The trends and highlights from Visa pour l’Image 2018

The stands filling with viewers at the outdoor night-time screening at Visa pour l’Image 2018.
A screening at Visa pour l’Image 2018 – the 30th edition of the festival of photojournalism in Perpignan, France.

As Professional Week at Visa pour l’Image 2018 concludes, we reflect on the trends and highlights from the 30th edition of the festival of photojournalism in Perpignan, France.

Canon has championed visual storytelling, partnering with Visa for the 29th consecutive year, bringing visitors to the festival exhibitions, workshops, reviews and talks that aim to shape and inspire the photojournalists of tomorrow.

“For 29 years now, Canon has been supporting Visa pour l’Image,” said Jean-Francois Leroy, Director of Visa pour l’Image. “I think this is really the best and most important photojournalism festival in the world, and our partnership is getting better and better.”

Here are five highlights and trends from Visa pour l’Image 2018.

Stands displaying photographs in an exhibition of female Canon Ambassadors’ work, in the Canon Experience Zone at Visa pour l’Image.
An exhibition of work by 26 female Canon Ambassadors, called The Women’s Eye, ran alongside the work of 2017 Canon Female Photojournalist Award winner Catalina Martin-Chico, seen here mounted against black.

1. A celebration of women in photography

Women in photography was a key theme at the festival this year, with an exhibition of work by 26 female Canon Ambassadors, titled The Women’s Eye, in the Canon Experience Zone. It featured a selection of work by the winner of last year's Canon Female Photojournalist award, Catalina Martin-Chico. Catalina sat alongside the 2018 Canon Female Photojournalist award winner Laura Morton, and Canon Ambassador and 2011 winner Ilvy Njiokiktjien in a panel discussion hosted by Imperial War Museum curator of photography and Canon Ambassador Hilary Roberts. The discussion was titled In Search of Balance: Women in Photojournalism. “More women are studying photography than ever before. But what happens next?” asked Hilary, in what became a rallying discussion about the positive changes happening in the industry.

2. The future of photojournalism

Canon ran workshops, lectures and portfolio reviews for 176 students from across Europe in the Canon Student Programme. “We need to tell nice stories, and it begins with you,” says Thomas Borberg, Photo Editor-in-Chief at Politiken, Denmark. He was one of many industry figures inspiring and educating a future generation of photojournalists as part of the programme.

A woman stands wearing a VR headset, facing the camera, immersed in the VR world while everyone else in the room is looking the other way.
At a happy-hour event, "This woman put on her VR glasses and then one of the people from the firm decided to give a little talk in the other room," recalls photographer Laura Morton. "Everybody turned to look at the talk, and nobody tapped this woman on the shoulder to let her know, so she's just immersed in her own world." Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X with a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens. © Laura Morton

3. Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2018

Laura Morton, a freelance documentary photographer based in San Francisco, USA, was formally announced as the winner of the 2018 Canon Female Photojournalist Award.

The award, which is in its 18th year, provides €8,000 of funding towards a new project, which will be exhibited at the 2019 Visa pour l'Image photojournalism festival. Laura's winning proposal, called University Avenue, is named after the road that acts as a fault line between two very different worlds in her home town. “My goal in documenting the lives of those who live and work along this street is to put a human face on income inequality and to illustrate how one community can be left behind while being surrounded by so much wealth," says Laura.

A Canon Professional Services technician cleans and checks a camera.
A Canon Professional Services technician does a check and clean of a photographer’s equipment at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France. This year, CPS serviced 60 pieces of equipment a day, on average.

4. Canon Professional Services (CPS) in action

At Visa pour l’Image, Canon Professional Services worked hard to check and clean on average 60 pieces of Canon equipment a day. But the service isn't just show-specific. Since it was launched 20 years ago, CPS members have relied upon the repair network. To find out more, visit

5. The future is here

On 5 September, the Canon EOS R was revealed: the full-frame mirrorless system is set to redefine the future frontiers of photography and filmmaking. Visitors to the Canon Experience Zone were given the chance to get hands-on with the EOS R range, which promises greater creative shooting possibilities and more dynamic ways of capturing every moment.

Written by Emma-Lily Pendleton

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