Each year, Photo District News finds and highlights 30 emerging photographers they think we should watch. This year’s bunch come from all genres of photography. I spent way too much time indulging in their profiles and portfolios, and I think you might enjoy looking at them, too. Here’s the link.

The pictures featured in their profiles are not necessarily the pictures that they have been hired for, but may instead be part of their own ongoing personal projects. While many of these photographers are graduates of art schools, I don’t think that’s totally necessary to get noticed. Of course, it helps if you were able to spend the last few years making art without interruptions from a day job.

The key thing I’ve noticed is that these people all pursued their own projects while also doing work for clients. If you’re an artist (and I’m telling you that you are) then it’s imperative to make time to create photographs that inspire you and push you for your own sake. You may never share those pictures, but they are the foundation of your growth.

Get out there and make your own work. Maybe you’ll even get noticed by PDN.

Here’s the link again.

Here’s the full press release from PDN:

New York – March 2, 2018 — The editors of Photo District News (PDN), the award-winning publication for professional photographers, have today published the “PDN‘s 30 2018: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch” issue and online gallery. Now in its 19th year, this special issue and online gallery highlight 30 photographers selected by PDN’s editors for their creativity, versatility, distinctive styles and outstanding accomplishments. A selection of their images and the stories of how they launched their careers can be found in PDN’s April 2018 issue and online at www.pdns30.com.


“In the many years we’ve been publishing this annual issue on emerging photographers, we’ve seen an evolution in the way ‘PDN’s 30 photographers’ describe their paths to building careers,” says Holly Stuart Hughes, editor of PDN and one of the four PDN staff members who selected the 30. “Many of this year’s 30 have had to find multiple sources of income to support their long-term personal projects, have explored visual storytelling in both photography and video, and have made ingenious use of social media to share the work they are passionate about with editors, galleries and potential clients.”

The PDN’s 30 2018 photographers come from 10 countries. They were selected from more than 250 photographers nominated by photo editors, curators, educators, publishers, critics and photographers around the world. The 30 include photographers who have exhibited their photographs internationally and have created commissioned work for National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, artist Kehinde Wiley, Google, designer Marc Jacobs, Vogue, i-D, The Guardian and other editorial and commercial clients.

They established their reputations by pursuing personal projects on a variety of topics: LGBTQ youth, human rights issues in Guatemala and the Democratic Republic of Congo, female musicians in New York’s electronic music scene, the Chinese diaspora, and daily life in rural America.

Profiles of the 2018 PDN’s 30 provide insights into how they have promoted their work and the most valuable business lessons they have learned from mentors and peers. PDN will host six panel discussions on career strategies for emerging photographers at photo schools and photo festivals around the U.S. in 2018. The PDN’s 30 issue and educational events are sponsored by Sony and Canson.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of Sony and Canson in helping inspire and educate the next generation of photographers,” Hughes says. “Like PDN, Sony and Canson are committed to providing photographers at every level of experience the tools they need to succeed.”

The 2018 PDN‘s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch are:

Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi

Sarah Blesener

Ted Cavanaugh

Matthew Cicanese

Cody Cobb

Gabriella Demczuk

Kyle Dorosz

Emile Ducke

Kholood Eid

Alina Fedorenko

Johanna-Maria Fritz

Julia Gartland

Jennifer Garza-Cuen

Matthew Genitempo

Laurel Golio

Brian Guido

R. J. Kern

Joyce Kim

Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Álvaro Laiz

Eva O’Leary

Brad Ogbonna

Paola + Murray

Jordi Pizarro

Hannah Reyes Morales

Maggie Shannon

Danna Singer

Daniele Volpe

Cole Wilson

An Rong Xu

The first PDN’s 30 issue was published in 1999. Photographers selected for past PDN’s 30 issues have become some of today’s most acclaimed photographers. They include: Lynsey Addario, Alec Soth, Taryn Simon, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Norman Jean Roy, Ami Vitale, Natalie Keyssar, Christian Patterson, Bryan Schutmaat, Tomas van Houtryve, Aaron Huey, Olivia Bee, Jonas Bendicksen, Wayne Lawrence and Daniella Zalcman, to name a few.

About PDN

Photo District News (PDN), the award-winning monthly magazine for the professional photographer, has been covering the professional photographic industry for over 30 years. PDN and its website, PDNOnline.com, deliver unbiased news and analysis, interviews and photographic portfolios. PDN delivers the information photographers need to survive in a competitive business—from marketing and business advice to legal issues, photographic techniques, new technologies and more.

For more information visit www.pdnonline.com.