Photo North Festival Zooms in on Harrogate for Second Year

15 October 2019

A NEW arts festival aimed at bringing world-class photography to the North is heading to Harrogate Convention Centre for its second year.

  • World Renowned Photographers
  • Emerging Artists
  • Film Screenings
  • Talks
  • Q&A’s
  • Workshops
  • Book signings
  • Meet the Artist
  • Live Pop-up Portrait Session
  • Student Competition
  • Live music
  • Indie Market Stall Traders
  • Portfolio reviews

Photo North Festival, run by a small team of photography and curatorial professionals, is back for a second year from 30 November – 2nd December 2019, at Harrogate Convention Centre. Building on the success of the inaugural festival in Harrogate, this unique photography event is aimed at the professional photographer, art-enthusiast, keen amateur and students. The festival brings together a sensational display of exhibitions, talks, workshops and portfolio reviews from highly respected and emerging artists.

What a fantastic and inspiring weekend at Photo North. Well done Photo North and all involved for curating something so wonderful. After spending the whole weekend chatting with some brilliant minds, what little is left of my own has now imploded! However, the number one thing, what it has inspired me to do is come up with a new project of my own for next year – Amy Davies, Amateur Photographer Magazine

The Photo North team create a lively festival where everyone feels welcome and engaged and leaves feeling nourished and inspired. Visitors can browse the industry trade stands and book stalls or just relax with friends or make new ones.

This year’s artists include Mik Crtichlow, Getty Images Gallery, Pink Lady®Food Photographer of the Year, Document Scotland, Portrait Salon, Jim Mortram, Carolyn Mendleshohn, Denis Thorpe, Lens Think, Runway Gallery, John Bolloten, Craig Easton and more.

Peter Dench, co-founder and curator of Photo North, said:

The driving force behind Photo North was our desire to keep exhibitions on the road, outside of the South and get world-class work out to a northern audience. We also want to showcase the work of up-and-coming photographers to give them a leg up. We don’t want the festival to be sniffy or static, we want it to be inclusive. We want people to walk through the door and feel welcome.

For its second year, the event takes up a full exhibition hall and includes a theatre area, trade stalls and the exhibitions. Aspiring photographers can take advantage of portfolio reviews and there will be a free-to-enter competition for students.

Peter said the festival will also feature harder-hitting exhibitions of works highlighting social issues. He added:

Photo North Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation and has ambitious plans to help the unfortunate, marginalised and the homeless through several ongoing photography projects throughout the year. The majority of events throughout the festival will be free of charge upon entry. We offer a full and diverse programme of events which will vary each day, including film screenings, talks, book signings, meet the artist, live music, food and drink, portfolio reviews, trade stands and independent traders.

One of this year’s highlights will be the exhibition of work from the Pink Lady® Food Photography of the Year Award. The award is open to professional and non-professional, old and young – the awards celebrate the very best in food photography and film from around the world. The categories cover the full cultural range of the depiction of food in society – there is something for everyone. From styled food for magazines to images of families eating together in celebration of religious festivals, from depictions of the realities of food production to food growing in its natural setting.

Monday 2nd December will become Education Day with participation and presence from education organisations and students from across the UK. The show will once again be running a student competition, the theme this year being ‘Family’. Photographs of the family were once intimate albums to be selectively shared. The revolution in image-making means we can now share sacred family moments and memories of our nearest and dearest in an instant, with sometimes barely known ‘friends’ and followers.

The show invites students to share through photography, what family means to you – students can embrace one photographic genre, or mix them up: portraits, still life or documentary.  The competition is sponsored by Homes for Students, and full terms of entry can be found at

To keep up to date with Photo North Festival’s latest bookings and events please visit our website Tickets are available via the website, and tickets include a free sample of Yorkshire Gin and a complimentary copy of Dench Does Dallas book, whilst stocks last.

Bye bye Photo North Festival. It’s been an amazing few days. Big love and thanks to Peter Dench and Sharon Price who believed in me to give me this exhibition opportunity which is now leading me onto a bigger platform. For the first time I have something tangible to work towards with an end point, and the support of some key photographers who I admire immensely. Watch this space, it’s been almost overwhelming at times and now I am really excited about the future.

John, 2018 Exhibitor


I thoroughly enjoyed this inspiring festival with the many though-provoking exhibits. It made me want to find ways to capture the people, places and slices of life moments that I have encountered in my own life. Thank you also for Peter’s wonderful book! As a fellow creative, I enjoy seeing what inspires other artists and the work they produce. With an impressive array of artists and seminars, I hope to return for future festivals!

Rebecca, 2018 Visitor


As someone growing up in North Yorkshire, I felt I needed to leave the region to access the Arts. Events like Photo North are so important for young people in the area. Seeing their work on the walls, being able to come and have portfolio reviews, access the arts, get to talks, screenings, meet other creatives is vital not only in the aspect of careers but also to stimulation socially and empowering them. Photo North was a very welcoming event. It was a hub of creatives, book makers, curators and more. It was fun and educational.

Joanne Coates, Photographer and Founder of Lens Think

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