Trust is essential to life, it opens up new and unimagined possibilities.
23 April 2020
2:59 PM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.

About Call

Helsinki Photo Festival is pleased to announce their third open call! Everyone from all over the world is invited to submit their work(s) in the festival theme of 2020: Trust.

We challenge photographers and artists of all ages to share with us the connections you see with our theme, in imaginative, creative expressive interpretation. Artists will need to write as part of their submission an explanation of how their work fits with the theme.

Trust is essential to life, it opens up new and unimagined possibilities. Trust is one of the most prevalent topics in our society.

What is Trust? How can Trust be perceived in visual language? How can we consciously feel Trust? What do we consider trust to be and can it be regained? Can Trust change our life and how would such a transition affect our existence? How can communities acknowledge differences while building unity? As prejudices continue to divide us, how can Trust encourage accountability and solidarity? As institutions lose credibility, the environment is changing critically, what do people do to build and rely on their promises to be taken seriously? What role does truth play to Trust in friendship, family or love? What happens if you lose Trust in society or humanity? In fact, there are many examples, how to interpret and associate with Trust.

We aim to select +50 artists works to exhibit in solo- and group exhibitions during the festival period, July 7th-September 30th 2020. Entries are handled by photography professionals and curators enhancing the programming, aesthetics, artistic and cultural expressions as well as the quality of the overall production.

What winners receive

As a selected artist/photographer of the Trust theme, your work will be exhibited at Helsinki Photo Festival 2020 (7th July to September 30th). The exhibitions will take place in historic landmarks, warehouses, libraries, art centres, galleries, parks and waterfront areas in Helsinki. In addition, we will produce a Nordic Village supporting emerging Nordic photographers and also, will include popup projects at numerous cultural events around Helsinki. All selected photographers have the great opportunity for being promoted to a broad, dedicated audience, critics and curators at the newest photo festival in Northern Europe.

Selected artists/photographers will benefit from:

  • exhibition exposure at the Festival’s main gallery held on 2000m2 in Helsinki’s historic landmark, the Katajanokka Old Customs House (Katajanokan Tulli- ja Pakkahuone) and at outdoor locations all around the capital including popup events

  • nordic photographers to be part of a Nordic Village outdoor exhibition at the National Museum of Finland 

  • opportunities offered for exhibition and publication through festival partners

  • inclusion in the Festivals marketing & PR campaign

  • inclusion in Festival catalogue

  • long-term Festival representation and promotion

  • an opportunity to participate in an Instagram Residency

  • publication and inclusion in the Festival programme

  • dedicated feature on the Festival website and online gallery

  • international press exposure

Finalists will be selected to have their work produced by the Festival for exhibition indoors and/or outdoors.

The Nordic Village at Helsinki Photo Festival is a concept with the focus to support emerging Nordic photographers and their work(s) to a broad audience. Until now, the Nordic Village has nominated and showcased +20 artists from all five Nordic countries and arranged artist-talks, nordic exhibitions and seminars with support of Nordic embassies.


Helsinki Photo Festival ry, is a non-profit association, created to disseminate information about photography and visual media and to attract and maintain interest in them in Finland and internationally by presenting, developing and promoting these forms of art. We help artists to hook up with audiences and experts in the field of photography. We give artists access to an international network to enable them to find new ways to work, get published and exhibit abroad and in Finland.

Helsinki Photo Festival connects contemporary fine art photography and street exhibition. The contest is judged by a jury of leading professionals. The program includes artist-talks, workshops, seminars, photo walks, portfolio reviews and outdoor photo installations inviting residents, tourists and all photo enthusiasts of any age. All outdoor exhibitions can be enjoyed at any time of the day, free of charge!

Juror information

Stefan Bremer (FI)
Stefan Bremer (b. 1953) has taught in art schools around Finland as well as at the Stockholm School of Photography and the Gothenburg University. He has lead photography workshops in Europe and Africa and has exhibited around the world. Bremer was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Photography in 1988 and the Culture Prize of the City of Helsinki in 2011. He was State Art Professor in 1999-2004.

Curt Richter (US)
Curt Richter is an accomplished photographer and lecturer. His works are part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale, and many more. Born in New York City, he earned a BFA from SUNY Purchase and assisted the architectural photographer Ezra Stoller. As a teacher of photography, he has taught in the US, UK and Finland.

Karoliina Korpilahti (FI)
Karoliina Korpilahti is a practical arts management professional. She has gained working experience as a lecturer in aesthetics, cultural producer, public relation manager and coordinator for grants at Frame Contemporary Art Finland Foundation for 5 years before getting the position of the Head of the Programme at The Finnish Institute in Estonia. She holds an MA in Aesthetics from the University of Helsinki.

Naoya Yoshikawa (JP)
Artist of Photography, Professor at Osaka University of Arts. Photography, B.F.A., Arts and Culture, M.A. 2000-2001, Osaka University of Arts. Guest Scholar of Long Island University, New York / Overseas Study Program for Artists of the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. Director of Daegu Photo Biennale 2016, Korea. 350 and more numerous exhibitions, festivals, workshops in many countries.

Marianne Ager (DK)
Marianne Ager (b. 1971) works as a curator of mainly photography and film at the Brandts Museum of Art and Visual Culture in Odense, Denmark. She holds an MA degree from the University of Southern Denmark. Her particular field of interest is the concept of storytelling in literature, music and art/visual culture. She has worked as culture journalist and wrote reviews of photography books for the Danish Katalog Journal. She was a member of the jury for the Young Nordic Photographer of the Year 2016 award at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden, and served on the jury for Riga Photo Biennial’s 2018 talent award. Ager’s primary interests are fine art photography with a powerful narrative, portraiture with a twist, documentary work and short film projects.

Stig Marlon Weston (NO)
Stig Marlon Weston (b. 1974) is based in Oslo, Norway. He shares his time between his own practice as a photo artist, running the studio collective CYAN studio and working as a commercial photographer. Focusing on process based and philosophical photography Stig uses cameraless techniques and analog processes to make his pictures become unique proofs of a truth unseen by human eyes. He wants to connect the subject closer to image and aims to encourage the viewer to reflect on what they expect to see and understand in a photograph. His work has been exhibited in many countries. Also, Stig curates and organizes exhibitions and photography events with other photographers´ works.

Elisabeth Avedon (US)
Elizabeth Avedon is a photography book and exhibition designer and independent curator. She is a sought after consultant for photographers; editing, sequencing, and advising towards their exhibition, book, and portfolio projects. She serves as faculty for both the BFA Photography and Video, and Masters in Digital Photography departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the former Director of Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe; Creative Director for The Gere Foundation; Art Director for Polo Ralph Lauren national advertising; and Photo Editor for Ralph Lauren Media's RL Magazine. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her exhibition design and publishing projects. In 2017, Elizabeth received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Griffin Museum of Photography.

Carine van Greven (BE)
Carine Van Gerven (b. 1966) studied art and painting. Connecting people through art and creative projects is one of her goals. After her graduation, she became an art teacher in a secondary art school in Overpelt, Belgium. As an artist, she organised several projects and participated in many exhibitions in Belgium and France. Over the years, photography became her language to express herself. She story tells today’s stories in a historical outlook. From 2016-2018 she was Deputy Mayor of Culture and founded critically acclaimed photo festival ‘Lens op de Mens’ in Overpelt. After two editions of the festival, Carine is the coordinator and creative lead.

Fariba Farshad (UK)
Fariba Farshad is co-Founder with Michael Benson of Candlestar, a company that specialises in the creation and development of major new international cultural initiatives including Condé Nast College of Fashion and the Prix Pictet, the global photography prize. In 2015, Candlestar inaugurated the first edition of Photo London and in five years, the Fair has established itself as a key event in the international art world calendar. As a curator and pioneer of creative education, she has been responsible for developing ground-breaking projects, which established the Unit as of centre of excellence for the innovative use of digital media. This brought her many awards. She is renowned as a champion of the work of contemporary Iranian artists. Her ground-breaking exhibition Burnt Generation showcased life in Iran, and opened at Somerset House in 2014 and is still touring globally.

Rafael Rybczynski (DK)
Rafael Rybczynski is a curator, exhibition designer and the artistic director of Helsinki Photo Festival. Rafael has a professional career in the creative industries for 30 years (multimedia, print, music, performing arts and information technology). He is known for fostering emerging and established talents. He has worked for artists, brands and startups with new products and services, creativity and innovation, events, sourcing and publishing digital and visual content. Rafael has an MA degree in Interaction Design from Malmö University in Sweden, and a BA from the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology in Denmark.

Alexa Becker (DE)
Alexa Becker is the Acquisitions Editor for photography and art books for Kehrer Verlag. Having obtained her Master's in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, she started her career at Kehrer in 2003, where she is responsible for selecting and acquiring new photography-related projects. Mrs. Becker provides artistic and marketing advice for photographers concerning the content and style of their work at several international portfolio reviews. She enjoys helping photographers and others appreciate the special qualities present in their work - in particular discovering novel, genuine visions of the world. Mrs. Becker serves at several international portfolio reviews as a reviewer and sits on a number of online juries.

Samuel van Dijk (NL)
Samuel van Dijk is a multidisciplinary designer, music producer and self-taught photographer devoted to creating immersive audiovisual art. Holding a Bachelor of Arts from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, he regularly works on international projects involving sound and visuals, teaches music technology workshops and is on a mission to explore the contrasts between concept, story and raw emotion. Samuel joined Helsinki Photo Festival in 2019 as Head of Design handling graphic design duties and designing the coherent visual style of all indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

Abdelghani Fennane (MAR)
Enseignant-chercheur, Département Langue et Littérature Françaises, Université Cadi Ayyad de Marrakech, Maroc, poète et essayiste, Abdelghani Fennane (1969-) est l’auteur d’ouvrages dans les domaines de la critique littéraire, de la critique de la photographie et de la poésie. Il a récemment dirigé le premier ouvrage sur la photographie au Maghreb et participé au dernier numéro de la revue Nedjma sur l’Algérie.


Call for entries open
23 December 2019
Submission deadline
23 April 2020
Shortlist announcement
7 May 2020
Winner announcement
20 May 2020
Helsinki Photo Festival opening
7 July 2020
Night of the Arts
15 August 2020



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    CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)


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    1 project per submission

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What is the entry fee to submit to the Helsinki Photo Festival?
The entry fee for the Helsinki Photo Festival is €22.

When does the call close and open?
Monday, December 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM Eastern Standard Time. The call closes Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 17:59 PM Eastern European Time.

Where can I sign up for a Picter account?
Visit to sign up for a free account.

I would like to submit more than one project is it possible?
The open call allows submission of one (1) project only. In a project you can submit 10 images, either as 10 works or 10 works in a series. Alternatively, you can submit one (1) single image only.

Can I edit my portfolio once it has already been submitted?
No, all submissions are final. in the event of uncertainties, please contact

What happens to work that is selected?
If your work is selected, you will be notified during Week 18-19 / April 28-May 4, 2020. It is up to you to produce and deliver the work (both to and from Helsinki Photo Festival in Finland) at your own expense before week 29-30 / July 15-July 23, 2020 for indoor exhibitions except the artist agrees the selected photos will be printed by the association without any cost to the participating photographer.

If I am not selected, will I receive feedback and suggestions for my work?
Due to the large number of entries, it is not possible to provide personalized feedback for artists.

Where can I get involved in discussions about the Helsinki Photo Festival?
To connect with us and ask questions regarding the 2020 Trust Exhibitions by the Helsinki Photo Festival, follow Helsinki Photo Festival on Facebook, @HkiFotoFestival on Twitter, and @helsinkiphotofestival on Instagram. Stay tuned for updates and answers to your questions.

23 April 2020
2:59 PM

By clicking "Start Submission", you agree to be contacted by the host regarding this opportunity.