Past Competition

The LensCulture and Magnum Photography Awards 2017

Enter your photography to gain incomparable exposure and have your work reviewed by Magnum photographers and industry leaders

Alec Soth Band member at parade. Bangalore, India. 2016. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

LensCulture and Magnum Photos are seeking the best in global contemporary photography talent, and today, Tuesday 4 April, launch the second Magnum Photography Awards.

We invite photographers to submit their work to be reviewed by a panel of eminent photography practitioners, and gain international exposure and recognition, including a digital exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London for the winners and a personalized review of each entrant’s submission.

A distinguished jury is comprised of Magnum photographers Alec Soth, David Hurn, and Susan Meiselas, as well as noted members of the photographic community: LensCulture editor Jim Casper, Azu Nwagbogu, founder and director of the LagosPhoto Festival and the African Artists’ Foundation, Sarah Leen, Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine, Lesley Martin, creative director at Aperture Foundation, and photographic consultant Yumi Goto.

Alec Soth Ten years after Hurricane Katrina. Members of the Seventh Ward’s St. Augustine High School Marching Band. New Orleans, LA, USA. 2015. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Susan Meiselas Shortie on the Bally. Barton, USA. 1974. © Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photos
David Hurn The Beatles during filming of 'A Hard Days Night'. The Beatles film was primarily shot on a moving train. Beatles during shooting. London, England. 1964. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

With BBC Culture as an official partner, the BBC website will be sharing top submissions throughout the competition to their global audience of 3.5 million, and will publish a series of features on selected winners. In addition, all the winners, finalists and jurors’ picks will be digitally exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Every entrant will get a review of their submission, and the winning photographers will also receive exclusive access to Magnum photographers’ workshops around the world, and have their work shown to industry insiders online and at festivals all over the globe.

Photographers working at all levels are eligible to participate—professionals, emerging talents, students and passionate amateurs. Likewise, photographers of all ages and cultures are encouraged to take part in this worldwide celebration of talented image-makers. The international jury will select 12 Winners, 8 Jurors’ Picks and 20 Finalists. Awards will be given in six categories: Documentary, Street, Portrait, Fine Art, Photojournalism and Open.

Enter here.

Bruce Gilden Soccer stadium, early evening. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 1990. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Alex Webb Cotton candy. Oaxaca, Mexico. 1990. © Alex Webb | Magnum Photos
Trent Parke Summer rain. A man stands huddled under awnings on the corner of George & Market st. His tie thrown over his shoulder after running through a Sydney thunderstorm. From Dream/Life series. Sydney, Au (...)
Harry Gruyaert Porn video shop. New-York city, USA. 1996. © Harry Gruyaert | Magnum Photos


One of the most universal and alluring genres in the photographic medium is street photography. Whether in familiar urban environments or in the farthest reaches of the globe, a great street photograph helps us make sense of the world through spontaneous moments.

Enter the Awards here.

Christopher Anderson After winning a referendum on his presidency, President Chavez appears from the Presidential Palace before supporters. Caracas, Venezuela. August 2004. © Christopher Anderson | Magnum Photos
Jérôme Sessini An FSA fighter awaits in the hall of Izaa school during an attempt to attack the Syrian army position. The school of Izaa has been damaged by mortars, shelling and aircraft bombing of Syrian army. (...)
Moises Saman A Qaddafi supporter holds a portrait of the Libyan leader during a celebration staged for a group of visiting foreign journalists after regime forces re-took the city from rebels. Zawiyah, Libya. 2 (...)


Through a truthful visual report, photojournalism offers us penetrating insights into the world around us. Action-packed moments are frozen in time, allowing others to later revisit these stories in order to unpack and understand the details of complex, real-life events. These stories reveal to us things we would have otherwise missed during the everyday occurrence of news, from anywhere around the world.

Enter the Awards here.

Bieke Depoorter Ou Menya. 2009. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Peter van Agtmael Refugees in front of the border fence separating Greece from Macedonia after the flow of refugees through Europe was halted. Several thousand protested the decision to close the borders by refusin (...)
Newsha Tavakolian Arash Fazeli in the pool of the Royal Oxygen sports club, Fazeli is a body building champion and works out here most of the time. © Newsha Tavakolian | Magnum Photos
Jim Goldberg Living room. A Roma (gypsy) camp on the outskirts of Athens, Greece. 2003. © Jim Goldberg | Magnum Photos


Documentary photography offers us in-depth investigations of events and issues out in the world, using vivid details and nuanced understanding. This genre is widely-defined and thus open to many interpretations — all approaches and themes are welcome.

Enter the Awards here.

Steve McCurry Shaolin monks training. Zhengzou, China. 2004. © Steve McCurry | Magnum Photos
Peter van Agtmael Bobby Henline flexes his muscles with his son Skyler at their home outside San Antonio. Bobby Henline was burned over 38% of his body when his humvee was destroyed by an IED in Iraq in 2007. Afte (...)
David Alan Harvey Seventy-five-year-old Carlos Leblanc on the beach with a friend. Barcelona, Spain. 1991. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth Maddie & Arianne. Minnesota, USA. 2007. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos


Portrait photography resonates in cultures all over the world, whether featuring celebrities, politicians and cultural icons or everyday or anonymous subjects. We encounter portraits, self-portraits and selfies all around us, in advertising, magazines and social media. It’s an artform that continues to evolve with the times.

Enter the Awards here.

Carolyn Drake My mother photographed on Mare Island. Vallejo, California, USA. 2016. © Carolyn Drake | Magnum Photos
Werner Bischof "Floating snails" - Zurich, Switzerland. 1936. © Werner Bischof | Magnum Photos
Sohrab Hura India. 2015. © Sohrab Hura | Magnum Photos

Fine Art

The fine art category is where you can enter broader, more conceptual styles of work.

Enter the Awards here.

Constantine Manos Daytona Beach, Florida. USA. 1997. © Constantine Manos | Magnum Photos
David Alan Harvey Berlin Wall. Hanover, Germany. 1989. © David Alan Harvey | Magnum Photos
Alex Majoli Naples, Italy. 2001 © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos


The open category of the Magnum Photography Awards is for photographic stories don’t fit easily into well-defined categories. A series of photos may be linked poetically or lyrically without any linear narrative or rational logic, but they evoke emotions and understandings.

Enter the Awards here.

Mark Power Bay of Bothnia From the series 'Icebreaker' Icebreaker 'Kontio' approaches out of the mist. Finland. March 2002 © Mark Power | Magnum Photos

Enter the competition on LensCulture here.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

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