Photo Awards: Open letter from a Grand Prize winner

Editor’s note: This unsolicited email just came in today from photographer Jessica Hines, who won the Grand Prize last year, in the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards. She asked us to pass it along to you, our readers:

Entering the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards competition was the
single best thing I ever did for my career.

I am *forever* grateful to Lens Culture for the wonderful exhibitions and opportunities they provided me — all were absolutely superb.

Let me also say that winning the Grand Prize was a shocker for me. I almost did not enter and waited until the final half hour before the deadline to upload my images. It scares me to think of how close I came to missing out.


© Jessica Hines, from the series, My Brother’s War

Winning the competition brought more exposure and attention to my work than just about anything else I’ve ever done. It has, without a doubt brought the most traffic to my website. People visit daily who have come from the Lens Culture link.

It has been a remarkable year for me with invitations to exhibit in the New York Photo Festival among other exhibitions and speaking opportunities. My work was published in magazines in China, Denmark, Korea, Spain, Russia, The Netherlands, Taiwan, France, and was blogged about in the New Yorker and reviewed in The New York Times. The Brooklyn Museum purchased three of my works and I donated a fourth. Anne Wilkes-Tucker also purchased an image through the Aftermath Project Grant for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Don’t hesitate to enter your best work. Someone will win these awards and it could be you.

You can see Jessica’s winning portfolio here in Lens Culture. Congratulations, Jessica, and thanks for the words of encouragement.

And be sure to check out her own professional website:

Then, enter your best work today! Deadline is September 17, midnight, Pacific Time.