Guest Judges Archive
We are honoured to have had the following lineup of guest judges curating submissions during our previous awards.
Dylan E. Richards
Lives in New York, New York
Dylan E. Richards, the founder of Escalate Photography, is a photographer from New York who loves to capture moments on the streets. His aunt gave him a camera when he was 6 years old and he hasn’t stopped shooting since.
He admires and admits to being influenced by Vivian Maier, Robert Doisneau, and Henri Cartier-Bresson: “I really enjoy the work of these photographers because they truly demonstrate an understanding of, and compassion for, the human condition. They make spectacles of the tiny but essential things in life.”
“If I could offer one piece of advice to street photographers (or any photographer who wants to capture moments), it would be to put the camera down for a little while and really focus on learning to see and anticipate. Seeing is the hard part. Look at things, follow things, and learn how people and light behave throughout the day.”
Lives in Canmore, Alberta
Erika Jensen-Mann is one half of Two Mann Studios. She has not be drawn to photography since a young age. She questions the value of everything she does, especially photography. She often questions her career choice and still wonders what she wants to be when she grows up. She is in a constant search for meaning, and finding that meaning in photography has been hard. She thinks that all of these thoughts are completely normal, and just part of being a strong, healthy woman. It wasn’t until recently that she realized that the meaning has nothing to do with the actual photography. It is found in the relationships she fosters, what she chooses to focus on and choosing to see the world with wonder and curiosity (even when it’s really boring). Her photographs are a bi-product of all of this. Erika is easily excitable, impatience, blunt as fuck (especially with her husband Lanny), and adventurous.
Lives in Saudi Arabia
Tasneem was born in the US and educated in England, returning to Saudi for her undergraduate studies. Her masters focused on the ethnographic study of Saudi women abroad, receiving an MA from Portland State University. After years of teaching in universities between Saudi and the United States, she ventured into photography. As one of the premiere wedding photographers in the GCC, Tasneem documented the traditions and cultures that were celebrated. After shooting weddings, she now uses her story telling experience to document topics focusing on human rights specific to gender and social issues in Saudi. Selected as one of the 10 grantees of the Magnum Foundation/ Prince Clause/ AFAC grant in 2015, she began working on her project Saudi Tales of Love which was published in Time’s Lightbox, and later exhibited in PhotoKathmandu and Paris Photo. In April 2016, Tasneem was selected by British Journal Photography among best 16 emerging photographers to watch, and PDN’s 30 photographers to watch in 2017. Her project ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ won 1’st prize in Sony World Photo Awards, for contemporary Issues in 2017.
Lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia
Felicia Chang is a documentary photographer who believes that connections are important, normal is relative, and crustier versions of life deserve visual space in family photos. As an instructor, she works to change the mindset of photographers at the grassroots level to advocate for everyone’s version of reality as photo-worthy. Within her community, she works with local children’s hospitals and hospices to document end of life journeys.
Although she spent much of her early adult life in pursuit of gem and metal commodities through the Canadian Arctic with a camera around her neck, the start of a family changed it all. Photos of rocks and landscapes were traded for photos of life. Felicia has been featured in National Geographic Your Shot and in Photolife and Click Magazines. She was also awarded the Category Winner for the Voice competition in 2016 and 2017, and placed 2nd and 5th in the Family Love Category in the inaugural DFA photo competition.
A Borneo native, Felicia found her way to Canadian soil during her teenage years and never left. She currently resides in North Vancouver, BC, in a well- patina’d 105-yr old house with her husband, two girls, and Schnoodle best friend. When there is free-time to be had, she spends it running the north shore trails or exploring the ever-fading Chinatown streets with her camera.
Lives in Wheeling, West Virginia
Rebecca Kiger is a documentary and portrait photographer living in West Virginia, USA. Rebecca studied photography, education and anti-racism work at Hampshire College and has a second degree in Spanish and Latin American studies from UMass Amherst.
Her work has been published in Lens, the photography blog of the New York Times, Photo District News, Looking at Appalachia, WV Public Broadcasting, the Ohio Valley Resource, and Huck magazine. Her still photography work is a component of two upcoming Netflix films by Elaine McMillion Sheldon about the opioid crisis. Rebecca also has photography work in the upcoming documentary by Nancy Schwartzman about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. She is working with women from around the region on a project called Her Appalachia, a companion piece to the film Hillbilly by Sally Rubin and Ashley York. Rebecca is currently working on a long-term documentary project about intergenerational trauma and her family’s roots in Appalachian Ohio.
Ryan Christopher Jones
Lives in Brooklyn, New York
I am a Mexican-American photojournalist originally from California’s Central Valley and currently based in New York City. I grew up in a middle-class agricultural town that primed my curiosity in suburban America, and much of my work explores the American experience through a mixed-heritage identity.
In 2017 I worked on a series for The New York Times looking at the state of drug use and addiction recovery in New York City. I am working on projects in California and the American South exploring themes of family, division, and solitude in stories about economic and racial inequality.
I am a regular contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and editorial clients include CNN, The Intercept, Newsweek, The Washington Post and Der Spiegel.
Lives in San Francisco, California
Anna Kuperberg gets on the floor. She’s also been seen standing on tables, putting her shoes on her head, and making bird noises at dogs. Her background in photojournalism and fine art lead her to one main goal with family portrait clients: to convey the inner life of the child and their relationship to their world, siblings, pets and parents. She has a content-driven style that often includes multiple layers of meaning. She has a BFA from Washington University in St Louis and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Lives in Olympia, Washington
Huy Nguyen, founder of Fearless Photographers, developed his eye for outstanding images as a newspaper photojournalist and successful wedding photographer in Dallas, Texas. His photography style emphasized delightfully quirky moments that reveal authentic emotions and document events in surprising ways. Today, he brings that same sense of joyful creativity to the Fearless Photographers directory, a useful resource for couples who truly love great photography.
As part of his mission to advance the art of wedding photography, Huy is also the founder and director of the Foundation Workshops, the world’s most challenging photography workshops for wedding photographers since 2002.
Huy is firmly committed to environmental responsibility and in community activism, and has worked to integrate these uplifting principles into the operations of both Fearless Photographers and the Foundation Workshops through fundraising events, donation matching, and more.
Lives in Marlborough, New Zealand
I am a previously trained physiotherapist turned photographer and mother of four wild and free children living in Marlborough, New Zealand.
My current project was born from the desire to document my family’s days as we pursue an alternative education and lifestyle with our children in our rural environment.
My work has been published in publications including F11 Magazine, Fraction Magazine, National Geographic online, Blur magazine, ProPhotographer magazine. As well as being featured in joint international exhibitions, I have also gained recognition in several international competitions, most recently, finalist selection at LensCulture Exposure Awards, winner editorial and people sections of IPA awards.
Lives in Kansas City, Missouri
Tyler doesn’t consider himself as just a wedding and family photographer but more a family historian.
Starting out as a photojournalist, he discovered a passion for documentary photography early in his career and never looked back.
After over a decade in the wedding and family business, Tyler found himself questioning a lot of conventional ideas about weddings and family portraits. That’s when he asked himself– why am I doing this?
He believes those why questions help him create more meaningful photographs. And that’s why he’s on a mission to help other photographers ask those same tough questions.
Teaching photographers – pushing them to answer their own “why” questions – is a passion that started over a decade ago at The Foundation Workshop and led Tyler to teach at various workshops worldwide including Creative Live. He now spends most of his time as a personal mentor to photographers worldwide as part of his Wirkshop Series.
Voted one of the “Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World” by American Photo in 2013, Tyler’s best “accolades” are actually his wife and two boys, who have his heart and remind him why he’s dedicated to documenting family history. That’s why he’s often overheard saying, “At my funeral, if you all say I was a good photographer, then I’ve failed miserably at life.”
Live Streaming Judges
The final round of Judging to select the top 3 winners in each category, will be live-judged across multiple platforms by Kirsten and Jenna.
Kirsten Lewis Bethmann
Lives in Denver, Colorado
Co-Founder of the DFA.
Lives in Victoria, Canada
Co-Founder of the DFA.