Picfair’s Women Behind the Lens competition was launched in 2017 to celebrate the exceptional work being produced by female photographers joining our global community of over 35,000 contributors. The inaugural competition was won by Emma Williams - an ambulance paramedic from Milton Keynes, and we were delighted to be able to continue the competition in 2018.
Over 2500 entries from 300 photographers and 52 countries were shortlisted to 20 beautiful images by a panel of industry judges; The Guardian’s Head of Photography Fiona Shields, The Pool’s Head of Art & Pictures Deborah Castle, Photomonitor Founding Editor Christiane Monarchi, and VCCP Blue’s Head of Creative Production Julia Arenson.
From this exceptional collection of images, the judges have chosen an overall winner, and a winner for each of categories of Street Level, Architecture, Nature and Portrait.
Street Level category and Overall Winner - Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Architecture category Winner - Eliane Haykal
Nature category Winner - Jacqueline Davidson
Portrait category Winner - Yvette Barnett
From our winner, Maureen Ruddy Burkhardt:
'I studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 70’s, re-inventing myself many times over my career from film-based school portraiture to documentary 16mm film for the US Navy, to what I currently do: travel and fine art photography.
I’m lucky to be living in Guanajuato, Mexico for a year and doing mostly street photography. I often pass by this Basilica on Saturday in hopes of seeing a wedding or quinceañeras taking place. Weddings are universal phenomena, it’s the settings that are unique. This image tells a story of universality…with a Mexican flair.
I want to credit Picfair for providing the ideal venue for my photography, its worldwide exposure and its positive encouragement to photographers, including women artists like myself. I feel that women bring a unique vision simply by virtue of their place in the world as daughters, mothers, and nurturers.'
The winning entries:
Overall and Street Level Category Winner - 'A wedding is about to take place at the Basilica in downtown Guanajuato, Mexico, where I live. In my street photography I like to create images that are at first glance visually interesting, but upon further inspection, reveal a story that may cause the viewer's eyes to linger and mind to wander.' - Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Architecture Category Winner - 'The church of Saint Ursula among green fields and power lines outside the village of Srednje Bitnje, Slovenia' - Eliane Haykal
Nature Category Winner - 'Caught in a beam of light under a forest canopy, a fern slowly begins to spiral to life. This picture was shot in Applecross, a remote community in the north west Highlands of Scotland'. - Jacqueline Davidson
Portrait Category Winner - 'Dhobi wallah in Cochin, Kerala, India' - Yvette Barnett
Picfair is delighted to champion the work of these women, and the work of all the photographers who entered the competition - their images will be showcased to our worldwide audience of publishers and businesses as part of our mission to provide more interesting, authentic and representative photography from around the globe.
All shortlisted entries will be exhibited at the Guardian News and Media Gallery at Kings Place until 1st December 2018.