For a photographer, the state of California is a wonderland. Its sheer diversity presents endless opportunity and inspiration. There are few places in the world that offer the vibrancy of its iconic cities – serving as global centres for art, entertainment and technology – and the beauty and tranquility of its Pacific coastline, sprawling redwood forests, vast deserts and towering mountain ranges.
British Journal of Photography has teamed up with Visit California, the state’s official tourism board, to launch a brand new competition: Meet California. This September, four winning photographers will be flown to the Golden State where they will embark on a 10-day photography commission. During their time in California, each competition winner will produce a new body of work that responds to their experience traversing the vast and diverse destination. Steering clear of generic picture-perfect travel photography, each body of work should delve beneath the surface of California and reveal the daily occurrences and unexpected nuances, as well as the people and places, which give America’s Golden State its distinctive character.
The road trip will take place between 05 and 16 September 2018, allowing a 10-day commission period and two days for travel. Each winner will receive a £2,500 grant; extensive coverage on BJP-online; promotion on Visit California’s digital channels; and all travel (both international flights and ground transportation in California), accommodation and meals throughout the commission period. Both a writer and a filmmaker from BJP will accompany the photographers, creating a record of the trip that will be promoted to audiences worldwide.
An itinerary crafted by Visit California and BJP will take the winning photographers to some of the most vibrant pockets of California. Each photographer will also be invited to share a wish list of sites and subjects they’d like to explore, which will be taken into consideration when the final itinerary is created. Narrative-led bodies of work, which hone in on individual communities and preoccupations, will be encouraged.
Although each winning photographer will develop a standalone body of work, the practitioners will travel through California as a group. Working as a photographer can be notoriously solitary but Meet California will be a truly shared experience.
Meet California is now open for entries! The competition is free to enter and open to photographers anywhere in the world. Enter now by simply submitting examples of your work – you’ve got until Thursday 28 June at 11.59pm (BST).
Meet California is a British Journal of Photography commission made in partnership with Visit California. Please click here for more information on sponsored content funding at British Journal of Photography.