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 now or previously based in the U.S. Gulf States (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida) 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.

Sponsored by: the New Orleans Photo Alliance; Tulane University: School of Professional Advancement and Emergency and Security Studies and Digital Design Programs; and all branches of the United States Military.

Submissions for the exhibit will be open from January 8 through February 8, 2018 (11:59 PM Central Time). Any active or retired photographer working in any branch of the U.S. Military now or previously stationed in the U.S. Gulf States are eligible to apply.

January 8, 2018: Call for Entries Opens
February 8, 2018: Entry Deadline
February 15, 2018: Selections Announced
March 9, 2018: Deadline for delivery of art
March 18, 2018: Exhibit Opening
April 19, 2018: Fleet Week Events
May 31, 2018: Exhibition Closing

Submission is open to all active, inactive, reserve, and retired women who have worked as photographers for any branch of the U.S. Military. Applicants must be currently or previously stationed in the U.S. Gulf States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida to apply.

Submission Fee: $20

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. Your submission fee will directly support the Combat Camera exhibit. 

Carrie Lee Pierson Schwartz, Senior Professor of the Practice, 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.

Download complete Submission Guidelines in PDF format: CombatCameraGuidelines.

Accepted images will be shown digitally and in print format. Prints will be displayed in an exhibit in the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery at 1111 St. Mary Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The print exhibition will be on display from March 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 be exhibited in the following locations: 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 widely following the initial run in the NOPA Gallery and digital locations. All selected work must be available to the project for a period of two years to accommodate potential exhibition travel.

Selected work must be delivered framed and ready to hang. If this is a financial burden for an applicant, the exhibition partners will work with the individual to find solutions to ensure all accepted work is included in the exhibition.

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.