Chicago Photographer Karen I. Hirsch Wins First in Category in International Photo Competition

Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum awarded professional photographer Karen I. Hirsch first place in the "Alteration of Reality" category in its International Photography Competition 2010.
Trumpet lily ©Karen I. Hirsch All rights reserved
Trumpet lily ©Karen I. Hirsch All rights reserved
May 20, 2010 - PRLog -- Photographers from sixteen countries and thirty-seven U.S. states entered nearly 700 images in the International Photography Competition 2010 hosted by Fort Dearborn - Chicago Photo Forum. The top 30 images were selected by esteemed professionals in the photography industry - Mike Bilbrey, art buyer from world-renowned advertising agency Leo Burnett, Bill Hurter, editor of Rangefinder and AfterCapture photography magazines and David Leigh, owner of a Chicago art gallery. The judges reviewed and voted on the online submissions for more than two weeks before making their final selections.

Awards were presented in five categories - people, places, nature, still-life and alteration of
reality. The thirty winners come from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and the United States.

See the winners online at

Karen I. Hirsch is a commercial and fine art photographer based in Chicago, Illinois.  Her images have earned honors in competitions in London and Paris and have been published in Switzerland, Germany, Spain and China as well as in the United States.
Hirsch won the grand prize in the Kodak/Chicago Daily News competition and in the Fuji/American Society of Media Photographers competition.  Her photos have been featured in books, magazines newspapers and calendars.  

The government of China invited Hirsch to be one of ten foreign photographers to photograph the city of Rizhao in 2007.  The photos were used for tourism and to attract businesses to the region.

In 2003, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs asked Hirsch to display her images of Chicago at the Richard J. Daley Civic Center.   "My Chicago"  a one-woman, 25- year photographic retrospective,  included more than 200 photos of Chicago's people, places and events.  The Illinois Arts Council awarded a grant to assist with the production of this exhibit.

Hirsch first learned photography when she lived in France while studying at the University of Rouen.  She joined a photo club in Rouen where she was introduced to darkroom printing.  After receiving a Fulbright travel grant to study and teach at the University of Barcelona in Spain, Hirsch joined an international atelier in Barcelona to continue her photo studies.

After graduate school, Hirsch began a career in advertising.  She spent a number of years as in-house photographer and magazine editor for Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago. Since then, she has run her own photography business.  Hirsch does assignments for marketing, corporate communications and advertising.  She licenses images from her large library of stock photography.  Her fine art prints are collected for interior decor.

Hirsch is a member of vzyno the American Society of Media Photographers

Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1895. The
organization promotes creativity and community and invites all who are passionate about
photography to participate in its activities. Some of the world's most renowned
photographers have been involved in the organization’s activities over the decades. Fort Dearborn held its first print competition and Salon in 1900. Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen were two of the participants. The Art Institute of Chicago co-sponsored this event and hosted the winners' exhibition. This year’s international photography competition is Fort Dearborn’s first online digital photo contest.

Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum is located in a red-brick, renovated building, formerly a train station (appropriately named Dearborn Station) in the south end of downtown Chicago at 47 W. Polk Street.  Its headquarters has two darkrooms and a studio area.  Meetings are held regularly on Friday evenings.

The calendar is online at

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Karen I. Hirsch is an award-winning professional commercial, editorial and fine art photographer based in Chicago. Her photos have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, calendars and online.
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