Leica Women Foto Project Press

March 8th, 2024

Perspective Is Power: Leica Camera Announces Winners for the 5th Annual Leica Women Foto Project Award

For a second year, Leica selected four winners from the US, UK, Mexico, and Canadaawardees 

 Leica Camera has announced, on International Women’s Day, the four recipients of its 5th Annual Leica Women Foto Project Award. This year's theme, "Perspective is Power", encouraged applicants to share a photo essay connected to topics of reclamation, resilience, or rebirth, with four winners emerging from the US, UK, Mexico, and Canada. Serving as a catalyst to reframe how we express and consume visual narratives, The Leica Women Foto Project continues to empower the feminine perspective and its impact on the way we witness, interpret, and interact with our world.

This year’s awardees: Dola Posh (UK), Stasia Schmidt (Canada), Luvia Lazo (Mexico), and Camille Farrah Lenain (US) were selected by a panel of notable judges ranging from award-winning photojournalists to renowned contributors to the world of photography. Each winner will receive a Leica SL3-S camera, a Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH. Lens, and cash prize of $10,000 USD.

Since its inception in 2019, the Leica Women Foto Project has been a platform to cultivate a diverse, inclusive community through photography. To date, the initiative has fueled diversity in visual storytelling through grants and sponsorships with Women Photograph, Photoville, Las Fotos Project, and the ConnectHer Film Festival while co-creating the Leica Women Foto Project Grant for the Leica Society International’s philanthropic efforts. Additional programming for this year’s award includes a three-day festival taking place from April 12-14, 2024 at the Artspace PS109 on 215 E99th Street, in collaboration with Women Street Photographers.

“For this year’s Leica Women Foto Project, we encouraged applicants to share visual stories of reclamation, resilience, or rebirth,” says Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International. “Through these lenses, the Leica Women Foto Project continues to empower and amplify the voices that capture these profound narratives, adding depth to our collective visual tapestry while reflecting our commitment to celebrating the power of visual storytelling.”

Leica Women Foto Project Award recipients are determined by a panel of notable judges based on quality of photography, sophistication of project and a dedication to the medium of photography.  

The 2024 panel of judges is composed of:

•    Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Director, Leica Galleries Worldwide
•    Jessica Dimson, Deputy Director of Photography at New York Times Magazine
•    Jennifer Pastore Hannah, Former Executive Photo Director at The Wall Street Journal
•    Natalia Jimenez, Senior Picture Editor, The Washington Post
•    Elizabeth Krist, Former Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic
•    Gulnara Lyabib Samoilova, Founder, Women Street Photographers
•    Whitney Matewe, Photo Editor, Time Magazine
•    Artemis Moshtaghian,  News Editor for CNN’s National Desk, Producer for CNN International
•    Renee Mussai, Artistic Director, The Walther Collection
•    Nikki Reed, Actress, Photographer, Writer 
•    Laura Roumanos, Co-Founder, Photoville
•    Sara Rumens, Features Picture Editor, The Times
•    Marissa Roth, Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist
•    Maggie Steber, Documentary Photographer & Guggenheim Grant Fellow

5th Annual Leica Women Foto Project Winners

Camille Farrah Lenain, a French-Algerian documentary and portrait photographer, has crafted a remarkable body of work through her lens. Having honed her skills at l’ESA in Brussels and ICP in New York City, she previously imparted her knowledge as a Photography instructor at Tulane University in New Orleans. Lenain delves into long-term projects that challenge societal preconceptions, exploring stereotypes, collective memory, and plural identities. Her distinguished career includes being shortlisted for the Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2023 and attending the NY Portfolio Review. Lenain's portfolio boasts renowned clients such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and ELLE Magazine, with exhibitions at prestigious venues like the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Arab World Institute. Her winning project, "Made of Smokeless Fire," sheds light on the often misunderstood and overlooked LGBTQIA+ representation within Muslim culture in France. Through her lens, Lenain captures the beauty of and challenges faced by this community, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of their experiences. 

UK-based and Nigerian-born photographer Dola Posh, delves into the complexities of self-identity and postpartum depression, seamlessly blending strength and vulnerability through her lens. Beyond her photographic accomplishments, Dola actively facilitates NHS workshops on mental health and postpartum depression, sharing her insights at Ravensbourne University, highlighting the intersection of women, photography, and technology. With an imaginative approach, Dola Posh continues to illuminate the narratives of Black women and mothers, infusing her work with unique stories of motherhood to inspire societal change. Her winning "OMO MI" series (a phrase meaning “my child”) explores the profound and transformative journey of becoming a new mother, capturing a delicate and life-changing essence that defines the experience of motherhood. Themes of self-discovery, resilience, and the renewal of feminine strength resonate throughout this evocative work. 

Luvia Lazo, a Zapotec indigenous photographer born in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico is a poignant storyteller who captures the essence of identity, generational shifts, grief, and the symbiotic relationship between human beings and spaces imbued with cultural and spiritual significance. Recognized for her talent, Lazo was a recipient of the Young Creators program by FONCA (National Fund for Culture and the Arts) in Mexico and earned the prestigious 2021 Indigenous Photograph award. Her work, featured in group and solo exhibitions across diverse locations like Mexico City, New York, and Barcelona, has been published in renowned outlets such as The New Yorker, Vogue USA, and Vogue Mexico. Luvia Lazo's winning project, "Women from the Clouds," is a profound series aimed at creating a mosaic of narratives surrounding contemporary indigenous women of different ages. Through this project, she endeavors to contribute to a rich and unique understanding of the diverse experiences of indigenous women, shaping a broader and more enriched perspective on womanhood as a whole. 

Hailing from Calgary in Alberta, CA, Stasia Schmidt is an acclaimed fine art photographer known for her keen eye for simplicity and form, as well as her meticulous attention to detail. Embracing unexpected surrealism in the natural environment, she skillfully layers subversive femininity with stark reality throughout her photographic process. Through the viewfinder, she embraces the untamed realm of imagination, using each photograph as an opportunity to deepen self-awareness and challenge perceptions. As a self-taught artist, Stasia taps into a deep well of inspiration, drawing from her love of music, dance, science fiction, and adventure. Her winning project, "Ephemerality," is a testament to her ability to confront societal norms, specifically exploring the feminine presence in traditionally male-dominated adventure realms, prompting viewers to reconsider preconceived notions about women in these spaces.

To learn more about the Leica Women Foto Project Award, please visit and @leicacamerausa on Facebook and Instagram.

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Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.