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A look at LPA Futures

13 July 2017


LPA Futures is an initiative set up by photographers agent Lisa Pritchard Agency (LPA) to kickstart the careers of emerging commercial photography talent and raise their profiles in this competitive industry. Now in it’s 12th year, the programme is going strong. We caught up with Lisa to hear how LPA Futures came about.



© Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. The LPA team, from left to right; Cassie, Georgina, Lisa, Anna and Clio.


Lisa explains

‘I initially set up LPA Futures in 2005 as a division of my agency to simply represent up and coming photography talent’ says Lisa, owner and founder of LPA. I thought a small group of 5 photographers would be a good number and sourced the first roster from assistants and also scouted around the relevant awards. There were a couple of flaws to the original plan however, one was that it wasn’t actually that easy to find new talent – this gave me the idea of turning it into an actual competition and also getting a panel of judges involved in the selection process. The second was that, at what point are the photographers not emerging talent anymore, how long should they stay in the division? The structure was a bit woolly. So I came up with the idea of running it as a 2 year programme and changing the line up every time. 



© Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. Futures launch night 2017/2019


Since these early beginnings LPA Futures has developed into one of the industries most popular competitions for new photography blood. Lisa and her team at LPA hand-pick a panel of experts from the fields of advertising, design and photography to select the 5 photographers from all the entries.


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©Imogen Forte 


Photographers are invited to submit 20 images that demonstrate the potential to be successful advertising photographers and the competition usually attracts around 150 entries. Lisa believes the standard has got stronger and stronger each year.



© Previous Futures winner 2015/2017 Tim Atkins


‘In the earlier years, we got a lot of entries that weren’t so relevant, very fashion editorial or perhaps from photographers who were still yet to find their niche or signature style. This is a competition for photographers just breaking into the industry and working on get noticed by commissioners. It is for those that have taken the time already to gather experience and who are forming realistic expectations of what it takes to make a career out of their photography. When faced with this year’s entries the initial reaction from most of the judges was ‘how can we just choose 5?!’. I guess the entries might have got stronger as it’s become more apparent what we are looking for, or maybe there are just lots of really talented, relevant photographers coming into the industry right now- maybe a bit of both! The debate between the judges was truly fascinating though, a real insight into what commissioners look for and who they would consider (and not consider!) working with, with no holds barred. Of course as agents we get a lot of feedback when we take our main photographers portfolios out, and are aware of industry trends, we know how to put a portfolio together to win jobs and what brands are looking for.  But the judging evening is always extremely telling and confirms the zeitgeist of commercial photography. It’s priceless, and a great privilege to be able to listen to the opinions of such heavy weight influencers in such an environment.’ 

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©River Thompson


The work of the winning 5 were revealed at a launch party in May, attended by the who’s who of the industry, where their work was showcased together the first time.


©Tracy Howl, from Paul Clarke Photography. Futures winners 2017, from left to right; Will Hartley, Steven Joyce, Katrina Lawson Johnston, River Thompson and Imogen Forte.


‘I love the whole process of LPA Futures, it’s so rewarding to discover new talent, see their work develop, and play an active part in accelerating the careers of emerging photographers’ enthuses Lisa. ‘Last year’s group were incredibly successful with lots of very high profile commissions from brands such as Peroni, M&S, Sony, Kleenex, Marie Curie, Deliveroo, Stella McCartney, White Stuff and Eat Natural to name but a few. We really have high hopes for this new roster with a couple of commissions in the bag already.’ She goes on to say ‘The idea of Futures isn’t necessarily to find photographers for LPA represent in their main stable after 2 years, and obviously as an agent we can only represent so many photographers. Some turn out to not be quite ready for the commercial arena and need to evolve a bit more, some aren’t ready for an agent quite yet still, some might want to explore different directions, but there is usually one that we like to keep hold of. This year, we are delighted to say that food and drink photographer Tim Atkins has been signed to our main roster. Tim is a great combination of a brilliant photographer with a very identifiable style that is really in demand, but he is also very proactive with his own marketing and output of work and has a realistic out look on the industry in terms of what needs to be done and the role of an agent.’


Here's a run down on the winners of LPA Futures 2017/2019


Imogen Forte


©Imogen Forte 


Born and bred in London, Imogen is a self-taught photographer who cut her teeth as an advertising art director and copywriter. She has created work for clients including Magners, Carlsberg, Gumtree and Ann Summers and has won a few pitches and awards along the way.

She was taught about photography from a young age by her father, a photography enthusiast, who bought Imogen her first camera when she was six. Since then Imogen has taken inspiration from photographers who seek out beautiful and captivating moments in everyday life, especially those who use colour in interesting ways; William Eggleston, David Alan Harvey, Joel

Meyerowitz, Saul Leiter, Olivia Bee, Ryan McGinley and Elsa Bleda are all firm favourites.

Imogen takes her camera with her everywhere she goes, looking for moments of beauty in amongst the mundane. She works mainly on film, but is equally comfortable shooting digital. Whether shooting on the street or taking portraits, she looks to capture moments that move her in the hope that they’ll move others too.


Will Hartley


©Will Hartley


Will grew up in the countryside in North Devon with his brothers, building dams and tree houses. When he got to his teens he started skateboarding. Will watched a lot of skate movies, played Tony Hawks on the Playstation after school and went skating with his friends in their local spots. It was then that he decided he wanted to be a photographer or filmmaker so he started filming and taking pictures of his friends in action.

Since then he has moved to London, worked with photographers such as Olly Burn, Dan Burn-Forti, Spencer Murphy and Samuel Hicks and continues to win awards. Will has a studio in Limehouse Arts Foundation, Bow, which he shares with another photographer and a set designer. He is now becoming very much in demand from brands and agencies himself.


Steven Joyce  


©Steven Joyce


Steven studied at Filton College in Bristol which had a connection with Magnum Photos and he ended the course with a job at their offices in London.

It was around this time that Steven started to discover good food, living with a close friend who was very much into cooking. His friend introduced him to food writers such as Nigel Slater and Simon Hopkinson, took him to Fergus Henderson’s St John, and taught him to cook.

Whilst shooting a project about allotments Steven met his wife, Rebecca, who at the time worked for Observer Food Monthly. After showing him the Moro East cookbook (recipes by allotment holders in East London) he realised that he could bring all the things he loved together.

Steve has shot for numerous publications including The Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Telegraph, Elle Deco, and ES Magazine. He has also been commissioned to shoot multiple cook books as well as for many restaurants.


Katrina Lawson Johnston


©Katrina Lawson Johnston


Katrina grew up on a farm in the south of England but now calls Hackney home and spends most of her time at her studio in Camberwell. She attributes her love of photography to her mother who would take her and her brothers hiking in the mountains to search for and photograph rare wild flowers.

Having quit competitive ice skating aged 20 she studied Photography at UAL under Itai Doron and got a job at Spring Studios after graduation. This led to assisting many well-known fashion photographers and working full time for Jacob Sutton. Since making the leap from assistant to photographer Katrina has been lucky enough to shoot for brands such as Stella McCartney, COS & Beefeater Gin.

Katrina is interested in the movement to pioneer British-made crafts, which has appeared in the last few years and she would love to work with craftsmen who are passionate about the products they produce.



River Thompson


©River Thompson


River grew up spending his time between the South of France and South London before moving to Cornwall to study Fine Art Photography at University College Falmouth. He now lives on a boat in London and works from his studio in Hackney.

His passion for photography started alongside his passion for exploring in his teenage years, photographing friends and locals in and around Toulouse in France and Peckham in London. River first learnt to shoot film on his Dad’s old 35mm camera quite early on and still sometimes shoots film for both personal projects and commissions.

When discussing his photography River describes his style as sensitive and quiet, with an honesty and rawness in terms of colour, tones and texture. He enjoys using natural light and tones when possible, and is constantly changing his favourite time of day and season to shoot.

Publications and clients that he has worked with include The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Eurostar Magazine, Visit Norway, Thomas Cook, Dojo App, Kitchen Air, Origin Coffee and Snow and Rock.


2017/2019 LPA Futures was judged by:

Tanja Adams & Helen Parker, Founding Partners, Another

Sophie Chapman-Andrews, Head of Art Buying/Executive Producer, McCann London

Chris Coulson, Art Director, Seven Stones

Jaki-Jo Hannan, Senior Art Producer & Alicia Hart, Creative Picture Researcher, AMV BBDO

Michael Heffernan, Photographer & Director, LPA

Bel January, Senior Creative Producer, Mullenlowe London

Lisa Pritchard, Owner & Founder, LPA

Kieron Molloy, Associate Creative Director, Conran Design Group


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©Steven Joyce


If you are an emerging photographer, the next call for entries goes out in November 2018, details will be available on the LPA blog.

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