VMFA Photo Challenge

Join our monthly challenges in celebration of photography.

Right now at VMFA, two extraordinary exhibitions showcase the works of photography legends Ansel Adams and Man Ray. To celebrate, we’re inviting all photographers—professionals and amateurs alike—to take VMFA’s first-ever photography challenge.

Whoever and wherever you are, we want to see the world through your eyes! Capture the beauty of the faces and places around you, whether that’s right here in Richmond or in the far corners of Virginia and beyond.

Each month from November through January, we’ll announce a new challenge and provide tips to get you started. Then, simply snap and share your pics using #VMFAPhotoChallenge on social media or by emailing vmfa.museum@gmail.com. In your email, please provide your name, city, and state if you’d like to be credited. We’ll feature a collection on our website and on social media.

Challenge #1: The Splendor of Nature

Nov 2021

Inspired by the exhibition Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature, our first challenge invites you to capture the drama and splendor of the American landscape. What places of natural beauty matter to you? How might you showcase the landscape’s pure beauty, breathtaking vistas, and elegant details through photography?

Jeffrey Allison, Director of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions and Paul Mellon Educator at VMFA, as well as professional photographer, hosts this challenge.

Highlights from Challenge #1

Rocco Taldin

More to Explore

Click to explore the Collection

Explore the Collection

Our photography collection represents both important moments in the history of the medium and key 20th- and 21st-century photographers, including Edward Weston, André Kertész, Gordon Parks, Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Click to learn more about VMFA's photography classes

Take a Photography Class

From the intricacies of learning to shoot with a digital or film camera to exploring 19th-century alternative photo processes, our Studio School has a photo class for every interest and experience level.

Click to learn more about Dr. Sarah Kennel, Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center

Meet the Curator of Photography

Dr. Sarah Kennel, VMFA’s first-ever Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center, will lead efforts focused on the museum’s growing photography collection.

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Learn tips and tricks to build your photography collection. Studio School Instructor Frank Saunders takes a look at five photographs to show you the ropes.

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Chiefly known as a New York photographer, Louis Draper was first a Richmonder. His sister, Nell Draper Winston, talks about her brother’s ability to capture the character of everyday people.

Click to watch Artist LeRoy Henderson at VMFA on YouTube

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LeRoy Henderson discusses his life and work documenting American protest culture with Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, VMFA’s Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.