What is Lightbox?
Lightbox is a yearlong course that aims to launch or develop the careers of the best emerging photographers.

Beginning with a week of intensive workshops led by experts in the photography industry, Lightbox is designed to challenge assumptions, encourage reflection and nurture artistic potential. With collaboration at its core, Lightbox sees participants work in a group on a collaborative project with the guidance of an expert mentor, to culminate in a launch at Brighton Photo Biennial 2016, or Photomonth London.

Do you have a query about Lightbox? Check out our FAQs section

Stage One
Manchester, UK, September 2015

Stage one consists of a week of workshops and networking sessions led by leaders in photography, the creative industries and the arts. The emphasis is on successful ideas generation; collaboration and group working; and how to get your work out and seen in the public arena. There will be case studies and examples of photographic projects, exhibited, published and online.

By the end of this week, participants will be well equipped to embark on a group collaborative project. Participants will also need to attend one further follow-up workshop later in the year.

Stage two
Various UK locations, Sept 2015 - October 2016

In stage two, the main group is split into smaller groups, which are each assigned an expert mentor. Starting with the facts and information acquired in the first stage, the group will meet regularly, use an online discussion forum, and have access to help and support from Redeye, to build the collaborative work into a finished project.

Groups then have the chance to exhibit the work at Brighton Photo Biennial 16, or Photomonth London. Those who are selected to exhibit at BPB will work closely with the curators to produce a show that is linked to the BPB16 theme.

This year’s group mentors are Dewi Lewis of Dewi Lewis publishing, Photographer John Darwell and Nicola Shipley of GRAIN.

Selection Panel - Redeye is delighted to announce the following industry professionals as this year's selection panel:

Andy Adams 

Andy Adams is an independent producer + publisher whose work explores current ideas in photography and visual media. He is the editor of FlakPhoto, a website that promotes the discovery of photographic image-makers from around the world. In his spare time he hosts the FlakPhoto Network, an online community focused on conversations about photo/arts culture. Find him on Twitter @FlakPhoto.

Gemma Padley 

Gemma Padley is a freelance journalist and editor who specialises in writing about photography.

From 2012 to 2014, Gemma worked at British Journal of Photography as the title’s senior reporter, contributing long and short-form features to the monthly print and iPad editions, and daily articles, including interview-based features and news stories, to the website, www.bjp-online.com.

Gemma currently works on a freelance basis for BJP as the magazine’s Projects Editor, and is also a contributing writer.

With seven years’ professional writing experience, Gemma has also written for The Telegraph, Photomonitor, Nowness, 1000Words, IMA Magazine (Japan), Amateur Photographer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, The RPS Journal, Digital Camera, and N-Photo.

Karin Bareman 

Karin Bareman (b. 1982, the Netherlands) studied Anthropology and Visual Anthropology in Amsterdam and Manchester, focusing on the relationship between audiovisual culture and memories especially in relation to the former USSR. She worked as Assistant Curator at Foam from 2010 2015, and she regularly writes about photography. Her articles have appeared amongst others in Foam Magazine, Unseen Magazine, Of the Afternoon Magazine, on American Suburb X and on her online platform www.karinbareman.blogspot.com. She is also the recipient of the 2015-2016 Milton Rogovin Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. 

Who is Lightbox aimed at?

Lightbox is aimed at photographers who already have a high standard of photography and are keen to experiment and develop their work further. We welcome applicants from any area of practice who are willing to collaborate with a group. Applications are open to photographers worldwide. 

If you would like to talk to a Redeye staff member about your eligibility, email lightbox@redeye.org.uk

How to apply:

Please download and fill out the Lightbox application form that can be found at the bottom of the page. Applicants must also send 6 digital images (jpeg format, maximum size 3000 pixels in the longest dimension, maximum email size 10MB). The selection of images sent is entirely up to the participant but should be representative of your best work.

Please send the application form with the images to Lightbox@redeye.org.uk no later than 9am on Monday 22nd June 2015. Please fill in the PDF form, or copy and paste the headings into a document format of your choice and fill in.

How much does it cost?

The full cost of delivering the Lightbox course is approximately £2000 per person. We are very pleased that thanks to the support of Creative Skillset and other partners we are able to offer a reduced price for all participants:

£825 Standard
£775 Redeye members

In addition we can accept staged payments spread out between July 2015 and February 2016. If you are interested in paying in stages, please inform us via email once the place has been offered.

Further bursaries reducing the total price to between £350 to £500 are available for the following people:

Unwaged people
Those on low income
Senior citizens

If you wish to apply for a bursary place, please download and fill out the bursary form that can be found at the bottom of the page, and send along with your application form to lightbox@redeye.org.uk

This project has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding


Lightbox is aimed at any serious photographer looking to launch, develop or progress a photographic career. We are interested in photographers who are committed to their practice and who understand the value of collaboration. You don’t need any formal qualifications, but you should have some experience of working on group projects and have had some success in your photographic career.

You could have just finished an undergraduate degree, be looking for a new challenge, or have recently gained some recognition you’d like to capitalise on.

The eligibility criteria for Lightbox are deliberately loose. We encourage as many people to apply as possible, and we try to take on as many participants as we are able to.

Having said this, we are looking for photographers who are practising at a good standard – who are fully technically competent and have a standout portfolio or body of work. Lightbox is aimed at the best emerging photographers in the UK, and it is important that applicants who participate are practising at a level sufficient to embark on the collaborative project. We also look for people that are serious about their work, and who can show a level of commitment to collaborative practice.

Participants need to fill in the application form that can be found on the website, and send six digital images by 9am on Monday 22nd June 2015.

We leave this up to you, but we recommend that you send what you believe to be your best six images from recent work. You can send images relating to a project, or six entirely separate images.

In the past, we have found that six images related to a project, or two sets of three images from two projects, gives us a better picture of your work.

Don’t worry! Most of the questions have a 500-word limit on them. We don’t expect you to write an essay, and we certainly don’t expect you to be a writer. We just want to get a better idea of where you are up to, what experience you have had, and why you want to apply for Lightbox.

If you’re really struggling, get in touch with us via lightbox@redeye.org.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

We will notify participants in early July. You may, at this stage, be asked to come and meet the Redeye team for an informal interview. We aim to notify all successful participants by late July 2015.

The amount of applicants that are accepted on to the course is based on the number of people who apply. We will accept as many participants as we have the capacity to, who we feel are eligible and will benefit from the programme.

In the past we have had around 30 participants.

The first week is based in Manchester city centre so you will need to travel to Manchester from Monday to Friday on the 14th-18th September. We recommend that you book into a hotel for this week if you are located in a non-commutable area.

If you do require accommodation, we will be announcing our accommodation recommendations nearer the time to help you find somewhere suitable at low cost. You will need to fund your own accommodation during this period.

The course is designed so that photographers throughout the UK can participate but the location for stage two will be dependent on the group you are in.

Groups are likely to have 5-6 meetings with their mentor. You will need to make provisions to travel to these six meetings in the location they are set. Other than that, participants can have meetings via Skype, online and over the phone.

It is also possible for groups to arrange meetings throughout the UK, to ensure that no one participant is required to travel more than others.

Redeye will support groups through the collaborative period, and each group will be assigned an additional communications mentor to help facilitate communication between participants in the group.

Yes! Lightbox is designed so that participants are able to maintain work commitments alongside the course. We do expect all participants to attend the first week of workshops (14th-15th September 2015) so you must make sure you are available during these dates.

In stage two, participants are split into groups of around 7 to embark on a collaborative period. This stage lasts around nine months, depending on the festival you choose to exhibit at. During this period you will be required to meet with your mentor at least six times, with additional meetings to be arranged with the group as necessary. Dates and timings of these meeting are dependent on the group’s and mentor’s availability but can be decided within the group to suit individual participant’s timetables.

So, in short, as long as you can ensure your availability for the first week in September, you should be able to work the collaborative project around other work commitments.

If you want to participate in Lightbox but aren’t sure you can afford it there are a few options available.

If you are on a low income – you can apply for a bursary place. Bursaries are awarded on a case-by-case basis and can reduce the price of Lightbox by over 50%. To apply for a bursary, you will need to fill in the bursary application form and send it to lightbox@redeye.org.uk along with your application. More information about the bursaries can be found on the information sheet that can be downloaded on the Lightbox event page.

Additionally, we are now offering staged payments for all applicants of Lightbox between August 2015 and February 2016. Staged pricing is expected to be as follows:

25% to confirm your place due by 10 August 2015
25% due by 4 September 2015
10% per month for five months due on the first day of October 2015 to February 2016

Email lightbox@redeye.org.uk with the subject ‘query’ and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours.

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