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2021-22 AOP Emerging Talent Open Project

Announcing the 2021-22 AOP Emerging Talent Award Winners and Finalists

AOP Announces Winners & Finalists for 2021-22 Emerging Talent Award

The Association of Photographers (AOP) announces the Winners and Finalists of the 2021-22 Emerging Talent Award praising the range of styles and creativity of all entries submitted.

Isabelle Doran, CEO The Association of Photographers said; “The AOP’s guiding principle behind our open entry for ‘Emerging Talent’ is to provide an opportunity for a new wave of photographers and image-makers, of any age or background whose work truly shines and resonates, to be discovered above and beyond the crowded marketplace. This year’s entries, selected by two leading ad industry curators – Julie Cook, Production, Head of Art and Kate Congreve, Producer, of Mother London – really do just that, with our finalists and winners coming from a wide spectrum and sharing with us their stunning images for this past year’s entries.”

See the full AOP Emerging Talent Gallery here

Congratulations to – Gold Winner: Sue Oakford

Based in South West London, Sue is a self-taught, late starter to the world of photography, a mother of two grown up children and with careers in both Environmental Law and Education behind her.

Sue uses natural light to emulate and create atmosphere and depth in her images which hanker back to the days of dark and shadow, conjuring allegorical themes within our times.  Of her winning entry – My Still Life – A series of Still Life images, Oakford says; ‘Over the last 18 months I have developed a Still Life series reflecting moments of my ‘Still Life’. These 5 images are part of a larger collection. My images are meant as symbolic representations of my time, events, feelings and thoughts during these recent extraordinary times.’

Congratulations to – Silver Winner: Jolane Schaffner

“I’m excited to be nominated as Silver Winner for the 2021 AOP Emerging Talent Award. This is a fantastic opportunity to expand the conversation about Northern Ireland‘s international representation at a time of internal dialogue about redefining the island’s identity and sense of belonging. Beyond the binaries, we need nuanced narratives, and my work contributes a fresh perspective to how people on this island can both view themselves and how they are viewed by others. Thank you AOP for selecting my portrait of Aine.”

Congratulations to – Highly Commended: Andy J Mather for Workforce Portraits – From The Ground Up.

“For my first commission, as a recently graduated photographer, to be recognised by the AOP has given me a huge confidence boost and lends my work an authority that can only help nurture my early career in photography.”

Congratulations  also to our outstanding Finalists:

  • Andy J Mather – Series, Incidental Moments
  • Anna Laura Festa – Moving Entry: Dido’s Daughters
  • Frankie Turner – Single, Cheese Tower
  • Sam Rose – Series, ‘What if you just leave it? Rewilding reconsidered.’
  • Nan He – Series, Identity in archive
  • Francesca Menghini – Single, Sven, from ongoing series ‘’Unbounded – Being Gender Diverse”

Judged blind, the work of nominated finalists is both diverse in style and exciting in context and we are delighted to introduce them to you.

Along with our Winners and Finalists, we thank all those who entered the 2021-22 AOP Emerging Talent Award and encourage them to keep seeking ways to get their work seen by the people that matter.

Emerging Talent Award Winners and Finalists will feature in the annual AOP Awards Book and be exhibited alongside fellow Finalists at the AOP Showcase event in April 2022 at which Gold and Silver Winners for the prestigious AOP Photography Awards will be announced.

See the full AOP Emerging Talent Gallery here

Media enquiries including image requests should be made to 

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