Testimonials from the Photo Community


Jamel Shabazz

“Since their founding in 2011… [Photoville] has served as a beacon of light for the worldwide photography community, by creating platforms for photographers to share their work & vision using the global language of photography as a common unifying thread.

[Photoville], for their endless contributions to the arts, has made this world a much better and informed place. A grand salute to all the esteemed staff, sponsors and volunteers whose hard work and dedication went into this successful venture.”


Lynsey Addario

“I have been delighted to exhibit work this year, and over the past few years, at Photoville, and it was a particular pleasure to join my colleague John Moore on stage to talk about our respective exhibitions and careers as photojournalists. Photoville is unique in it’s approach as a festival, embracing work from a variety of themes, visual approaches, display formats and regions, and catering to the larger public in Los Angeles and in the New York area. I have been impressed by their passion, organisation and dedication to creating a supportive and inspiring atmosphere for both upcoming talent and experienced photographers”


Elias Williams

“In 2019 UPI commissioned me to make portraits and highlight the work of an arts and justice initiative — OPEN DOORS — on Roosevelt Island for a Photoville container. OPEN DOORS consists of eight Black and Brown men, known as the Reality Poets, who are paralyzed due to gun violence and use their second opportunity at life to advocate for more just communities through music and the visual arts. Throughout the process I felt like I was given the freedom to make the photographs I wanted and great guidance in developing a strong exhibition. In a few months of working on this project, UPI helped facilitate one of the best collaborations of my career and a great friendship amongst myself and the Reality Poets.”


Sara Bennett

“I’ve been lucky enough to exhibit at at Photoville twice and each time it was exciting, exhilarating, and at times exhausting. It was incredible to have my work viewed by thousands of people, many of whom had never even thought about the problems of mass incarceration, and to watch them really look at the work and then talk to me and my portrait subjects. In my entire career, I’ve rarely met people like Laura, Sam and Dave — visionaries who pull off what seems to be an impossible task yet always supportive, friendly and inspiring. I not only love what they do but how they do it.”


John Moore

“There is simply no way to overstate how important UPI has been in bringing the power of photojournalism to the public. In my case, this goes for both Photoville in Brooklyn as well as in LA, and with additional exhibits offsite, such as St. Ann’s Warehouse, where my immigration imagery has been presented along with the theatrical production of The Jungle.


In my position at Getty Images, my photos are seen daily in a wide spectrum of media. However, they often appear in publications as single photos. UPI displays my work as larger, more in-depth picture stories, putting the photographs in context. I’m sure this makes for a richer and more storytelling viewer experience.”


Janette Beckman

“UPI is simply the best supporter of the photographic community I know.


Photoville has provided a unique place for photographers to meet each other, exchange information and most of all be creative. Over the years I have curated a slide show Down & Dirty featuring the best music photographs from disco to the present day, exhibited a personal documentary project about Omaha, made eighteen foot high Mash-Ups with graffiti artists Cey Adams & Queen Andrea painting on my Hip-Hop photography and done workshops and talks. The UPI crew are the best folk to work with, always open to new ideas, I am proud to be a part of their photo family.”

Authority Collective

Tara Pixley

“Working with Laura, Sam, and the whole United Photo Industries crew has been an absolute joy and an incredibly affirming experience for Authority Collective’s community of photographers, curators and photo editors. Photoville has offered an international photography scene to the NYC public for years, so AC was excited to work with UPI when they brought that amazing brand of community engagement + photography to Los Angeles this year, where it was sorely needed and so well-received. It’s been an honor to work with Photoville/UPI over the last couple years and to be a part of this organization’s important intervention of making contemporary photography accessible to the public through events like Photoville and The FENCE. Not only does UPI supports diverse perspectives, emerging and independent photographers/photography organizations and believe in the power of images to elevate the cultural conversation, Laura and the entire team are some of the most organized, innovative and talented event producers in the business. We can’t wait to see what they do next and hope to witness this important organization grow for years to come.”


Sophie Gamand

“I’ve had the opportunity to exhibit my work at Photoville twice, in New York in 2016, and in LA in 2019, and both times it’s been a fantastic experience. Throughout the years, the team has stayed in contact, offering me occasional opportunities – paid ones, too! – when they thought my work might be a good fit. I particularly appreciate how dedicated UPI is to their photographers and photography. It shows in the way they support us, in how they strive for excellency in their production and presentation of our work. They think outside the box, they inspire us to rethink our work, our presentation, and aim higher. With their curatorial skills, they keep contemporary photography lively, forward-thinking and exciting, and that’s rare in today’s photography landscape.


Because I work with dogs, I haven’t always been taken seriously by the photography industry, but UPI understood my work and always treated me like I was an integral part of their family. That validation has helped me grow in confidence, it has also connected me with a wonderful new audience (from photo editors to fans!). All these years later, people still talk to me about my NYC container exhibition back in 2016! And I, for one, cannot wait to create new and exciting work, just so I can submit it again to UPI and see what they think!”

Former Director of Photography, National Geographic

Sarah Leen

“National Geographic has been proud to present our visual storytelling and our talented photographers at Photoville since 2013. Both through container exhibits and Beer Garden presentations we have been able to reach an informed and photography savvy community in one of the best locations in New York. This celebration of photography is like a huge family picnic that lasts for nearly 2 weeks. It’s a reunion, an adventure of discovery and an affirmation of what we know and love. Photography at its finest.”


Nancy Borowick

“As a freelance photographer, you are a one-woman-show. It wasn’t until I partnered with the team at UPI that I realized what unbelievable value there was, professionally and personally, in being part of a team like theirs. What Laura, Sam, Dave and the others offered was a community of encouragement, support, creativity, passion, strategy, trust and so much more. They understood me and my work and together we not only figured out the most powerful and impactful way to share it, they were willing to take chances and try new things in order to amplify the story in ways I didn’t even know were possible. I felt like I became a part of their family and look forward to future collaborations and supporting all of their upcoming programmings in any whatever way I can. UPI is a uniquely special group of people and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them.”

Director of Programs, Magnum Foundation

Emma Raynes

“Magnum Foundation has been involved in Photoville from the start, and every year we are so impressed by how much impact the festival has on our field. It has become central to the photography culture of New York City, where we can count on seeing outstanding work and connect with colleagues from all over the world who travel to attend. Photoville is one of our favorite times of year and inspires us to put our best creative thinking forward when planning our container exhibition. We feature the projects that we are most excited and we grow from the experience of bringing innovative forms of documentary photography to Photoville diverse audience every year.”


Fethi Sahraoui

“One of the coolest, richest and most innovative photography festivals is currently running in NYC.


I’m glad to be showing a selection of pictures from my project The Cult of Souls. Visiting the exhibition last year, but also showing my work in the container of WPP, was a unique opportunity for me to discover and learn about news ways to present my work but also to meet up with some inspiring people in a highly motivating atmosphere.”


Aline Smithson

“There are wonderful opportunities and organizations in the photography world, but Photoville and the United Photo Industries are unparalleled. The reach of their initiatives goes way beyond their annual Photoville event in Brooklyn — it expands into cities all over the country with The Fence, it moves into the classroom with lesson plans and inspiring workshops for educators, it celebrates and elevates photography in a profound way. I have been lucky enough to have had work featured on The FENCE and was in the Curated Fridge exhibition in Brooklyn, but when Photoville arrived in Los Angeles last year, to join with the Annenberg Space for Photography, I had a ring side seat to their amazing organization. Laura, Sam, and Dave and their incredible staff created two magical weekends of exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and much more. Thousands of Angelenos came to the event, and I was excited to curate an exhibition, teach a workshop, and lead tours of the containers. It was thrilling to have photography presented in such a unique and visitor-friendly way and as the Los Angeles photography community can be disparate and spread out, it was fantastic to have a unifying, inspiring event. I so look forward to what the future brings for the UPI universe.”

Founder, The Aftermath Project Photographer, VII Agency

Sara Terry

“Photoville 2017 was one of the best photo/exhibition experiences I’ve ever had. Laura, Dave, Sam and their team couldn’t be more professional, responsive, creative or cool under pressure. I launched the 10th-anniversary exhibition from The Aftermath Project there and I was overwhelmed by the response — 90,000 people over 9 days, eager to see photography and to spend time with imagery. I was struck by the thoughtfulness of the people who came, and the inquisitiveness of the students who participated in Education Day. We were also running a Kickstarter campaign for our 10th-anniversary book during Photoville, and I could tell from the contributions that a lot of them had picked up our Kickstarter card during Photoville. This was absolutely the best place for The Aftermath Project to be — surrounded by great photography and welcomed by a community that has clearly learned to love photography during the years that UPI has been running Photoville.”

Photographer, VII Agency & Talking Eyes Media

Ed Kashi

“Photoville has quickly emerged as one of the premier and absolutely unique venues for showcasing photography in the world. What makes it so unique and important is the plethora of voices, visual approaches, subject matter and forms of display that this incredible festival encompasses. There is a true feeling of democracy of the image in this festival and given it’s free to the public, Furthermore, at a time where photography and imagery dominate our public and private lives, Photoville serves as a vital resource of inspiration and for sharing and discovering the vibrant visual language of our day.”


Debi Cornwall

“Photoville is unlike any other photography festival. It incubates emerging talents, fosters community between artists, and draws an incredibly diverse cross-section of visitors to the Brooklyn waterfront. As an artist, there is no other opportunity quite like Photoville, where you can interact with literally tens of thousands of visitors in exhibition spaces and educational programming. I learned so much about my own work, and the role of art in sparking dialogue, from Photoville. Photoville also introduced me to people who have become close friends and collaborators, including my printer at Digital Silver Imaging, and created opportunities for me to exhibit my work around the world, from the “Photoville’s Emerging American Artists” show in the Netherlands, to festivals in Guatemala, Portugal and Northern Ireland, to more recent solo exhibitions in China, Switzerland, Korea, and back home at New York City’s Steven Kasher Gallery. Each year, Sam, Laura, and Dave set ever higher goals, as they reach ever larger audiences, all in the service of those who make the work. My experience showing at Photoville is a huge part of the reason I’m working as an artist today.”

Founder, Chris Hondros Fund

Christina Piaia

“Since nearly the Chris Hondros Fund’s inception in 2011, we’ve been thrilled to collaborate with our friends at United Photo Industries. Together, we’ve engaged communities far and wide on the importance of visual learning through our unique partnership at Photoville. As an emerging nonprofit, UPI took the time and care to work with us to bring shared human experiences into the public eye. We are proud to be a part of UPI’s mission to provide free and informative photography exhibitions that highlight some of the most important issues of our time to diverse and unique communities.”


Kisha Bari

“As an exhibiting artist, photojournalist, educator, and producer, there is none more important institution for exhibiting issue-based visual media than United Photo Industries and Photoville. It has been a career highlight to have had my personal work featured as part of Photoville (twice) and given the opportunity to have up to 100,000 people view my work. Not to mention the incredible programming that allows students and photo editors to make contact with myself and the work I am doing. The dedication of the UPI team to producing public art that is both timely and thought-provoking is second to none. I am not exaggerating when I say that my life and my career would not have been the same if I did not have the support of this community.”


Roger Fishman

“Laura, Sam, and Dave…. create a magical experience for photographers. An experience that is truly an invitation to join a special family. An invitation that enables and empowers the photographer to be truly known… and allows their work to shine in the best light possible. I had the privilege of working with LS&D in Photoville LA and Photoville NYC in 2019. Each of them… took the time to reach out and engage with me. each of them made me feel that I, along with my work, was important to them. Their level of low key, high end professionalism was always available… at any time for any issue or question or problem… Plus they have a team that makes the impossible… possible. With kindness and grace and a strong dose of fun. As a photographer… that dedicates an extreme amount of time and passion to his craft. I can confidently and gladly say… that LS&D are true rock stars.”


Alice Wielinga

“Previewing my latest series Shadows of Pakistan with UPI during Photoville has been an amazing opportunity for me. UPI has a very unique position in the photography market. At Photoville, it has been the first time ever I saw a mom explaining her 3-year-old, an older lady with her dog, a well-respected photo-editor and an ambassador, all at the same time at the same exhibition. While they were looking at the work, they ended up in a lively debate about the subject matter. And in the end, that is why I went to Pakistan. To make sure the story reaches different corners of the world. And thanks to UPI, to an amazingly diverse audience, that otherwise, never would have been aware of the story I wanted to tell.”

Publisher, Reading the Pictures

Michael Shaw

“We have had the pleasure of co-producing programming with Laura, Sam, Dave, and the talented team at United Photo Industries for over six years now. I can confidently say you will not find a more efficient, creative and earnest organization to work with. Doing things well, and doing justice to humanity through the power of imagery, is not just a goal for them. It is an expression of who they are.”

Photo Editor, Refinery29

Amanda Gorence

I have had the pleasure of working with UPI since the inaugural Photoville in 2012 and have participated every year since in both independent and professionally curated exhibits. They have provided so much support to photographers over the years and have worked tirelessly to make photography and art accessible to local and global communities. The scope of UPI projects is vast, and a testament to their passion for supporting art that is inclusive and representative of the diverse communities we live in. They have established themselves as not just some of the hardest working people in the industry, but some of the nicest as well — we are so lucky to have them!”

Arts Organization

Venice Arts

“Thank you Photoville L.A. for including Venice Arts in your Annenberg Space for Photography presents Photoville LA 2019 festival. Our teen photography students were inspired, excited, and motivated by the wealth of stimulating work included in the exhibition. Their own cube was beautifully laid out by Photoville’s designers and showcased their work with professionalism and creativity. Our students reacted with both awe, pride, and a growing sense of self.


Having the opportunity to discuss their work on a panel was an invaluable experience for these Advanced Studies students. Many visitors approached them, telling them how moved they were by their projects. The students (ages 14 – 18) were very pleased and exhilarated. Some reported that they were extremely nervous with hearts beating strongly and ears ringing. But their sense of joy and excitement was palpable. It was clear they left Photoville not only inspired, but with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. All in all, an extraordinary event that will never be forgotten.”


Justin Bettman

“United Photo Industries has done an incredible job of allowing the public to interact with photography. I had the pleasure to work with United Photo Industries on bringing Set in the Street to the Annenberg Space for Photography presents Photoville LA in April of 2019. UPI not only funded the project, but also produced it, allowing me as an artist to focus on the creative part of the shoot that I really enjoy. Also, exhibiting the project in LA allowed for increased exposure to the thousands of people on the West Coast who attended.”

Visual Artist

Tahir Carl Karmali

“UPI has been an amazing resource and support for me as a new artist in New York. They gave me my first show and since then have had opportunities that I would have never had access to. I am indebted to the UPI team for helping me kick start my career as an artist in New York City. It has been amazing developing a relationship with them and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Artist, Photographer

Austin Willis

“Photoville gave me the chance to not only exhibit publicly for the first time, but it also gave me a community to become part of. Deeply rooted in photography but creatively overall you get to meet hundreds of people with similar beliefs and outlooks on life as you. I’m forever grateful and look forward to the time of year when Photoville comes around every year.”


Andres Millan

“It is incredible that the work of so many people meets and shows in a place open to the public, I value much that really is an event for all the people, regardless of whether or not they are related to photography or art, that makes it much more inclusive and charming. The organization is impeccable and although I was not present, I am sure that it has been one of the most important moments for my career.”


Guerilla Science

“Working with the Photoville team was an outstanding experience in every way. I was so impressed at how organized and attentive they were to every aspect of production — from preparation and planning to production on-site. As an event producer myself, I was in awe of how they handled everything with excellence from the creative (incredible programming) to the mundane (the place looked immaculate). Everyone on the team was such a pleasure to work with, and the whole experience was just an honor.”


Mimi Haddon

“I had the incredible fortune to work with Laura Roumanos and her exceptional team on the Photoville / Annenberg Space for Photography collaboration in April/May 2019. I was so impressed with the caliber of work that was present at the exhibit. I was impressed with the intelligent programming that was taking place throughout the day from the workshops to the guided tours to the panels that took place on the main stage. I was impressed with the workshop offerings. I co-led a fantastic workshop with photographer and curator, Aline Smithson, on the importance of play in photography. We collaborated with dancers from Heidi Duckler dance and brought costumes for the dancers to wear. The participants, in a very short amount of time, created playful and in many cases, quite powerful work. It was very inspiring to be a part of it. In addition, Photoville and the Annenberg teamed up with The Century City Mall, a lovely outdoor public space, just across from the exhibit center. As a means to inform visitors about The Annenberg Space and Photoville, many of my whimsical images were used in billboard size on empty storefronts. The experience of seeing the images so huge and in association with such important photo focused organizations was and is a thrill. I cannot say enough about the impact that Photoville has had on me and so many artists and art enthusiasts. Laura and her team are true visionaries, truth tellers, story tellers and fearless creatives.”


April Walker

“Photoville was a great collaborative experience. It was a dream come true to be able to share my visual story on a beautiful Brooklyn backdrop under the bridge. Every detail was executed with precision and professionalism, from the design aesthetic to the content layout to the unique positioning and location. There were so many amazing photo exhibitors that represented the fabric of Photoville, I’m so grateful to have been one!”


Adama Delphine Fawundu

“I am thoroughly grateful that UPI presented and produced my visual presentation No Wahala, It’s All Good: A Spiritual Cypher Within the Hip Hop Diaspora at Photoville 2019. I’ve been developing this project for many years now and the opportunity to get valuable feedback from hundreds of visitors at Photoville (ie. photographers, photo professionals and fans of photography and Hip-Hop culture) was a great experience. Having this opportunity has informed me greatly in terms of how I will move forward with this project as it continues to grow. Thanks so much to the team at UPI.”


Lara Jo Regan

“As a longtime Los Angeles resident working across both the magazine and gallery worlds, there has always been a shortage of exhibition venues here dedicated to serious documentary art and visual storytelling. So I was really excited Photoville came to Los Angeles, and thrilled my Drive Thru installation was part of their inaugural L.A. show.


Judging by the voluminous feedback I received, it was clear thousands more people saw my project than when it was exhibited in local galleries, which included interest from a magazine and even a collector in Canada. But what was most gratifying were the many comments from the general public who shared with me that my project moved them and made them feel something. Photoville is a marvelous opportunity for photographers to change the hearts an minds of many beyond the confines of convnetional exhibition spaces.”


Gijs van den Berg

“Ever since finishing my project about the last standing coffeehouses of Amsterdam in 2015, it was my wish to take this project out of its original context and present it to an international audience. Photoville and DutchCultureUSA have enabled me to show a disappearing tradition from Amsterdam in the City of New Amsterdam.


Photoville is a festival without barriers, it’s a unique place with a mix of art lovers, international critics, locals from the community and curious passers-by. I’ve had wonderful discussions, met interesting people and made new friends. Photoville proofs that photography is universal and is a wonderful medium to connect people. I am forever thankful for this opportunity.


Gijs van den Berg presented the New Amsterdam Coffeehouse during Photoville NYC 2019. Van den Berg is a multidisciplinary artist and creative director based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.”


Estevan Oriol

“Photoville was a great experience for me this past summer of 2019, thousands of people were able to see and enjoy my work that was displayed at the Annenberg Photospace. I also had the opportunity to sell a lot of merchandise in the gift store. It was also a dream come true for me to show inside the Annenberg Photo space in the Contact High exhibition that happened as a result of Laura recommending the show for that space during the Photoville exhibit that was on display in the courtyard outside the Annenberg. Thank you all at UPI for helping my career to elevate with these exhibits.”

Women Photograph

Daniella Zalcman

“Photoville is the best venue I’ve ever encountered for sharing photography and ideas about photography with a broad audience. The engagement we receive every year is phenomenal, and the chance to interact with students, adults, professionals, amateurs, and everyone in between makes the festival truly special. I’m so honored that we were able to bring the work of the Natives Photograph community to Photoville in 2019 with both a container exhibition and a live event — and to continue a personal relationship with United Photo Industries that has encompassed exhibiting work from Women Photograph, my own projects, and staging the Women Photograph Workshop. We couldn’t do it without you, Photoville!”


Jill Enfield

“Bar none, Photoville has become the premier resource for photographers to share their message with the world. In addition to being a solution to speaking to the public about important issues, Photoville also serves an effective strategy for keeping in touch with ones following and building new projects.


This year the management of Photoville not only resulted in introductions to the Annenberg Center of Photography in Los Angeles, but also gallery curators and talented photographers including Stephen Levey, whose photograph of my installation will now be on the cover of my third book, Jill Enfield’s Guide to Alternative Processes.


Having my work at both the DUMBO and Los Angeles Photoville was also crucial to a five-week artist-in-residence in Thailand and a two-month exhibition there.


The attention to detail made this opportunity one that has made a tremendous impact on my work, and one that I will forever be grateful for.”

Latin American FOTOGRAFÍA

“The passion for photography with a big dose of Brooklyn that is Photoville is amazing. The level or quality and professionalism goes above and beyond while surrounded by heroes where we can meet, talk, listen, look, have a beer and make that all important exchange of art and ideas between cultures that is our mission is only accomplished as a result of the hard work and vision by the Photoville team.


Thank you Photoville for including us all these many years and for the opportunity to bring so many talented photographers and artists from Latin America into view here and beyond.”

Oxfam America

Jileen Bray

“Oxfam was proud to present a photo series by young women from Nyal, South Sudan, where seventy percent of girls are married before the age of eighteen. Photoville 2019 was a wonderful place to showcase images the girls had taken of each other, highlighting their hope and resilience. We were able to capture hundreds of hand-written letters to the girls from people who were moved by the exhibit — heartwarming letters of love, support and empowerment that we’re able to send to our team in South Sudan to share with the girls. Not to mention, the UPI staff was such a pleasure to work with. They were responsive, accommodating and incredibly organized! We are grateful for the opportunity to display this photo series and we look forward to working with UPI again in the future.”

Photography Instructor, High School of Art and Design

Brenna McLaughlin

“We hear, ‘I can’t believe this is student work’ a lot when we exhibit our students photographs at Photoville. UPI supports our students tremendously and they support us in our effort to foster student work to give this work a showplace outside of school.


Additionally, UPI is an incredible supporter of NYC public schools, teachers and especially students. Not only do they provide a space at Photoville for students to view work by noted photographers, they also consider how students interpret and use photography in their daily lives. Each year, teachers and students are invited to participate in Education Day at Photoville. This is a full day devoted to students experiencing the exhibits with the artists on hand to answer their questions. Additionally, UPI provides a day for teachers to engage in lesson planning with the artists exhibited at Photoville as part of the professional development workshops UPI offers every year to NYC teachers.”

Founder & Program, Director Lions Tooth Project

Natalia Guerrero

“As an educator, one of my priorities is to foster and inspire others to create affirming and inclusive spaces where youth can feel seen and welcomed as their most authentic selves. In 2017 as I was launching the first LGBTQIA+ photography program at The LGBT Center I looked for a platform to showcase their work and connect to a larger network of NYC youth photographers, that’s how I found United Photo Industries. Right from the beginning, our youth become part of a larger community that genuinely uplifts and invests in them as image-makers, story-tellers, and agents of change. UPI has not only had an impact on young photographers, but also the youth who see themselves reflected in their peers’ stories and feel affirmed in their experiences.


It takes a lot of awareness, deconstructing and collective work to build this village, and you all do an amazing job at it. And although it is an ever-growing community of thousands of people, it always feels like family and caring collaboration.”