Leica Camera USA Announces the Leica Women Foto Project Award

Leica Camera USA Announces the Leica Women Foto Project Award

Are you a female photographer who has a photographic project with social value in mind? Don't miss out on entering the Leica Women Foto Project and be in a chance to win a cash prize and more!

Leica Women Foto Project is a platform with diversity and inclusion in mind through various ongoing programs, events, and also a new photography award that has been created to elevate and spotlight the female perspective in photography. Through this initiative Leica aims to encourage a more dynamic and diverse view of the world all around us. The Director of Marketing for Leica Camera North America elaborates:

“Visual expressions through myriad lenses challenge and embrace ideas that drive important conversations. We enable growth through an expansion of thought when we actively support inclusivity through the photographic medium. With the Leica Women Foto Project, we aim to embolden photographers to think outside one’s own point of view, support underrepresented voices to speak their visual languages, and celebrate new ways of seeing.”

The award is looking for photographers who are seeking to undertake a long term project that holds relevance in today's social and political context. If you're looking to submit your entry, you must be a legal US resident and you need to submit a series of 10 images from a personal or other type of long-term project. The submitted images don't need to have been produced by Leica either; this award allows you to submit work created on any type of digital or film camera, but at least 4 images must have been created between 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, applicants are also required to submit a 500 word proposal that explains their project and what relevance it holds in today's social climate; this also must include a description of how the awarded funds will be allocated.

An older woman having a cup of drink in bed.

Afterwards, each submission will be judged individually, based on "quality of photography, dedication to medium of photography, and sophistication of project". The panel, scoring and reviewing each entry, is made up of renowned judges, including, Karin Kaufmann, Art Director and Chief Representative of Leica Galleries International (Austria), Maggie Steber, VII Agency photographer and Guggenheim fellow, Elizabeth Avedon, a photography book and exhibition designer, independent curator, and writer, Laura Roumanos, executive producer and co-founder of United Photo Industries, and Deborah Willis, a university professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. 

Two parents hugging their child

The three entrants with the highest score from all five judges will be awarded with $10,000 prize to help fund their project. They will also receive a one-year loan of a Leica Q2, which will thereafter be passed down to the next generation of winners, but a replacement camera will also be given to permanently add to the winners' photography kits.

If you would like to be considered, submit your application here. The call for entries will close on August 29, 2019, and the three winning photographers will be announced on October 16, 2019 on Leica Women Foto Project website, as well as on their Instagram and Facebook

So, what are you waiting for? Submit today and give yourself an opportunity to truly expand on what you're most passionate about in photography!

Images courtesy of Maggie Steber.

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19 Comments

Logan Cressler's picture

"Leica Women Foto Project is a platform with diversity and inclusion in mind," that's why we don't allow half the population of the planet to participate, and only have female judges.

I am sorry, but you cannot say you have diversity and inclusion in mind when you are literally excluding half the population by default.

Reverse the roles and see if it would fly, is a popular way to see if something is offensive or sexist or whatever.

"Are you a male photographer who has a photographic project with social value in mind? Don't miss out on entering the Nikons Men Foto Project and be in a chance to win a cash prize and more!"

"Nikon Men Foto Project is a platform with diversity and inclusion in mind, through various ongoing programs, events, and also a new photography award that has been created to elevate and spotlight the male perspective in photography."

Don't get me wrong, I don't care if there are women's only events or men's only events. In fact, I encourage it, as there is no way in hell I want to see any woman fight men in the UFC, or play football with men in the NFL.

I just think its quite ironic to celebrate diversity and inclusion by excluding literally HALF the population, and have to point out the double standard that if this was about a men's only event, there would be sheer outrage and boycotting of whatever company decided to sponsor it.

Toby Seb's picture

Well we all know that photographic skill and talent lies in the vagina, hahahaha

Jen Photographs's picture

It's marketing buzz - there's been a lot of talk about "inclusion" in the past year or so.

Many niches in photography are geared toward or dominated by men, and I suppose, this is Leica's way of deliberately targeting women -- to balance their other social programs out a bit. However, I agree that the usage of "inclusion" in this case is unnecessary and perhaps even detrimental. It suggests that they have, in the past, deliberately excluded women from their social programs. If I were on their marketing team, I'd weigh that implication vs marketing trends very carefully.

At any rate...I'm thinking on ideas for my application. I'm sure they'll get oodles of great applications, but as they say, never know if you don't try.

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

Leica also jumping on the feminist trend bandwagon...
Don't get me wrong I support feminism but currently it's become such a standard and boring trend you see everywhere - and its not about the general idea to liberate women (and their freedom to do anything) anymore, its just about catching the crowds with a trend.
If you wanna do something really groundbreaking do a LGBT photographer contest. But guess what? They won't do that because it wouldn't be so trendy within the general public and there would be "headwind", right?
And that fact exposes the true intensions that Leica only supports something when it generates enough publicity.

Ah the old "I support feminism but..." comment.

I've never understood women's only competitions in areas that should be merit based.
It always just seems to me like the organizers are sexist enough to assume that if men were involved, the female entrants wouldn't stand a chance.

Alex Herbert's picture

Well from the article it sounds like women are underrepresented in photography. I've not seen any numbers but if this is the case then what's the problem with this competition? They're not taking anything away from men, they're just giving an opportunity to women.

Logan Cressler's picture

I don't see how women could be underrepresented in photography. It's pretty much a self-employed business model. No one goes to school for it anymore, very few people take a job working in a photography field. It is largely all self-employed. In my commercial photography groups, I would argue that there are more women than men.

If you are under-represented in a field where it is solely up to you to represent yourself and how that is no one's fault but your own. Just like in photography if you are complaining that you don't get enough business, that is no one's fault but your own, either the quality of your work or more likely, the quality of your marketing and business skills.

No one is preventing women from buying cameras, computers, or taking pictures. Art is judged based on its content and own merit, not who took the picture. The only possible way I see them being held back is if a business was hiring male photographers over female photographers. When it comes to art, not one single person is holding back female photographers from making their art.

Dennis Williams's picture

Of course trans women will be allowed to compete. Leica is woke. That should prove interesting when the blind results are tabulated and men get 1st, 2nd and 3d. Inclusion can be so inconvenient.

user-239119's picture

Anyone actually read the rules of the contest? The winners/participants are described multiple times with the phrasing, "his or her." So men could also participate if they wish, even if it is geared to the "female perspective."

All you whiny faux-outraged SJW on this forum are turning mountains into molehills. And not reading properly. Typical.

Logan Cressler's picture

Pretty clear by their language that the only reason it is open to all is because it would be illegal to not allow men to enter:

"Although the Contest is open to all, Sponsor openly welcomes and encourages all who identify as women to enter;"

user-239119's picture

Given your previous poor track record on deciphering other people's intentions, your analysis of Leica's reasoning here holds no weight. The fact is this contest is open to men as well as women. It falls within the existing discrimination laws in the United Staes (read and share the full sentence you quoted from next time: that's either lazy or deceitful research on your part).

I for one do not want the federal government meddling any further in private businesses than they already are. It's called a free-market, and anyone bitching about this is as bad as those SJW snowflakes they pretend to get their panties in a bunch about all the time.

Logan Cressler's picture

Thats exactly what I said, the reason it is open to everyone is because they do not want to break the law in the US:

"Pretty clear by their language that the only reason it is open to all is because it would be illegal to not allow men to enter"

You are honestly nothing but a super agro troll, I dont know if you have like low testosterone levels or what, but you are easily the most aggravated person I see in the comments section.

user-239119's picture

And what I said is that you suck at knowing other's intentions, so your opinion is meaningless. I don't care what you think about me because I have no reason to respect your thought process (or more accurately, the lack thereof).

You jump to "low testosterone levels" for a retort? What a wannabe alpha-male bro loser statement. I'm not the whiny little baby bitching for multiple paragraphs online about how some photo contest isn't fair. Boo fucking hoo.

Logan Cressler's picture

Super mature giving all my photos one star by the way. You are such a troll.

user-239119's picture

Who said anything about giving your photos one star? I wonder if insecurity and paranoia are signs of low testosterone lol...

If you think I'm such a troll than the best thing to do would be to stop engaging in conversation with me.

BTW I just looked at your black and white photos of animals and they are really quite extraordinary. Love what you did with the lighting.

Logan Cressler's picture

Someone went through and rated every photo of mine one star, and you are the only person that follows me around on this site getting all aggro and trolling, so I just assumed it was you. I apologize for that assumption if it wasn't you.

Thank you for your kind words in regard to my recent B&Ws

user-239119's picture

Apology accepted. You’re welcome! Truly great photos.

Where's the outrage? If it were a 'Mens Foto Project' the PC world would be up in arms....