Open Call: Aperture Portfolio Prize 2023
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.
About the Aperture Portfolio Prize
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.
What Winners Receive
The first prize winner will be published in Aperture magazine and will receive a $3,000 cash prize, $1,000 gift card to shop for gear at mpb.com, and an exhibition in New York. The winner and shortlisted artists 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 shortlist 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.
The sole entry requirement for entering the Portfolio Prize is to be an Aperture magazine print subscriber. Subscriptions must be current through Spring 2023, issue #250. To subscribe, please visit aperture.org/magprize.
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?
- Does the body of work take an innovative or unique approach to the subject matter?
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.
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; Annette Booth, director of exhibitions management; Cassidy Paul, digital editor; and Lanah Swindle, editorial assistant of the book program.