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Portrait of Patricia Karallis by Hilary Walker

The 7th Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards is now open for entries! This year, prizes include street exhibitions in NYC and LA, gallery shows in Paris and Berlin, inclusion in the Feature Shoot Emerging Photographers book, and more. 2021’s submitting photographers will also have the chance to have their work seen by our judging panel, composed of internationally renowned voices within the industry.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Patricia Karallis, who works as a freelance photographer and serves as the Founder and Editor of the contemporary print and online photo magazine Paper Journal. In addition to her roles as artist and publisher, she has sat on juries for several preeminent photo awards, including Photolucida Critical Mass, Verzasca Foto Awards, Japan Photo Award, and Australian Photobook of the Year. We’re thrilled to have her as one of our judges this year for the Emerging Photography Awards.

Paper Journal 01 cover

What first inspired you to found Paper Journal?

“The idea for Paper Journal came about during my final year of studying photography at Westminster University (London), while I was working as Picture Editor for an online arts and culture magazine. I really enjoyed the research aspect of the role, as well as having a range of ideas in terms of content that didn’t quite fit where I was working at the time, so decided to start my own platform. It took around six months to pull content and the site together, and Paper Journal was launched early 2013.”

Nhu Xuan Hua, Paper Journal 01

How has Paper Journal evolved over the last eight years?

“When I started Paper Journal, I didn’t really have an idea of where I wanted it to go—it was more something that I did out of a love of photography and publishing, and it still is. I think the biggest change was when we shifted our issues from digital to print. It was such a long journey, and I came across a lot of obstacles, but the outcome was definitely worth it, with our first issue launching at NY Art Book Fair as well as being nominated for a Lucie Award.”

Paper Journal, digital issue 19 cover

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of serving as its Editor-in-Chief?

“What I find most rewarding is sharing the work of emerging photographers, then seeing them be picked up by other publications and shooting big editorials, or going on to do a solo show. I think our small team has a really good eye on selecting new talent. On a personal level, I love working one-to-one with artists, especially when it comes to the sequencing and layout of their work like in our print edition and Annual Series.

Are there any articles or essays you’ve published that have stayed with you over the years? Can you tell us about one of them?

“This is a tough one; since we launched, we’ve published over 800 interviews, features, studio visits, editorials and photobook reviews—and that doesn’t include the countless number of artist takeovers on our Instagram. If I had to choose one, I would say our interview that we launched Paper Journal with, with British street photographer, Tom Wood. Tom had just finished his solo show at The Photographers’ Gallery in London; he is such a prolific photographer. I guess you could say he’s an ethnographer, the way he photographs his community in such an honest way. He’s also a great storyteller!”

Why are studio visits so important to Paper Journal, and what are you most looking forward to once pandemic restrictions lift?

“I introduced Studio Visits as a regular section to Paper Journal soon after we launched, more from my own interest in learning about an artists’ process and their background in photography. It has resonated with our readers and become a popular section of our site.

“We were publishing visits on a fairly regular basis and not just with photographers but also book publishers and design studios from the U.K. (such as Stephen Gill, Self Publish Be Happy, Ditto Press, Lorenzo Vitturi), and also the U.S (including Lucas Blalock, Erin O’Keefe, Matthew Connors, Peter Funch and more).

Now that I’m based in Melbourne, we will be branching out to also include studio visits from here. Our latest digital issue includes a visit with Melbourne design studio, U-P, which was a lot of fun to produce and photograph. We don’t have any visits lined up in the near future, but as restrictions ease, I’m sure that will change.

Paper Journal, Denisse Arianna Perez

What will you be looking for when judging submissions for the 7th Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards?

“I’m really interested in seeing bodies of work that artists are personally connected to, telling a story about themselves or their community. I will be looking for projects that are well-researched with a strong narrative that don’t rely on visual tropes to tell their story.”

Submit to the Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards here. There’s a category for both single images and series, and Patricia Karallis will be one of our series judges this year. Learn more about our judges here!

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