Call for Entries | Combat Camera: The Women Behind the Lens

Combat Camera: The Women Behind the Lens exhibition is open to women in the military who have served their country by using photography to record all aspects of military life and service using their talent, sharp aim, and a camera. The exhibit will pair official photographs from the soldiers’ military experience (in any capacity, branch, or department) with images selected from their personal lives. By pairing official and civilian images, the exhibit will provide a unique perspective on the personal and professional intersections of women serving in our military. This exhibit will be displayed in conjunction with Fleet Week 2018 New Orleans as part of Tricentennial NOLA Navy Week and Tall Ships of America.

Combat Camera is sponsored by Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement through the Departments of Emergency and Security Studies and the Department of Digital Design in partnership with the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Funding for exhibit printing and framing has been generously provided by the Tulane Provost’s office Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant. Our thanks to all branches of the U.S. Military for their support of the project.

Submissions for the exhibit will be open from January 8 through March 5, 2018 (11:59 PM Central Time). Any active or retired photographer working in any branch of the U.S. Military is eligible to apply.

January 8, 2018: Call for Entries Opens
March 5, 2018: Entry Deadline
March 9, 2018: Selections Announced
March 18, 2018: *Deadline for delivery of images
April 18, 2018: Exhibit Opens to the Press
April 19, 2018: Opening Reception
April 19-23, 2018: Fleet Week New Orleans
May 31, 2018: Exhibition Closing

*Thanks to the generosity of Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant funds through Tulane University, accepted artists may submit a digital image which will be printed and framed for exhibition. Artists will receive the exhibition image and mat at the conclusion of the Combat Camera project.

Submission is open to all active, inactive, reserve, and retired women who have worked as photographers for any branch of the U.S. Military.

The New Orleans Photo Alliance is a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage the understanding and appreciation of photography through exhibitions, opportunities, and educational programs.

Carrie Lee Pierson Schwartz, Senior Professor of the Practice, Digital Design, Tulane University
Michael M. Wallace, Professor of Practice and Program Director, Emergency & Security Studies, Tulane University
Lisa Cates, President, New Orleans Photo Alliance

Work must be submitted in pairs; one being from the applicant’s military career and one from her civilian life. The exhibition goal is to illustrate the intersection of soldiers’ military and civilian lives so images should be chosen by applicants to reflect this goal.


Accepted images will be shown digitally and select images will be Printed for Exhibition in the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery at 1111 St. Mary Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The print exhibition will be on display from  April 18 through May 31, 2018.

Digital images will be displayed in various locations in a slideshow format created in collaboration with Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement under the supervision of Carrie Lee Pierson Schwartz, Senior Professor of the Practice.

The digital images will available to be shown : SoPA at Tulane University (all campuses), New Orleans, LA; the VA Medical Center, New Orleans, LA; the National WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA; the Kessler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS; and other locations to be determined.

The partners organizing Combat Camera: The Women Behind the Lens hope to travel the digital and print exhibitions following the initial run in the NOPA Gallery. All selected work must be available to the project for a period of two years to accommodate potential exhibition travel.

This exhibit was inspired by women who have created and shared images of the realities of conflict including early photographers who were not able to serve in the military yet served vital roles. These photographers included Gerda Taro, Olive Edis, Florence Farmborough, Christina Broom, Elsie Knocker, Mairi Chisholm, Margaret Hall, Nino Jorjadze, Lee Miller, Faye Schulman, Constance Stuart Larrabee, Margaret Bourke-White, Catherine Leroy, Dickey Chapelle, Felipa Schuyler, Susan Meiselas, Alexandra Boulat, Carolyn Cole, Stacy Pearsall, and Karen Germiston.
Most recently, Hilda Clayton, a 22-year-old U.S. Army Specialist, was killed while documenting a live fire exercise in Afghanistan when the mortar tube exploded in front of her.

PHOTO: Marine Sergeant Grace L. Wyman practices aerial photography at the United States Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point (1945). Image: National Archives and Records Administration.