Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2014

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Josh Quigley

The Conscientious Portfolio Competition is now in its sixth year. I’m very excited to announce this year’s incarnation. The winner(s) will have their work featured on this site, in the form of an extended conversation.

The Conscientious Portfolio Competition (CPC) is free to enter. It always has been, it always will be. There are no costs involved for you other than the time it takes to decide about and send in your work.

CPC is aimed at emerging photographers. Photographers not represented by a gallery will get preferential treatment. Needless to say, the quality of the work itself plays the most important role.

There are two guest judges joining me this year to determine the winner(s), Arianna Rinaldo and Thomas Weski:

Arianna Rinaldo is a freelance professional working with photography at a wide range. She is the director of OjodePez magazine, the documentary photography quarterly published by LaFabrica, Madrid. Arianna’s relationship with photography started in 1998 in New York, as Archive Director at Magnum Photos. Back in Italy in 2001, as picture editor for Colors magazine she commissioned international photographers to produce documentary and research projects around the world. Based in Milan from 2004 to 2011, Arianna has been a freelance curator for exhibits and book projects, and photo consultant for D, the weekend supplement of one of Italy’s main daily, La Repubblica. She collaborates with major publishing houses for special projects, and has been on several portfolio review panels worldwide. She was part of the World Press Photo jury in 2009, and Fotopres in 2012. Based in Barcelona since 2012, Arianna continues to develop photography projects at an international level, as well as teach photo editing. She is also the artistic director of Cortona On The Move, an international photo festival in Tuscany, Italy, with a special focus on photography and the Journey. This year she was appointed guest artistic director for DOCfield, a new documentary photography festival in Barcelona.

Thomas Weski was born in Hannover, Germany and worked in various positions at the Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and Haus der Kunst, Munich. He is a professor of “Cultures of the Curatorial” at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, since 2009. Specialising in photography he has curated numerous exhibitions including: Robert Adams “What We Bought – The New World” (1995), Martin Parr “Parrworld” (2008), Michael Schmidt “Grau als Farbe” (2010) and co-curated “How you look at it” (2000), “Cruel & Tender” (2003), William Eggleston “Democratic Camera” (2008) and “Photography Calling” (2011) among others.

CPC happens in two stages. The first stage – where we are now – is the submission stage. Photographers are asked to send in their application via email in the following form:
email address
website URL (a proper website; no blogs, no Flickr/Tumblr/Instagram accounts)
name of the portfolio/body of work (please do not forget this part – surprisingly often, photographers forget to mention which project they’re submitting)
Send your email to review at (you’ll have to replace the “at” with @ and remove the spaces for this to work, of course), subject line “CPC 2014”. One submission per photographer. Please do not submit images or pdfs directly by appending them to the email.

The deadline in 31 October 2014, 11:59pm ET.

If you need a statement for your work, it should be on the website. Your website should have a bio/CV, of course. If you don’t have a website, you will not be able to enter the competition. This might strike you as unfair, but every serious photographer should have her/his own dedicated website.

From the pool of submissions, 25 candidates will be picked for the second round. The photographers in this pool will receive an email, and they will have to send in ten jpeg images, in a uniform format (size etc.).

This is where Arianna and Thomas will come in. They will each pick their personal favourite from the pool of 25. I will pick one, too. Here’s the twist: There will be three or two winners, or maybe just one, if a photographer is picked more than once.

Having a second round is based on the idea of making everything as equal as possible. With uniform file sizes, fancy websites won’t be able to beat out simple ones. With a special naming convention for the jpegs (which will hide the full names), the winner(s) will be solely chosen based on the quality of the work.

The winner(s) of the competition will have their work featured on this website, in the form of an extended conversation.

Good luck!