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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Shortlisted!

I am thrilled to share with you that I have been shortlisted in the portrait category of the Picfair Women Behind the Lens competition.

My work was shortlisted from over 4000 entries from across the globe. The images will be exhibited at the Guardian News and Media Gallery from Monday 11th of December. The winners will be announced at an event on the 11th January 2018.

The news was announced on Friday 8th December 2017:-

and at

How did I find out?

On Wednesday 6th December 2017, I received an email from Picfair’s Creative Director, Sally Hart, who organised the Women Behind the Lens competition. The message read:

“I’m delighted to let you know that your image ‘Pip’ has been shortlisted and will be exhibited at the Guardian News and Media Gallery from Monday 11th of December. Congratulations from all here at Picfair, and from our judging panel who were incredibly impressed by the quality of the work. 

We would ask that you please keep your shortlisting confidential until we have had a chance to make the announcement with our media partners. We expect this to happen either this Thursday or Friday (7th or 8th) and will let you know as soon as you’re able to share the news!

The category and overall winners will be announced at an event at the conclusion of the exhibition on January 11th. We’ll be contacting all shortlisted photographers prior to the announcement to let them know the results before they’re made public

Many thanks and huge congratulations again.”

The news was extremely exciting and quite difficult not to share with everyone, but I managed it somehow.

This was followed up by a further email on Friday 8th December 2017:

“Picfair’s Women Behind the Lens shortlist has just been announced online in the Guardian’s picture gallery ( We’ve also written a blog post including all the entries on the Picfair site here (

We’ll be sharing across all our social media channels today, including an email to our full mailing list around 12.30pm.

Your work was shortlisted from over 4000 entries from across the globe so you all should be incredibly proud of your work and we hope you’ll share it as far and wide as we intend to!

We expect the exhibition to be installed later today so we’ll try and get some images and share more information about that as soon as we’re able.”


At this point, it became real and I was able to share with people what had happened. Even as I write this blog post a week later, I am still processing the enormity of the shortlisting. Seeing your work on the Guardian’s site is an absolute thrill. I feel extremely proud of the image Pip and I produced.

Following the announcement, social media was buzzing with posts:-

There was also an annoucement made on the university website on 11th December 2017.


To further promote my success story, I contacted local newspapers and my local BBC Radio channel. As of yet I have had had no responses. Not a total surprise as my emails would have coincided with the big snowfall news stories!

I have also promoted a post on both Instagram and Facebook which have received an amazing number of likes –

  1. Facebook – 1,300 + likes (as at 11am 14th December 2017)

  2. Instagram – 3,656 like (as at 11am 14th December 2017)

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 11.11.33
Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 11.10.24

On 11th December 2017 the shortlisted images went on display in the Guardian News and Media Gallery in London. The work will be there until 11th January 2018.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 00.22.24

I am so pleased to see that my image has been printed sympathetically. I was slightly concerned that this intimate portrait would be printed too big and it would lose some of its impact. However, it is one of the smaller images in the exhibit and draws the viewer in because of that.

I am so existed for the announcement of the category and overall winners at an event on 11th January 2018. I will be there to see the exhibition and hear the results – wish me luck!


Facebook. (2017). Facebook [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Photography student shortlisted for Picfair’s Women Behind the Lens competition. [online] Available at:,photography-student-shortlisted-for-picfairs-women-behind-the-lens-competition_116.htm [Accessed 13 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Jo Sutherst [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Women Behind the Lens exhibition launches at The Guardian – A collection of images from Picfair. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2017].

the Guardian. (2017). Picfair’s Women Behind the Lens contest: in pictures. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Dec. 2017]. (2017). Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

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