, education programs, seminars, lectures and workshops, and for research purposes. Vision Project seems to be very busy doing the groundwork to increase visual literacy and proficiency in an era when, more than ever, images can change everything.

White House News Photographers Association 
Strange as it may seem now, it took motion and still photographers banding together to form the WHNPA in 1921 for the White House to embrace the power of images. Since then, WHNPA photographers have recorded some of the most important moments in American and world history. The Association’s primary goal is to protect and promote the work of Washington’s political photographers and in that vein, its home page features the “Eyes of History,” an annual contest that celebrates outstanding photojournalism. Categories include Photographer of the Year, Television Photographer of the Year, Television Editor of the Year and Political Photo of the Year, and an excellent slide show presents the year’s winners. 

Witness Magazine 
This outstanding online magazine, published in PDF format, is home to a powerful collection of in-depth and long-term photo documentaries on topics ranging from the state of healthcare in the rural southern United States to draught, famine and war in Sub-Saharan Africa. Part of the larger Vision Project, an organization dedicated to the development of documentary photography, investigative journalism, multimedia and education, Witness is a well crafted and superbly literate magazine that takes the time and space needed to really explore the causes and effects of complex issues. The photography is consistently compelling, and well supported by the intelligent and direct writing. An excellent documentary resource. 

Women in Photography
Women in Photography is an online exhibition project that provides vital space for new work by women photographers. The non-profit has a call for submissions for a schedule of monthly solo exhibitions, open to women regardless of age or where they find themselves on the career arc. The point is to get work seen globally, through the site’s elegantly spare homepage gallery, and to see it acknowledged through alliances with institutions such as Aperture Foundation, LACMA, MoCP, Lesile Tonkonow and Lightwork.

Women in Photography International 
For over two decades this group has been advocating for women’s photography and working for its increased visibility in the world. This busy website is packed with resources and useful information, a reflection of the organization’s commitment to supporting women photographers through the entire process of creation. Its site is home to f2, an e-Zine that assembles news, new photo projects, business tips and book reviews related to women photographers (and women in general). Other useful items include links to member’s sites, “Hire a WiPi Pro,” (a member database, searchable by photographic specialty), a member’s forum and an ongoing series of juried on-line exhibitions. There is even a reference section of bibliographies devoted to women photographers and their art.

World Photography Organisation
Founded in 2007 by CEO Scott Gray, World Photography Organisation is a leading global platform dedicated to the development and advancement of photographic culture. Their programming and competition initiatives provide valuable opportunities for artists working in photography and help broaden the conversation around their work. They host a year-round portfolio of events including the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world's biggest photography competitions, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, the leading fair in Asia Pacific dedicated to photo-based and digital artworks and Photo London the international fair held annually at Somerset House, London.