Photo Contest


The photo contest is closed - we thank all the participants

The Lenzburg Photo Festivalg is a new, up-and-coming third edition festival, which takes place for one month in Lenzburg, a charming small Swiss town with a historic city centre. The proximity to Zurich and Basel, the capitals of the international art world, enables world-class experts to participate. The festival enjoys international recognition while maintaining its intimate dimension, offering photographers, experts and the public the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas.

In the third edition of the Lenzburg Photo Festival, everything revolves around the theme "Acceleration of Time, Times Under Pressure". The festival wants to draw the attention of all - experts and the public - to a theme that touches everyone on a different level and invites renowned photographers and emerging talents to share their visions on this theme in this edition of the festival.

Until a few decades ago, the rhythm of nature dictated the rules of life. Industrialisation and technological development have placed time management in man's hands and have created new rhythms that have an enormous impact on us and the ecosystem as a whole.

The extremely high number of events and information that individuals are confronted with and the competitive society in which we live challenge us to constant acceleration. The word stress is one of the most frequently mentioned terms in relation to our daily lives (1,510,000,000,000 results only in Google) and the rise of psychological diseases such as fear, especially among young people, are an indication of the struggle on a personal level to find a rhythm, a time of our own in life. Our environment is also exposed to this and is thus profoundly and dangerously changed. The sustainability of the global economic system is no longer only questioned, the effects are strong and clearly visible on many levels. We find ourselves in times under pressure.

The competition is open to all types of photography and is aimed at photographers from near and far. An international jury of renowned curators will select the most interesting projects to be exhibited during the festival from 9th May to 9th June in the fascinating Villa Müllerhaus in Lenzburg. Another group of individual images selected by the jury will be presented in the shop windows of Lenzburg's Old Town, with the possibility of winning the Audience Award (each image has an appropriate number and the public will be asked to vote on the best image by SMS).

The city itself will become an open photo gallery with further exhibitions and a rich programme of events, workshops and discussions with authors and experts. The festival of this small Swiss city, which already includes internationally renowned authors, makes it an event that should find its place in every agenda.

What the winners will receive:

  • Exhibition of the selected projects and more than 50 individual images during the festival
  • Jury prize for the best "project": CHF 1,500 and accommodation in Lenzburg on opening day (9 May)
  • The audience award, sponsored by SWL Energie AG of Lenzburg, for the best "single picture": CHF 1.000,- and the accommodation in Lenzburg for the closing event (6 June)
  • The pictures produced for the festival will be handed over to the authors.

That's how it works:

  • From November 2019 to 12th February 2020 (23:59, CET, Central European Time) you will submit a maximum of 15 photographs on the subject of "Times under Pressure". Either as single images or as a project
  • All participants will be notified by e-mail by 20 March 2020
  • The selected single images and projects will be produced by the Lenzburg Photo Festival
  • The individual photos selected by the jury of experts will be presented during the festival from May to 9th of June 2020 in the shop windows of the Old Town shops in Lenzburg and the best projects in a separate exhibition as part of the Photo Festival
  • Audience prize - festival visitors are asked to vote on their favourite photo by SMS within the festival month (each photo has a corresponding label)
  • The best project, according to the jury, receives the special prize of the Lenzburg Photo Festival, the award-winning author is a guest at the opening ceremony.

Entry fees:

  • Category Projects - Curated Exhibition
    23 EUR/25 CHF per project (5-15 images can be submitted per project)
  • Category Single Image - City Centre, Open-Air, Shops
    14 EUR/25 CHF (1-3 images can be submitted in the category Single Image)

INFO: Images can be submitted in both categories

Evaluation criteria:

The jury will decide which entries to the photo competition will deal with the subject with depth, high quality and original imagery.

Terms and Conditions, Conditions of Participation


Gilles Steinmann
Director of Photography NZZ

short biography
From 1999 editor for an IT magazine. Then web designer and photographer for various newspapers and magazines. Studied in Lucerne at the Media Training Centre (MAZ) with traineeship at the NZZ photo editorial office. Further years as picture editor at a Sunday newspaper and its magazine. Studied Cultural Media Studies at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Since March 2011 member of the picture editorial staff of the NZZ. From June 2017: Head of the NZZ picture editorial department.


Margherita Guerra
Direktorin Fotofestival Lenzburg

short biography
Since 3 years director of the Fotofestival Lenzburg. After studying theology, multimedia publishing and photography in Milan, she has been working in the field of photography for 20 years. She worked as a manager and picture editor in various publishing houses and for ten years in the photo archive Alinari, Florence. In 2015 she founded Yourpictureditor in Switzerland, an international network of picture editors offering advice and support for photo projects in various countries. In 2017 she co-founded the Lenzburg Photo Festivalv.


Audrey Hoareau
Curator of Photo Basel 2020, independent curator

short biography
The independent curator Audrey Hoareau has been responsible for the artistic direction of the Circulation(s) festival, Paris, dedicated to young European photography, for two years. After working in the collections of the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in Chalon-sur-Saône (2003-2016), she produced and organized photographic exhibition projects. In 2017, she contributed to the founding of the Lianzhou Museum of Photography in China, the first public photography museum in China, and contributed to the international program for two seasons. She manages Peter Knapp's archive and was recently appointed curator of Photo Basel 2020, a satellite of Art Basel and the only photography fair in Switzerland.


Guido Schmidtke
Since 2004 picture editor at STERN

short biography
After studying communication design at the Folkwang University in Essen, he worked for many years as a freelance photographer, mainly for magazines. He began his work as a picture editor at ADAC Reisemagazin, 4 years later he went to STERN, where he worked in various departments. For the last three years he has been responsible for foreign topics.

Kathryn Cook-Pellegrin
Head of Creative Content - International Committee of the Red Cross
short biography
Kathryn Cook is based in Geneva as head of creative content (formerly head of photography) for the International Committee of the Red Cross. She has more than 10 years of experience as a photographer - first with the Associated Press in Latin America, and then freelance, working for international publications. Her work there focuses on honing a distinct eye and voice to critical humanitarian issues through visual storytelling across digital and media platforms.

Further information on the jury will be published here shortly.
If you have any questions, please contact: