Portfolio Prize - Guidelines

Portfolio Prize – Guidelines

First prize is $3,000 and an exhibition at Aperture Gallery. The first-prize winner and up to five runners-up will be featured on Aperture’s website, accompanied by a brief statement written by Aperture staff. All winners are announced in the foundation’s e-newsletter, which reaches forty thousand subscribers across the globe, including curators, critics, and members of the photography community. Winners will also have the opportunity to participate in the Aperture Foundation limited-edition print program.

Deadline and Timeframe: 

  • The entry period for the 2015 Aperture Portfolio Prize opens on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. To be eligible, entries must be received by Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at 12:00 noon EST.
  • Absolutely no exceptions are made for late submissions. Please allow ample time to complete your entry, submitting well in advance of the deadline.
  • All entrants will be contacted with final results by April 2015.

How to Enter:

1. Become an Aperture Member to enter the 2015 Portfolio Prize!

Aperture Foundation Members are integral to our publishing, education, and public programming. Membership includes invitations to special events, exclusive discounts on Aperture publications, and opportunities to meet and engage with artists and leaders in the photo community. For more information on membership benefits, visit aperture.org/join.

2. Get your passcode.

Upon online purchase of an Aperture membership, you will receive an e-receipt containing a unique invitational call passcode to enter the 2015 Aperture Portfolio Prize. Starting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, you may use this code to enter at callforentry.org.

     If your annual membership is current through December 3, 2014, there is no additional fee to enter the prize. Please check your inbox for an e-mail containing an invitational call passcode.

3. Enter via callforentry.org until Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12 noon EST.

Starting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, go to callforentry.org (CaFÉ). You will be prompted for free registration with CaFÉ. Once you are registered, click “Apply to Calls” and enter your invitational call passcode to enter the Aperture Portfolio Prize. You will be asked to provide the following:

  • 15 images with title/caption information (see FAQ for guidelines on how to submit fewer images)
  • Statement of up to 250 words about your work
  • Résumé/CV

If you would like to submit more than one portfolio, contact apertureprize@aperture.org.

Competition Criteria:

When examining competition entries, Aperture’s editors and curatorial staff will consider the following criteria:

  • Is the work new, i.e., created in the last five years?
  • Is a theme or topic carried throughout the portfolio in a consistent manner?
  • Do the individual images have strong composition and strong use of color or tone?
  • What technical and presentation choices has the photographer made, and are they appropriate for the work? For example, is there a clear reason for using sepia-toned black-and-white versus a digitally enhanced palette?
  • Does the body of work take an innovative or unique approach to the subject matter?


Aperture Foundation reserves the right to reject entries that are submitted without the required information or that do not meet the criteria of eligibility, without any obligation to enter into any further discussion regarding the editor’s decisions, and without obligation to refund the entrant’s membership fee.

Entries should come directly from artists, not from galleries or representatives.

The editors’ decisions shall be final. No correspondence shall be entered into by Aperture Foundation, nor its representatives, regarding the decisions of the editor(s).

While copyright of all work submitted for the Portfolio Prize remains with the respective entrants, the entrant grants to Aperture Foundation a worldwide, irrevocable, and perpetual license to reproduce representative examples of the submitted entries in any of their publications, websites, and/or promotional material, strictly in connection with the Portfolio Prize, and with reference to the photographer as relevant in each case.

Representatives of Aperture Foundation are not available to review unsolicited materials received except as entered via the Portfolio Prize.

Details of particular entries may be, at the discretion of Aperture Foundation, released to the press to promote the Portfolio Prize, including before the announcement of the short list for the prize.

Applicants warrant that the entry submission is the original work of the artist and, as such, the artist is the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted work, and that the party submitting has the right to submit the work for exhibition and/or publication and grants all required licenses. Each entrant agrees not to submit any entry that (1) infringes any third party’s proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, privacy, publicity, or confidentiality obligations; and (2) otherwise violates the applicable state, federal, provincial, or local law.

No exceptions will be made for late submissions.

Aperture memberships are non-refundable.

Sign up for Aperture's weekly newsletter: