INTERVIEWS,  News,  Opinion

Exclusive Interview With Chris Davies Of The American Aperture Awards (AX3)

As many of you know the winners of the American Aperture Awards (AX3) were recently announced. Four major Award Winners and 51 Winners in each additional category from over 1,100 entries from 63 countries were narrowed down to receive these prestigious awards.

We were delighted in particular with the mobile photography category, not least with seeing our very talented Contributor Nettie Edwards scoop the Top Prize and Award of Mobile Photographer of the Year. Sarah Jarret, Adria Ellis, Gianluca Ricoveri, Cedric Blanchon, Eeken, Ale Di Gangi, Eloise Capet, Cindy Patrick, Lisa Waddell, Susan Tuttle, John Fulton, Mattia Vacca, Valerie McBride and more, all received Awards too in various categories – to see the full list of Mobile Photography Category Winners, go here.

We wanted to find out more about these awards, so we contacted Chris Davies the Founder and President and an interview transpired. Read that below to find out about the Judging criteria, quality of entries, the mobile category and much more…





Joanne – How long have the AX3 awards been running?

Chris – This is the first year the AX3 – American Aperture Awards have taken this name and this scope. Fabrik has hosted smaller competitions in the past, but AX3 took on a global audience and new direction that we are very proud of.


‘Stockings and Black Shoes’ – ©Eloise Capet – image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – When did you add the mobile category?

Chris – I love technology and how it is used in all creativity, and wanted mobile photography to be part of the competition from inception. After meeting Bob Weil, one of our mobile jurors earlier this year, it only validated my belief.


‘Birth’ – ©Susan Tuttle – image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – What has the overall quality of the mobile photography entered been like?

Chris – There has been a range in experience level and talent, but overall we have been very impressed. Everyone has a camera phone, but not everyone is a photographer. After sorting through some of the less impressive images, we were still left with an abundance of stunning options. That’s why we ended up with 10 Honorable Mentions in the mobile category. The overall talent was impressive and we felt that these 10 photographers deserved to be recognized.


‘Portraits’ – ©Ioannis Sidiropoulos – image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – Would you say that you received many entries?

Chris – Yes, we were thrilled by the number of entries we received in our inaugural year. In total, we received over 1,100 entries from 63 countries. The mobile submissions were equally impressive with over 270 submissions from all over the world.


‘Headstand’ – ©Lisa Waddell – image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – How did the non-mobile jurors feel about the mobile element of the comp – any preconceptions?

Chris – There were no preconceptions. I think everyone understands the impact of mobile photography in the art world and respects its arrival. It is hard to deny that some fabulous, inspiring work has come from mobile photographers. It is a respected field.


‘Surf City’ – ©Cindy Patrick – image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – How were the mobile photography winners selected, what criteria?

Chris – Since mobile photography has become almost a new art form in itself, we assembled a separate judging panel for mobile submissions. Two experts in the field who fully understand the nuances of mobile photography: Bob Weil and Daria Polichetti. All submissions were judged on their composition, technique, and how they were able to utilize the mobile device to produce the best image possible.


‘Versailles’ – ©Nettie Edwards Image Courtesy AX3


Joanne – Both the Grand Photography Prize winner and the Emerging Prize winner were awarded cash prizes in addition, why was the mobile photographer of the year, not awarded a cash prize?

Chris – We will be awarding a cash prize of $250 to the mobile category winner Nettie Edwards, even though we initially did not include this as part of the prize.

Contact Details

Chris Davies


Fabrik Magazine

Nettie Edwards (@lumilyon)

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]