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Wanna join the Magnum club or get closer?

Then this might interest you:

The 2007 Portfolio review guidelines as well as 2007 Inge Morath Award submission guidelines are now online.



Good luck!


by [a former member] at 2007-02-28 20:28:54 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Phnom Penh , Cambodia | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Right! But where’s the award for a guy?!

by Davin Ellicson | 28 Feb 2007 20:02 | Sofia, Bulgaria | | Report spam→
You know Magnum is very “gender”…

by [former member] | 28 Feb 2007 20:02 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Well, yes, but there have been Magnum men who have died in recent years. . . why not an award in honor of one of them?

by Davin Ellicson | 28 Feb 2007 20:02 | Sofia, Bulgaria | | Report spam→
There is the HCB award already…

by [former member] | 28 Feb 2007 21:02 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Ok. . . but the HCB award is won by very well known people like Larry Towell, whereas the Inge Morath Award is for emerging female photographers. There should also be such an award for young men. . . or, I guess the guys who would win such an award would be nominees of Magnum. . . I see your point, there have been so few women Magnum photographers that the Morath award serves a certain purpose. . . buy why is that? Surely there are other young women doing Sarfati/Goded level work, no?!

by Davin Ellicson | 28 Feb 2007 21:02 (ed. Feb 28 2007) | Sofia, Bulgaria | | Report spam→
I’m sure there are, but our little boys club seems to have difficulties in attracting them. I’d say maybe 5% of the portfolios submitted are from women. It seems people think our cheeks are too stubbly…

by [former member] | 28 Feb 2007 21:02 (ed. Feb 28 2007) | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
That is actually amazing to me. There are so many talented women out there. . . I’d love to see the female ‘versions’ of Koudelka or Pinkhassov. . . ha! ha! ha! I know we all have unique visions. . .

by Davin Ellicson | 28 Feb 2007 21:02 (ed. Feb 28 2007) | Sofia, Bulgaria | | Report spam→
Thanks John, I was just thinking about this.

by Phil Dixon | 01 Mar 2007 05:03 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
and if I appeared in drag . . . . . .?

by Jon Anderson | 01 Mar 2007 06:03 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Jon, you don’t want to know what happens during those selection procedures… They take you by the “family jewels”.

Oh, come to think about it: maybe THAT’s why there are so few women at Magnum.

And if you’re going for the Inge Morath: you’re too old. I know, that hurts ;-)

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 06:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Is the procedure no longer in place where an entry needs to be “put forward” by a current member?

A few years ago I asked in the London office and they said that it is not a required condition but it it does help.

John could you clarify the situation regarding this?

It also seems that there a no longer any restrictions on the number of printed matter that can accompany the 80 image CD.
So in essence you could stick in several dummy books etc etc.


by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 07:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
actually i didnt read the initial post entirely: I didnt realize one link was for membership — given the drift of thethread I thought we were just talking about the Inge Morath prize. As for the latter, I am old, but I am still fetching in drag.

As for the former, does Magnum really need to keep adding members, it has gotten pretty big, but that may well be a plus. I like the present mix for the most part, but several of my favorite members appear to be lowkey, and I like the fact that they too can find a home there.

(drivel deleted)

by Jon Anderson | 01 Mar 2007 07:03 (ed. Mar 1 2007) | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Mark, to be “sponsored” is indeed not a required condition but certainly helps.

You can leave as many dummies as you like. Except that the danger is your presentation will lose some of its power. Quantity doesn’t mean quality. It’s better to be concise and very strong.

(And remember you and us will have to carry them back an forth)

As for the “take you by the family jewels”: I was being literal and we check for drags… ;-)))

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 09:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
John thank you for that.

I never really understood that “sponsor” situation anyway. Presumably It would be overlooked at the important stage anyway as the selection if any is subjective with members who agree or disagree on any particular body of work.

If I decide to send something in this year I will bear in mind your point about the amount of printed material.

I have always been a strong advocate of quality over quantity….

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 11:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
A (good) sponsor, or godfather if you like, is supposed to stick his neck out and fight for you when your portfolio comes under scrutiny. He is the one who can best explain who you are or what you are doing to the other members. The more influential your godfather is, the better…

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 11:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Make em an offer they cant refuse…

by Alexander Atwater | 01 Mar 2007 11:03 (ed. Mar 1 2007) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
…I’ve never thought of applying for a portfolio review at Magnum!
Should I ?


by Alessandra Benedetti | 01 Mar 2007 11:03 | Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
thanks a lot for the information, John!

by Ruediger Carl Bergmann | 01 Mar 2007 12:03 | Augsburg, Germany | | Report spam→
Well I dont have a godfather figure.

I don’t know any London based Magnum members personally. I suppose you could find some
contact info and introduce yourself but that seems to me false…it’s akin to approaching a girl at the bar
in a nightclub only because you want to sleep with her.

I reckon you would get a cyber slap in the face from any member approached this way.

We all would love an influential Don Corleone banging his fists on the table on our behalf.

Has anyone got a spare Don they would like to rent out?

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 13:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I may, but it’s going to be a few years before I think of getting with an agency.

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 15:03 | | Report spam→
john, i checked the link and there is no requirement specified for BIO, statement, captions or any written material, at least i couldn’t find it… is that possible? what am i missing? not that i’m applying but it seems odd…

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 15:03 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Thanks john

by Cyril Bitton | 01 Mar 2007 16:03 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Mustafah, you have some perspective on things, I would keep that, it will serve you well in the future.

by [former member] | 01 Mar 2007 16:03 | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
I don’t think its a question of why Magnum has so few women photographers but rather, why arent women encouraged to be photojournalists within educational institutions, in society, etc. In addition, Magnum has several PROLIFIC women photographers, including Susan Meiselas, Lise Sarfati, Eve Arnold, Maya Goded. Maybe if women were encouraged to pick up their cameras more and welcomed into the field by men…things may change.

by Song Chong | 02 Mar 2007 16:03 (ed. Mar 2 2007) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Song! Nice to find you here.

In terms of the gender scale at Magnum, I think both Song and John Vink have points. After working in the New York office a little, the population does seem awfully stubbly. It would of course be an honor to be accepted to Magnum, but imagining the meetings makes me shudder.

Could it be that the Inge Morath award is a way of nodding to the gender issue while still keeping women out of the institution? just a speculation.

by Ida | 03 Mar 2007 04:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
hummm…. I am too old for Magnum. And no bookd published, even those who sucks!

by [former member] | 03 Mar 2007 06:03 | Santiago, Chile | | Report spam→
Ida, the intention of the Inge Morath award is exactly to try and get women photographers closer to (the stubbly cheeks of) Magnum. The idea being that once they are closer they’ll keep “growing” and eventually apply for membership.

And if we have stubbly cheeks it’s because we cut ourselves when thinking about the meetings when shaving (male Magnum photographers shave wet)…

by [former member] | 03 Mar 2007 07:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
The number of women PJ’s in relation to men is incredibly small, it’s quite logical that the proportion remains the same in Magnum or AFP or Oculi or whatever. Encouragement has nothing to do with it IMHO, how’s the inside of a frat house compare to the inside of a sorority house?

I’ll probably apply to Magnum once before I die but not for a couple of years at least until I’m a stronger photographer.

by [former member] | 03 Mar 2007 12:03 (ed. Mar 3 2007) | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
The idea that Magnum might deliberately want to keep women out doesn´t sound very likely. I´ve never had any problems from male photographers because I´m a girl. Not one sneer, not one remark, nothing. I don´t know if I´ve just been lucky on this one, but I have never found it to be an issue.

I suspect that the reason so few women become photojournalists has something to do with the similarly small proportion of women who climb mountains or sail round the world on their own or restore classic aeroplanes or walk to the North Pole or are incredibly geeky about Star Wars. In short, I suspect that very few women do this because very few women want to do this. Whether this is a question of nature or nurture I haven´t a clue, but I don´t think Magnum caused the problem.

by Amy de Wit | 03 Mar 2007 18:03 | La Paz, Bolivia | | Report spam→
hehehe… Magnum is certainly good at patting itself on the back, and I never wanted to suggest that Magnum invented sexism in the industry, but I am utterly amused at imagining such a claim.

It’s not about what people say, or even active encouragement. I think it’s all much subtler than that. Just taking from what people (editors and photogs) say, I have been told that I need to do sexier stories, tone down my opinions (spoke and in pictures), cut my hair, buy a bigger camera, not buy a bigger camera because I can’t carry it, consign myself to a research position… This stuff adds up and can wear one down. Some people think it is all about the work. I would like to believe this because it would make my job easier.

John, I do see how the Inge Morath award can indeed get women closer to Magnum. I do find it encouraging, even though I’ve got 5 years because I can even think about pulling my weight in a competition like that. Do you find that it does indeed result in winners applying for membership later?

Maybe I should take John Anderson’s idea and don drag whenever I get around applying for membership.

by Ida | 03 Mar 2007 19:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
So, I wrote big posting, then erased it and started again. I felt it came off as too angry. Look, I just don’t feel we should even be still discussing this in this day and age. Many women have broken the mold, many members of minorities have cast the stereo-types aside. Unfortunatley the real fact is society continues to have bias, perhaps always will. But Ida, I’m sorry to tell you but I too have been told to do sexier (more commercial) work, to keep my mouth shut, to cut my hair (it’s messy, I don’t care but apparently if I conformed I’d be more successful), to buy a bigger camera (this from an editor that just loved the snaps that I had just shown them and were shot on my, cheap, affordable but not model of the moment, camera), to not buy a bigger camera because they are too heavy, to just give it up and take a steady job within the industry. I’ve also been screamed at, had people pull knifes on me, abused, pushed, pulled and threatened with arrest and beaten. But I come home, I wipe the shit off me, I develop the film and get buzzed when looking at the negs as they dry. I’ve also had people thank me, help me, offer me meals, show an interest in the process. I come home, I feel good and I get buzzed looking at the negs. We are snappers working in tough times. Ida, I can’t get snaps of Muslim women out of their Burkas but maybe you can, you can’t get pics of Mullahs in their chambers, but maybe I can. Yes bias sucks but, Ida, it should never be used as an excuse or to ask for more. But you can utilise being a woman, just as I sometimes put on my best New Zealand accent, act like a dumb tourist and get through the line. I think my point is that for Eve Arnold, Dorethea Lange, Lee Miller et al, what they were doing was more than what they were put through in order to do it.

OH I forgot, easy for me to say, I have stubbly cheeks.
And I look HOT in drag!

I wonder, John could you ask some of the female members of Magnum to give some perspective.

by Phil Dixon | 03 Mar 2007 22:03 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Given that Magnum evidently feel their organisation has a bias towards men, dressing as a man is probably the wrong thing to do unless it´s how you always dress. But Jon, you really could be onto something – you could become the Grayson Perry of photojournalism!

by Amy de Wit | 03 Mar 2007 23:03 | La Paz, Bolivia | | Report spam→
I remember hanging out with a friend while she was working on a long term documentary film. We were in a rough bar. I commented to her on how it must be exhausting putting up with the attitudes in the place on such a regular basis. She shrugged, “It’s part of the job.” Her response really struck me and has changed the way I deal with it myself. Pregidous is a fact, we have to deal with it especially given the line of work, but I reserve the right to name it in certain company.

by Ida | 03 Mar 2007 23:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Can someone explain the meaning of this?? In regard to submitting 80 images as a portfolio?
Can we send the 80 images and books, etc…?

There are no such restrictions for submitting books, photographs or portfolios. However, your editing skills will be deemed as important as your ability to photograph so please bear this in mind when refining your submission.

by Cazalis | 03 Mar 2007 23:03 | Sao Paulo, Brazil | | Report spam→
The 80 images are the core of what the membership will look at and make individual decisions about.

The books, the clippings etc… sent next to them will only help the members to confirm (or not) what the 80 images conveyed…

But it’s really about the 80 images… The projections are the time when concentration is at its highest.

by [former member] | 04 Mar 2007 00:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Well it’s a pity the Inge Morath award is given to women photographers under 30 of age… I am a bit over 30 but do look much younger :) Would that be fine?!

I never thought I would never apply to Magnum because it is a man’s world there.. I always had this aim and always say it to people that I want to end up being a Magnum photographer.. :) (little girl’s dream)

Might happen.. Might never… But I will give it a try as soon as my portfolio is much bigger..
I never thought being a woman would limit me in anything though, I think that sometimes it does help a lot..


by Dalia Khamissy | 04 Mar 2007 13:03 | Beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
Thats the attitude Dalia. Women who thought and acted like that has brought a different world into light. Any way I never thought that Magnum had any problems of having women among them. Not that I know what is in their heads, but think of Inge Morath and Eve Arnold (and that was in the 50’s if I m not mistaken), Susan Meisellas, Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Frank, the new additions of Lise Sarfati, Rodero, Maya, etc.
We have to face the fact that it is a tough job being out there, and in a patriarchal society we live in. Maybe I oversimplify matters, but essentailly there has to be a change of attitude in the industry and in general of how and for what exactly women are prescribed.

by Ektor Dimisianos | 04 Mar 2007 14:03 | Back to the Dungeon, Greece | | Report spam→
Edward K Thompson was the editor of Life Magazine back when Magnum was still a fledgling agency. He was one of the first editors to give Magnum a break.

I’ll be applying this year with a submission to the London office,

Kind Regards

Edward K Thompson


by Ed Thompson | 04 Mar 2007 14:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’ll put something together myself. At least that way they’ll now who I am as I continue to submit over the coming years. Unless they ban me.

by Paul Treacy | 04 Mar 2007 18:03 | | Report spam→
I’ll put something together myself. At least that way they’ll know who I am as I continue to submit over the coming years. Unless they ban me.

by Paul Treacy | 04 Mar 2007 18:03 | | Report spam→
Precision: when I said 80 images, that means UP TO 80 images… Means it can be less…

by [former member] | 04 Mar 2007 20:03 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Hi John,

I can’t remember what I wrote here originally sorry. Something about the Magnum photographers I have encountered being sexist.

Jon: I’d love to see a picture of you in drag!


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Mar 2007 12:03 (ed. Mar 10 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Jenny, did the photographer who replied “that he was surprised that I was taking this seriously ‘at this time in my life’” also tell you why he said that? Did he give you any constructive feedback or was it just rambling?

by [former member] | 10 Mar 2007 15:03 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Thanks for replying Martin!

I didn’t feel like asking him why he said that comment, I simply felt it was rude. He directed me to get to know Magnum photographers in London but I am based in Africa, would have very little in common with photographers based in London and do not intend to file electronically so if I were to apply I think it should be to Paris.


PS Sorry to anyone who has only read my edited comment above that Martin replied to. I basically said I felt the 3 Magnum photographers I have ‘met’ (2 in person, 1 on line) has led me to believe that their attitude to women would not encourage women to apply.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Mar 2007 15:03 (ed. Mar 10 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Oh I don’t know, I have stubbly legs, I am over 30 but I am still keen to get run with Magnum. (God that makes me sound SOOOO attractive!)

I have spent my life trying to justify why I like taking photos and what purpose it actually has, I don’t reckon it differs that much between male and female. I think the people that have best supported me in my life have been male photojournalists, so I reckon that women not joining Magnum has nothing much to do with gender and more to do with the fact that photojournalism was once a very glamourous kind of job, but is now basically devalued beyond belief.

So pursuing the whole Magnum thing may not be seen as relevant regardless of gender.

We don’t live in interesting times anymore…

by lisa hogben | 10 Mar 2007 15:03 | Still Stuck in Bloody Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Hi Lisa,

I don’t fully understand your comment and don’t follow your logic. Are you saying that you believe there are less women in this industry than there were previously given that the industry, as you see it, has become less glamorous? Or that there are less women entering it for this reason? And how does the fact that the photojournalists that have supported you have been mostly men relate to the issue of gender and the selection process at Magnum?

And what do you mean by ‘we don’t live in interesting times any more?’ Is history more exciting than the present? Or does it just appear that way when viewing moments captured by “famous” photographers – that may or may not be indentified as ‘relevant’ in the context of world history at the time they were taken.

And why feel the need to justify why you photograph?


PS Sydney isn’t that bad a place to be! I used to live in a little street off Bourke, filled with art galleries, walking distance to the ocean and a quick drive into the mountains. I loved it!

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Mar 2007 15:03 (ed. Mar 10 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Well I don’t want to make this a gender debate or disrespect any man out there but come on Jenny you cannot be intimidated by 3 macho men who told you that..

If I let mself be intimidated by anybody I have met in my life, I think I would find myself out of the photography field and in some kind of more female-fit job (not that I don’t respect those jobs)!!! And believe me this comes from an Arab woman living in the Arab world where girls are more expected to do some kind of easier jobs and not be running around a desert looking for refugees, and where men think that they surely know better than any woman, even if they do not know anything.. I had to fight everybody to do the job I did before and trying to go back to now…

Well anyway I think that this kind of behavior from those photojournalists or any photojournalist who thinks that way SHOULD make you want to do that more than any other time in your life..

I mean Magnum should be extremely hard to join and I am sure that it is very selective (there are so many photojournalists out there and they have to) but not sure everyone there should be thinking that way.. Look at the good working women there already, I am sure those would love to see more women join.. Well last if you do think that your work is good enough, you should do so… And as Lisa said I can also testify that I was best supported in my life by male photographers and when I decided to go back to my photography all my lovely male photojournalist colleagues all over wished me good luck and expected me to contact them in case I needed any help.

Well good luck in that.. D

by Dalia Khamissy | 10 Mar 2007 16:03 | Beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
FEWER, not less.

by Paul Treacy | 10 Mar 2007 16:03 | | Report spam→
I am not intimidated Dalia, thank you. I am simply conveying information and comments that I received. We all need to evaluate where we feel comfortable and what is helpful for our work and the work of others if we take what we do, and what they do, seriously.


PS The people that have ‘supported’ me most have been Magnum photographers (both wittingly and not). Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Decisive Moment is a gem in photographic philosophy – and if we could all read, understand and had the opportunity to follow that philosophy in our life and work, there’d be far less war and a lot more great photographs!

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Mar 2007 16:03 (ed. Mar 10 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Jenny, I don’t believe there is too much logic to follow in what I would classify as a fairly simple statement.

“photojournalism was once a very glamourous kind of job, but is now basically devalued beyond belief”

Don’t know about you but in the ‘good old days’ when we all used to shoot film we actually used to get paid for it. In my terms, pardon me for my parochialism, being paid for a job as a photojournalist WAS esteemed as glamourous. The job of photojournalist has been devalued enormously because of the availability of technology to many people that have neither the brains, stamina nor sensitivity to report acurately or intelligently on the current events of our times. There once was a time when assistants/cadets were trained with mentors standing by their sides to make sure their reportage was fair, unbiased and accurate. Rather than emotional and fuddled. However since the plethora of untrained individuals and the voracious appetite of pap media the levels of professionalism in photojournalism apparantly have not been sustained and therefore many people have suffered the loss of income.

I believe that as a woman earning your own money is one way of maintaining your independence, so how many women do you know are going to approach a career with virtually no sustainable income, unless of course they are independantly wealthy or actually funded by a partner or spouse? Try looking after children or other dependents without some sort of steady income.

The fact I have been emotionally supported by my male colleagues says not a great deal about the selection process at Magnum it was merely an utterance of truth. I do not feel that the fact I am female prevents me from joining Magnum, that in fact there is any resistance to me being female as a photojournalist. Being supported by the men idicates to me nothing other than my opportunities are as similiar as theirs. If I happen to take better pictures on the day well I am lucky thats all. Nothing to do with my chromosomes.

‘We don’t live in interesting times anymore…’

Well I was simply pondering that as a human race we do not need to debate the percieved disadvantages to women in attempting to join what is for the most part an institution that is largely for middle class consumers. As much as I have huge admiration for the work done by Magnum photographers the whole idea of whether or not what they do is relevant ie distributing news to people who would otherwise be unaware of current events is a bit of an oddity in this day and age. I believe that they have changed the direction that the agency has taken and it does not necessarily concentrate on news as much as exhibition and book work. Why do you believe that this is purely the domain of men? I know lots of women that exhibit their photographs.

Hmmm, why do I feel I need to justify why I photograph?

I think as a self aware and reasonably intelligent human being I am entitled to an expression of self exploration and analysis. It would seem neglectful and superficial to continue to intrude on the environment of humanity without constantly questioning what I do, to maintain a balance between communication and invasion. To continually ask why, I believe puts things into perspective.

If you have any other questions I would be delighted to answer them, but perhaps they are not particularly instructive to this thread and you should PM me.

I am glad that you enjoyed your stay in Sydney. I in fact was born in Crown St and have lived in and around Bourke St for much of my adult life that I have been in Sydney for, so I really am native to the area you stayed in. But I am sure that has nothing to do with the Magnum selection process and really we don’t need to discuss that anymore.

by lisa hogben | 10 Mar 2007 17:03 | Still Stuck in Bloody Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Hi Lisa,

Now I understand you – thanks for clarifying! I sincerely hope that your unbiased reporting and journalistic integrity becomes more widely appreciated. This industry is evolving extremely rapidly and I agree that the difficulties you highlight are unrelated to gender. I also think it is extremely important to question our intentions and motivations and hope you will apply to Magnum, and Dalia too if Magnum membership is what you want.

Good luck!


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Mar 2007 17:03 (ed. Mar 10 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
Getting into Magnum is based on merit. Obviously there are things you can do to give yourself a better chance, like getting a godfather figure to support your application.

If a Magnum member looked at my work and said I was no where near ready to apply I would take the criticism and strive to make better work.

All this talk of sexism seems to be a way of shrouding the obvious. If your work’s not good enough your not going to get in.

There probably is sexism in the industry, but the really good women photojournalists have got past that by making very good work. That is the only way to stand up and be counted on an even keel.

by [former member] | 11 Mar 2007 08:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
The members of a group will always speak more or less the same language. There might be some members who talk in a different dialect. This dialect will not be so different, that the rest of the group will need a translater.

So I look at agencies (as well as any commercial compagny) as a “country”, where the people (members) talk the same language. The language of one country is not better or worst than the language of another country. They are different!

Photoagencies articulate themselves not by a spoken or written language. They do this with the “picturelanguage” of their members. So comparing, for example, magnum with Bilderberg, is like comparing English with Spanish. Some of us like the English language better than the Spanish, or other way around. Though some agencies might have members, who are able to use more words of their mother tongue.

by Ruediger Carl Bergmann | 11 Mar 2007 09:03 | Augsburg, Germany | | Report spam→
John Vink stated: ‘our little boys club seems to have difficulties in attracting them (women). I’d say maybe 5% of the portfolios submitted are from women.’

I’d like to clarify that my response was intended to be helpful – to point out a possible reason why this may be. We live in too politically correct times in my opinion and I am grateful that Magnum members are not afraid to speak as they think but it may put some women off if they are hearing things like ‘i am surprised you are taking this seriously at this time in your life’ or ‘if only we lived a little closer, we could get to know one another better’.

I sincerely hope that Magnum members will NEVER bow to pressure to open the doors to someone who does not cut the grade. And may I repeat what Mr Vink said again… ‘only 5% of portfolios are submitted by women’. So, women! Don’t be intimidated – even if this is an organization dominated by a band of sexist macho men! Don’t be afraid! If it helps, think of it as your duty to fight for the rights of women to get that portfolio in! You’re doing it not just for yourself or in an effort to get all the voices of every face you will ever photograph get heard, and the messages across that your whole heart believes in, you’re also chaining yourself to Magnum office railings (figuratively speaking)!

Good luck!


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 11 Mar 2007 11:03 | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
I think your wrong if you think this is a case of chauvinism. Accusing an organisation of being biased in such a way is a very serious allegation. Also I see you removed a post where you made other assertions about gender.

Who knows why there are only 5% of women applying to Magnum. I honestly don’t believe women feel intimidated. There are some very good female photojournalists. There is one lady who is a member of VII who I have met that has such a strong character, and is a very good photographer.

I remember of series of images taken by a women photographer in Afghanistan where she followed a group of women under the veil during the Taliban regime. That in itself takes guts or balls if you like.

The resulting images were superb. I never for one moment thought " Well SHE only got good pictures because she was a women" and I am pretty sure most male photographers who saw the work thought the same…..great images. Now if she applied to get into Magnum that to me is on merit of the quality of work not being a women.

standing up for yourself should be done in a way that says this is not an issue of gender it’s about the quality of work.
I think it is really unfair to label those male members of Magnum as sexist macho because as I man I take offence to it.

It is not about gender it is about the quality of work. Full stop!

by [former member] | 11 Mar 2007 13:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yes, well that post has been removed hasn’t it? I was getting ready to guess who Magnum photographer #2 was that was mentioned.

Hey—I don’t know if anybody is interested in getting this back on topic, but I think this is an excellent opportunity—submitting a portfolio to Magnum. I did this in the early 1990’s. Back then you sent in a ‘wheel’ of slides—80 slides or less. It was reviewed by a two or so members and then they put the show together for all the members. You got your slides back and a very short note indicating whether it was shown to the membership. It was quite an honor to get the note back saying that the membership had been presented with my work. I’m not trying to make this about me, but about your opportunities. I say go for it!!!

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 11 Mar 2007 14:03 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
In my current photo history course, we are learning about Ansel Adams and Edward Steichen, how they defined modernism, how they established themselves at MoMA, where their funding came from, who they included and excluded, how MoMA dealt with Steichen when his selections deviated from the politically acceptable, the roll Szarkowski played in defining the canon, etc. I simply cannot believe that any institution is guided by quality of work alone, as vague and open to interpretation even that is.

I don’t think that anyone here is trying to accuse men generally of sexism or suggest that women are not capable of the work. Of course women are capable and of course many men have been fully supportive of them. Despite this, I see and feel certain cultural norms within the industry that can be exhausting and frustrating to navigate as a woman. I agree with Ruediger’s point that it is a language issue. Maybe women photographers simply feel that Magnum is not speaking their language, and it isn’t worth their effort to learn the foreign tongue.

by Ida | 11 Mar 2007 14:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→

OK maybe I was being a bit to harsh. I just think you have to have a strong will to work as
a photojournalist.

There has been a lot of bitter comments made recently about the winners in prestigious competitions along with this post
spreading into the issue of a lack of women applying to Magnum and the wrong assertions as to why.

Anyway as JR said the topic should be about applying for Magnum, not about the issue of gender and alleged chauvinism.

by [former member] | 11 Mar 2007 15:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
80 images….hmmm… we’re having these little group get togethers at LCC with my class (MA photojournalism/documentary photography) and it seems a lot easier to get other people to edit your work.

My question to all applying is….

“How did you choose your images for the submission to Magnum?”

did you consider the nature of Magnum and it’s photographers? or more what was in your own archives? Do you put in a series of photostories, or a long term project? or maybe you just put in indvidual shots that “sing”?

by Ed Thompson | 11 Mar 2007 15:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Edward—I’m not sure you’re aiming that question at me. Anyway, I had worked for newspapers for more than 20 years when I “applied”. There might have been one of the 80 pictures taken for newspaper publication. All my work was personal work that I feel strongly about. There’s some personal project work (for sure) but nothing that I’d shot for the newspapers. I went with what I consider my strongest, most personal work. That, by the way, is what they’re most interestd in seeing (as I understand it).

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 11 Mar 2007 15:03 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
“If your images aren’t strong enough, your not close enough.”

personal work it is….

by Ed Thompson | 11 Mar 2007 15:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I think Magnum simply reflects the gender make up of the profession at large.

by Paul Treacy | 11 Mar 2007 15:03 | | Report spam→
Paul wrote: ‘I think Magnum simply reflects the gender make up of the profession at large’ and you can’t dispute that. But, it could also be that “Magnum’s make-up” – ie the gender profile at the most prestigious photo agency – may in itself be contributing to the lack of female visions and voices out there.

Mark: I would be grateful if you would explain who and what your comments pertain to and where they are coming from since some of them appear totally unrelated to anything written on this thread. Thank you. I log in once a week or so which is why it is not always possible to respond to comments on threads directly. Sorry about that. Please note the ! in my comments denoting humour – it could be that you missed them?


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 18 Mar 2007 20:03 (ed. Mar 18 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
I wish Magnum will do some day sponsored workshops for young photographers… 3 or 4 years ago VII did it… it will be great oportunity for people who doesn’t have money to pay and want to learn more :) (as i want ;))

by [former member] | 18 Mar 2007 20:03 | Katowice, Poland | | Report spam→
I thought I was clear. The selection process is I believe based on the quality of work submitted not about the gender of the entrant.

If a body of work was reviewed and subsequently rejected than
you have to come away with the determination to make things better.

I am not going to retract anything I wrote because I believe it’s correct.



by [former member] | 18 Mar 2007 20:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I am tired of this conversation appearing in my inbox. There is an interesting debate to be had on why few women become photojournalists and why -or if – this is a problem, but this is not it. Please stop arguing with each other.

by Amy de Wit | 18 Mar 2007 22:03 | La Paz, Bolivia | | Report spam→
Amy I am not arguing with anyone. I was asked to clarify my
previous posts. I suppose if you don’t want to receive notifications regarding this post you can now unsubscribe from it.

There was also another reply on this post that has not appeared which mentioned the criteria for potential applicants being accepted. Song Chong what I meant by merit was to encompass all those things you said Magnum was all about.

by [former member] | 19 Mar 2007 07:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Amy: If you have not yet removed this thread, I hope you are able to find out more information and statistics on the topic of why so few women enter the field of photojournalism.

Mark: Are you the same person who fired up a volatile dispute with Sion last year – both on-line and off-board – at being labelled a ‘grief tourist’ because I just read a line you wrote on another thread saying you are new to LS. And could you explain what you are referring to when you state ‘if a body of work was reviewed and subsequently rejected then you have to come away with the determination to make things better’. Whose ‘body of work’ are you referring to, where can that ‘body of work’ be seen, who reviewed it, who rejected it, and on what basis? And have you been playing football with your boys recently? I seem to remember that playing football with them had a big effect on ending your dispute with Sion last year.


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 22 Mar 2007 19:03 (ed. Mar 22 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
I was referring to any body of work that is seen by a member of Magnum outside of the official submission.
That’s what it is all about.
Being told that ones work is not ready or rejected can be very useful and I will reiterate that I believe it has nothing to do with ones gender.

I seem to have agitated a raw nerve in you Jenny.

I don’t know why you are now resurrecting the ghost of grief tourist past. It’s water under the bridge as far as I am concerned.

I do still dislike the term “Grief tourist” though, which is why during last years conflict in Lebanon I made very specific images of the destruction to the infrastructure and buildings. The images were nearly completely devoid of any human beings. It was purely what I was sent to photograph but at least at the same time I would not be inadvertently labeled a grief tourist by an arm chair observer….

I would be interested in seeing the thread where I say I am new to Lightstalkers though as I don’t recall posting anything as such and I don’t recall deleting anything either.

I don’t want to get involved in any protracted dispute with you or anyone else on Lightstalkers as I have learned that at the end of the day it counts for nothing and to be frank I have better things to do.

by [former member] | 22 Mar 2007 19:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Oh I did not receive the full post via email.

Yes I still play the beautiful game with my son.
He’s actually very good so I am hoping he gets better and by the time he’s 16 the average wage for a football player will be astronomical so he can repay the time I spent with him and I can retire.

by [former member] | 22 Mar 2007 20:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi Mark, I am wishing you the best of luck this time around. From what you are saying and the way you are communicating, I gather that the selection process is both transparent, informed, highly objective and not in the least bit biased towards any particular gender.

Best of luck!


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 23 Mar 2007 14:03 (ed. Mar 23 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
I don’t know what your talking about. I never said I was going to apply or applied in the past.

I offered my opinion on the issue of gender not only with regards to applying to join Magnum but for men and women in photojournalism as a whole.

I would prefer if you did not send me any more private emails or make attempts to reignite past threads.

I do not know why you are being the way you are but I would prefer not to get involved in any personal spat.

Good luck with any future endeavors.


by [former member] | 23 Mar 2007 14:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
John: Might a more overt call for submissions from female photographers and photojournalists for this year’s selection help raise the level from 5% or wouldn’t such a method fit with the selection process?

Mark: I’d like to see the private emails I am sending you. Could you post one for me on this thread? There are none in my sent file on LS but I do recall sending you one that wished you good luck.


by Jenny Lynn Walker | 23 Mar 2007 15:03 (ed. Mar 23 2007) | Mjini Magharibi, Tanzania | | Report spam→
I would prefer no PM at all regardless of content.

I am not going to reply to this anymore because it’s boring.

by [former member] | 23 Mar 2007 16:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
great thread in places.

i am going to dust off old work and apply with one or two photo-stories, as well as the most varied folio of single photos i can muster.

the women in photography point is interesting and since i mostly shoot music events at the moment i’ll talk from that perspective.

music review photography seems male dominated and perhaps a friends experiences of being groped and propositioned while she works at gigs holds part of the answer.

regrettably some men are pigs, aptly illustrated by her bruised breasts after a gig by ‘the fall’, where one of their crew took a shine to her.

occurrences of this kind of thing are common and they must be wearing to say the least. every time a female writer i’m working with picks up my camera for a few frames they begin to get unwanted and forward advances.

however i have yet to encounter a commissioner who is the gropers relative contemporary.

it’s an opinion as a man so please take gently fine women, as no offense is intended. it is really for a woman to say why there are so few women in photography

(*rubbish word)

may be in some cases with the additional harassment and danger issues present in some areas (thinking travel / music / documentary photography), it becomes too much stress for most women to turn pro. perhaps the hassle received while actually working is the barrier for a lot of women.

i know as many female amateur snappers as male and there’s nothing to differentiate between the quality and level they produce.. i also know it will mostly be the guys who move forward with it.

perhaps it is up to us as photographers to ensure we are directing the weight of our encouragement onto female colleagues. commissioners have an open mind and 5% female applications could reflect a lack of support and respect at more fundamental levels and from people not involved in the profession whatsoever.

i guess the next time you see a female photographer give a nod of respect.

by [former member] | 30 Mar 2007 18:03 | nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks, I found out about the Magnum reviews aswell today.

by Faye De Gannes | 30 Mar 2007 18:03 | LONDON, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hello Aga – Re Sponsored Workshops – check out the Angkor Photo Festival.

by [former member] | 01 Apr 2007 10:04 | Pelissanne, France | | Report spam→
ok, thank you for reply for my post :)… i will check it :)

by [former member] | 01 Apr 2007 10:04 | Katowice, Poland | | Report spam→

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Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
New York , United States
Phil Dixon, Phil Dixon
(Swatting Flies)
New York , United States
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Alexander Atwater, Photographer Alexander Atwater
London , United Kingdom
Alessandra Benedetti, Photographer Alessandra Benedetti
Rome , Italy
Ruediger Carl Bergmann, Photographer / Artist Ruediger Carl Bergmann
Photographer / Artist
Augsburg , Germany ( MUC )
Cyril Bitton, Photojournalist Cyril Bitton
Paris , France
Song Chong, Song Chong
New York , United States
Ida, Media Strategist Ida
Media Strategist
Brooklyn , United States
Amy de Wit, Photographer Amy de Wit
[undisclosed location].
Cazalis, Documentary Photographer Cazalis
Documentary Photographer
Mexico City , Mexico
Dalia Khamissy, Photographer Dalia Khamissy
Beirut , Lebanon ( AAA )
Ektor Dimisianos, Photographer Ektor Dimisianos
Arles , France
Ed Thompson, Photographer Ed Thompson
London , United Kingdom
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
Jenny Lynn Walker, Homo Sapien Jenny Lynn Walker
Homo Sapien
London , United Kingdom
lisa hogben, Visualjournalist! lisa hogben
Sydney , Australia
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Indianapolis, In , United States
Faye De Gannes, Photographer Faye De Gannes
[undisclosed location].


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