Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other–in print, in person, and online.
Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as "common ground for the advancement of photography," Aperture today is a multiplatform publisher and community, engaged with photography as a language of ideas and committed to the medium's contributions to the urgent issues in society and contemporary culture.
The purpose of the Aperture Portfolio Prize is to identify trends in contemporary photography and highlight artists whose work deserves greater recognition. When choosing the first prize winner and up to four runners up, Aperture's editorial staff look for innovative bodies of work that haven't been widely seen in major publications or exhibition venues.
The first prize winner will be published in Aperture magazine and will receive a $3,000 cash prize and exhibition in New York. The winner and runners up will each have their own feature on aperture.org and will be featured across Aperture's social media channels. All finalists are announced in the foundation's e-newsletter, which reaches ninety thousand subscribers across the globe, including curators, critics, and members of the photography community. The winner and runners up may also be presented the opportunity to participate in the Aperture Foundation limited edition print program.
In addition, twenty-five total finalists (comprised of the winner, 4 shortlisted artists, and 20 runner-ups) will receive a virtual portfolio review session with an Aperture Editor. These one-on-one sessions will offer artists the opportunity to receive thoughtful and constructive feedback on their work.
When examining entries, Aperture's editors and staff will consider the following criteria:
Is the work new, i.e., created in the past five years?
Is a theme or topic carried throughout the portfolio in a fully resolved, consistent manner?
Are each of the images individually strong?
What technical and presentation choices has the photographer made, and are they appropriate - for the work? For example, is there a clear reason for the work being in black and white versus a digitally enhanced palette?
Entries are welcome from anyone who makes photographs. This program is inclusive, and work will not be chosen on the basis of the status of the photographer. It is the portfolio that counts.
Biography with up to 1500 characters
Country of residence
CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)
1 project per submission
10 to 15 images per project
File type must be JPG
At least 1500px on the long edge
Image date (year)
The Aperture Portfolio Prize jury comprises Aperture's experienced editors and staff. This year, the jury includes Lesley A. Martin, creative director; Michael Famighetti, editor of Aperture magazine; Denise Wolff, senior editor of books; Brendan Embser, senior managing editor of Aperture magazine; Samantha Marlow, associate editor of books; Cassidy Paul, digital editor; Nicole Acheampong, assistant editor of Aperture magazine; and Lanah Swindle, editorial assistant of the book program.