Photolucida does two primary things to support and promote the work of emerging and mid-career photographers:


Every other April, an international set of photographers and reviewers gather in Portland, Oregon for a five-day celebration of photography that includes lectures, workshops, and exhibition collaborations. Intensive portfolio reviews are at the heart of the festival. Reviewers are selected for their experience, involvement, and commitment to advancing the work of emerging and mid-career artists. Over the years, many participants have made contacts that have led directly to exhibitions, publications, and sales, in addition to receiving useful critiques.

By providing a venue for in-depth, informed, and supportive dialogue between photographers, gallery owners, curators, publishers, editors, and consultants, Photolucida promotes the culture of photography locally, nationally, and internationally. The last Portfolio Reviews event took place April 21-23, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.


Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community. Photographers at any level, from anywhere in the world, submit a portfolio of 10 images.

Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 200 esteemed international photography professionals.

From the Finalist group, the TOP 50 are named and a series of awards are given. Currently we are pleased to award Finalists a number of Reichmann Project Grants, publicity opportunities, solo show awards and more! (See 2023 Critical Mass Awards)Historically, the Critical Mass TOP 50 Exhibition has been a constant in national and international venues, and the Monograph Award has previously been given to eighteen recipients. Critical Mass happens every year, opening usually in June!

Festival of Light

Photolucida is a member of FESTIVAL OF LIGHT,  an international collaboration of more than 20 photography festivals around the world.

Who We Are

Photolucida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We support professional development for photographers by awarding Critical Mass scholarships, Michael Reichmann Project Grants, Rauschenberg Residency Awards and Blue Sky Solo Show Awards. Photolucida has donated Critical Mass publications to over 200 Oregon libraries. Please see our Equity Statement page to see how we are working to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in our programming as well as values for our sector.

Privacy Policy: We do not share or sell your personal information to any outside entities.

Photolucida Staff

  • Polly Gaillard — Interim Program Director

Advisory Council

  • Paul Kopeikin
  • Alyssa Coppelman
  • Geoffrey Koslov
  • Peppa Martin
  • Mary Virginia Swanson
  • Alison Nordström
  • Kirsten Rian
  • Anna Sortun

Photolucida Board

  • Stu Levy
  • Maura Allen
  • Harper Brokaw-Falbo
  • Elizabeth Flinsch
  • Peter Krask
  • Julian Lucas
  • Rachael Nusbaum
  • Julia Fitzgerald