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© MARY GELMAN | Russia |  Alyona and Sasha


We are happy to announce the opening of the public exhibition of winners and finalists at the ILHAM GALLERY in Kuala Lumpur from 12 September to 18 October, 2020.

Portrait photography is vital to help us understand the human condition and in doing so, expand our minds. It allows us a glimpse into a distant conflict far away from home, or a thriving street community in our neighbourhood, only metres away. Often it feeds and informs us with new visuals to stories that we otherwise would not know, like the interiors of private homes, intimate moments, or greet faces and expressions of people we would never see. As a visual medium, it conveys what the photographer wants to show us, made possible through the expressive photo essay. At its best, the photo essay allows the viewer to relive and consider something that has not been encountered before, which enriches humanity, our experiences and how we treat each other. 

This year we are awarding prize money to a greater number of photographers than before. As well as the regular SINGLE IMAGE PORTRAIT category, we are also awarding grants of $1,000 each to five photographers in the PHOTO ESSAY PROJECT GRANTS category.



© TIM FRANCO  France / South Korea  Goyo - Illicit Ink

"Judging the Kuala Lumpur Photoawards has been a very rewarding experience. The quality and the engagement of the series submitted is remarkable. I would like to spotlight "While the moonlight showers upon my dark robe". This series is technically good and visually pleasing, while still telling a coherent story. "


Photo Editor
Leica Fotografie International - LFI Magazine | KLPA2020 Jury


Photographer, Educator

Kenny started his career in photography as a commercial photographer, working in the advertising industry. He studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Photography, Providence, USA.

Having spent a number of years working in Taiwan and China, returning to Malaysia in 2009 after spending the better part of the previous 20 years out of the country, was disconcerting. This led him on a journey of re-discovery that would take him across the length and breadth of Malaysia with his camera. 


Over the next 3 years, Kenny interviewed and photographed people from all walks of live throughout Malaysia. In 2013, the book, Born in Malaysia – A Photographer’s Journey, was published. The book was awarded the National Book Award by the National Book Foundation.  In 2016, the Bahasa Malaysia edition of his first book was published and in 2019, Born in Malaysia – A Story of Kuala Lumpur, reached the bookstores.

Kenny still shoots on assignment for corporate clients and also portrait commissions.

Haley Morris-Cafiero is part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator and uses a camera to record these actions. Originally from the United States, she is now living in the UK permanently.


Haley’s photographic work has been shown in traditional and experimental exhibitions all over the world. Her photographs have been published in many stories in online and print media sites and television shows such as The New York Times, Le Monde and CBS This Morning.


Born in Atlanta, she is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned a BA in Photography and a BFA in Ceramics in 1999. Nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2014 and a 2016 Fulbright finalist, she holds a MFA from the University of Arizona in Art.

She serves on the Board of Trustees of Belfast Exposed Gallery, and is a Lecturer of Photography and Video at the Belfast School of Arts, Ulster University.

Photo Editor
Leica Fotografie International - LFI Magazine

Carol Körting was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She moved to Germany and after working as a freelance photographer, she studied photo editing at the Ostkreuz Schule für Fotografie in Berlin.


She has collaborated as a photo editor at Der Freitag and at Zeit-Magazine in Berlin and she was the photo editor for the Leica M Magazine. Currently she works as photo editor and scout photographer for Leica Fotografie International - LFI, the independent magazine which features the best Leica photographers.


She has been invited as a curator, to the 20 Photographers convention in Veracruz, Mexico in collaboration with the Cuatro Caminos Photography Museum. Carol has also given talks and presentations about self-promotion tools at the VII Masterclass in Berlin and in Bilbao at the Basquedokfestival. She moderated an interview with Charlotte Schmitz at the F3-freiraum für fotografie in Berlin. 

Director of Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival/Editor-in-chief, PCP Publications

During her tenure as an engineer, Jessica had the freedom to meddle with micro-images in scanning electron microscopes. This has largely shaped the concept of her photography.


She would often seek the hidden fantasies and trace the imaginative visions in arrays of seemingly unexciting surfaces.


Following her passion led Jessica, finding fulfillment in her role as editor-in-chief for the publications Advanced Images, Travelution & Fotografika; and she is also the director of the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival.

Currently, Jessica has everything to do with photography : from training to travel, review, curating, exhibitions and also meaningful undertakings to nurture young photographers.


SC Shekar is a renowned Malaysian photojournalist who started his career at a local newspaper in the early 1980s upon completing his tertiary education in Australia.


After many years of living abroad, he returned home in 1994 to pursue his passion for documenting South East Asia’s rich and diverse cultures with a focus on Malaysia and her people. The body of work which he has accumulated over the last 30 years has resulted in the publication of more than 27 books. Shekar has also exhibited around the world and his photographic works are collected by museums, corporations and private owners. 

Shekar describes his work as a combination of “documentary photography” and “ethnography portraiture” which has its roots planted in the fields of anthropology and sociology. It is a study of mankind, ways of life, customs, beliefs and behaviour. He is also the owner of Beagle Books Pte. Ltd, a publishing house that specialises in large-format books.

"Judging the winners of the Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards has been an exceptional experience for me. While many a time I was simply captivated by the first impression of the images, some of the explanation of the series certainly made me re-visit the images over and over again. Despite the limitations in the current pandemic situation, I could see the intense efforts that the contestants have put in to make a good photo project."


Director of Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival/Editor-in-chief, PCP Publications | KLPA2020 Jury 


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