LOOK17 Highlights / Opportunities for Photographers


Continuing our series on highlights from LOOK17, we take a look at the series of opportunities that were aimed at photographers to enable showcasing opportunities and advice and support in developing your career, through networking, lab events, portfolio reviews and open calls – here’s a round up…

Rob Battersby Photography

Image courtesy Rob Battersby

Festival Hub

LOOK has always had a close link with Open Eye Gallery but for LOOK17 this has become a stronger partnership to enable greater opportunities for photographers to access information, advice and network, all centered around the gallery. Open Eye Gallery functioned as a hub for all the LOOK17 conversations that are at the heart of the photography festival experience, as well as housing the team in its office and enabling greater hospitality for photographers and cross conversations between visiting artists.

Commissioning for Change, Redeye

Every year we are delighted to work with our neighbours Redeye to deliver events that get to the heart of what photographers are looking for to advance their careers. Building on events and conversations at LOOK15, we co-hosted a day around creating a better commissioning culture, with speakers discussing why and how they have commissioned successful projects, and photographers sharing insights into their recently commissioned work. This event was aimed at anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the commissioning process, the difficulties faced by both photographers and commissioners and for those who would like to contribute to creating a better commissioning landscape.

Photography is more important to understanding our lives and culture than it has ever been. As billions of people every day share their lives on social media, it is as important as text or verbal communication. Great photography shared is powerful and as more people who commission artists come to understand this, more photographers will be commissioned within wider contexts.’ Sarah Fisher

Click here to read more around the ideas behind Commissioning for Change



Images courtesy Jemma Hall

“It was great to hear from those professionals from outside the sector who are commissioning photography and how they value the art form and what it can achieve.”

“Opened my eyes to the world beyond university and the opportunities available. Great to meet and take part in discussions with people from all sides of the commissioning process, lots to take in and discuss.”

“Really interesting and well organised, I found the event useful to gain information regarding the commissioning of photographic work. In attendance were a broad range of commissioners who provided vital information about potential opportunities.”

“This was a very useful event for me as this subject matter isn’t that widely discussed or the information freely available.”

Festival Fringe

LOOK17 Fringe festival presented work selected from our first open call back in March. It presented the work of 20 international photographers, reflecting the themes of China and Urbanism. The works were exhibited alongside the main festival programme at alternative venues across the city.

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 Images courtesy Jemma Hall

Here’s what some of the Fringe artists had to say:

“The sense of accomplishment gained from taking part has sharpened my work ethic, my understanding of what I want to do and why I want to do it. This has been a huge help for me and definitely helping me focus on where to go next with my work.”

“The main thing I have learnt would be confidence in my own work. And an understanding of it’s place in the wider context of the industry/profession.”


“I saw a rise in followers across all my social media platforms.”

The full list of photographers featured in LOOK17 Fringe can be seen HERE

The People’s City

The People’s City was the second open call opportunity for LOOK audiences to take part it. Throughout the festival, LOOK invited visitors to send in their images made in response to the festival and its themes – China and Urbanism. We received an overwhelming international response and the selected images were shown in the Tate Exchange at Tate Liverpool for the final week of the festival. Here is a small selection:

Volatile States

Duy Phuong (Vietnam)
Duy Phuong, Volatile States, 2017


Rachel Cave (UK)
Rachel Cave, The Golden Mile, 2017
Rachel Cave, A Splash of Blue, 2017

New Housing Developments, Outside SuwonOccupation Era House with Apartment Building, Gowoodang, GunsanTtukseom Public Pool, Seoul

Hans Gindelsberger (USA)
Hans Gindelsberger, New Housing Developments, Gwanggyo, Suwon
Hans Gindelsberger, Occupation Era House with Apartment Building, Gowoodang, Gunsan
Hans Gindelsberger, Ttukseom Public Pool, Seoul


Katherine Chan (Hong Kong SAR, China) 
Katherine Chan, Photo shooting at my mom’s hometown Chiu Chow Province, CHINA

The Peoples City selected photographers were:

Aviad Tal, Chan Dick, Chan Hau Chun, Chow San, Colin McPherson, Duy Phuong, Gherca Dani, Hans Gindlesberger, Imogen Frost, Johnny Gin, Karen Chui, Katherine Chan, Kevin Crooks, Maria Andres-Sanz, Mark Chapman, Paul Dickinson, Rachel Cave, Robert LeRoy-Evans and Zhou Hanshun.

Portfolio Reviews

At the heart of every photography festival is the opportunity for visiting photographers to gain new insights, perspectives and critical feedback on their work. This year’s LOOK was no exception, with 2 days of opportunities for photographers to have free portfolio reviews with esteemed photographers and people working within photography, including Thomas Dukes (Curator, Open Eye) , Sian Bonnell (Photographer, Curator and course leader Photographer at MMU), Adam Lee (Photographer) and Paul Hermann (Redeye).


Images courtesy Jemma Hall

“I have recently started a project set around Liverpool. For the preliminary stage, I used a compact film camera to photograph the places and subjects I was interested in. Having some material I was thinking about how can I develop the project and where it can go. So I took the opportunity of portfolio review to show my work and probably to hear suggestions on how can I build my project. The conversation with Adam Lee and Michael Kirkham was very useful, especially the fact that they are local photographers helped me a lot because they provided me with information on locations and history. Adam even offered me to help with equipment which was just fantastic. Moreover, the session with them was very inspiring because the review and support from colleagues are always important for young photographers.” – Max Gorbatskyi


For further information about LOOK opportunities and support for photographers, you can follow us on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram  and sign up to our mailing list (scroll to bottom of page) 

You can also check in with Redeye for loads of information and membership opportunities for photographers at every level. Redeye membership is a great way to advance your practice through talks and workshops, build a stronger network and find out about the latest opportunities.



Cover image courtesy Rob Battersby



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