A photography contest that delves into the personal stories behind a photograph is seeking local submissions to take part in “Evening of Portraits 3,” a hybrid storytelling and photography event on Aug. 18 at the Rod Briggs Gallery in Bluff Heights.

Submissions are free and open to the public, but participants are asked to submit a photo or portrait that holds particular meaning to the photographer. The image could be of a relative, lover, a friend or of just a particular moment in time, but must have been taken by the submitting artist.

Twenty-five photos will be selected for the show with photos projected on a screen. Each of the winning photographers will be asked to share a brief explanation or story behind the photo, plus answer questions from the audience.

Courtesy flyer.

The idea behind the show, said Mick Victor, founder of creative consulting agency iMobius, who is organizing and curating the event, is to create an experience that harbors connection through visual storytelling while also celebrating the inherent photographer in every person.

“The bottom line is, the individual stories that people tell, the kind of non-photographer stories that people tell, are so honest,” Victor explained. “It’s just an opportunity for people to talk about a connection that a photograph allows them.”

This is the third installment of the “Evening of Portraits.” Prior events were held at what was formerly the Sasha Witte gallery and showroom on East Broadway, and to much success, Victor said, because of the intimate nature of the show.

“I hate this word, bonding, but you can feel it in the air,” he said.

What also sets this show apart is that the competition’s driving force is not about technical skill, rather it’s about the unique story behind each photo.

“It’s not about technical proficiency at all, in fact, it’s decidedly not. Because that ruins it. They go, ‘oh my picture is not that good,’ but the definition of good in these evenings is much different than a photography show.”

This will be the first show at the Rod Briggs Gallery, operated by the Long Beach Creative Group which has a track record of hosting curated and juried exhibitions that feature submissions by local talent.

To enter, participants must email Mick Victor at [email protected] with a digital copy of the photograph and include a brief description explaining the photograph, when it was taken, and what it means to them by July 22. Finalists will be notified by Aug. 1. To be considered for the show, participants must be available to speak at the event on Thursday, Aug. 18. The event will include light refreshments and wine. Click here for more information on the guidelines and how to submit.