Picfair are honoured to announce the winners of our inaugural Women Behind the Lens competition in 2017.
Our winners are truly representative of the breadth and diversity that makes up Picfair's photographic community - a paramedic from Northamptonshire, a Polish-Italian photographer currently based in Italy, a Swedish photographer with a masters in psychology and a self-taught Polish photographer currently working in IT recruitment.
Over 4000 entries from 350 photographers and 40 countries were shortlisted to 20 stunning images by a panel of esteemed industry judges; Anna Fox, who is leading research into photography and gender at the University of Creative Arts, The Guardian’s Head of Photography, Fiona Shields, APL Media’s Art Editor, Lauren Atkinson-Smith and Photomonitor editor Christiane Monarchi. Having already been featured by The Guardian, various other international publications, and the BBC's Women's Hour, the images were also exhibited at the Guardian's in-house gallery in London from mid-December until mid-January.
From this exceptional collection of images, the judges have chosen an overall winner, and a winner for each of categories of Portrait, Architecture, Nature and Street.
Portrait category and Overall Winner - Emma Williams
Architecture category Winner - Anna Sowinska
Nature category Winner - Rebecka Lindberg
Street category Winner -Agnieszka Maruszczyk
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.
Emma Williams - "My experiences as a female photographer to date have been entirely empowering and positive. Moreover, to be taken seriously in such a highly challenging and competitive industry, where I am predominantly inspired by other female photographers, fuels my artistic momentum."
Anna Sowinska - "The impulse that pushes me to take pictures is my personal need to tell stories from a different perspective. Borders do not exist, not even the boundaries for creativity. This is the miracle of photography."
Rebecka Lindberg - "I feel very honoured and amazed winning the Nature category knowing so many talented female photographers entered the competition. Being a self-taught amateur photographer with a fair amount of self-doubt it means a great deal to me personally. The world needs diverse perspectives. Way to go Picfair for highlighting women behind the lens!"
Agnieszka Maruszczyk - "It was a great surprise and knowing there was over 4000 images submitted in the competition makes it even more unbelievable! It makes me feel much more confident that I'm on the right path. At the same time, it was never my intention to live fully as a photographer, I like keeping it as a passion, seeing no need to fight for an assignment or a customer... Diversity is great in everything we do. That’s what makes photography so much more interesting seeing both female and male perspectives."