01 June 2021

8 Reasons to Apply to the PHmuseum Mobile Photography Prize

01 June 2021 - Written by Giuseppe Oliverio

Applying means to support our collective research on the phenomenon, while joining an inclusive initiative that will give life to a 3rd photobook on mobile photography, a collective exhibition at PHmuseum Lab, features on international magazines, and offer $5,000 in cash.

© Oxana Guryanova

As I write these lines from the PHmuseum Lab, what I see all around me are the images from last year's mobile photography prize open call that resulted in the exhibitions INSIDE. Together with the related publication they represent quite an impressive and inclusive collective effort to document our daily lives and what is characterising these years. Something that will acquire a deeper meaning year after year. For this reason, we are very excited about the open call's 3rd edition that will explore identity, representation and self representation in the era of mobile devices. I hope you can join us, considering all the valuable motivations for which it is worth it.

I. AROUND 350 CHANCES TO GET INVOLVED / Up to 60 photographs will be selected as finalist for the Mobile Photos of the Year $5,000 cash prizes while up to 200 participants will be selected by PHmuseum's Giuseppe Oliverio and Rocco Venezia to be published in our third photobook on mobile photography. A further 40 photographs will be handpicked for the publications on BuzzFeed, C41 Magazine, GUP Magazine, and The Smart View. Up to 50 photographers will be invited to exhibit in our collective exhibition at PHmuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy. This open call is meant to be inclusive and empower a collective picture, so enjoy this opportunity to take part in the conversation and get involved.

II. JOIN OUR COLLECTIVE RESEARCH / Under PHmuseum's coordination and curatorship, you can become an active part of the initiative and give your contribution in defining the contents and aesthetics that are characterising this first decade of mobile photography. It will be an exciting and relevant experience, pairing professionals' and amateurs' point of views in the new curated photobook that will follow Familiar Stranger and INSIDE.

III. EXHIBIT IN ITALY / Taking part in an exhibition is often a meaningful experience for several reasons. It is a great occasion to spot a light on your work, talk about it in first person and improve your CV. You can meet with colleagues and expand your network while having fun and discover a new city. Our show at PHmuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy, will grant you all these opportunities as well as the chance to attend a talk on mobile photography and the presentation of the book. This is what we did in 2020 and 2021.

© Alberto Lara

IV. EXPOSURE TO OUR JURY AND COMMUNITY / While we are currently featuring several submissions in our Instagram Account and taking note of new photographers to present on PHmuseum over the year, our international jury will soon start its reviewing process. Judge Alana Celii is a Photo Editor at The New York Times where she covers the technology beat on the business desk. Cindy Sissokho is a Paris-born curator, cultural producer and writer appointed Associate Curator for 2021 Casablanca Biennale in Morrocco. Cristian Rahadiansyah is the Editor-in-Chief of DestinAsian Indonesia and the Director of Jakarta International Photo Festival (JIPFest), Indonesia’s first international photography festival organized by the PannaFoto Institute. Sara Urbaez is the founder of LISTO, a curatorial platform devoted to BIPOC photographers and recently joined Square as Photo Art Director. Our open call is a powerful vehicle to show your work to our audience and get noticed by industry professionals who might notice your photography and invite you to work with them.

V. ENTER OUR PARTNERS NETWORK / BuzzFeed News is a global news organization providing original online reporting and video programming across Netflix, Facebook Watch, Twitter, Snapchat, and more. GUP Magazine is an international authoritative publication on photography, connecting its communities with the sharpest conceptual photography. C41 Magazine is a Milan-based magazine of contemporary visual art from all over the world. The Smart View an independent magazine showcasing the works of international mobile photographers and artists along with interviews and academic texts. By applying, you will not only be considered for their prizes but you will also and most importantly showcase your work to their respective teams and get on their radars.

VI. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN A DIFFERENT WAY / What are you doing with your mobile photos apart from storing them in the clouds or uploading them on social media? This call is a nice way to do something more meaningful with them and become part of a collective initiative. This call is meant to be inclusive and count on the images of photographers and non-photographers to analyse the mobile photography phenomenon and renew the conversation around a very important question: how the fact that each one of us always carries a camera in their pockets is influencing the visual language and the way we interact as a society?

© Juliana Pachon

VII. SUPPORT PHMUSEUM / Even in lockdown times our team worked hard to keep our community informed with free reviews, guides, articles, and online exhibitions. We further kept organising our open calls and offered support to colleagues with initiatives like the online photobook festival, and discounted remote portfolio reviews and consultancy. All these initiatives require a significant effort and applying to this open call can be a good occasion to show your support and approval for the work that we are carrying ahead as an independent team of professionals and photography lovers.

VIII. IT ALL STARTS NOW / Be proactive and generate new opportunities to yourself. Our open call will give life to a series of related initiatives that will last until May 2022. In July 2021 we will announce the Mobile Photos of the Year; in August, 4 international magazines - BuzzFeed News, GUP Magazine, C41 Magazine and The Smart View - will feature a selection of works on their website and social media channels; in October we will announce the photographs that will give life to our third limited edition photobook on mobile photography; in December we will contact the photographers that will be exhibited at PHmuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy; then in March 2022 we will open the exhibition, plus featuring a parallel online exhibition at, and launch the book. We are just at the beginning of this amazing journey, and you are welcome to join us.


The PHmuseum 2021 Mobile Photography Prize is currently open for submissions offering $5,000 in cash prizes, features in a 200-image photobook, space in an exhibition to be held in January 2021 at PHmuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy and feature in international magazines. Learn more and present your photographer at before 17 June.

Written by

Giuseppe Oliverio

Reading time

7 minutes

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