Every year at the Beirut Art Fair, I make sure to drop by Byblos Bank’s stand to check out photos of the Byblos Bank Award for Photography finalists. The annual award was launched in 2012 and supports emerging local talents by placing their work at the heart of the photography market and giving them access to collectors, experts, gallerists, the media, and professional photographers.

The winner is selected by a world-renowned jury of photography professionals whose members include: Agnès Grégoire (President), Editorial Director of PHOTO magazine; Frederico Freschi, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design, and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg; Judith Peyrat, Artistic Director of Baudoin Lebon Gallery in Paris; Marc Mouarkesh, Managing Director of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut; Noel Nasr (Mentor), Coordinator of the Photography Program at the Notre-Dame University – Louaizé.

2017 Finalist: Photo by Lamis Hakim

Not only does the winner receive a laureate, but they make sure he gets all the professional advice & support that he needs, as well as personalized expert mentoring for her or his first solo exhibition. In other words, if you believe you’re a talented photographer and want to get noticed, the bank is giving you that extra push that you need and more. It’s a great means to encourage local talent and a win-win for all 🙂

I love photography myself but I’m definitely not a professional photographer. I keep experimenting with new cameras and lenses but photography needs a lot of time and patience. I still don’t know how to use half the buttons on my SLR LOL!

Moving on to the finalists, this year’s candidates are:
Marc Abou-Jaoude, Mahmoud Baayoun, Araz Boutchakjian, Joe Ghanem, Lamis Hakim, Tracy Majdalani, Rawan Mazeh, Maria Mouallem, Tamara Saade, and Georges Yazbek.

My two favorite photos are the ones by Tamara Saade & Mahmoud Baayoun.

Photo by Tamara Saade
Photo by Mahmoud Baayoun

Results will be out on September 24.