Image by: Michael Potts, “Saturday Afternoon”

Open Call: Carte Blanche

Winners and Finalists Announced!



Bongani Tshabalala: Montsho


Bongani Tshabalala: Montsho

Montsho meaning Black is a famously used word in South Africa to make fun of a dark person as a result of their skin tone. This photograph explores emotional effects of childhood teasing which causes young black boys and girls end up being depressed and forces them to have low self-esteem.

Montsho opens conversations around the representation of the black body and black lives as a subject matter and challenges the idea that Blackness is homogenous. For me this photograph is both about destruction and preservation, it’s about what we choose to embrace after going through trauma.



Beatrice Heydiri: summer

portrait of a child in South Africa

Allison Plass: Rough Play

My two teenage sons while on family vacation, a moment of stillness after some rough play. Their adolescent bodies register so much feeling. The sculptural quality of their forms reminds me of early ideas of classical beauty, and their physical interaction, distilled in a photograph, reveals heightened tensions of closeness I might not otherwise see in daily life. What is the mystery of their masculine experience, does it even exist, and what are the biases of our own cultural moment of narrowly defined readings of boys and men?

Kristen Emack: Cousins

I’ve been photographing my daughter and nieces for a decade. There is something sacred about the lives of girls, and their innocent, confident relationships to themselves, their world and one another is gravitational. Between them is an intimate and spiritual knowledge, both ordinary and extraordinary, and my aim is to capture the brilliance of their communion.

When they look back on this work, I hope they will see their beauty, and their devotion to each other, and will find themselves here, in this work we made together, reflected with love.

Project is ongoing

Bryan Birks: Jason and Diablo

A portrait of Jason and his dog, Diablo in Columbia, Illinois.

Allison DeBritz: gravity locked her in rotation

I examine the trauma and fate of the women in my family and the conflicting fear and desire their legacy has instilled in me while interrogating the sacrifice and gendered expectations entrenched in motherhood—specifically the roles women are expected to fulfill in domestic spaces and relationships. My images reject cliché tropes of motherhood and mental illness, expanding the complicated and nuanced understanding my mother and I have of ourselves as women and artists as we navigate our relationship, breaking cycles of generational trauma.

Kramer Daniel: Houston Rodeo Trail Rider

Each year, Texas Cowboys ride their horses into Houston for the Houston Rodeo. Known as Trail Riders, some of them come from more than 100 miles away. At the end of the ride, they camp overnight in Memorial Park before parading through downtown Houston the next morning. I photographed this Trail Rider in Memorial Park on Feb. 22, 2013.

Jason Corning: ‘To Live Now… Release’

This image was part of a series made in summer of ’21 on a cross country road trip along the route of America’s first paved transcontinental highway.

All portraits were made on a medium format film camera utilizing a 20ft shutter release cable to allow the subject to actuate the shutter themselves, and control the image.

This particular portrait was made at sunrise at the gates of San Quentin prison, as the subject, Lonnie Morris, walked free after 44 years of incarceration.

Portraits & interviews explored freedom & control, especially through the lens of historically marginalized communities.

Lynne Breitfeller: After the Fire: Water Damaged Film, Self Portrait

Years ago, there was a fire above my shared studio. Water seeped through the floor, damaging a third of my work. Most of the damaged work was discarded, but during the pandemic, I rediscovered the pieces that were kept. In these works, the images were changed; they had morphed into something else. In these works, the images were changed; they had morphed into something else. The element of water transformed them into new compositions.

Houston Cofield: Man In Red Sweater

This is a photograph of a man working outside Westie’s restaurant and bar in Memphis, TN during an ice storm in February of 2022. As much of the city was without power this small restaurant in downtown Memphis was one of a handful of businesses with power providing shelter and food for folks who were stuck in the cold.

Henriette van Gasteren: Harry

Disability rights defender Harry was born this way. He is a happy husband and father of georgious twins. I photographed him amongst wooden statues of woodcarver Piet.

Luciana Cavalcanti: Cancer and Faith

What cancer can not do is destroy your faith in life.

This photo shows a 90 years old cancer survivor showing with her eyes the strength of her fate which is what keeps her alive until today.

Jason Dailey: Joe, Gracie and Aaron

Joe, Gracie and her son Aaron pulled into the stop in two identical trucks in late December. Joe and Gracie live in different cities and both drive four or more hours to pick up a truck to start a weeks long run. They’re lucky when their routes match.

One of the themes of this project is isolation; many drivers are on the road for weeks or months at a time. Physical and mental health are interconnected and isolation can bring on a range of issues from panic attacks to sleeplessness. Some have found a workaround. Joe and Gracie are dating.

From an ongoing portrait series on truck drivers

Mehran Islami: Johnny checks in

It was my very last night in Tbilisi when I first met John. I shot this picture of him the moment he entered. I invited him for beer on the balcony. We stayed up all night telling stories and sharing dreams and smoking cigarettes. the pianist down at the café was playing, indicating that the night was endless.

Jessica Levin: Manipura

Any Churdar at home. Mexico City, November 2021.

Ting ting Chen: Veiled

A portrait of my best friend Robert Tilley under a flying veil. The behind-the-scene story is, I don’t have an assistant, so when I took this photo, I set my camera on timer and flew the veil in the air by myself. I tried nearly 100 times until I got the satisfactory one. Thank Robert for his patience.

Rachelle Steele: Falconer Shawki Wataha with Diablo and Paco

Portrait of Falconer Shawki Wataha with his falcons Diablo and Paco at their apartment in Tangier, Morocco.

Jacob Pesci: Avion. The BLOC. West Side. Chicago, IL. October 2020.

As the late afternoon sun trickled in the stained glass windows, Avion stopped to pose for a portrait after sparring in an old church that now hosts a boxing gym. From the series Around The BLOC. A photography workshop and documentation of a team of boxers from the West Side of Chicago. The project opens with photographer Jacob Pesci documenting the fighters of The BLOC, with the following images made by the boxers exploring their community in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and Civil Unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

David Peinado: Migrant woman and her son

Migrant woman and her son rest in a shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua after being deported from the United States under title 42.


This winning image has a story to tell, could you tell us more about how this image happened?

In the making of Montsho I wanted to show a person who is fearlessly and proudly black. I carefully painted my niece with a black face paint and covered her with a cloth to exaggerate her blackness. I wanted to show a person who is unapologetic about their blackness and who is comfortable in her own skin.

This image is from the series “Montsho“, how did this project come about?

The idea behind Montsho was inspired by everyday challenges that young black boys and girls face due to their skin tone or completion. I wanted to create a world I didn’t live in but that I would fantasize about, where everyone could be exactly who they want to be without being discriminated by the way they look.

How has your personal story influenced your own work?

My childhood experiences influence my work positively and negatively. I was only 12 years old when I was first bullied because of my skin tone. I felt sad, depressed and angry at myself which triggered my aggressive behaviors and communication style. Unable to cope with my emotions as an adolescent, I resulted in using harmful chemicals to lighten my skin hoping that people would love me and accept me the way I was, but I ended up hating myself even more. Creating images became therapeutic for me, a way to express myself and to heal from childhood traumas.

Can you tell us what you are working on now or a project you will be starting in the near future?

This year my plan is to invest more of my time into my work and myself. I haven’t started creating a new project but I am finalizing MONTSHO.



Shinya Itahana: Red blocks


Shinya Itahana: Red blocks

When I lose track of the path connecting the red blocks on the slope of the mountain, I always hear the sutras from somewhere.

Little wooden houses for Tibetan Buddhist monks sprawl all over the Larung valley at an elevation of about 4,000m. The Larung-Gar is the largest and influential center of Tibetan Buddhist studies in the world.



Ruben Tomas: Palm Springs Shadows

I feel always fascinated by Palm trees and refelections, there is beauty in the shadows

Jordan Layton: Home

This photograph was taken last May in Saratoga Springs, Utah. This is an area of rapid development with seemingly little consideration of the long term environmental effects.

Matthew Ludak: Nothing Gold Can Stay

The photograph I am submitting was made at sunrise in East Conemaugh, Pennsylvania. This image is from an ongoing documentary project titled “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which explores economic globalization’s long-term effects on former industrial cities and small towns across America. Inspired by the stories told to me by my Nonna of life in a small coal town, photographers from the “New Topographics” movement, and writers from “Lost Generation,” I seek to depict the uncertainty, isolation, desperation, felt across the United States.

Jacques Garnier: Ascension

Grace in isolation. This is the central theme of Jacques Garnier’s Hymns to the Silence. These minimal, abstracted b&w photographs dwell in the zone between report and fabrication. By peeling away the layers, he has increasingly decided that art should not deliver a report on reality but instead look at what is behind reality. These are reductive works, images that remove the superfluous and in so doing forces the viewer to look inward, past the clutter of our normal world which distracts us. The negative space of these deconstructed images is the pause between the notes of the music.

Deryk Baumgärtner: Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay

A scene like from the movie “The Perfect Storm” served as the backdrop for one of my absolute favorite photos from this year’s Northern Lights trip. The wild sea with hurricane-like and very cold winds, the whipping snow and the northern lights shimmering through for a short time represented a combination of situations that you will probably only experience very rarely.

Lars Engelgaar: Togetherness

Shared feeling in The landscape with various purpose.

Longing for new tide…

Isis Ascobereta: Lunar

The beach in Porticcio, Corsica, during the sunset. I wanted to give an infrared touch to the landscape to make it even more oneiric.



Anna Grevenitis: Regard, “May 11, 2020”


Anna Grevenitis: Regard, “May 11, 2020”

My series REGARD is very basic in its concept: it shows a child, it shows a mother, it shows them living at home, performing familial acts. Yet in each methodically set up double self-portrait, the viewers are plunged into the outside perspective via my direct return gaze. In Regard, “May 11, 2020” we are shown in the intimacy of my bedroom. That day a bed has been added alongside mine so that my daughter can fall asleep every night holding my hand. Lulu had been dealing with increased separation anxiety and night frights because of the 2020 Lockdown due to Covid-19. Now we can sleep.



Fenqiang (Frank) Liu: Secret Garden

The oak tree in the photo was cut down later due to its unhealthy condition. One day in the Spring of 2020, I was so lucky to have captured the great egret and the tree before it was removed! The oak branches and hanging moss framed the egret while I waited for it to take off. Finally, my patience was rewarded, and I was able to capture an exquisite moment. During post-processing, I selected the sky and make it darker. Then I painted the light using the soft brush tool to create a more mysterious and artistic impression. The contrast also highlighted the elegance and beauty of the Great Egret.

Feifei Wang: hands on the butt

me and my partner.

Chin-Fa Tzeng: Thirsty

In the dark and deep mine tunnel, the coal miner is thirsty, and he chunks water from a large jug like a fish. Does he drink a lot of water to quench his thirst? I think his heart is also thirsty. “I am eager to make more money; I am eager to support better family life; I am eager to save enough money to leave this dark working environment and create my ideal career.” Human beings have dreams because they have hunger and thirst. They have hope because they have dreams. They have become great because they have hope.

Tony Shipp: Them/They

Identity roles are chosen, not assigned.

Jason Au: Social Distancing

Residents of Hong Kong gather in a shopping mall atrium on a Sunday during the Covid-19 pandemic. To tackle Covid-19, the Hong Kong government has enforced by law to prohibit group gatherings of more than four persons in public places; therefore, every group of people maintained a minimum 1.5 meter ‘social distance’ from another group of people. The man with the lanyard around his neck is a compliance officer enforcing the 1.5 meter-minimum social distancing rule.

Ciro Battiloro: Sanità

Annarita and Matilde play in their swimming pool! Rione Sanità, Napoli.

The Rione Sanità,situated in the heart of Napoli, is one of Europe’s most densely populated places.The district,born as a residential area for aristocratic families,has become one of the most complex in Napoli due to the construction of the Sanità’s bridge.It has excluded the neighborhood from the city’s life.This isolation has led to the proliferation of various social problems such as unemployment, school drop-outs, presence of criminal organizations.At the same time, the district has retained its identity.

Sophie Wedgwood: Untitled

Taken from my project on British Parks. The work explores escapism, time and the idea of transformation through imagination. The project is in progress.



Natalya Saprunova: Saamis, we used to live in the Tundra


Natalya Saprunova: Saamis, we used to live in the Tundra

The Saamis of Russia lost their nomadic autonomy with the arrival of the Soviet power in the 1920s. This people who lived mainly from reindeer herding and fishing in the tundra, was forced to live in apartment buildings. Children of nature, Saamis were depressed about losing their ancestral rhythms and being locked in “cages”. Gathered in a main Saami village Lovozero, located near Murmansk city, this place is now considered as a reserve. Settled to work in kolkhozes, they no longer had the right to be Saami. Today there are 1500 people, but only 200 speak the language – most of them elderly.



Takako Kido: SKINSHIP

Skinship is a Japanese word that describes the skin-to-skin relationship between a mother and a child or family. Through an experience of loving touch, a child learns caring for others. Japanese skinship is considered to be important for strengthening the bond of family and also for the child’s healthy development.

Because the idea of skinship was perfectly natural to me as Japanese, only after I was arrested in New York because of family snapshots of skinship, did I realize how unique and shocking it could be in other cultural contexts.

Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez: Tracy after work, 2021

Image from my project “Chillun’s Croon”

Based on the historical archive Black Wide-Awake (documents of genealogical and historical interest of Wilson County, North Carolina’s African-American past)and reflecting on old transcripts from the Federal Writers Project – told by African former slaves, the symbolic series “Chilluns’ Croon is a compilation of photographs that resembled old spiritual beliefs and stories of love and loss from the time of slavery.

Aleksandra Miesak: If I Should Fall Behind

Hand made Platinum/Palladium print on Bergger COT320. Photographed with Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim with Kodak Tri-X 400.

Isabella Franceschini: Becoming a citizen

15-year-old Michelle is one of the youngest Mayors in Italy and a newly elected ?Italian first Regional Councilors.In 1997 a law allowed for the participation of children in political body. The function of the young councilors will be to express opinions on the ongoing regional measures and formulate proposals to contribute to the protection of human rights for child.

Local young change makers are a new generation of dynamic, diverse, innovative young citizens who champion democratic values and are motivated and empowered to organize for a more peaceful world where democracy will prosper.

Jason Dailey: Watching the Water

Two families gather at the lake. Approaching and asking if I could make a photograph, they were more than willing as I shuffled them around for the composition and set up the large format camera.

Prescott Lassman: Reykjadalur Geothermal Stream

Icelandic bath culture on display at a geothermal stream in Reykjadalur.

Forest Kelley: 60 Degrees, It’s a Pretty Good Life

My project 60 Degrees, It’s a Pretty Good Life, documents the life of a close friend who, after a divorce, resigned himself to living in a shipping container off the grid in the New Hampshire wilderness. What I am most interested in is how my friend exemplifies a desire that many of us have: to escape the world of routine and comfort, to be willing to accept any fate for a chance at a self-made freedom.



Daniel Kramer: Houston Christmas Tree


Daniel Kramer: Houston Christmas Tree

This flocked tree photographed in the flocking room on Dec. 5, 2006 for my Houston Press photo column.



Gemma Pepper: Ruby and her Sister

For nearly 60 years this carte-de-visite lay in a beautifully conserved photography album from the early 20th century. The photograph, depicts two young women wearing the exact same garments was taken in a photography studio in Basel, Switzerland.

As relayed by the son of the original owner, the photo album was barely looked at during his lifetime. After acquiring this beautiful album, the artist realized the potential in the specific carte-de-visite and appropriated the found photograph by adding physical objects creating a new image with a new identity.

Shira Gold: This Too Shall Pass (a selection from the series By a Thread)

This Too Shall Pass is a composite portrait that responds to the uncertainty of transition, deconstructing feelings that arise with the tightening and loosening of rules during the pandemic. Reflecting on humans need for order in the face of disorder, and uncertainty of navigating those conflicting impulses within oneself and our society. Oft-maligned, moths evoke a sense or rebirth and regeneration, with an innate pull towards liberation and light. After a prolonged midnight, we are drawn instinctively to dawn and hope it brings, promise that until now been just beyond reach.

Leon Syfrit: Blowout

Blowout is a series of photographs of blown out automobile tires. I build structures with mangled tire fragments. I arrange the wreckage on a pedestal. I photograph each arrangement against a black background and photograph it using strobe lights. I like the sculptural nature, and gestural similarity the tires share with human form. I set out to explore this relationship.

Denis Hagen: The Green Knob

Color digital photo. This photo was not staged. It is unusual to find so many bright colors together. Naturally, this was photographed at a carnival.

Tracy Chandler: A Poor Sort of Memory

A Poor Sort of Memory is a series of photographs made in my hometown in the California desert. I use my own personal history and specific memories to craft a new loose photographic fiction. Through metaphor and staged constructions, I explore vulnerability, isolation, and the awkward process of coming of age.

Jason Dailey: Blind Horse in a Fallow Field

The things you find while exploring Kansas counties.



Maude Bardet: Girl in the white dress


Maude Bardet: Girl in the white dress

Easter celebrations in Antigua, Guatemale



Michael Potts: Saturday Afternoon

Three of my best friend’s kids. This was not a composite, just good timing.

Paul Kessel: Q Train

A mother and her two daughters traveling from Coney Island to Manhattan. This is a candid photograph.

Ragnar B. Varga: Kids of Havana

Growing up in Cuba means for many playing on the streets with friends from the same neighborhood and school. All children go to school, everyone has access to good medical care if sick. Violence is low, life is slow, lots of books and diversity, lots of beaches and good weather. If you are a child, Cuba is a nice place to be and the streets are a vital part of life.

Giuseppe Cardoni: Perugia

a juxtaposition of different moods

Rami Tsalka: Tongue of Fire

Rioters led by “Lehava” (tongue of fire in Hebrew – a far right-wing and Jewish supremacist organization) calling “Death to Arabs”, not far from where a Kan News team was attacked, while covering the event.

Tel-Aviv, 13.5.21

Todd Balcom: Civil War Boys

Three boys watch a central Florida Civil War reenactment

Michael Pina: Bahamian School Girls

While a college photography student and tourist in Nassau, the Bahamas, I encountered a group of five lovely local school girls near the Nassau Straw Market. They were vivacious yet shy, dressed in brilliant red skirts and leggings, flanked on either side by sun-brunt tourist dressed in black. I felt the stark contrast in natural circumstance. After asking permission to take their photograph, I pretended to adjust my medium format camera’s settings while I captured this candid image of the girls preparing for their portrait… fierceness and beauty abound.

Cindy Chou: Tree Man

The tree man reflects people’s complex emotions.

Tod Smith: St. Joseph’s Day in New Orleans

A young Mardi Gras Indian walks down a Tremé street in New Orleans on the feast of St Joseph, a traditional night of cultural celebration for city’s Black masking Indians.


Winner will be the photograph with the highest score overall in any category. 

◦ Featured interview on the Lucie Foundation website
◦ Part of Lucie Foundation Online Exhibition for competition
◦ Cash prize $1,000
◦ 16×20″ print of the Award Winning Image from Digital Silver Imaging (printed and shipped worldwide)
◦ Pick of one (1) Lucie Honoree Poster (unsigned edition)


Winners will be the highest score in the remaining categories. Categories remaining will depend on Grand Prize winner. 

◦ Part of Lucie Foundation Online Exhibition for competition
◦ Cash prize $250
◦ 16×20″ print of the Award Winning Image from Digital Silver Imaging (printed and shipped worldwide)
◦ Pick of one (1) Lucie Honoree poster (unsigned edition)


Co-Founder, Humble Arts Foundation  
Content Director at The Luupe

Jon Feinstein is a Jewish photographer, curator and writer. Jon has curated countless exhibitions over 15+ years at galleries and institutions including Photoville; Blue Sky Gallery, PDX; The Ogden Museum in New Orleans for PhotoNola; Glassbox and Photographic Center Northwest Seattle; Colorado Photographic Arts Center; and Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, NY for ArtBridge. His projects have been featured in Aperture, NY Times, BBC, VICE, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, and Feature Shoot, and he’s contributed to VICE, Hyperallergic, Aperture, Photograph, TIME, Slate, GOOD, Daylight, Adobe, and PDN.

Co-Founder and Director STANLEY/BARKER

STANLEY/BARKER is a publishing house founded in London by Rachel and Gregory Barker. From their studio they produce a select list of highly individual publications each year, including Jim Goldberg Fingerprint, Trent Parke Crimson Line and Christopher Anderson SON. STANLEY/BARKER is known for the care and attention to detail applied to each publication, several of which have been selected for awards, including Judith Black Pleasant Street – Shortlisted for the 2020 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards, Sunil Gupta, Christopher Street 1976, Shortlisted for the 2019 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards, The Lucie Photo Book Prize and Les Rencontres d’Arles book Award, and Tod Papageorge Studio 54, shortlisted for the 2015 Paris Photo Aperture Book awards.

Digital Storytelling Manager, The Luupe

Polly Irungu is a multimedia journalist and the founder of Black Women Photographers, a global community and directory of 1000+ Black women and non-binary photographers, and most recently, served as a digital editor at New York Public Radio (WNYC).
As a self-taught photographer, writer, and founder, Polly’s work has been published in numerous publications, including Adobe’s Create Magazine, The New York Times, Reuters, Global Citizen, NPR, BBC News, MEFeater, Refinery29, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, and others.

In 2017, Polly completed a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Polly has lived around the world from Nairobi to Topeka, Kansas to Eugene, Oregon to Washington, D.C., to Little Rock, Arkansas, and ultimately to Brooklyn, New York.

Currently, Polly is a photo editor fellow at The Intercept. In the winter, Polly will be teaching a course on building community at The International Center of Photography. She will be available for speaking engagements, freelance photo, and written work, as well as social media management and consulting.

Curatorial Assistant, Quantum Art
Senior Editor and Co-Curatorial Director, Humble Arts Foundation

Roula Seikaly is an independent curator and writer, and Senior Editor + Co-Curatorial Director at Humble Arts Foundation. Roula has curated numerous exhibitions over 20+ years at venues including SF Camerawork and SOMArts (San Francisco), Axis Gallery (Sacramento), Filter Photo Festival (Chicago), CPAC (Denver), Blue Sky Gallery (Portland), and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. With Jon Feinstein, Roula was co-awarded the 2019 Curatorial Prize at Blue Sky Gallery for the exhibition An Inward Gaze. Her writing is published virtually and in print at Hyperallergic, Photograph, BOMB, Afterimage, Aperture, Strange Fire Collective, and KQED Arts.

C0-founders, Peanut Press

In 2014, photographers Ashly Stohl & David Carol published their first book, Charth Vader, under the name Peanut Press.  Since then, they have published award-winning monographs and portfolios for over twenty photographers.


The photographer must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of photos entered in to the competition. Copyright and all other rights remain that of the photographer. Any photograph used by Lucie Foundation shall carry the photographer’s credit line and will not be used for any other purposes other than the exhibition and promotional material for the exhibition including online and through social media and email newsletters. Images may be displayed on the Lucie Foundation website and social media platforms for promotion of the Open Call.
For additional questions, please contact: