Reclaiming Our Future

Reclaim Photography Festival returns to the West Midlands from May to June 2018. The programme will include responses to our open call: Reclaiming Our Future. We will also be offering a special regional project: Reclaiming Our Industrial Might, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Black Country Living Museum, capturing the people, places and industries, past and present, within the Black Country region. We will also be offering events, pop up displays, gallery exhibitions and professional opportunities for young people and emerging artists.

 Reclaiming Our Future – We live in an age of rapid acceleration. Advancements in technology, globalisation and climate change are significantly reshaping our communities, cultures, politics, workplaces and fundamental values. The aim of this year’s festival is to capture the impact surrounding these accelerations, and the creative energy and problem-solving initiatives being applied to meet the challenges of our era.

Our Awards

Reclaim Photography Festival is proud to announce our third Festival awards. Our team of Festival curators will select a range of prints for our gallery exhibition hosted by the Light House Media Centre from 4 May – 30 May 2018 and the John Lewis Community Hub from 31 May – 26 June 2018. Awards for our gallery exhibitors include:

*exhibition alongside internationally renowned photographers;
*exhibition exposure in two main city galleries;
*inclusion in exhibition marketing and promotion campaign;
*inclusion of a selection of gallery exhibitors’ work in Lenscratch magazine*.

Work Experience Opportunity – Reclaim Photography Festival is offering work experience opportunities for young people to assist with the planning and delivery of our special group autumn gallery exhibition.

Exhibition Opportunity – Reclaim Photography Festival is offering the opportunity to a selection of photographers, to exhibit in a special autumn exhibition and publication.

LENSCRATCH – LENSCRATCH* is a daily journal that explores contemporary photography and offers opportunities for exposure and community. Created in 2007, Aline Smithson set a goal of writing about a different photographer each day, presenting work in a way that allows for a deeper understanding of a photographer’s intent and vision.
Since its inception, LENSCRATCH has featured the work of thousands of photographers and has provided a platform to launch numerous portfolios. LENSCRATCH has been a media partner to numerous photography festivals and organizations such as CENTER, Filter Photo Festival, Medium Photo Festival, LOOK3, and Reclaim Photography Festival in the UK.

NB: Please note all details are subject to change.

Maxine Watts – Founder and Artistic Director of Reclaim Photography and Festival (RPF) West Midlands UK. RPF offers an annual programme of collaborations, events and exhibitions; dedicated to showing the very best in art photography free of cost or competition. Recent work includes producing A Cartography of Dreams for Dimbola Museum and Galleries with artists: Paul Biddle, Tami Bone, Jonah Calinawan and Fran Forman.

Aline Smithson – Aline Smithson is a Los Angeles based artist best known for her conceptual portraiture and a practice that uses humor and pathos to explore ideas of childhood, aging, and the humanity that connects us. She received a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the College of Creative Studies, studying under artists such as William Wegman, Alan Ruppersburg, and Charles Garabian. After a career as a New York Fashion Editor, Aline returned to Los Angeles and to her own artistic practice.

She has exhibited widely including over 40 solo shows at institutions such as the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai, Lishui, and Pingyqo Festivals in China, The Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Verve Gallery in Santa Fe. In addition, her work is held in a number of public collections and her photographs have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, PDN, Communication Arts, Eyemazing, Real Simple, Soura, Visura, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines.

In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. In 2014, Aline’s work was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 and she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER. In 2015, the Magenta Foundation published her first significant monograph, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography. In 2016, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum commissioned Aline to a series of portraits for the upcoming Faces of Our Planet Exhibition.

In 2007, Aline founded LENSCRATCH, a photography journal that celebrates a different contemporary photographer each day. She has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, is a contributing writer for Diffusion, Don’t Take Pictures, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, has written book reviews for photo-eye, and has provided the forewords for artist’s books by Tom Chambers, Meg Griffiths, Flash Forward 12, Robert Rutoed, Nancy Baron, amongst others. Aline has curated and juried exhibitions for a number of galleries, organizations, and on-line magazines, including Review Santa Fe, Critical Mass, Flash Forward, and the Griffin Museum. In addition, she is a reviewer and educator at many photo festivals across the United States. She is a founding member of the Six Shooters Collective and has been teaching at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001.

Our Sponsors

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, sponsors, supporters and venues, for their help with this year’s events, exhibitions and talks, and Reclaim Photography members for inviting us to host our third UK international Reclaim Photography Festival.

KBM Framing Gallery       Walsall
190b, High Street, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 3LA
Telephone: 01922 710444
Email: 07941 845336

KBM Framing Gallery is a respected professional picture framing company with twenty-five years experience. They offer a wide range of framing styles, competitive pricing structure, free no-obligation quotes and a friendly helpful service. Make sure you visit us at

Palm Laboratory       Birmingham
69 Rea Street, Birmingham, B5 6BB
Telephone: 0121 6225504

We offer all types of film and photo processing services, digital photographic printing, scanning, mounting and photo books. We pride ourselves on our friendly helpful service, as, likeminded people, we have a love of the photographic image. Make sure you visit us at and join us on Facebook.