Our Final Round Live-Stream Judges

The final round of Judging to select the top 10 winners + honorable mentions in each category, will be live-judged across multiple platforms by the following three finalist judges.

Jide Alakija


Commercial   /   Personal   /   Facebook   /   @alakija   /   @alakijastudios

Jide Alakija is an internationally renowned photographer with over 10 years’ experience in shooting documentaries and editorial campaigns. As a Nikon Ambassador Alakija’s assignments have taken him across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the U.S.

Regularly piquing the interest of international icons and A-list celebrities through his captivating eye, Alakija’s recent clients include Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; hip hop artist and producer, J.Cole; acclaimed novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and Didier Drogba, former Chelsea F.C. soccer player. 

Art collectors and galleries around the world currently showcase Alakija’s work. Most recently, the Smithsonian Institute shortlisted ‘Invisible Cities No. 1’ for inclusion in the Smithsonian Institute Collection. His highly coveted ‘Normal Lies’ piece, depicting two young children sneakily covering their eyes in a slum in Lagos, Nigeria was purchased by international soccer legend, Sol Campbell for an undisclosed fee. 

Keen to share his extensive expertise with the next generation, Alakija hosts photography workshops around the world and runs various mentoring programs in West Africa for underprivileged photography students.

Passionate about African modern art, Alakija is the co-owner of TAFETA, a private art dealership specializing in 20th century and contemporary African art. Based in London, the gallery regularly showcases at some of the word’s premier art events including Art Basel, The Hamptons Art Fair and Frieze London Art Fair; and represents renowned names like Yinka Shonibare, MBE on the African continent.

Alakija cites the work of legendary photographers, Sebastião Salgado and Steve McCurry, known for capturing stories in black and white and color respectably, as his biggest inspirations.

He holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Engineering from Imperial College, London, England.  Alakija resides in Brooklyn, New York

Lawrence Jackson


Website   /   @jackimages

Former White House photographer, under the Obama Administration, Lawrence Jackson spent 18 years working for newspapers and wire services before working at the White House. Since leaving the White House in 2017 Lawrence has been building his editorial photography business telling/documenting stories for news organizations, corporations, families and political events. He published a book on his time at the White House called “Yes We Did.”

Leslie Kershaw


Website   /   Facebook   /   @lesliekershawphoto   /   @lesliekershaw

Leslie Kershaw is a family photographer based in Washington, DC. Leslie’s work is a visual representation of communities that are often under-represented in family imagery.

Leslie’s philosophy and shooting style is rooted in celebrating individuality and showcasing everyday moments of connection.

Leslie’s perspective on family life photography has led to curated and commissioned commercial projects, therefore rewarding her conviction of authentic family imagery. She is a respected expert in family photography, often solicited to contribute to creative campaigns, speak at conferences, and featured on podcasts. Her award-winning work has been published both in print and online.

Leslie is a former contributor to several documentary family photography projects that have connected her with family photographers from around the world and helped hone her critical eye for unique talent in the family photography genre.

She is a wife and mom to three children, who are routinely the subjects of her work.

Our Panel of Preliminary Round Guest Judges

We are honoured to have the following lineup of guest judges reviewing every submission we receive. Their selections are sent to the final round judges for the live-stream portion of the awards.

Jacque Jackson


Website   /   Facebook   /   @jacque.m.jackson    /   Boss Camera Moms

Jacque is a documentary family photographer filmmaker in Houston, Texas where she is a stay at home, homeschooling mom to 4 very little people. 

Before becoming a mother, Jacque began her career as a pediatric cardiology nurse and aspired to become an educator of all the cool nursing things (procedures, equipment, etc) by way of teaching other nurses within the hospital setting. 

She had her first child and all of this changed. Jacque left her career and traded the long 15 hour nights for the longer neverending nights of motherhood!

During that time, Jacque began to appreciate photography alongside motherhood as she grew her technique and started to pare down the things that truly fueled the photos she made.

Jacque also has a passion for teaching moms how to use their own cameras to tell their family’s story, first through the beginner stages of operating a camera, then with the evaluation of what they are actually wanting to express with those photos.

Motherhood has deeply affected the pictures Jacque makes and how she teaches other mothers. She wants to encourage the skill among those who feel they are called to more than motherhood but feel deeply attached to being “just a mom.” 

Jacque’s latest accomplishment is having an image used in The Photograph, a movie released by Universal Pictures. 

As time has moved her through the hills and valleys of being home and putting her career on hold, Jacque is embracing how motherhood looks and feels from the black mother’s perspective through pictures.

Lafayette Hicks


Website   /   Facebook   /   @lafayettehicks   /  @carlynphotography

Lafayette Hicks is a wedding photographer with a love for documentary work. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, his work is primarily done in the southeastern states. 

As a wedding photographer, his approach focuses on portraiture and capturing who each couple are in a traditional way. This idea of tradition has found its way into his daily ideas and subject matter within other areas of photography. 

Lafayette is often quoted as saying “I attempt to find simplicity within my own voice and photographically.”

In addition, he is a veteran with 20 years of service to the United States Army and National Guard. Hicks holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from the premier Historically Black College University in the nation, Jackson State University. 

Additionally, he holds multiple Information Technology industry certifications such as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Sarah Jane Rabideau


Website   /   Facebook   /   @sarahjanephotographycanada   /   True North Workshop

Hailing from the border town of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Sarah Jane Rabideau’s first loves are being on a fishing boat with her dad or road tripping in small towns with her mum.

A self-proclaimed wanderer, explorer, lover of nuanced experiences and the hidden beauty of life. She brings all of those things to how she makes photographs.

Sarah has been a wedding photographer for eight years and a family documentary photographer for two.

As the founder of the True North Photography Workshop, her goal is to create a much needed space in the barren Canadian landscape of photography education.

Her very loud laugh and contagious smile are hallmarks of her generous spirit. One that she exudes as both a photographer, photography cheerleader and an educator.

Her second loves are her husband and son. And a close third is her dream of traveling the world.

Our Judges