PhMuseum 2021 Mobile Photography Prize - PhMuseum

PhMuseum 2021
mobile photo prize
See all the results

© Prarthna Singh

Our best congrats to all the applicants and the awarded photographers of this 3rd edition! All the submissions are still under consideration for the curated photobook and the exhibition at PhMuseum Lab. Stay tuned!

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Mobile Photo Of The Year /

Prarthna Singh
£2,000 plus promotion on the PhMuseum channels

"It tells you a lot about life during the pandemic: self-isolation, physical distancing, shrinking social space. But yet, Prarthna Singh manages to find a beautiful moment during this frustrating time. The result is an engaging contrast: the bird-view angle that strengthens the feeling of solitude and distant even in a domestic scene, while the color composition—the pink dress, roof and fence; plus the green grass sprinkled by flower petals—creates a poetic, happy tone." - Cristian Rahadiansyah

"Prarthna Singh’s photograph of her mother in her garden practicing her daily exercise during lockdown perfectly encapsulates how we lived during the pandemic. While masterful in the way it was photographed, the image goes beyond the vernacular in that it feels almost otherworldly. Singh’s mother appears to almost be floating from the perspective in which the image was taken, and the color pink flows through the image from the walls to the lighting to the flower petals that are scattered on the lawn." - Alana Celii

"I’m deeply moved by Prarthna’s image titled “Mother.” This ordinary moment seems to transcend space and time with its exquisite lighting and perspective. In many ways, this simple moment captures the feeling of lockdown during the pandemic. It’s disorienting and the sense of longing is palpable. The way the color pink vibrates throughout the image is striking and adds to the complexity. I am truly in awe of how all the different elements work together to elevate mobile photography to a different dimension." - Sara Urbaez

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2nd Prize /

Stephanie Noritz
£1,200 plus promotion on the PhMuseum channels

"It’s a simple candid family moment, but the overall tone and ambience feel like a painting or a movie storyboard. What surprises me, Stephanie Noritz created it remotely using a mobile phone. I believe lots of people will enjoy this photograph—it’s one of those alluring images which you can simply enjoy without understanding the context (it was taken during lockdown). Although I also believe some will wonder about the process behind it and (if any) the filter that Noritz uses." - Cristian Rahadiansyah

"This image is so well deserving of recognition, for its nuances and beauty that invite the viewer to reflect on representation. Through lighting and placement, each person in the image stands well on their own but is also seamlessly interwoven, showing the interconnectivity of all those pictured. The thoughtfulness in the image demonstrates how mobile photography can memorialize our loved ones in a striking and artful way that’s both complex and delightful. The more time I spend with the image, the more details start to appear." - Sara Urbaez

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3rd Prize /

Mithai Afrige Chowdhury
£800 plus promotion on the PhMuseum channels

"Mithai Afrige Chowdhury's image of a child hugging a healthcare worker through plastic embodies the extraordinary moment we are living through. There is a hopefulness in the girl as she's smiling and holding flowers in her hand. Yet, she and the flowers are shrouded in plastic. What drew me to this image is the tension between hope from the girl, the stoicism of the man, and the plastic barrier between them. The quality of light and the reflection of the plastic gives the image an almost painterly quality." - Alana Celii

"The photo captures an emotional moment that evokes mixed feelings. I can feel the happiness of the girl in the photo, but I also emphatize with the man embracing her. The most powerful element in the frame is of course the plastic partition—a new wall that divides the healthy from the sick. Apart from all that, the photo attracts attention thanks to its great color composition" - Cristian Rahadiansyah

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Honourable mentions /

The independent jury comprising of Cindy Sissokho, Alana Celii, Cristian Rahadiansyah and Sara Urbaez also awarded 9 honourable mentions for the Mobile Photo Of The Year category:

Collective Feature on BuzzFeed News /

Kate Bubacz, Photo Director at BuzzFeed, handpicked 23 photographs from the open call which were published on BuzzFeed News in August 2021.

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Online Collective Feature on GUP Magazine /

Since 2005, GUP Magazine aims to connect communities around contemporary art and documentary photography. Their Editorial Team selected 10 photographers among all of the applicants for an online collective feature on their Magazine.

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Online Feature on C41 Magazine /

The team of C41 Magazine, Milan-based magazine of contemporary visual art, selected 10 photographs from the open call's submissions and will share them in a collective feature on their website.

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Collective feature on Smart View /

TSV is an independent magazine showcasing the works of international mobile photographers. Editor and founder Rosa Roth selected 10 images.

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1st Prize

Poulomi Basu

What can stimulate more conversations, controversies and reflections than an image pretending to summarize the issues, trends and energy of a year? To your mobile devices and to the judges' opinion the difficult sentence.

"PhMuseum's Team will select around 200 images that will be published in a limited edition book. The publication will be the first one of a series of volumes that will be released on an annual basis with the aim of immortalize on paper the ephemeral images describing the phenomenon of the last few years."

Poulomi Basu, judge of the PHM 2018

© Poulomi Basu


Collective PhotoBook /

Featuring more than 50 photographers and 65 images coming from the open call, this collective book has been edited by American photographer Jason Fulford and challenges the traditional understanding of a portrait while examining its concern with the human presence in its wider sense.

Winners announced! See all the results and order your copy.

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Collective Exhibition in Italy /

PhMuseum's Team will curate a collective exhibition at PhMuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy in March 2022. The event will be accompanied by the book presentation.

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What we did in the last years

This open call is meant to be inclusive and stimulate a reflection on how mobile photography is influencing the medium and becoming part of our everyday life. Join our collective project as many professional and amateur photographers did during the last 2 editions.

INSIDE Opened A New Cycle Of Exhibitions At PhMuseum Lab

Last week we inaugurated the second show arising from our Mobile Photography Prize. It documents the first wave of the pandemic from an introspective point of view and it marks the re-opening of our gallery in Bologna, Italy.

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Our second book on mobile photography

Featuring 200 images from the 2021 open call, INSIDE is the result of that collective visual reflection on the pandemic. Published in March 2021 with original texts by PhMuseum Director's Giuseppe Oliverio and Vogue Italy photo editor’s Francesca Marani, the volume is the 2nd of the series of publication on mobile photography. All the images of the current open call will be considered for the next volume, to be published in March 2022.

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A collective exhibition in Bologna, Italy during art week

More than 400 people joined us for the opening of the show co-created and produced with Spazio Labo'. The show had more than 3,000 visitors and was accompanied by a book presentation with Erik Kessels and Chiara Bardelli Nonino (Vogue Italia).

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Our first book on mobile photography

Familiar Stranger is our first photobook on the subject, featuring 200 images from the 2019 open call. Self-published in January 2021 with original texts by Erik Kessels and PhMuseum Director's Giuseppe Oliverio, the volume is the first of a series. All the images of the current open call will be considered for the next volume, to be published in January 2021.

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General Info

The online self-representation began with texts. Blogs, messaging platform, tweets. Later, social media posts started to support a certain need to express ourselves and engage with larger audiences. A clear visual shift, which started soon after mobile devices became the main vehicle through which we document our everyday life and shape our digital representation.

With part of the Generation Z (born 1997-2012) and the whole Generation Alpha (early 2010 - mid-2020s) being the first people in human history to have full consciousness of their image and own portrayal since a very young age, how mobile phones and the digital environment are influencing the perception of the self and the way we live? How mobile phones are mediating our identity through images or simply shaping our persona? What does it mean “to be present” in a digital world base on representation?

With this open call, we wish to reflect on these relevant aspects and find images on identity, representation and self-representation in the era of mobile devices. We are looking for photographs that could help us document and understand this constantly evolving phenomenon and provoke new reflection to understand how the millenary human fascination for representation and self-representation is approaching this digital age.

© Elena Haliczer Elena Haliczer

Winning the 3rd prize in the Mobile Picture of the Year gave me a major confidence boost in my artistic vision, gave me some excellent exposure, and (more prosaically), helped me pay for my graduate school. I also got to see my photograph in print in the new book of mobile photography, 'Inside', which was a true thrill. Elena Haliczer, 3rd Prize Mobile Photos of The Year 2020


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