Ten emerging photographers have been selected as this year's recipients of the inaugural Graduate Photographers Awards organized by Magnum Photos and Photo London, and supported by RBB Economics.
The winners, who will receive mentoring by a Magnum photographer, a full review of their portfolio by the nomination team, and the opportunity to showcase their work during the Photo London fair this week, are Sebastian Bruno, Jack Carvosso, Sophie Green, Robin Lambert, Henna Mattila, Harry Mitchell, Milo Newman, Kate Nolan, Sunil Shah and Miriam Stanke.
The 10 photographers were selected from a pool of 100 nominated candidates, all active photographers who are still enrolled or have graduated from a UK photography degree course in the last three years. Bruno Bayley, editor of VICE Magazine, Shoair Mavlian curator of photography at Tate, and Aaron Schuman, writer, curator and lecturer at University of Brighton were among the panelists.
Schuman has praised the importance of the award for its support of emerging photographers at a very delicate step in their career. “For a lot of photographers, especially if they studied at university, the first three years are quite crucial," he tells TIME. "It is very difficult often for people to maintain their momentum [after they graduate] and [keep] making photographs, making projects, doing work."
Among the winners, Kate Nolan, who is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Art Photography at the Belfast School of Art, presented her body of work, Neither, an intimate look at the community of Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.
Honored by the recognition, Nolan talks with excitement about the mentoring opportunity . She has learned with Neither, her first major project and now a self-published book, "how to actually get [the work] out there," she says. “Being early in my career I will benefit hugely from learning how to be a professional in printing, approaching galleries, getting funding and just making it a sustainable career.”
Argentinian photographer Sebastian Bruno, also an award recipient, portrays in Duelos y Quebrantos the "virtues and vices" of the community that lives in the arid territories of Castilla La Mancha in central Spain. “What is important is what you get from these meetings," he tells TIME. And the mentor's review can be particularly useful, he adds, as he is entering a delicate phase in his career, finishing the photography project he has been working on for the past two years.
Fiona Rogers, Magnum's global business development manager, agrees. “Photography is such a solo career, but it doesn’t help to work in isolation," she says. "It really helps to have a sense of community." And Photo London has done its part in this direction, she adds, creating what she calls "an amazing collective" shaped by the Graduate Photographers Award.