New York Photo Festival RESOLUTION 2014 Finalist

Over the weekend I found out that I’d made it through as a finalist in the New York Photo Festival’s RESOLUTION 2014 competition and will be exhibited at at The POWERHOUSE Arena in Brooklyn NY from  March 27 – April 28, 2014.

It’s really great news to have been chosen and even more so because  both Christel and I will be in New York for the festival and opening night. I’ve never been to New York before and I’ve heard so many great things about the city so I’m majorly fired up to be going there – and obviously taking my camera with me!

RESOLUTION 2014, New York Photo FestivalThe photo they have selected is ‘Touching Distance’ from the London Gay Pride Festival of two guys kissing. I’m really pleased that this photo is being picked up as it’s one of the ones I’m most proud of. I shot it with my “live-on” lens (the Canon EOS 16-35mm f2.8) and whilst it’s not a classic portraiture lens, it really does do the job when I’m shooting away in the streets and I wouldn’t be without it.

More than the competition itself

Going to festivals, exhibitions or similar events is great but there’s always so much more to attending than the nature of the competition itself. It’s the people you meet in the shape of the judges, curators, other nominees and then people who are just plain enthusiastic about photography. Getting that detailed feedback, sharing your experiences and making good friends along the way is often the most rewarding aspect – as was certainly the case with the Art of Photography Show in San Diego last year and I hoping will be with the New York Photo Festival.

There are a couple different facets to RESOLUTION 2014 competition, where there will be a vote for the favourite image (where the winner will receive a 2 hour consultation with John Berthot, former sales director at MAGNUM and photo consultant for FOCUS), a draw for a free powerHouse Portfolio Review slot ($400) and then the Grand Prize itself of $500. So there’ll be a lot to look forward to at the opening reception on March 28 (6-8pm) where they will announce the main winner.

If you’re in the area and you can make it to the New York Photo Festival, it’d be great to see you there.

March 2014

Honoriarium Award at Art of Photography Competition 2013

On Saturday night I was deeply honoured to receive an Honorarium Award at the Art Of Photography Awards at the San Diego Art Institute in California. The competition was huge with 13,000 entries submitted from 85 countries with over a 1,000 visitors on the opening night.

There was a real diversity to the selection of 100 prints shown with many different photographic styles on display. The quality and camaraderie of the entrants and their work was equally amazing. During the opening night all of us were able to speak to visitors, answers their questions and also hear the stories behind (and further reactions to) each other’s images.

Read My Lips, Special Award winner, Art of Photography Competition 2013

On the following day we were treated to an exceptional lecture by this year’s curator and judge Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum. During her talk on Contemporary Art Photography she spoke about her selection process for the show, her personal reactions to a key number of images and delivered invaluable insights for those looking to display their work in galleries or museums. It was a unique and extremely erudite experience where I learnt a lot about photography’s place within the art world.

Afterwards we visited the nearby Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego’s Balboa park which went on to only re-affirm my impression of San Diego being an undiscovered artistic gem with its multitude of museums and galleries.

A lasting impression

As with many trips taken to distant festivals and competitions in recent years, the conversations and friendships I have made have become the most rewarding aspect. To be able to receive an award and also be inspired by your peers can only be counted as a double blessing. My sincere thanks goes out to organiser Steven Churchill and his team for making such an amazing show and creating such a convivial atmosphere for those attending.

If you would like to visit the show

The 2013 Art Of Photography Show Competition exhibition will be on display at the San Diego Art Institute between October 12 through to November 17, 2013. All the finalists’ work will be on display for purchase. For more details about the show please visit There are also a few of photos from the trip on my professional Facebook page here.

All the best,

October 2013

Art of Photography Competition 2013 Award Winner

I’m seriously happy to find out that I have been awarded a Special Prize in the 2013 Art of Photography Competition in San Diego, CA. especially so quickly after being chosen as a finalist in the Renaissance Photography Prize.

Read My Lips, Special Award winner, Art of Photography Competition 2013

I’m doubly pleased because of the choice of photo by this year’s judge (Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum). The photo of Kiarash Bahari opposite has always had a special quality for me; the calmness of his eyes contrasting with the horrific nature of his sewn-together lips always glues me to the expression on his face. Taken in the doorway of the tent where he was hunger striking with fellow Iranian dissidents, it has a tranquil air which is at odds with the slow descent into starvation he and his companions were embarked upon. I’m just glad that his ordeal (and that of his fellow hunger strikers) is now over and that they have been granted asylum status in the UK.

As with a lot of my work trust is key. It takes time to form relationships and build that essential trust, particularly when the surrounding circumstances are so grim. Familiar arguments fly around your head as you bring the viewfinder up to your eye. Is this exploitative or a sober recording of events? Should I be doing this? This much is clear.  This man is dying and it is happening. He wants his reasons to be known and even though picture editors at that time were only interested in royal wedding photos, I still kept taking the shots and documenting their story.

I’m glad to say that hunger strike ended before there was any loss of life. All of those involved had their cases reviewed and were granted asylum in the UK. If you would like to see a fuller set of photographs from this story you can see them here.

The Art of Photography Competition

Now in its 9th year the Art of Photography Competition exhibition will be held in the San Diego Art Institute between October 12 through November 17, 2013. All the finalists’ work will be on display for purchase. An Opening Reception Gala is planned for October 12th at 6pm with award presentations and a free 80 page catalogue for those attending.

I’ve never been to San Diego before and heard good things about it so I’m really looking forward to this trip.

If you’re there please come and say hello.

July 2013