Untitled 2021 Winners Announced

We want to thank all of our sponsors, and participants who helped make Untitled 2021 a wonderful exhibition and event. A special thank you to our jurors, Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography at WIRED; Mark Gallo, Creative Director, traina; and gallery owner Joseph Bellows who curated the top 21 selections from nearly 500 submissions. Congratulations to all of our Untitled 2021 finalists and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 images.

20% of the entry proceeds will go to Outside the Lens to support their mission and programming. 

Selected Winners

  • Todd Glaser – 1st Place
  • Jennifer Rubin – 2nd Place
  • Jim Esposito – 3rd Place
  • Nick Nacca
  • Markku Lahdesmaki
  • Marshall Williams
  • Joe Patronite
  • Taggart Lee
  • Beto Soto
  • Dana Hursey
  • Marina Griffin
  • David Fouts
  • Joshua Goodell
  • Jens Lucking
  • Robert Ripps
  • Liana Grigoryan
  • Sam Zauscher
  • Sean Horton
  • Matt Harbicht
  • Jim Esposito
  • Art Streiber

Click here to preview the top 21 winners!

Thank you for supporting our photo community!

THANK YOU TO OUR 2020 SPONSORS!

Untitled 2021: A Photographic Exhibition

Join APA | San Diego at Bread & Salt Gallery for a one-night only exhibition of the top 21 photographic prints from our Untitled 2021 contest. APA | SD will donate 20% of the contest entry proceeds to Outside the Lens; a San Diego-based organization that provides photography and digital media programming to youth and the community. See all competition entries shown in a rotating slideshow, sip craft beer from Saint Archer Brewing and support the photo community. Winning entries were curated by Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography at WIRED; Mark Gallo, Creative Director, traina; and Joseph Bellows | Joseph Bellows Gallery. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 images.

To preview the top 21 winners click here

When:
Friday, November 12, 2021
6:00-9:00 PM

Where:
Bread & Salt
1955 Julian Avenue
San Diego, CA 92113

THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 SPONSORS:

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Submit Your Images Now For UNTITLED 2021!

Untitled is an annual competition and exhibition designed to showcase the best work of APA members and beyond – Images that show your unique vision, creative passion, and individualistic style, titled or untitled. This contest is open to all photographers at any level and there are no specific categories. All entries will be curated by our jurors and the top 20 images will be selected to display for exhibition and the top three (3) photos will be awarded prizes.

20% of the entry fees will be donated to Outside the LensThe mission of Outside the Lens is to empower youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and their world.

We welcome this year’s jurors, Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography at WIRED; Mark Gallo, Creative Director at traina; and Gallery Owner, Joseph Bellows.

You can find full details and submission guidelines here.

Deadline extension to enter is NOON PDT October 14th, 2021!

ENTER TODAY!

Need another reason to enter?
Here are the prizes being awarded for the top 3 winning images! 

1st Place Winner

$500!!!

ONE FULL-DAY STUDIO RENTAL at Skylight Studios in San Diego, CA  – (Liability Insurance Required) $1,000 Value 

ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD (FULL 1-YEAR MEMBERSHIP) – $599 Value

THINKTANK: URBAN ACCESS™ BACKPACK – $219.75 Value

LUME CUBE PANEL GO + LUME CUBE 2.0 – $188 Value

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO COMMUNICATION ARTS – $53 Value

GEORGE’S CAMERA $50 GIFT CARD

2nd Place Winner

THINKTANK: Retrospective® 7 V2.0 – $164.75 Value

LUME CUBE PANEL PRO LED LIGHT – $159 Value

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO COMMUNICATION ARTS – $53 Value

GEORGE’S CAMERA $100 GIFT CARD


3rd Place Winner

THINKTANK: Urban Access™ 10 Sling Bag – $109.75 Value

LUME CUBE PANEL GO – $99 Value

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO COMMUNICATION ARTS – $53 Value

GEORGE’S CAMERA $50 GIFT CARD

PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK LIBRARY INCLUDING:

Signed copy of Galveston by Jason Lee – $60 Value

Signed copy of Soul. R&B. Funk Photographs 1972-1982 by Bruce W. Talamon – $70 Value

MEET. Samantha Schwann

© Samantha Schwann

Meet underwater photographer and APA member Samantha Schwann.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
I’m not a podcaster but right now I’m trying a learn to speak Spanish one.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
@spacex
@hiroshisugimoto
@missionblue
And a couple of dog accounts because they bring me joy 🙂 

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
I can’t listen underwater, but there is nothing better than getting lost in creative flow while editing with good music. A lot of indie electronic.

What inspires you?
That we still have a shred of a chance to preserve our oceans, but it’s a global call to action.  

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
I get to invite viewers to join me in experiences, and share my passion for our ocean planet.  

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I’m deeply engulfed in a project (which is my happy place) so it’s pretty all-consuming. That being said, I love what yoga does for me mentally and physically, so I try to keep that balance.  

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
I’m a very early riser and find mornings are when I’m at my creative best. Currently it is a lot of writing and preparation for a project. Covid meant no travel, but time in quarantine allowed for concentrated work in other areas. I’m usually traveling every couple of months, so it’s a cycle of developing, preparation, and then editing.

Who were your biggest influencers?
Nick Brandt
Edward Burtynski
Laurent Ballesta

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
“Hard work beats talent any day of the week” – Joel Grimes.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
Highlight is happening right now, working on my dream project. The challenges have been learning how to navigate my way to where I want to be, and in funding my work.

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was an investment advisor. It was interesting and I was ok at it but I knew it wasn’t what I was meant to be doing. I saw a lot of people who worked and saved their whole lives, for moments which never came. That stuck with me – while it’s important to plan and be responsible, I want to do things now, while I can.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
Perhaps an oceanographer, or a submarine pilot – but I require a creative outlet. I feel I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing.

What do you do when you get stuck?
I’ve learned to trust the creative process, and stopped freaking out a while ago. Step back, hit a yoga class, go for a swim or lose myself in a movie. The less I stress about it the smoother the wave.

What is your best advice for your peers?
Keep going.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
All of the experiences you will go through, especially the difficult ones, will be catalysts for growth. Be fearless in your pursuit, observe and listen to learn as much as you can, and trust your instincts.

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
I think it’s great that technology has made it easier for people to become interested in photography and take better pictures! I don’t see it as a threat, as I find it can foster a deeper appreciation. While advances have made things easier, at the end of the day you still have to put in the work if you want to pursue photography seriously. What separates a photographer from the masses is a cohesive body of work, personal style, and vision, and there are no shortcuts for that.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Contributing to ocean conservation in a meaningful, tangible way, and ocean exploration.

To view more of Samantha’s work you can follow along here.

MEET. Amy Scott

© Amy Scott

Meet Houston based commercial and editorial photographer Amy Scott.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
Dear Art Producer by Heather Elder, Focus on Women with Traci Terrick, and I love listening to the “Daily Wellness” every day on Spotify.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
I let my clients choose, otherwise I like to constantly mix it up depending on my mood. In the afternoons when energy is a little low on set after lunch I like to pump things up with pop and R&B from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s because they make folks laugh and sing along.

What inspires you?
People who see the world differently than I do. I love coming across artists and authors and other creators that explore the whole range of humanity through their work! Whether it be playful, heavy, or poignant, people doing work that reflects the insane, wonderful, and inspiring stories around or inside of them fill me with joy and help me think about my life and work from new perspectives.  

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Making images that really convey the feeling of a moment. Working with incredible inspirational teams to make something I could never create on my own. And problem solving! Every day is full of surprises and I love it.  

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I love cooking, travelling, wandering through forests, growing food, writing, making weird wines and vermouths.  

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
Every day that I’m not on a shoot, I work out or take a walk before I start my day. I try to make sure I start the day with a clear idea of what my goals are so I have a daily to do list and highlight the things that are essential. Each week I spend time researching and connecting with new prospective clients, planning out marking emails or social media posts, brainstorming new projects, and teaching myself new skills. I have trouble unplugging at the end of the day and will often work late, but I’ve been getting better about it and try to just work 9-6 if I’m not on a shoot.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
It was hard to get consistent assisting jobs when I was just starting out and trying to learn. I was even told once that I wouldn’t be considered for an assisting job because I was a woman. Many (male) photographers told me that I would have to prove myself because male photographers wouldn’t believe I was strong enough to do the job. I just had to persevere and continue to look for the folks who would hire me and mentor me regardless of my gender. 

One of the biggest highlights of my career so far was being awarded a grant to pursue a photo documentary project of Houston farmers. That work then led to work with a national rice brand, and many more opportunities.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Do not give up. This is a hard business, but you will make it if you don’t give up – let everyone else be the quitters.

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was the manager of a 26 acre vegetable farm!

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’d be a writer, an advocate for small scale farmers, or I’d pursue my weird dream of going back to school to study ancient Greek papyrology.

What do you do when you get stuck?
Take a break, get outside, try something new, do something active.

What is your best advice for your peers?
Connect with each other! I would not be where I am without the support of other photographers and I am so grateful to not feel alone in this sometimes very challenging, lonely business! Community is what makes everything worthwhile.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Always be yourself and make no apologies. You got this.

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
I still see us as storytellers first and foremost. Anyone can take a picture, but I see us as creative partners who work alongside our clients to make their story or campaign come to life.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
I would love to get larger grants to tell more photo documentary style stories about US farmers through stills and motion!

To view more of Amy’s work you can follow along here.

Untitled 2021: A Photographic Exhibition | Call For Entries

Untitled is an annual competition and exhibition designed to showcase the best work of APA members and beyond – Images that show your unique vision, creative passion, and individualistic style, titled or untitled. This contest is open to all photographers at any level and there are no specific categories. All entries will be curated by our jurors and the top 20 images will be selected to display for exhibition and the top three (3) photos will be awarded prizes.

20% of the entry fees will be donated to Outside the LensThe mission of Outside the Lens is to empower youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and their world.

We welcome this year’s jurors, Anna Goldwater Alexander, Director of Photography at WIRED; Mark Gallo, Creative Director at traina; and Gallery Owner, Joseph Bellows.

You can find full details and submission guidelines here.

Deadline to enter is 11:59PM PDT October 10th, 2021.

MEET. Luis Garcia

© Luis Garcia

Meet Southern California based editorial and commercial photographer and APA member Luis Garcia.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
I subscribed to some podcasts but not always listen to all of them; one of my favorite podcast is How I build this with Guy Raz on NPR.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
I don’t have a favorite, my feed I filled with accounts from photographers, designers, travelers, cyclists. 

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Simple, honest, clean.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Most of my work is on location, so I don’t listen to anything but the sound of the city or nature.

What inspires you?
I’m always inspired by nature and humanity; we live in such a beautiful and wonderful world.

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Knowing new people and new places.

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I used to be an elite cyclist, now I’m just a cyclist, so I enjoy a lot going out and riding my bike.

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
I’m not set on any kind of daily routines, I need to work on that.

Who were your biggest influencers?
Too many to list them all.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Show up and don’t fuck it up. (*mess it up) advice given to me by a photographer friend that is no longer with us.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
As an editorial photographer the highlight of my career has been being able to somewhat travel the world, I’m still waiting for that call to shoot an assignment in Africa. Challenge, making the full jump to commercial photography.

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a photo assistant for a few years, before that I tried to become a professional athlete, did not succeed on that.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I would be a chef, I love cooking!

What do you do when you get stuck?
I step away from that thing that I feel stuck in, I look for some type of distraction, watch a movie or go for a bike ride to clear my mind, I talk to friends and ask for advice from my peers.

What is your best advice for your peers?
Be honest to yourself, always under promise and over deliver, and show up and don’t fuck it up.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Be more focused.

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
I think it has always been, but now more than ever; the photographer’s role in today’s day is as a problem solver. You need to work with what you have and make it work. Technology is there to make things easier and more efficient, but ultimately you have to make it happen.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Hopefully shooting more commercial work.

To view more of Luis’s work you can follow along here.

MEET. Todd Glaser

© Todd Glaser
 

Meet Photographer, Waterman and APA | SD member, Todd Glaser.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
@walteriooss @aspictures @burkgnar @petesouza @livefromsnacktime

What 3 words describe your photography style?
I don’t know if I would be the best person to answer that question, but if I had to describe my approach it would be to:
keep it simple

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Depends on the mood, if I’m in the water there’s no headphones or music, but in the studio or on an outdoor shoot it’s usually whatever the vibe of the shoot is. If we need a lot of energy, something a bit more fast paced like the Stones, if it’s a bit mellower than the music will compliment that mood. Most importantly if you’re listening to your subject your intuition will guide you on what you need to hear and how to best capture them. There is always an energy to the shoot and as often times music can enhance it, it can also be a distraction.  

Always music during the edit though!

What inspires you?
Watching the light then thinking about how to tell a story or someone’s experiences through your lens. I love watching films as inspiration for cinematography and framing, but the best way to be inspired is to go out and experience new things that we can bring to our vision and subjects. Behind every great actor is a great story and we need to be able to not only have an idea, but bring ourselves into the experience with our subjects so we create something special together.

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Pre-covid I would say the travel! Now as the world is opening up, travel may be more of a reality, but because of a camera I’ve been able to meet some incredible people who are now dear friends, I’ve filled quite a few passports with countries of places I’d dreamt of going, but have also been able to share the world through my eyes which is pretty cool. Above all else, when you make an image that makes people happy, it feels good and it feels good to feel good.
 
When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
Surfing, bodysurfing, cycling, running, currently unpacking boxes since we just moved, and learning how to cook/bake as well as spending time with my wife Jenna usually doing most of the above at the same time.
 
Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
My daily routine varies quite a bit. If I’m not on site shooting, I’m usually working on a few pre-productions or edits from future or past shoots, organizing prints, shipping books, or working on a new book that I’ve been editing for during Covid. Besides that I’m usually drinking way too much coffee and trying to keep the business part of photography running smooth.  It’s a lot of work to not only shoot and edit yourself, but be responsible for the business side such as taxes, bills, maintaining gear, booking travel, etc..
 
Who were your biggest influencers?
Danny Clinch, Anton Corbijn (never met him, but he’s my favorite!), Michael Halsband, Steve Sherman, Dustin Humphrey, Scott Aichner, Grant Ellis, Thomas Campbell, Tom Servais, Ted Grambeau, Cole Barash, Kevin Zacher, Chris Burkard, Pete Taras

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Say please and thank you, have common courtesy to everyone.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
Being able to turn my passion for the ocean, travelling, and photography into a career would be the biggest highlight I could ever imagine. The biggest challenge would be keeping a balance between being present at home while travelling as much as I used to.  

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I started shooting photos when I was 15 and at the time I was going to school and working at a local surf shop in San Diego. We didn’t start work until 10 on the weekends and I had Surf PE at school so whenever we shot it was always in early morning light which worked great! I didn’t know anything other than shooting at sunrise and for the film we were using at the time (Velvia 50) you didn’t want to be shooting at any other time!
 
If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’m not too sure, hopefully something where I got to think and problem solve creatively. I have a ton of admiration for Firefighters, Lifeguards, and the Coast Guard so maybe do my best to work in that area to help others?!
 
What do you do when you get stuck?
Lately I’ve been going on runs or riding a bike, or surfing. Something where I am as far away from phones and computers as possible. I used to always have a camera with me everywhere we went, but found I was using it as a crutch to belong in a way, whereas by being more actively present in spaces you’re unfamiliar with, you take those experiences with you when you take the camera out and view either your subjects or your experiences through a slightly different lens. More connected.
 
What is your best advice for your peers?
What makes your work yours is the way you choose to compose an image as well as the moment you choose to capture it. No one can take away your perspective and that is what not only shapes your work but defines your style as well. Also, if you’re considering getting into Surf Photography, make sure you go surf without the camera too!  
 
What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
I would tell myself it’s ok to say no sometimes. Listen to your gut, your instincts, those will guide you. Also, looking back I see how many major life events I’ve missed in my families and friends lives so making more time for them, which at times may lead to missing a shoot day or missing a particular shoot, but means so much to them.
 
What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
The role is the same it has always been. To tell stories and capture a time in life whether you’re telling the story of current events which will turn into history, the story of a person, group or place, or to inspire. The only big difference I have seen between now and the past is the accessibility to creating and sharing images in a quicker, more efficient way. I constantly look back at old National Geographic Magazines and Time magazines and think to myself, the photography now isn’t any better by any means even though we have so many new cameras, the principles of photography have remained the same, the only difference is there are more images that come out quicker.
 
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Jenna and I were just talking about that and to be honest am not entirely sure. In the last 5 years I came out with my first book and had some amazing opportunities to build a broader commercial portfolio both with stills and most recently motion, so I’m thinking more of the same. I’ve been shooting for and editing a book that I’m hoping to come out in the next year or two at the most as well as storyboarded out a short film I’d like to produce and shoot as well.  Whatever or wherever we end up I’m sure there will be large bodies of water around and an early morning alarm clock to watch the sun rise :).
 
To view more of Todd’s work you can follow along here.

APA Awards 2021: Call for Entries Now Open!

APA AWARDS 2021

Our annual competition is open to all photographers at every level, worldwide – everyone from emerging photographers to established professionals.

Our Judges will select 43 APA Award Winners this year for 14 categories and one Best of Show.

APA members save on each entry. APA Leader level members save over 50% on each image.

ENTER THE 2021 APA AWARDS HERE

2020 Sports/Adventure Winner © Todd Glaser


AWARDS CATAGORIES 

Architecture / Interiors
Beauty / Fashion
Celebrity / Musicians
Conceptual / Altered
Corporate / Industrial
Created During Covid (Images created since 3/2020)
Documentary / Photojournalism
Food / Still Life
Lifestyle
Nature / Animals
Personal Projects
Portrait
Sports / Adventure
Travel / Landscape

Deadline Extended – July 20, 2021 (Noon, Pacific)

Culture & Cause: Highlighting Women in Photography

APA San Diego and MOPA invite you to join us for a special evening presentation with three photographic artists to support and celebrate these amazing women and their cause driven work.

The panel will cover topics such as diversity within the industry, share their personal stories and experiences and discuss their creative process and activism. Our guest panelists include: Cara Romero, Nitashia Johnson and Morgan DeLuna

WHEN: Thursday, May 6th, 2021 at 4 p.m. PST

WHERE: Online | Link will be sent out upon registration

COST: This event is a fundraiser to benefit three youth organizations that each artist is passionate about. Your support will help raise funds to further the goals and mission of the following organizations:

Las Fotos Project
The Smart Project
The AjA Project

Reserve your spot today click here!
Not a Member?
Our annual memberships start at $50! Join Now

© Left to Right: Morgan DeLuna, Nitashia Johnson, Cara Romero


ABOUT THE PANEL

Cara Romero is based in Santa Fe, NM, was born in Inglewood, CA and raised between the rural Chemehuevi reservation in the Mojave Desert and the urban sprawl of Houston, TX. Her identity informs her photography, which is a blend of fine art and editorial photography. Her award-winning work is included in many public and private collections internationally. Her practice is shaped by years of study, and a visceral approach to representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory, collective history, and lived experiences, from a Native American female perspective.

Donations will be made to Las Fotos Project.

Nitashia Johnson is a multimedia artist and educator from Dallas, Texas who attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She went on to become an alum of Texas Woman’s University in 2012 and the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. She has a true passion for creating and combines her love for photography and design to help make a difference in the world. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning Show and she’s also the creator of The Self Publication photographic book series. In 2019, she became one of the first women selected for the Sony Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence program.

Donations will be made to The Smart Project.

Morgan DeLuna was born and raised in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and relocated to Southern California in 2004. She has a background in the performing arts and was a precursor to her visual arts practice. Using a conceptual approach she explores the human condition and liminal space. Themes around the relationship between identity, appearance, and human connection are the focus of her work.
Morgan’s work has been exhibited in spaces nationally and internationally including the San Diego Art Institute, Los Angeles Center of Photography, and FotoNostrum in Barcelona. In addition to exhibitions, her work has been in published in SHOTS Magazine and Diffusion Annual.

Donations will be made to The AjA Project.

Thank you to our sponsors:

APA-SD Sponsors George's Camera, Nelson Photo, Museum of Photographic Arts