Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award 2020


Portraits – Hellerau Photography Award

Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award

Opening: September 25, 2019
Deadline: November 25, 2019
Entry fee: €50 per project
Prizes: €1,000, €2,000, €5,000

Dresden, famous pioneer city of photography. And nearby: Hellerau, Germany’s first garden city. The Festspielhaus Hellerau has been perched on Dresden’s “Green Hill” for over 100 years. Since 2015, it has been hosting the PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award.

Here, photographers from all over the world apply, translating the themes of our time into portraits. Their works are shown in the Festspielhaus and, since 2017, at other extraordinary locations across the Saxon capital: in small galleries, abandoned industrial buildings, in studios and museums. Over the past four years, we have presented more than two hundred photographers from more than 35 countries in 25 different exhibitions.

Two jurors of the first PORTRAITS competition, photographer Matthias Creutziger and art historian Dr Katja Schumann in 2015 summed up what the Hellerau jury is looking for:

  1. At best, photos should emphasize the character of the model, being true ‘psychograms’…
  2. We expect a new visual language that tries to disrupt any former paradigm.
  3. We want to feel what kind of photographer is behind the camera, too.
  4. We don’t understand fashion photography, neither old nor new.
  5. Sheer professionalism is too little.
  6. Mere beauty is not enough.
  7. We expect true passion – through the medium of photography.


The new competition will start on 25 September 2019. Until 25 November 2019, photographers will be able to submit their series of works via the Picter platform. The jury, which will include Dutch photographer Carla van de Puttelaar this year, will meet in early December and select the finalists whose works will be exhibited in February 2020 in the Grand Annual Exhibition. A generous sponsorship allows us to offer finalists the production of their works for free – the prints are produced in a Dresden specialist laboratory. Of course, you can also exhibit works you have produced and finalised yourself. On February 20, 2020, the winners of the PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award will be announced.


  • 1st Prize – 5,000 EUR
  • 2nd Prize – 2,000 EUR
  • 3rd Prize – 1,000 EUR
  • 4th Prize – Residency Prize at HELLERAU – EUROPEAN CENTRE OF THE ARTS
  • Invitations to various solo exhibitions in Dresden


In 2020, we will again organise individual satellite shows in addition to the »Big Annual Exhibition« in the Dresden city center. Starting in February 2020, the Festspielhaus Hellerau will be showing the works of the current residency prize-winner Mary Gelman (RUS) side by side with the series submitted by the new residency prize-winner.

Website: https://www.portraits-hellerau.com/en/


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