The subject (human or animal) is the primary focus of the image.
Curator: Karen McQuaid – Senior Curator – The Photographers’ Gallery

© Enver Bylbkbashi

Karen McQuaid has curated exhibitions including Jim Goldberg, Open See (2009); Fiona Tan, Vox Populi, London (2012); Andy Warhol, Photographs: 1976 – 1987 (2014); Lorenzo Vitturi, Dalston Anatomy (2014) and Rosângela Rennó, Río-Montevideo(2016). She has co-curated Geraldo De Barros, What Remains (2013) with Isobel Whitelegg, Made You Look, Dandyism and Black Masculinity (2016) with Ekow Eshun and Shot in Soho (2019) with Julian Rodriguez. Karen has curated external exhibitions at The Moscow House of Photography and The National Gallery of Kosovo. She regularly participates in international workshops, writes for photography publications, guest lectures across the UK and edits artists books. Karen also facilitates TPG New Talent, a programme and exhibition for UK based emerging practitioners.



Reportage, features, current affairs, product or other imagery that is of an informative nature.

Curator: Karin Rehn-Kaufmann – Art Director & Chief Representative – Leica Galleries International

© Stephan Pick

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, born 1957 in Freiburg, studied German philology and philosophy at the University of Freiburg after leaving school. She also holds a diploma from the Eurythmische Hochschule in Stuttgart, where she was subsequently employed as a lecturer from 1982 to 1986. In addition to this, she is also a graduate of the Fernuniversität Hagen (distance teaching university) in Event Management.

After ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, Salzburg, bought into Leica Camera AG in 2005, her long-standing passion for photography led to the opening of the Leica Galerie in Salzburg in 2008.

Today, Karin Rehn-Kaufmann is Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International and holds management responsibility for the 21 Leica Galleries around the world.

She has successfully curated numerous prestigious exhibitions including, for instance, the project ‘Chinaflug’, an exhibition showing spectacular aerial photography from the 1930s that was presented at the Chinese Embassy in Berlin and at ‘Photo Shanghai’ in 2015. She is also held responsibility for exhibition concepts for the Leica Galerie at the photokina in 2012, 2014 and 2016, as well as the ‘10×10’ exhibition on the occasion of the jubilee ‘100 years of Leica photography’, and ‘50 best for Leica’ – an exclusive collection of the most famous photographs taken by the prominent US Magnum photographer Elliot Erwitt.

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann has been a member of the jury of the Leica Oskar Barnack Awards since 2008 and has played a significant role in the organization and further development of the prestigious photographic competition.


Still Life & Object

Inanimate object(s) or still life. It can be any object in any place, the emphasis being the object rather than its surroundings.
Curator: Kathy Howes – Freelance Senior Creative Producer/Art Buyer

Kathy Howes is an experienced Senior Creative Producer whose extensive knowledge of the ad industry has seen her work and collaborate with some of the most well known agencies in the UK and Europe.

Her career started out as a magazine designer and it was whilst doing this that she came across the role of an art buyer.  She found her niche and has not looked back!

Initially specialising in automotive photography production she quickly moved towards still life, food and drink and lifestyle and also produces online content for social media platforms with short form videos and films. She has also produced TVC’s and Radio commercials for charity clients.

Kathy loves art and has a reasonable collection of some well known graffiti artists.


Read our interview with Kathy on the AOP website

Fashion & Beauty

© Britt Lloyd

Fashion & Beauty photographs
Curator: Nick Knight – Image Maker & Creative Director – SHOWstudio

Nick Knight, Director of, is among the world’s most influential and visionary image makers. As a fashion photographer & fashion film director, he has consistently challenged conventional notions of beauty and is fêted for his groundbreaking creative collaborations with leading designers including Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and has also had long and creatively productive relationships with music artists like Bjork, Massive Attack, Lady Gaga & Kanye West. He has shot and directed advertising campaigns for the many prestigious clients such as Lancôme, Levi Strauss, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Aston Martin, Burberry, Maison Margiela  as well as award-winning editorial for Vogue, W, AnOther, V and i-D magazines have consistently kept Knight at the vanguard of progressive image-making for over three decades.

Knight’s work has been exhibited at international institutions such as the  Saatchi Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert, Tate Modern, J Paul Getty & Daelim Museums.  His scientific background and long-standing commitment to experimenting with the latest technologies led to Knight launching his award-winning fashion website SHOWstudio in 2000.  In 2010 he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in for his services to the Arts.  Nick lives in London with his wife and together they have three children.



Food & Drink

Food or drink as the main focus of the image
Curator: Elisa Merlo – Photography Creative Director

© Hannah Woods

Elisa’s passion for photography started age four, when her father would allow her in his darkroom with strict instructions not to touch anything. A photography BA grad from the London College of Printing, she studied alongside award winning photographers, but was quick to realise she wasn’t going to be one of them. The idea to direct and see the bigger picture always with her, she started her career at the Financial Times as the lowest possible picture assistant – a job that involved returning prints and slides to photographers and agencies in the old age of analogue negatives, followed by another foray into education with an MA in arts management and entrepreneurship. An innate understanding of how photographers work best, a sincere passion for the craft and a no-nonsense approach have afforded Elisa an extensive career in the publishing and the creative industry. In 2015 she joined a then little known start-up called Deliveroo, and has contributed to the growth and expansion of the ultimate food delivery company. Elisa is now a freelance creative director specialising in all things food.





A series of between 5-20 images that portray a narrative, telling a visual story.
Curator: Daniel Moorey – Head of Photography & Illustration – adam&eveDDB

Daniel is currently Head of Photography and Illustration at adamandeveDDB. Whilst his main expertise is in those 2 fields, he has also worked extensively in live action, animation, CG , projection mapping, matte painting, events etc. He loves a multi-media job that has a gold award winning idea at it’s core. In his previous life he was Head of Artbuying at DDB London for 8 years and Artbuyer at AMVBBDO for 10 years. He has been involved in some of the best work coming out of London in the last decade for clients including Harvey Nichols, Guinness, Marmite, Economist, Heal’s, Dulux, BBC, Guardian, VW and the FT. He has judged numerous awards including D&AD, Campaign Photo, PDN New York, AOP, Rangefinder, YCN, AOI.

Read our interview with Daniel on the AOP website



Covers the promotion or illustration of ideas, products, brands, corporations, etc., and imagery as part of an overall piece of lifestyle work.
Curator: Rachel Wickham – Senior Creative Producer – Prodigious London

Rachel has been working with photography in some form for 35 years, from assisting photographers, working as a picture editor, to becoming a photographer’s agent at Burnham Niker, looking after the likes of Nadav Kandar and Paul Zak, among other brilliant photographers.

Later she became an art buyer/producer at BBH where she stayed for 14 years, eventually becoming a production lead & partner, commissioning some of the world’s leading image makers on some of the biggest brands such as British Airways, Google, Baileys and Tesco to name a few. She also led a number of exhibitions and charity fundraisers at BBH, notably the ‘She Lights Up the Night’ exhibition and auction in aid of Refuge charity, where various illustrators were commissioned to create one off pieces.

Rachel is currently producing for Prodigious at Saatchi & Saatchi / Publicis where she commissions for integrated global campaigns across brands such as HSBC, Nivea and BT.



The situation or location, including interior, landscape, architecture etc., where the whole, rather than the individual elements, is the primary focus.
Curator: Jane Record – Creative Director – Photography at BBC Creative

Jane Record is Creative Director of Photography at BBC Creative, responsible for the award-winning output of the team who commission promotional photography for all BBC content.

With a background in creating her own photographic works she began her career at the BBC commissioning stills for the flagship BBC One show, EastEnders. She then spent the following years working on numerous dramas, moving on to managing the teams responsible for BBC Four & Specialist Factual, then BBC Three, Comedy & Entertainment before becoming responsible for a team who work across all of the BBC’s genres and platforms. In these roles she has worked on campaigns for some of the biggest shows in the BBC’s portfolio, from Doctor Who and Sherlock to Strictly Come Dancing and Top Gear.

As a commissioner responsible for such a diverse range of content she has had the opportunity to work with some the most talented photographers, actors and programme makers in the UK. Correspondingly, seeking out and developing new and emerging photographic talent is high on the agenda as she continues to champion the art of the promotional image.




An example of excellence that illustrates the creative use of technologies and innovations in the production of still images. This can be AR, VR, CGI or any other technique.

Moving Image

A piece of moving imagery, content is up to you but must demonstrate your understanding and skills within the medium. All entries in this category must reference whether the work is collaboration with another artist be it a director, editor, colour grader, musician etc. or whether it’s the independent work of the photographer. You may wish to illustrates the creative use of technologies for example AR, VR, CGI or any other technique.


A single image or series of images (3-4) can be entered. There are no categories or restrictions, the image is the star, exciting and innovative work is encouraged.

Open Awards Curators: Anne Mannion – AOP Chair & Tim Flach – AOP President & Photographer


Anne Manion – AOP Chair

Anne is Chair of the Board, having been a director since 2016. She is a Senior Associate Solicitor at the specialist media firm Swan Turton LLP. She was a contributor, with Charles Swan, to the legal sections of ‘Beyond the Lens’ and speaks regularly on copyright law at the Association’s conferences. She has been part of the Association’s legal advice service since 2010.

Anne has been in the media industry all her life: starting out as an actress, then becoming a theatre and film producer before spending 10 years at the head of a television commercials company in Soho.  She also knows her way round an f-stop, having grown up with a photographer brother and been married to a cinematographer.

She believes the Association’s work in shaping future copyright laws that are so fundamental to photographer members and the representation it provides to members, both individually and collectively, are vital in the #instagram age.

Read out interview with Anne on the AOP website


Tim Flach – Photographer and AOP President

Tim Flach is an animal photographer with an interest in the way humans shape animals and shape their meaning. Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, united by a distinctive stylisation reflecting an interest in how we better connect people to the natural world. Tim seeks to use photography to shift public and scientific perceptions of the natural world in the context of the current ecological crisis. 

He has four major bodies of work: Endangered (2017), More Than Human (2012), Dogs Gods (2010) & Equus (2008). He has been commissioned by and featured in publications such as National GeographicThe New York TimesThe Guardian and The New Scientist. He has lectured at universities worldwide, and given talks on photography and conservation at venues such as the Zoological Society of London, TEDxWarwick and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. His work can be found in permanent collections in art and natural history museums across the globe, such as the V&A. Tim has also received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society and an Honorary Doctorate UAL (Norwich University of the Arts).  

Read our interview with Tim on the AOP website





An example of excellence that illustrates the creative use of technologies and innovations in the production of still images. This can be AR, VR, CGI or any other technique.

Moving Image

A piece of moving imagery, content is up to you but must demonstrate your understanding and skills within the medium. All entries in this category must reference whether the work is collaboration with another artist be it a director, editor, colour grader, musician etc. or whether it’s the independent work of the photographer. You may wish to illustrates the creative use of technologies for example AR, VR, CGI or any other technique.


A single image or series of images (3-4) can be entered. There are no categories or restrictions, the image is the star, exciting and innovative work is encouraged.

Curator: Katy Niker – Director – Katy Niker Ltd

Whilst in the final year of my photography degree at Blackpool, I realised that rather than being a photographer I wanted to work with them as an agent and producer.

After work experience with David Burnham, which I loved, he offered me a job as his PA straight from finishing my degree.

A few years later I took over the business when David retired and with a stable of incredible photographers we produced acclaimed & exciting work during twenty years as Burnham Niker. In 2017 I made the decision to no longer represent a full roster of photographers and I now continue as Katy Niker, representing and producing for award winning still life photographer Paul Zak.

Read our interview with Katy on the AOP website




Curator: Julia Fullerton-Batten – Photographer

Hyper-realism and cinematic are characteristic descriptions of Julia Fullerton-Batten’s images. They are often set in unexpectedly surreal settings with dramatic lighting, communicating simultaneously both tension and mystery. Since becoming a professional photographer in 2005 she has accomplished 13 major projects  Her first was Teenage Stories (2005), a semi-autobiographical narrative portraying the feelings of anxiety and discomfort experienced by a prepubescent girl as she transitions to womanhood. During the project she retroactively explored  and connected  with her own experiences. More recently, she has taken on socially conscious issues; among others, blindness, modern-day society’s pre-occupation with the ideal figure, women voluntarily engaging in the sex industry, etc

Fullerton-Batten was born in Bremen, Germany and spent most of her childhood in Germany and the USA, before moving to the UK in 1986. After completing her education, she studied photography and assisted professional photographers for five years. She began her professional career with a commercial assignment in 2000 and within a few years began to gain accolades as a fine-art photographer. Early in her career, The National Portrait Gallery in London commissioned her to photograph portraits of sixteen leading people in the UK health service. After exhibiting them for six months they are now held there in permanent collection. Her fine-art work is globally renowned and exhibited. She has won countless awards worldwide, is frequently portrayed in photographic journals, has published two books, is a Hasselblad Ambassador and a frequent speaker at international workshops and a juror of international competitions. She lives in London and is married with two young boys.

Read our interview with Julia on the AOP website


Curator: Laura Noble – Director – L A Noble Gallery

Laura Noble is the Director of L A Noble Gallery (LANG) in London. She is also a curator and author of The Art Of Collecting Photography, with primary essays in many monographs including Wall and Peace – Kai Weidenhöfer, Unreal City – Adriaan van Heerden, Form & Function – Chloe Rosser, 2018, At Home with the Furries – Tom Broadbent, 2018, Estate – Robert Clayton, 2015, In Paradiso, Deborah Baker, 2014, Hidden Identities: Unfinished – Yvonne De Rosa, 2013, and many more.

Her blog has a global following with personal thoughts and opinions on the art world and art practice. She is a nominator for the global Prix Pictet Prize and also an Ambassador for the Royal Photographic Society’s 100 Heroines project and Docking Station in Amsterdam as well as being a judge on many photographic competitions and residency programmes. Her commitment to photography is paramount.

She curates at LANG and independently and also lectures on all aspects of collecting photography, professional and gallery practice worldwide. As an avid collector Noble prides herself on discovering new talent and writes extensively on photography in numerous journals.

With a commitment to emerging photographer’s LANG delivers consultations for photographers and collectors. Launching FIX Photo Festival in London’s South Bank in 2016 it gained worldwide recognition, with an expanded programme in 2017 and 2018 is poised for another successful edition in 2020.

Read our interview with Laura on the AOP website



Curator: Lee Smith – Creative Director – Lucky Generals

Lee is currently a Creative Director at Lucky Generals where he has recently created global campaigns for Amazon, the re-launch of Co-op and the hugely successful campaign for Yorkshire Tea.

Whilst these are mainly broadcast campaigns Lee is an Art Director at heart and has been responsible for several multi-award winning press and poster campaigns which include campaigns for Cancer Research, Anti-Smoking for the Department of Health and Virgin Trains.

In his spare time Lee is an avid photographer and a road cyclist, although not at the same time.

Read our interview with Lee on the AOP website


AOP Awards 2019 Winner from The Association of Photographers on Vimeo.