The 30 emerging photographers to watch in 2022


The “Les 30” competition has officially announced its list of 30 up-and-coming photographers to watch in 2022. And as expected, it is absolutely stacked with amazing image creators with lots of work worthy of your attention.

Note: All images shown here are of this year’s contest winners.

Contest history

The Forcado bullfighters use a “Faixa” belt, “their brothers”, and prayers as protection. © Daniel Gonçalves

Before we dive into the winners, it’s important to acknowledge the contest’s past, as it has a long history of showcasing some of the newest talent in the industry dating back to 1999. “The 30” is actually a new image of “PDN’s 30”, an annual feature. from the now defunct magazine, Photo District News. Originally the competition was called “30 Under 30”, but in the early 2000s the magazine decided to remove the requirement for photographers to be under 30 to qualify. Yet the competition has focused and continues to focus on emerging photographers who are at the start of their careers.

I know a lot about this contest because I wrote a profile for this inaugural issue in 1999, about the provocative work of Katharina Bosse. Most recently, in the April 2018 issue of NRP, I wrote profiles on three amazing photographers for Sarah Blesener, Ted Cavanaugh and Matthew Genitempo.

Currently, “le 30” is produced by Emerald Exhibitions, the former editor of NRP.

A photograph by Tag Christof
Shepherdsville, Kentucky. 2019. Excerpt from “America is Dead”.
© Tag Christof

Notable past winners

Since its inception, this program has featured many up-and-coming photographers who have achieved great success, including photojournalist Lynsey Addario, commercial and editorial photography Jessica Pettway, nature and documentary photography Ami Vitale, photojournalist Benjamin Lowy, and fine- art photographer Elinor Carucci, to name but a few.

This year’s winner

A photograph by Mary Gelman
Minya and Tanya after Bible study. The people of Svetlana dress up and spend time together, discussing a chapter of the Bible and sharing their impressions of the week. © Marie Gelman

You can consult the complete list of photographers for 2022 here. On the site, you’ll see a portfolio of images of each as well as short profiles that touch on some of the themes and ideas behind their work. The winners were chosen by a group of more than 50 editors, curators, gallery directors, editors, agents and photographers from around the world. Then a jury of five experts of the photography industry has selected the last 30 winning photographers.

Here are the 30 winners of this year’s competition:

Erik Carter

Gabriele Cecconi

Tag Christof

Eastern Sage

Mary Gelman

Daniel Goncalves

Eric Hart Jr.

Jon Henry

Sebastien Hidalgo

Alexis Huley

Vikesh Kapoor

Kovi Konowiecki

Ksenia Kuleshova

Gabrielle Lurie

Spandita Malik

Xavier Scott Marshall

Ivan McClellan

Clara Mokri

Betthny Mollenkov

Jackie Molloy

Rosem Morton

Callaghan O’Hare

Bettina Pittaluga

Irene Antonia Diane Reece

Joshua Rivas

Amir Saadiq

Malik Sidibe

Single Jay

Nico Therin

Alex Christopher Williams

Some of our favorites

There are plenty of standout photographers in the group (just three of our favorites are listed below).

A photograph of Ksenia Kuleshova.
“Abkhazia, Eshera, 07/07/2017”, from the “Abkhazia” project. People in this area of ​​Georgia store potatoes on ground so they stay dry. © Ksenia Kuleshova

For example, Russian-born documentary photographer Ksenia Kuleshova will definitely be a new photographer to watch. She seems to have the ability to blend a sense of surrealism with her simple compositions. According to her profile on the site, she is now a Canon Ambassador and her images have been published in The New York Times, National geographic, The Wall Street Journal, among others. She was also awarded the W. Eugene Smith Fellowship for Student Photographers in 2020.

A photograph by Gabrielle Lurie
Firefighters walk through brush as they prepare for a backburn operation on the North Complex Fire in Butte County, California, U.S., Sunday, September 13, 2020. A series of approximately 12,000 flashes struck hit the Bay Area, causing more than 350 fires, including the North Complex Fire. © Gabrielle Lurie

Another standout photographer is San Francisco-based Gabrielle Lurie. Although she started out as a fine art photographer and works as a retoucher, she pursues a career as a freelance photojournalist. His career seems to be gaining momentum. After starting at San Francisco Examiner, she worked more recently at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and Atlantic, among many others. What’s fascinating to see is that his photojournalism photos seem to incorporate some fine art elements, in terms of a slightly unusual composition.

A photograph by Jay Simple
From the ongoing “Exodus Home” series. © Jay Simple

Additionally, fine art photography of people born in Chicago and based in Philadelphia single jay looks very impressive. He has a big eye, but powerful ideas to match that vision. On the site, her profile mentions that her “creative endeavors include photography, curating, writing, and more, and her interests span medical anthropology, blackness, fine art, and a deep commitment to caring for people.” others and to provide a platform”. Asked about his motivation for creating images, he answered with the following question: “Why are we doing all this? So we can understand the world.

Other favorites

Below are some of our other outstanding images by this year’s contest winners.

A photograph by Spandita Malik
“Kosar” Spandita Malik, from the “Nā́rī” series (2019-ongoing); Size: 26 x 35 inches; Medium: Photographic transfer print on Khadi, Gotta Patti, and Zardozi embroidery; Edition: Single; Year: 2019. © Spandita Malik
A photograph of Sage East
New era. © Sage East
A photograph by Vikesh Kapoor
“Before Immigration” (1969, archival pigment print). © Vikesh Kapoor
A photograph by Sebastian Hidalgo.
“A protest to end gun violence. 2018.” Hundreds of thousands of young people across the country gathered to protest the spike in gun violence in Chicago. The rally, led by Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Church in the city’s South Quarter, eventually took over the Dan Ryan Freeway in an authorized protest. © Sebastien Hidalgo
A photograph by Gabriele Cecconi
“Musoni Refugee Camp, Teknaf Sub-district, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 20/03/2018.” A group of children play on top of a degraded hill in Musoni Camp, a refugee camp in Bangladesh. © Gabriele Cecconi

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