Portfolio Reviews



2017 Portfolio Reviews
The Gladstone Hotel
Sunday, May 7 and Monday, May 8, 2017
$200+HST for 4 reviews

Registration is open now through Monday, April 24, 2017.

International curators, directors, publishers, and photo editors are brought together during CONTACT to review work by emerging artists, with a focus on documentary, photojournalism, narrative or photo-based art practices. This is an important event for those with projects at an advanced stage of development who are seeking opportunities for publishing and exhibiting nationally or internationally—as well as looking for guidance on conceptual approaches or career development advice.

Please note that due to limited space, all submissions will go through a selection process to ensure that a high caliber of work is presented in this program.

Supported in part by Ontario Arts Council, Vistek, Toronto Image Works and Steam Whistle Brewery.

2017 Reviewers

Clinton Cargill
Director of Photography, Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets, New York

Diane Evans
Gallery Manager, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver

Benjamin Füglister
Artistic Director, CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography, Berlin

Audrey Genois
Executive Director, Le Mois de la Photo, Montréal

Candy Pilar Godoy & Eva M. Kunz
Founders, Ceiba Editions, New York/Italy

Romke Hoogwaerts
Creative Director, Rubber Factory Posters, New York

Tarin Hughes
Executive Director, AKA Artist-Run, Saskatoon

Liz Ikiriko
Freelance Photo Editor/Curator, Toronto

Shane Lavalette
Director, Light Work, Syracuse

Brian Sholis
Independent curator, editor, and writer, Toronto

Teun van der Heijden & Sandra van der Doelen
Founders, Heijdens Karwai, Amsterdam

The Portfolio Reviews Award

Established in 2010, the award offers one artist a solo exhibition at the CONTACT Gallery, a $2500 credit at Toronto Image Works, and a professional 17 inch Epson printer from Vistek. The recipient is chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, and the award recognizes outstanding work presented at the reviews.

The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging photographers.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Image Works and Vistek for supporting this award.

Submission Details

Please create an account if you haven't already at register.scotiabankcontactphoto.com. When submitting online you will be asked to upload the following:

1. A CV/artist statement (PDF format only)

2. Five (5) images (1200 wide, 72dpi, jpeg only) with your name and captions in the file name.

Once you have been notified of your acceptance you will be able to continue the registration process.

Payment will be due only once we have notified you of your acceptance. Payment can be made through PayPal on the registration site, or at our office either by cheque or cash. All payments are non-refundable.




The Portfolio Reviews are an opportunity to make important contacts and receive valuable feedback on your work. Take the time to research which reviewers will be interested in viewing your work.  Be prepared to talk about your work coherently and have questions prepared for the reviewers to optimize your time with them.

We are accepting submissions from artists and photographers with a focus on photojournalism, documentary, or photo-based art projects. Participants are advised that this year's reviewers would be least likely to be interested in still life, traditional nudes, or fashion photography.

We especially encourage those that have published or exhibited work within the last two years and/or have formal education in art and/or photography from a post-secondary institution to apply.

Limit the number of images in your portfolio and focus on one series you wish to show. Present your work in a format that is easy to view. Examples include book, portfolio box, loose-leaf folder or laptop screen.

It is a good idea to prepare contact details (business card, postcard, or printout) to give to reviewers and other artists and photographers you meet.

Coming from out of town? The Gladstone Hotel is pleased to offer Portfolio Reviews registrants a special rate, just inform the hotel you are a registrant when booking your room. If you have any questions about your travels to Toronto and other ways to participate in the festival please see our website or call our office - we will be happy to assist you.


Do I have to be a professional photographer to participate in the Portfolio Reviews?
No. The portfolio reviews are for anyone who is serious about photography. It is not a requirement to be a professional who earns income from their practice, or to have studied visual art. Participants go through a selection process to ensure a high calibre of work is presented in the program.

How should I decide which images to submit?
We suggest focusing on only one or two bodies of work, rather than a group of disparate images, to ensure you are showing your strongest work and to allow reviewers to gain a deeper understanding of your project. The work that you submit for the jury process does not have to be the same work you want to present to reviewers during the event.

What will happen on the portfolio review days?
The reviews will take place over two days at the Gladstone Hotel. You will receive a schedule indicating what times you will meet with reviewers. Each session is 20 minutes long. There will be an area for participants to wait and quietly prepare for reviews, as well as a secure storage room for your portfolio materials that you can make use of.

Before your first review, you will have to sign in. You can come and go during the day, but you should be at the Gladstone at least 15 minutes in advance of your review. If you are late, you forfeit your time slot.

Will I be able to choose the reviewers that I meet with?
When you register, you will be asked to indicate which reviewers you are most interested in meeting. We use a computer-generated lottery to create the schedule, which gives all participants a fair and equal opportunity to meet with their preferred reviewers. We cannot guarantee you will meet all your preferred reviewers, but due to the number of available slots, most people will see their top selections.

When will I get my schedule for the Portfolio Reviews?
Schedules will be sent out as soon as they are ready, around a week before the event. It is a good idea to allow yourself plenty of time to dedicate to the portfolio reviews, and not make too many other commitments on that weekend.

How can I know which reviewers I should meet with?
Each reviewer has a distinct set of experiences that inform their opinions, as well as different roles that they play in their relationship to photography and photographers, such as curating, publishing, or magazine work.

We encourage participants to take the time to research which reviewers will be interested in viewing their work, or which reviewers' opinions they are most interested in.

How should I present my work to the reviewers?
There is no particular rule for how to present your work. The review rooms will be set up with 6-ft-long tables on which to lay out your work, so with that mind, you can use whichever format would most benefit your work. Participants have used a range of formats, from traditional portfolio boxes with mounted or unmounted prints, to self-published books, to laptop or tablet computer presentations. It depends on what works for you and for your project. In general, loose prints (11x14" is a nice, manageable size) in a protective case or box, is an effective, professional way to display your work.

You may also wish to bring your business cards, a postcard or flyer to leave with reviewers, and a notebook to take notes on your conversations.

How should I prepare for the Portfolio Review days?
Think about your goals for the portfolio reviews—whether it is a specific question you want addressed, or a diversity of opinions on work in progress, or a connection you want to make. Having specific questions relevant to your reviewers’ area of expertise is a good idea.

If you've never done a portfolio review before, you may want to practice with a friend, to help you get comfortable presenting your work in a focused and concise way. This can help you to devote more of the session to receiving feedback, making the most of your time with the reviewers.

I’m only available on one of the two days. Can I still participate? 
If you have scheduling conflicts, you can still participate; however, we may not be able to accommodate your reviewer choices. If this is the case, please let us know as soon as possible. You will still receive the same number of review sessions, but they might not be with your top choices.


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