Categorically Speaking

The photo contest offers photographers the possibility to enter their work in several categories. This means both the photographers and we ourselves must make choices: Which categories to use?

So why work with categories at all?

I spoke with a prominent photo curator who passionately pleaded against it. Some of the most interesting work, she said, comes from photographers who are crossing or redefining borders. Which category should they enter? She also associated categories with amateur contests. Would we be taken seriously?

From an artistic point of view this approach is entirely valid.

However, Pride Photo Award is about more than showing the best photographs on a given topic. Our aim is to reach people who would not normally go to a photo exhibition. Categories can help people understand and interpret the photos.

Also, categories help focus the kind of photos we’re looking for. They provide an opportunity for photographers to distinguish themselves by making work with a very specific profile. We want to offer a platform for images the media doesn’t present – photos that defy stereotypes.

So what categories did we select?

First of all, we want to promote diversity in the media. The first two categories focus on Current Topics and Documentary Photography.

  • Current Topics: photos about current events related to sexual and gender diversity that do not use common stereotypes
  • Documentary Photography: photos documenting an aspect of sexual and gender diversity

Secondly, we have selected three thematic categories:

  • Gender: photos that show people with a gender identity different from male and/or female stereotypes
  • Sports: photos about being different from the sexual and gender stereotypes that are the norm in the sports world
  • Straight Back At You: pictures portraying how the outside world reacts to people who are different from gender and sexual stereotypes

Finally, we have an Open Category for photos about sexual and gender diversity that don’t fit in any of the other categories. The jury will select the best overall photo from the winners of these six categories to receive the Pride Photo Award.

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.


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