The famous image library Picfair has launched an international competition to celebrate Women in photography of all levels, promoting their works to buyers all over the world in the categories of Nature, Architecture, Portrait and Street Level. Women Behind the Lens is open from the 26th of October and will be until the 26th of November.
Picfair has created a new model for image licensing: anyone can license an image from any photographer, connecting buyers and sellers directly and rewarding creativity in a fair way. The library is a combination of award-winning professionals and talented amateurs, and where millions of images are uploaded by thousands of photograph users from all around the world. As part of its main purpose, Picfair wants to help set right the current gender imbalance across the photographic industries by providing a platform for under-represented female point of views and providing more interesting, authentic and representative stock photography for its use in publishing, marketing and advertising.
Women photographers are not sufficiently represented in the photographic industriesand whilst the gender balance within university courses and fine art photography is much more even, it is within the commercial and professional landscape that there is still a huge imbalance between the practicing number of men and women. Only 2% of photographers on the books at the major commercial agencies are women, and just 5% of the images used by leading photography publishers are from the cameras of women photographers. For every woman working for the major camera brands, there are 6 men.
Benji Layado, founder of Picfair, comments on this fact:
Picfair was formed to make stock photography fairer, and more representative. By opening our doors to every type of photographer, from every type of background, we believe we can give image buyers more authentic, lesser-seen perspectives of the world. But, frustratingly, we suffer from the same gender disparity. Among our 28,000 photographers from across the globe, women are a clear minority. It’s troubled us since we launched. In launching the Women Behind The Lens competition, we hope to start addressing this disparity, while showcasing the exceptional quality of female photography across the world.
The entry categories for the competition are:
Nature: The natural world is a place of inspiration, whether it’s celebrating the majesty of wild landscapes, or focusing on the impact humans have had on the world around us.
Portrait: Capturing the essence of someone’s character is one of photography’s greatest challenges, but you can create some of the most arresting images in the genre.
Architecture: the majority of the world’s population now live in cities, but whether for good or ill, cities are here to stay and photographers are here to document them in all their complexity.
Street Level: There’s a special dynamic that happens at street level. It’s a place of unexpected encounters, serendipitous events and where the boundary between indoors and outdoors blurs. From high fashion to high drama, photography has always had a home on the street.
Once digital submissions are uploaded on the website, the entrants work will be available to licence via the platform. As with every image uploaded to Picfair, full copyright will remain with the photographers, and the entrants will be in full control of the fees they require if one of their customers wish to license their work. Unlike other large agencies who take 74% of royalties from the photographers, Picfair allows photographer to choose their own license prices, and add only 20% on top.
For the competition five photographers will be shortlisted for each category, with an overall winner for each category selected from these five. The shortlisted photographers will be announced on 4 December, followed by the winners’ announcement on 11 December.