Palm* Photo Prize announces its 2021 shortlist and exhibition dates

Following 7500 entries to the prize, this year’s shortlist showcases the breadth of the current photography scene.

30 April 2021

The Palm* Photo Prize has long been a landmark event in the annual photography calendar. Often shining a light on who to watch in the scene, the team behind the prize today announced its shortlist for 2021. Following a free, open submission process for the whole of March, the chosen shortlist will be presented in an exhibition from 20 May – 30 August at 10 14, a new gallery from East Photographic.

There over 100 photographers chosen in this year’s shortlist. Showcasing a mix of portraiture and landscape works, as well as snippets from wider documentary projects, there is huge breadth to this year’s shortlist, selected from 7500 entries. There’s Brendan George Ko’s tender photograph of a group of butterflies for instance, through to the joy of a jump on a trampoline in a portrait by Christopher Nunn. Elsewhere is a shot from Maggie Shannon’s Extreme Pain, but also Extreme Joy series, chronicling the story of four midwives during the pandemic, as well as Donavan Smallwood’s exploration of his local green space in Central Park during lockdowns. In other areas of the shortlist portraiture takes more of a focus, from an intimate portrait by Tami Aftab of her father, Imogen Freeland’s portrait of two pregnant sisters, or a group shot of teenagers by Justin Leveritt.

During the exhibition, the presented shortlist will be in the running for four prizes and 20 finalists from this shortlist will be selected. Firstly there are two prizes selected by a judging panel, this year consisting of editor-in-chief of i-D, Alastair McKimm; senior curator at The Photographers’ Gallery, Karen McQuaid; writer, photo editor and podcaster Gem Fletcher; photographer and director of Home, Ronan McKenzie; senior photo agent at East Photographic, Megan Tilley; and finally Lola Paprocka, photographer and founder of Palm* Studios. This year there is also a people’s choice award and an “up and coming” award presented by photography agency East. This prize will be awarded to an emerging talent currently unrepresented by a photography agency or gallery and will receive mentorship by East’s global team of agents.

To find out more about this year’s shortlist and Palm* Photo Prize’s soon to be open exhibition head here.


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Vivek Vadoliya (Copyright © Vivek Vadoliya, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Maggie Shannon (Copyright © Maggie Shannon, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Justin Leveritt (Copyright © Justin Leveritt, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Imogen Freeland (Copyright © Imogen Freeland, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Tami Aftab (Copyright © Tami Aftab, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Donavon Smallwood (Copyright © Donavon Smallwood, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Peter Fisher (Copyright © Peter Fisher, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Brendan George-Ko (Copyright © Brendan George-Ko, 2021)


Palm Photo Prize 2021: Alessandro Iovino (Copyright © Alessandro Iovino, 2021)

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Palm Photo Prize 2021: Christopher Nunn (Copyright © Christopher Nunn, 2021)

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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