Portfolio Reviews

Registration Open February 15 - April 25

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. This year, CONTACT will present a series of related public programs that focus on the photobook and alternative methods to storytelling.

Sunday, May 8 and Monday, May 9, 2016
10am – 5pm
The Gladstone Hotel
$200+HST for 4 reviews

Monday, May 9, 7 – 9pm
This evening event is an opportunity for participants to mingle and share their work with reviewers, and peers in an informal open forum. All those wishing to be considered for the Portfolio Reviews Award must attend to ensure the jury has seen your work.  

*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.

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. Chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, this award recognizes outstanding work presented at the reviews. The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging photographers. 

2016 Reviewers include:

Annette Booth
Director of Exhibition Management
Aperture Foundation, New York

Laurence Cornet
Photo critic
Eye of Photography, Paris

Moe Doiron
Photo Editor
The Globe and Mail, Toronto

Eva Eicker
Assistant Curator
The Photographer’s Gallery, London

Caroline Hunter 
Deputy Photo Editor
Guardian Weekend Magazine, London

Michael Itkoff
Daylight Magazine, Hillsborough

Rafael Katigbak
Senior Editor/Producer
VICE, Toronto 

Benjamin Petit
Program Manager
#Dysturb, Paris

Stephen Mayes
Executive Director
Tim Hetherington Trust, Long Island City

Ian Sternthal
Sternthal Publishing, Montreal

Nicole Werbeck
Online Editor
National Geographic, Washington

Submission Details

Registration opens Monday, February 15. When submitting online you will be asked to upload the following:

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

2. Five (5) images (1024 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 complete the registration process.

3. Create a selection of your preferred reviewers. Please note you can login in anytime to make changes to your profile and selection until April 25, 5pm, after  which time we will do the lottery. There may be updates made to the reviewer list, so be sure to check back to confirm your final selection.

4. Indicate your participation in the Forum* and whether you would like to be considered for the Portfolio Review Exhibition Award, a solo exhibition in the CONTACT Gallery scheduled for January 2017.

5. 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.

*For those interested in being considered for the award, we request you participate in the Forum on Monday May 9, to ensure the jury will have ample time to review all portfolios. 

You will receive four reviews during the two-day event, with the opportunity to add reviews only if space permits. The process of placing you with preferred reviewers is through a lottery system; therefore, we cannot guarantee that you will receive all of your top choices.

In the event that reviewers are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, we will make the appropriate adjustments to ensure that all participants receive their proper number of reviews.

After the lottery is complete we will email your review schedule. We try to be as prompt as possible after the deadline, so please be patient! However if you have questions you are welcome to contact us anytime.  

Please read our FAQ (third section) for more information.


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. Participants are advised that this year's reviewers would be least likely to be interested in still life, nudes, or fashion photography.

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.

Past Reviewers

Els Barents, Huis Marseille;
 Alexa Becker, Kehrer Verlag Publishers;
 Mauro Bedoni, COLORS; Melissa Bennett, Art Gallery of Hamilton;
 Lise Beaudry, Gallery 44;
 Chris Boot, Aperture; Stephen Bulger, Stephen Bulger Gallery;
 Laurence Butet-Roch, Polka; MaryAnn Camilleri, Magenta Foundation;
 Bruno Ceschel, Self Publish Be Happy;  Song Chong, Milk Gallery; Tim Clark, 1000 Words; Louise Clements, Format Photography Festival; Bridget Coaker, Guardian, Observer, Troika Editions;
 Jacques Doyon, Magazine Ciel Variable; James Estrin, New York Times; Jim Goldberg, Magnum Photos;
 Clarie Grafik, The Photographer's Gallery; Kristen Gresh, Museum of Fine Arts; Sophie Hackett, Art Gallery of Ontario; Veronique Terrier Hermann, Else Magazine; Caroline Hunter, Guardian Magazine; Karen Irvine, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College; 
Michael Itkoff, Daylight Magazine;
 Min-Jung Jonsson, Fotografiska; Sara Knelman Independent Curator; Olivier Laurent TIME LightBox; Dewi Lewis, Dewi Lewis Publishing; Natalie Matutschovsky, Time Magazine; Karen McQuaid, The Photographer's Gallery; Brian Morgan, Walrus Magazine; Moritz Neumüller, PhotoIreland; Cheryl Newman, The Telegraph Magazine;  Alison Devine Nordstrom, George Eastman House; Robert Pledge, Contact Press Images; Susana Reisman & Claire Sykes, Circuit Gallery; Arianna Rinaldo, OjodePez Magazine;
 Brett Rogers, The Photographers’ Gallery; Maarten Schilt, Schilt Publishing; Kim Simon, Gallery TPW;
 Hannamari Shakya, Raw View Magazine; Poppy Shibamoto, Monocle Magazine; Jonathan Shaughnessy, National Gallery of Canada; Urs Stahel, Fotomuseum Winterthur; 
Maia-Mari Sutnik, Art Gallery of Ontario;
 Stefano Stoll, Images Festival; Amber Terranova, The New Yorker;  Larry Towell, Magnum Photos; Meeka Walsh, Border Crossings Magazine; Denise Wolff, Aperture Foundation;
 Bryce Wolkowitz, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery; 
Paul Wombell, Independent Curator; Joanne Junga Yang, Y&G Art.

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