Photo by Martin Gisborne

Photo by Martin Gisborne




MISSION Our mission is to celebrate the vision of extraordinary photographers, ignite conversations about critical issues, and foster the next generation of artists.

VISION As a nonprofit organization, LOOK3 challenges assumptions about photography by presenting diverse work by a variety of artists, developing innovative educational initiatives, and offering immersive community  events.

The backyard shows.

The backyard shows.

HISTORY In 1988, National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols began hosting an annual event in his backyard. Dubbed an evening of "peace, love, and photography," it was a place where anyone could come and show work. LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph was born from this 20-year grassroots initiative. Today, LOOK3 has grown into an internationally recognized venue for photographic excellence.

Our work is motivated by the resolute belief that substantive, provocative photography not only has the power to deepen awareness about the forces that shape our world—it can change it for the better. Guided by our nonprofit, noncommercial mission, we create public events and a mentorship program dedicated to photography. The LOOK3 Festival transforms the historic pedestrian center of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia into a public arts experience. In 2010 and 2014 LOOK3 produced LOOKbetween, the anchor event of the mentorship program, which fostered and celebrated international early-career photographers. 

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded in 2006.


The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph supports the established community priorities identified in the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle Cultural Plan. We encourage you to read over the plan and think about how you can contribute to the continued growth of Charlottesville's arts and culture community!



Mary Virginia Swanson, Executive Director
Lisa Draine, Festival Manager
Clare Stimpson, Production Assistant

Regional Advisory Committee

Dr. George Beller
Elizabeth Birdsall
Suzanne Chitwood
Maggie Guggeheimer
Dr. Anna Magee

Annette Owens


Jon Golden
Founding Member; Photographer
Darlene Anderson
Development Advisor

Governing Board

David Griffin, President
Owner, DGriffinStudio
Jessica Nagle, Treasurer
Founding Member of LOOK3; Co-founder SNL Financial
Will Kerner, Secretary
Founding Member of LOOK3; Photographer
Michael “Nick” Nichols, Founding Member of LOOK3, 
Editor-at-Large, National Geographic magazine
Felicia Anastasia
Owner, Anastasia Photo Gallery
Andrew Owen
Community Events Director, Instagram
Brian Storm
Executive Producer, MediaStorm

Curatorial Advisory Board

Yolanda Cuomo
Creative Director, Yolanda Cuomo Design
Melissa Harris
Editor-in-Chief, Aperture Foundation
Vincent J. Musi
Photographer, LOOK3 Master of Ceremonies
Kathy Ryan
Director of Photography, The New York Times Magazine
Scott Thode
Visuals Editor & Curator
Phillip Toledano
Conceptual Artist
Deborah Willis
Chair, Department of Photography and Imaging
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University



William Albert Allard, Eugene Richards & Janine Altongy, Dorothy Batten, Justin Black, Bonnie Briant, Cynthia Burke, Coran Capshaw, Alex Chadwick, Hunter Craig, Christian DeBaun, Chloe Delaney, Martin Gisborne, MaryAnne Golon, Ben Greenberg, Steve Winter & Sharon Guynup, David Alan Harvey, Richard Jackson, Jean-Francois Leroy, Brian Lewis, Sally Mann, Gina Martin, Will May, Kristi Norgaard, Stan Marshall, Ross McDermott, Ed Montecalvo, Andrew Owen, Reba Peck, Jenna Pirog, Tate Pray, Kate Ringo, Mike Sheras, Gabe Silverman, Justin Stailey, Rick Shaw, Scott Smith, Mary Tomasso, Shannon Wells, Evan Wilder, Smith & Ashley Williams.