Images from the project The Dadabyte Theater © Brandy Trigueros, 2020 Curator's Choice 1st place recipient

The Annual Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter. Divided into three categories, the Curator’s Choice, Director’s Choice and Editor’s Choice all offer a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awarded. Submitted images can be singular or part of a series.

2021 Call for Entry information & deadlines TBA. Please find the 2020 winners, award gallery, and jurors below.

Award Package

// Winners Exhibition
// Complimentary participation and presentation at Review Santa Fe for the 1st place winner in each category
// Featured interview with a select CENTER partner
// Online exhibition at

2020 Award Winners

1st Place: Brandy Trigueros, Los Angeles, CA; The Dadabyte Theater
2nd Place: Rafael Soldi, Seattle, WA; Imagined Futures
3rd Place: Stephanie Taiber, Chicago, IL; Natural Order

1st Place: Sandra Chen Weinstein, Southern, CA; Transcend
2nd Place: Noelle Mason, Tampa, FL; X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility
3rd Place: Cody Bratt, San Francisco, CA; The Other Stories

1st Place: Noelle Mason, Tampa, FL; X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility
2nd Place: Virgil DiBiase, Valparaiso, IN; My husband won’t tell me his first name.
3rd Place: Barbara Zanon, Venice, Italy; The daily life of 3 brothers with autism

2020 Jurors

Marina Chao
CURATOR’S CHOICE: Marina Chao – Assistant Curator, International Center of Photography

Marina Chao is an assistant curator at the International Center of Photography. Most recently she curated the exhibition Multiply, Identify, Her (2018), which featured the work of ten contemporary women artists, and contributed to the publication Public, Private, Secret: On Photography and the Configuration of Self (Aperture and ICP, 2018). She is currently working on a project exploring various intersections between image, language, and technology, for which she was awarded a 2019 Curatorial Fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Prior to joining ICP, she was a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Ruben Esparza
DIRECTOR’S CHOICE: Rubén Esparza – Independent Curator; Founder and Director, Queer Biennial

Rubén Esparza (Founder, Queer Biennial) is an artist and independent curator based in Los Angeles. Esparza’s studio practice spans painting, drawings, and photography, mixing it with elements of Conceptualism, ethnicity and Queer Culture. His curatorial work focuses on under-represented artists primarily in the queer and ethnic communities. His work is included as part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Santa Barbara Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Illinois, among others.

He has created events and curated exhibitions across the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Esparza is the Founder and Director of the Queer Biennial anchored in Los Angeles, with satellites in New York, Mexico, Miami, Paris, Tel Aviv. and Zürich. He has curated exhibitions at the Ace Hotel/LA, Coagula Curatorial/LA, Industry Gallery/LA, Navel/LA, and the San Diego Art Institute.

Nicole Werbeck
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Nicole Werbeck – Senior Supervising Editor for Visuals and Engagement, NPR

Nicole is currently a Senior Supervising Editor for Visuals and Engagement at NPR. She is in charge of the photo and multimedia editors. And runs the engagement and social media teams for the radio network.

Nicole was a Senior Digital Photo Editor at National Geographic. While there, Nicole assigned and edited photo and multimedia stories from across the world to publish online and in their magazine, and helped run NatGeo’s social media accounts. Nicole worked with veteran National Geographic photographers and editors as well as recruited new photographers into the fold. Nicole helped bring Agile methodologies into the NatGeo newsroom and worked as a multimedia coach for the Society’s grantees and explorers.
Nicole spent 10 years as an editor at The Washington Post. Nicole was a Project Editor, Photo Editor, and Deputy News Editor. She worked on a variety of important stories, from the September 11, 2001 attacks to Hurricane Katrina.


Winner’s Gallery


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