Meet the Judges
Over the years the international jury for Travel Photographer of the Year has included photographers, editors, picture editors, picture buyers, stock photography and digital imaging experts from Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK and USA over the years. The judges’ biographies and an insight into what they’ll be looking for can be found below.
We would like to thank our judges for giving so much of their time, expertise and impartiality to Travel Photographer of the Year, sustaining the quality and credibility of the awards.
Photo Agency Director & Photo Editor for National Geographic Traveler Italy
Daria Bonera was born in Milan, and after graduating in Fashion Marketing from St Martins School in London, she started working for Contrasto Photo Agency in Milano. In 2004 she moved to Grazia Neri’s Photo Agency, where she represented several international agencies and photographers and selected new photographers for the Agency. In 2008 Daria went to New York to work as the agent of documentary photographer Donna Ferrato and represented Grazia Neri’s photographers all through the US, while collaborating with the major publications. On returning to Milano she started her own Agency: DB where she represents a few selected documentary and fashion photographers and illustrators for advertising and corporate work.
Daria has been invited as a portfolio reviewer at Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, Passion & Profession, Festival della letteratura di viaggio, PhotoPlus Expo in New York, Lugano Photo Days and as a member part of the Jury for the Prix de la Photographie Paris Px3, Czech Press Photo Contest, IPA, Croatia Press Photo, Prince Claus Awards and as a nominator for the Prix Pictet. She has also been a tutor on the Flying Course with Stanley Greene in Paris and at Love Venetian Style: an Intimate View, with Donna Ferrato in Venice workshops. She teaches visual communication at John Kaverdash School of Photography in Milano.
Besides running her own business, Daria is the photo editor and editorial coordinator for 'Touring' National Geographic Traveler Italy.
"A picture or a story should surprise me, intrigue me, impress me, both for the choice of subject and for the vision of the author. It should express the original point of view of the photographer and at the same time be able to communicate to all. I appreciate the quality 'not to search for distant subjects', but to see something unusual and significant in their own world."
Photographer & Lecturer
A native New Yorker, the internationally renowned portrait, fashion and fine art photographer Barbara Bordnick began her career in Paris before returning to open a studio in Manhattan where her photography in HARPER’S BAZAAR began drawing acclaim.
Over the past 35 years she has received innumerable honors and awards for her film and print work, including Clios, Art Directors Club Awards, Nikon Awards and the Missouri School of Journalism Award and a Leadership Award presented at the United Nations. Her works are in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, the Gilman Paper Collection, the Polaroid Collection, the Portland Museum of Art/Maine as well as in many private collections. Her calendar of America’s Great Women of Jazz was commissioned by Polaroid to introduce 8X10 Polacolor film.
In addition to her photography, Ms. Bordnick is a much-sought-after lecturer and teacher. She has taught workshops in the United States and Europe and is an adjunct professor in the Photography Department of the Parsons School of Design in New York City.
An avid supporter of her profession, Ms. Bordnick served three terms as president of the Advertising Photographer of New York where she helped establish the prestigious Explorers of Light with Canon and was the first woman president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers.
"The most important thing I look for in a photograph is a unique, clear point of view with which the photographer is communicating. I want her/him to show me something in a way I hadn’t see it (and often wish I had.) And, like all great art, I want it to move me."
Photography has always been an intrinsic part of Cheryl’s life. Growing up, observing her father experimenting with lenses, filters, reflectors, backdrops, lighting and an enlarger, she naturally soon became enthralled with the magic of photography too.
With a Degree in Illustration, additional studies in Graphics and Digital Media, she learnt to contemplate the impact, the meaning and the aesthetics of a photograph with a broader creative mind.
As a Picture Editor, first for the Bruce Coleman Wildlife and Travel Agency, then for Corbis and subsequently for a filmmaker at Zebra Films, ‘Wild Images’, she evaluated countless breathtaking and fascinating photographs of world-class photographers for many years.
In addition, she’s lived in New York, and as an expat for over two years in Cameroon and now almost five years in Malaysia. Springboarding from these locations, she’s travelled and digitally photographed these memories extensively.
“Nowadays, we can all effortlessly click and store a digital memory, and take a reasonable photo. Even take a somewhat better shot, if we apply a creative composition, capture the play of light and express our personal stance in the photograph. However, for this competition, I expect a lot more. To grab my attention and prolong my view, an image must have impact. Ideally it should encapsulate the mood of the moment. Provide a glimpse into the photographer’s world and experiences. Perhaps be so inspiring that it delves and dramatises the sheer scale of a scene, transporting me there in awe and envy. Even almost reduce me to tears if it is imbued with sufficient empathy for the subject. In fact, it should surprise me, as I’m open to something different or quirky, even something serene and simple. Ultimately, an award-winning photo has to be original to be memorable.”
Advertising, commercial and fine art photographer
Keith Berr is an international advertising, commercial and fine art photographer. He has recently custom designed and built a modernistic live/work compound in the center of Cleveland’s Asia town and is involved in the movement to revitalize his art district. His journeys take him on assignments, where he creates memorable photographs of men in steel mills, racecars, corporate leaders, brain surgeons at work, chefs, food and native flair around the world.
Some current projects have included branding campaigns for AT&T, Verizon, Newell Rubbermaid, Aldi, Invacare, McDonalds, Kay and Zale’s Jewelers, Timken Steel, Republic Steel, University Hospitals and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Keith's work recently brought him the honors of being inducted into the Cleveland Advertising Associations Hall of Fame. The American Society of Media Photographers’ has also selected him to be one of the top10 Photographers in the United States. He is a Cleveland artist and businessman, proud of his hometown. "Everyday I am thankful for how fortunate I am, to be one of the lucky few, doing what I love."
"A piece of art should provoke a response from the viewer; it should captivate and lead one on to explore the angles, space, and light within the photograph. The viewer should feel a connection with the image, whether it is a person or an object, the context will remain the same. Photographs are there to influence and inspire. I believe that there are an infinity of views and changing light. Great photographs are waiting to be found everywhere, everyday. One must be acutely aware of the composition, the color, variations in light and the ability to control all of these things at that one moment is to be able to master and produce a photograph with identity. As Ansel Adams said “We don't make a photograph just with a camera, we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved.”
Adventurer, naturalist, wildlife filmmaker and environmental activist
Having always been bewitched by wildlife, Catherine studied ecology and zoology at Imperial College London where she was fascinated by the theories but yearned to see these exotic creatures in their environment. Her first wildlife expedition was to study bats in Honduras. It was here, living in the cloud forest, that she became fiercely protective of the natural world.
Catherine’s life since university has seen her working in wildlife filmmaking and sustainability communication. Throughout this journey, she has kept the sense of purpose that overcame her in Central America. At every opportunity, she has travelled to a new corner of the planet to see the wildlife and how the people interact with the environment around them.
'I've been lucky enough to visit places so beautiful that no photograph can truly capture them, and along the way, I’ve tried to encourage my family and friends to join me.’
Determined to encourage holiday makers to visit wildlife hotspots during their vacations, Catherine has her own YouTube channel following her Wildlife Adventures.
See Catherine's website: catherinecapon.com
"For me, a great photograph should transport me into the body of the photographer who has captured the image. Not only do I want to see through his/her eyes, I want to feel what they are feeling in that moment. Can I imagine the smells, the temperature, the sounds? If the visual reaction to an image elicits a raw emotional one (from intense joy to deep grief), then it can have a lasting impact on the viewer; it has the power to make change."
Photographer, Photography Tutor, Lecturer & Author
Chris Coe is a self-taught photographer who has, since turning professional in 1992, combined his passion for photography with a love of travel. He photographs landscapes, people, wildlife and architecture in a range of formats including 35mm, panoramic and medium format using both film and digital cameras. Chris has shot over 40 travel, photography and coffee table books. He lectures on a variety of photographic subjects, and runs photography workshops for Photo Iconic. He founded Travel Photographer of the Year with his wife and business partner Karen in 2003.
"Photography is all about images. It would be exciting if photographers enthused about their images rather than what camera they have. It's images, not equipment, which have the power to inspire and engage. Every year I see thousands of pictures from photographers young and old, amateur and professional but there is no age, class or status to good photography. The best images stay with me. Challenge yourself and make images which leave a lasting impression. Intrigue me, inspire me, show me your own style, creativity and originality. I want to see an interesting perspective on the world, one which makes me come back to your images over and over again and each time find something new or interesting."
RICHARD DUNWOODY MBE
Champion Jockey, Adventurer & Travel Photographer
Richard Dunwoody was the only jockey of his generation to win the ‘Big Three’ in Jump Racing following wins on West Tip (Grand National 1986), Charter Party (Gold Cup 1988) and Kribensis (Champion Hurdle 1990). He also partnered the great Desert Orchid to seven victories. He won the Grand National again on Miinnehoma in 1994 and was Champion Jockey three times (1993-95). He was awarded the MBE for services to his sport in 1993.
Since retiring as a jockey he has travelled extensively and undertaken expeditions to both the Magnetic North Pole and Geographic South Pole. He has always been passionate about photography and after completing an intensive year-long photojournalism course at the Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris, he joined the ranks of professional photographers in 2012.
"A terrific image is one that makes me stop, look again. It will captivate and intrigue me. And for me as a photojournalist it is very much about capturing ‘the’ moment."
Stock Photography Expert, Gallery Director, Writer & Presenter, Curator & Creative Director
Colin Finlay has been involved in all aspects of photography for many years. As the co-owner of a large picture library, gallery director, writer and presenter, curator and creative director, his knowledge of the picture industry and international market for images is multi-faceted and extensive.
"The elusiveness of creativity is one of the recurring themes in his writing and therefore he is always looking for originality and new ways of seeing when judging competitions. The technical aspects of photography can be taught but the innate ability to understand and capture a subject in a unique way is much more difficult. Permanently on the hunt for new talent and new ways for photographers to get involved in the huge global market for images, he is also particularly interested in the way that photography is presented to an audience and the opportunities it can give to people as a means of self-expression and self-fulfilment."
Photographer & TV Cameraman
Coming from a showbiz family, and after a career as a television cameraman, Jeremy Hoare now shoots mainly stills so the merging of digital stills and HD video means he can combine them. One video, ‘Lost Love’, was screened at film festivals in six countries during 2015.
During his years in television, Jeremy worked with many stars of national and international repute. Recently he has been the main cameraman on video shoots of the classical ballets Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Coppelia and Don Quixote in Kyoto, Japan.
With Japan having been the main focus for his photography for many years, he has a large collection of images so has created an online gallery kyotophotogallery.com
"What I look for in any image is a sense of involvement, I want to see and feel the story in a single frame. Studying paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Turner and Cezanne can help release creativity by learning about composition and lighting."
Photography Curator & Former Head of AA Photo Library
Debbie has almost 20 years experience working in photography, in the archive of the Royal Photographic Society Collection and as Head of the AA Picture Library. She works as a freelance writer and curator specialising on the history of photography. Debbie recently worked with the Royal Geographical Society on a book and accompanying exhibition on the photography of Isabella Bird.
"A great photograph communicates as well as capturing an image. The judgement of the photographer is essential to the process. An inexpensive camera can create stunning results - it's the skill of the photographer and their approach to their subject which is important."
Former Official White House Photographer under the Obama Administration
Lawrence Jackson, a former Official White House Photographer under the Obama Administration, spent 18 years working for newspapers and wire services before working at the White House. Since leaving the White House Lawrence has been building his photography business telling/documenting stories for news organizations, corporations, families and political events. He currently lives in the Washington area with his wife and two kids.
"I always look for what keeps my attention - my eyes on the image. When I can’t take my eyes off of the image that means it has moved me emotionally, aesthetically or just informed me in a way I didn’t quite expect. Landscape, portrait, abstract, photojournalism and more - it doesn’t matter the genre.”
Curator & Academic
Brigitte was Exhibition Organiser and Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery from 1985. In 1995 she was invited to set up Magnum’s Cultural Department in London where she was responsible for their exhibitions and books.
She edits photography books, notably Magnum’s sixtieth anniversary book 'Magnum Magnum' which was published in 8 languages and became a bestseller. In 2006 she took on the post of Senior Research Fellow at the London College of Communication where since 2012 she is Deputy Director of PARC, the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the University of the Arts London.
She curates exhibitions and writes and lectures on photography and archive. She is currently investigating the archive of the Edward Reeves Studio which started in Lewes in 1855 and is thought to be the oldest still surviving photographic studio in the world.
"When assessing work I look for originality, a personal signature and clear evidence of authorship. This matters more to me than technical skills."
Multi-Award Winning Photographer & Picture Editor
Eamonn McCabe started off photographing for local papers before freelancing for The Guardian and other national titles. He joined The Observer in 1976 and won Sports Photographer of The Year a record four times, covering three Olympics.
In 1985 he was named News Photographer of The Year for his work at The Heysel Stadium disaster, then subsequently joined The Guardian as Picture Editor, winning Picture Editor of the year a record six times.
In 2001 Eamonn returned to freelancing, photographing mainly people in the arts for The Guardian but also other newspapers and magazines.
Eamonn was the presenter on the BBC TV series 'Britain in Focus: A Photographic History' and BBC Radio 4's 'The Spoken Image'.
Former Director of Photography, Condé Nast Traveller
Caroline Metcalfe is a Director of Photography and runs Caroline Metcalfe Consulting Ltd. Most recently the Director of Photography at Condé Nast Traveller magazine, her career spans being the Photo Editor of several newspaper magazines including the Financial Times, Independent, Telegraph Saturday magazine and the Observer. Well-connected with photographers, agents and publishers globally, she specializes in commissioning, editing, researching and conceptualizing photography, including shoot production, in both editorial and commercial spheres. She is frequently asked to buy artworks for major companies such as Diageo and Unilever, mentors photographers, runs workshops and reviews portfolios, and is a regular judge of international photography competitions.
"Great photography, one of the most challenging creative disciplines in my view, it is the art of exploring and revealing the world through fresh eyes while avoiding the deadly photographic clichés. I am hoping to be stimulated and encouraged by the wealth of creativity that I know is out there just waiting to be discovered."
Director of Education and Public Affairs, The Royal Photographic Society
Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS has been involved with photography since his schooldays. With a background in photographic history he was for 20 years a photography specialist at Christie's London before taking three years out to complete a PhD in photographic history. He has been a selector on a number of international competitions including the Terry O'Neill Award, the International Photography Awards and Spider Awards amongst many others.
"I look for technical excellence, but ultimately I like to see images that convey an emotion and tell a story within them. It's hard to do, but then that's what can separate a good image from a great one"
Head of Photography at Richmond, the American International University in London
Mary Robert is a photographer and an academic. Currently Professor of Lens Media and Chair of the Department of Arts & Sciences at Richmond, the American International University in London, she has also taught for several years at the Royal College of Art. Mary has exhibited widely and travelled extensively working on many commercial and fine art projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
"What I look for in a great photograph?.....an image that is memorable and that continues to transport me to new ideas."
Two-time Pulitzer prizewinner photographer
Essdras M Suarez is originally from Panama and he is a two-time Pulitzer prizewinner photographer based out of Alexandria, VA/ USA. He was a photojournalist for 20 years and he's had his images published in publications such as National Geographic, Time Magazine, NYT, Washington Post, Le Figaro, The Guardian, etc.
He was a Boston Globe staff photographer for 12 years until 2014 and while there he received national and international accolades for his coverage of stories such as the Iraq War, Tsunami Aftermath, Newton Massacre and Boston Marathon bombing, among others. He’s also received multiple awards in other photo specialties such as Travel and Street Photography. He was the chief photographer for Million Eyez, a photo-sharing platform, until 2017. And he is now the CEO of EMS Photo Adventures, a photo workshop enterprise specialized in hands-on training anywhere in the world.
He is a well-known speaker and presenter and a USDOS Speaker and Expert in Photojournalism for Latin America. He's spoken at institutions of higher learning such as MIT, Harvard, Northeastern University, and the University of Fla. And presented at the Xposure Internationa Photography Festival in UAE, Intl. Photo Fest Jafa in Israel, NECCC in MA/ USA, and at YPO/ WPO events among others.
"When I'm looking at a photo, I want to be awed, I want to be surprised, I want to see new perspectives, new points of view. I want to feel the photographer put some thought into the making of the photo. But most importantly I'm looking for great use of light, composition, layering and the decisive moment.”
JONATHAN & ANGELA SCOTT
Award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and television presenters
Jonathan and Angela Scott are award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and television presenters who live in Kenya. They are Canon Ambassadors and the only couple to have won the Overall Award in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition as individuals. Jonathan and Angela have written and illustrated 35 books, including their best-selling Safari Guide to East African Animals - and Birds and award-winning children’s titles for Collins Big Cat. Their most recent book Sacred Nature: Life's Eternal Dance (HPH) won the Gold Award for Photography in the annual Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2017.
Angela was born in Alexandria, Egypt and from the age of four lived in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The great Serengeti National Park was one of her favourite haunts and the scene of happy days on safari with her family, stimulating her lifelong love affair with photography. Jonathan first set eyes on the Mara-Serengeti while travelling overland through Africa in 1974. This was the savanna Africa depicted in Born Free and Serengeti Shall Not Die, films and books that he had marvelled at as a child growing up in England. In 1977 he returned overland from Botswana to live permanently in the Maasai Mara, dedicating his life to documenting the lives of its wild inhabitants.
Jonathan and Angela were married in the Mara in 1992, and from 1996 to 2008 worked on the hugely popular TV series Big Cat Diary, with Jonathan as co-presenter and Angela as Production Stills Photographer and game spotter. When not travelling the world in search of great images they split their time between their beautiful home in the leafy suburb of Langata in Nairobi overlooking beautiful Ngong Hills (within five minutes of Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Sanctuary) and a stone cottage in Marsh Pride’s territory at Governor’s Camp in the Mara.
Jonathan and Angela are Patrons and Ambassadors for a number of conservation organisations including the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, the Kenya Wildlife Trust’s Mara Cheetah and Mara Lion Projects, the Colobus Organisation, the Rhino Ark, Galapagos Conservation Trust, and the Bishop Simeon Trust.
"Great light - atmosphere - a good sense of composition - that extra detail that brings a scene to life - we both love images shot with sidelight or backlight - and always love to see people trying to do something different - thinking outside the box - not simply repeating what they have seen someone else achieve - in fact it is so important to develop your own way of seeing. In the old days 'action' was what everyone was trying to capture - and it is still very stimulating - but we love a more aesthetic approach where possible. Wildlife photography was for a long time more about recording natural subjects and behaviour - very descriptive in interpretation - but in trying to make wildlife and natural history subjects and landscapes more interesting you have to try to bring a little bit of magic to your image. Great light can help with that."
Stock Photography Expert & Founder of Young Photographers' Alliance
Jerry is known for his devotion to maintaining the highest standards in the business of stock photography and never compromising on quality and ethics. He has had a long, illustrious career in the photography, travel, music and recruiting industries. He was trained as an attorney, and then founded a successful chain of travel agencies. He later moved to Germany and became a music manager for one of the top jazz singers there. After marrying Janou Pakter, Jerry helped launch her successful global executive search firm 24 years ago. In 1994 Jerry and Janou created Nonstock, a high-end worldwide photography collection that offered an alternative to other more traditional stock agencies. The agency was highly respected for its unique, cutting edge and compelling imagery. Currently Jerry is co-president of Glasshouse Images. Jerry was given The Picture Professional award of the year for 2008 by the ASPP (the American Society of Pictures Professionals).
Award-Winning Travel Writer
Emma is a multi award-winning freelance travel journalist who pens articles for the UK nationals (Telegraph, FT, Independent) and magazines such as National Geographic Traveller UK and Wanderlust. She spends three quarters of the year on the road – camera in hand. Emma has also edited several of the TPOTY 'Journey' books.
"I enjoy unusual or dynamic compositions; images that evoke an emotional response – good or bad – that lingers with the viewer long after looking at the photograph. Above all, I'm looking for insight, creativity and attempts to say something new about the world."
Photographic Critic & Deputy Editor in Chief, Fotomagazin
Manfred Zollner began his journalistic career in 1987, as a film critic. By 1991 he had been editor of several film magazines in Munich, and then decided to dedicate himself to photographic magazines. He joined fotoMAGAZIN - one of Germany's leading photography magazines - as Director of Photography in 1991. From 2003-2006 he was Editor in Chief of Photo Technik International, and became Managing Editor of fotoMAGAZIN in March 2007.
"I'm looking for signature style images, which do show me the photographer´s individual approach to a chosen subject. An approach that enforces his subject and doesn´t just push the aesthetic appearance."