International Photography Festivals You Can't Miss This Summer

Jul 20, 2018 by Lisa Scarpa
14 MIN

Lensculture has compiled all of the best international photography festivals going on this summer! International photography festivals are more popular than ever.

Each summer is packed with fun festivities all over the world, from dancing at music festivals to open-air cinemas! For those who enjoy a more artistic side of things, you have fallen onto the perfect article. 

Photography Festivals 

These lively events provide opportunities for discovering exciting new work including exhibitions, multimedia projections, lectures, roundtable discussions and most importantly inspiration. Festivals are also a great place to connect with the photographic community, providing a space for both professional and personal networks to flourish. 

Here are some of the best international festivals happening in cities near you, this summer! 


Athens Photo Festival

Athens, Greece

“Athens Photo Festival 2018 brings together a range of different perspectives from emerging and established artists and photographers from all over the world with the aim to raise awareness and foster an understanding of contemporary culture and society through photography in all its forms. Exploring critical issues relevant to our times, the festival functions as a dynamic platform where the social impact of the ever-changing visual culture can be raised and discussed. Athens, today, is a city facing the challenges for Europe. This put us in a unique position to collaborate with international artists and organizations. The Festival works within an international, national and local context, encompassing a variety of activities designed to reflect the diversity of contemporary photography, and to create opportunities for exchange of ideas, artistic expression and international engagement.”

From June 6 - July 29, 2018

Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Nina Röder

Nina Röder



Madrid, Spain

“Since its inception, PHotoESPAÑA has had a decidedly international vision. Focusing on local values, PHE has also explored grand concepts and vast artistic territories: Europe, North America, Latin America, for example. This vision has been upheld and developed by the curators and directors who, every three years, are put in charge of the program. This is one of the primary characteristics of the festival, which clearly distinguishes it from all other international photography festivals: every three years a chief curator takes charge of the festival’s program, developing theories and concepts, distanced from favoritism, that revolve around photography and that proves that the festival is capable of periodically reinventing itself.”

From June 6 - August 26, 2018

Roberto Schettini

Roberto Schettini


Triennal of Photography

Hamburg, Germany

"The Triennial of Photography takes place every three years in Hamburg in collaboration with the city’s major museums, cultural institutions, galleries, and other organizers. Meanwhile, the festival has become an important event throughout Germany and the rest of the world. With a large number of exhibitions under a common theme, it highlights current topics in photography. The festival features conversations with artists, thematic discussions, lectures, portfolio viewings, and an international conference."

From June 7 - September 30, 2018

Lisa Hoffmann

Lisa Hoffmann



Antwerp, Belgium

"AntwerpPhoto is an international photo biennale that shows what is happening in the world of photography. With an extensive festival week and leading exhibitions, AntwerpPhoto inspires and stimulates the visitor to dive into the world of photography and visual culture and go on a discovery tour.

The first edition of AntwerpPhoto runs from June 24 to September 30 in the Pilotage in Antwerp. In this edition, we will show you four exhibitions: an ambitious group exhibition of Belgian photographers, an introduction to the laureates of the Prix Carmignac, work by award-winning documentary photographer Michael Wolf and the legendary work of Anton Corbijn, which contains a number of highlights that have never been shown before."

From June 24 - September 30, 2018

Anton Corbijn photography

Anton Corbijn


Voies Off Festival

Arles, France

"The Voies Off Festival gathers a set of exhibitions and independent photographic initiatives in Arles every year that run alongside the Rencontres d’Arles. Since 1996, this Festival has offered a bold, alternative program focused on a new generation of artists and photographers. The actions and goals of its programs are dedicated to helping support young fine art photographers."

From July 2 - September 23, 2018

Tereza Kozinc - Paris In and Out

Tereza Kozinc - Paris In and Out


Les Rencontres d’Arles

Arles, France

"Every summer since 1970, over the course of more than forty exhibitions at various heritage sites in the city, the Rencontres d’Arles has been a major influence in disseminating the best of international photography, and playing the role of a springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talents."

From July 2 - September 23, 2018

Ann Ray

Ann Ray


Cortona On The Move

Cortona, Italy

"Cortona On The Move is a dynamic center of contemporary photography, where experimentation and a watchful eye on the future development of visual communications are at home. But photography isn’t the only valuable asset of Cortona On The Move. It also cherishes and promotes worthy icons in the local economy, which has made it possible, year after year, to re-open prestigious old buildings for the benefit of the town – dilapidated and abandoned buildings have now become spectacular exhibition locations."

From July 12 - September 30, 2018

Sanne De Wilde

Sanne De Wilde

Encuentros Abiertos


"The Encuentros Abiertos-Festival de la Luz is the biggest event of its kind in Latin America - a biennial that takes place every August in even-numbered years. The purpose of the Festival de la Luz is to nurture and promote the art of photography in Argentina and internationally. The Festival carries out this mandate in different ways: with exhibitions of national and foreign artists in museums, cultural centers, and art spaces across Argentina; through lectures, workshops, and discussions on photographic art and related issues; through street art, projections, film screenings, and actions in public spaces; with book presentations, and photographic calls; and by organizing portfolio reviews where photographers meet with curators, critics, collectors, editors, and directors of institutions interested in the artistic, cultural, and social relevance of photography."

Running from August 1 - September 28, 2018


Mt. Rokko International Photography Festival


"This young but widely respected festival offers a showcase of both local and international talents while providing a bridge between Eastern and Western photographic communities. From exhibitions to portfolio reviews and a spotlight on emerging Japanese talents, this festival offers a bit of everything."

Running from August 20 - August 28, 2018


Kaunas Photo

Kaunas, Lithuania

"Kaunas Photo is the longest-running annual photo art festival in the Baltic states. Since 2004, it has taken place every September in the second-largest Lithuanian town of Kaunas. Kaunas Photo has been a festival of premières for future stars of photography since its launch, and is a platform for dialogue around contemporary photographic creation between North and South, East and West. While being the prime event of art photography in Lithuania, Kaunas Photo does not solely focus on Lithuanian photography. Its programs and projects, such as the exhibition and book Generation ’74: 11 European Photographers born in 1974, feature a vast menu of internationally acclaimed photographers."

Opening September 1, 2018



Visa Pour l’Image

Perpignan, France

"An international festival of photojournalism and one of the premier showcases for news-oriented professional image-makers from all over the world. The main program is comprised of exhibitions, screenings, and meetings as well as a full week of educational activities."

Running from September 1 - September 21, 2018

Stephan Vanfleteren

Stephan Vanfleteren


BredaPhoto Festival

Breda, Netherlands

"BredaPhoto shows state-of-the-art contemporary photography based on an internationally-relevant social theme. The 2018 title of the festival will be ‘TO INFINITY AND BEYOND’. BredaPhoto wants to know more about the possibilities and impact of ongoing progress in technology and science. Will it bring nothing but progress? Or are we at risk of opening a Pandora’s box full of unwelcome surprises? Photographers will show their interpretations of the opportunities, dangers, and dilemmas. They can show us what’s happening in front of our eyes, or take the liberty to make a careful prediction of what might happen next."

Running from September 5 - October 21, 2018


Indian Photography Festival

Madhapur, India

"The Indian Photography Festival (IPF) is an international photography festival showcasing a wide range of photography from India and around the globe with a series of events, including talks and discussions, portfolio reviews, book launches, screenings, and workshops. The IPF creates a platform for professional and aspiring photographers, bringing together photography lovers and the public in a festival promoting the art of photography while simultaneously addressing social issues through the medium."

Running from September 6 - October 7, 2018

Indian Photography Festival




Brooklyn, New York

"Photoville is New York City’s free premier photo destination. Produced by United Photo Industries, the annual festival is a modular venue built from re-purposed shipping containers. By creating a physical platform for photographers of all stripes to come together and interact, Photoville provides a unique opportunity to engage with a diverse audience — a veritable cross-section of the world’s photographic community. This year’s Photoville roster will include many great partners from years past, as well as lots of “new blood.”

Running from September 13 - September 23, 2018


Tbilisi Photo Festival

Tbilisi, Georgia

"Tbilisi Photo Festival was co-founded by French photographer and current Photo Editor in Chief at the French daily newspaper Liberation, Lionel Charrier, and the Georgian photo curator and journalist Nestan Nijaradze. It was first launched in 2010, in partnership with Les Rencontres d’Arles. The Festival aims to be a central meeting point for photography from different regions – Asia, Iran, Turkey, Europe, and the Arab world - to showcase the best of world photography. The festival also promotes emerging regional photography. With its upcoming 8th edition, Tbilisi Photo Festival will firmly establish Tbilisi as the capital of photography in the Caucasus."

Running from September 13 - September 20, 2018


Landskrona Foto Festival

Landskrona, Sweden

"Landskrona Foto is one of the most important institutions in Scandinavia for photographic mediation, research and conservation. The key activities for Landskrona Foto art exhibitions, photographic history, research, the conservation of the photographic heritage, an annual photo festival and support for contemporary artists. Landskrona Foto will pursue such a wide range of activities of such quality that Landskrona can justifiably call itself the Capital of Photography in Scandinavia. We aim to achieve that goal by 2020."

Running from September 14 - September 23, 2018

Gideon Mendel

Gideon Mendel


Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Unseen is the leading platform for contemporary photography. Exclusively focusing on what’s new in the photography world, Unseen provides a channel for up-and-coming talent to showcase their work. Unseen brings together the international photography community to discuss and debate the directions in which the photographic medium is evolving. Unseen Amsterdam aspires to provide novel and diverse approaches to engage with photography. The event does this through combining program elements such as the Fair, CO-OP, the Book Market and the Living Room, The Exhibition, Onsite Projects and City Programme."

Running from September 21 - September 23, 2018


Brighton Photo Biennale ‘The New Europe’

Brighton, United Kingdom

"Brighton Photo Biennial returns with a month of free photography exhibitions and events for professionals, enthusiasts, students and families alike. The theme for its eighth edition is The New Europe and the festival will be curated by the newly appointed Photoworks Director, Shoair Mavlian. The theme will also allow us to look back at Photoworks’ own beginnings as the Cross Channel Photographic Mission, a collaborative photographic partnership that took place during the construction of the channel tunnel. The Biennial will present work from national and international practitioners and we’re looking forward to collaborating with local and international partners to share exceptional photography with a wide audience."

Running from September 28 - October 28, 2018



Shanghai International Photography Festival

Shanghai, China

"Shanghai International Photography Festival was founded in 1986 is developed from “Shanghai International Photographic Art Exhibition.” Shanghai International Photography Festival is one of the most authoritative competitions in the world of photography and is one of the most important international cultural brands for Shanghai. Different from other photographic exhibitions, Shanghai International Photography Festival does not have any exhibitions driven by a commercial purpose. The festival tries to keep the purity of art and foster the potential of the international arena provided by Shanghai."

Running from September 29 - October 7

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