Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2016

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I’m excited to announce this year’s Conscientious Portfolio Competition. The winners will have their work featured on this site, in the form of an extended conversation.

As always, the Conscientious Portfolio Competition (CPC) is free to enter. There are no costs involved for you other than the time it takes to make a decision to participate and to then 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 winners, Emma Bowkett and Felix Hoffmann:

Emma Bowkett is the Director of Photography of the Financial Times Weekend Magazine and PORT magazine.

Felix Hoffmann is an art historian and theorist, and currently Head Curator of the C/O Berlin Foundation. He worked at the Folkwang Museum/ Essen, the Printing Collection/ Dresden and the Photomuseum/ Munich as fellow of the Krupp Foundation. The C/O Berlin’s Talents program for young photographers and art critics was co-established by him, and has curated many international exhibitions – on Nan Goldin, Robert Frank (both 2006), Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Lindbergh (both 2011) and Larry Clark (2012) among others – and group shows, including The Uncanny Familiar: Images of Terror (2011). He is the author of numerous texts.

CPC happens in a two-stage process. 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; strictly no blogs, no Flickr/Tumblr/Instagram accounts)
name of the portfolio/body of work

Please do not forget this last part: which portfolio – surprisingly often, photographers forget to mention which project they’re submitting. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to get in touch to inquire about missing information.

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 2016”. One submission per photographer. Please do not submit images or pdfs directly by appending them to the email.

The deadline is 31 October 2016, 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 Emma and Felix will enter. They will each pick their personal favourite from the pool of 25. I will pick one, too. Here’s the twist: There might 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 winners of the competition will have their work featured on this website, in the form of an extended conversation.

Good luck!