Portraits in An Intimate Environment

What is an intimate environmental portrait? While avoiding rigid definitions, I’d like to take a deeper look at this concept and what it might mean for different photographers.

Intimate. An intimate moment can exist between partners, friends or strangers. It can exist between a subject and the surrounding space. Intimacy can exist between someone and their pleasure or vice, and between someone and their work. Intimacy may even be found in an image of a solitary person, lost in thought.

Environmental. Environments are identifiable spaces in place or emotion. Not limiting ourselves to plainly physical environs, we can explore this subject from a variety of perspectives. How does the passage of time make itself known within a space? Can we see the contours of economic, social, political, or religious developments in physical places? Nothing about “environment” needs to be literal.

Portraiture. In its most basic sense, a portrait is an image of a person. The subject could be anyone – maybe the photographer themselves. Perhaps it’s even a photograph of a photograph, a portrait of a portrait.

Rather than think of these as guidelines use them to consider the choices you make in the selections of work you choose to submit.

Photography is an inherently subjective medium, as are intimate environmental portraits.

– John W. Cary


Deadline for Entries: June 24th, 2022

Notifications: June 30th, 2022

Framed work due to gallery: July 28th, 2022

Exhibition will hang on the walls, and online: August & September, 2022


Artist’s Reception, September 10th, 5-8 pm 

Mr. Cary will be in attendance, and will give a curator’s talk.


This exhibition will be on the walls during the SlowExposures Photography Festival in neighboring Concord, Georgia 


Deadline for entry to SlowExposures is June 19th


To Enter…

Please follow these directions exactly to send your entry via email to nancy@sxsemagazine.com

  1. subject line: Portraits
  2. file name on each image: your last name your first name title of image – example: mccrarynancybigredhouse
  3. images should be 72 dpi, 1000 on the longest side, jpeg only
  4. Please zip all images into a file and attach the file to the email.
  5. pay for entry (see below)
  6. Send the email


$30 for 3 images. Click here.

Additional images are $10 each. Click here.

Questions? e nancy@sxsemagazine.com


John W. Cary Bio:

John (Miles) W. Cary, has been a photographer for forty years. He began his career as a photojournalist, working for newspapers and United Press International (UPI). He was the Photo Bureau Chief in Springfield, Illinois for UPI and the Chief Photographer and Deputy Director of Photography at the Chicago Sun-Times.  He has been published in every major newspaper and news magazine in the United States as well as in various international news outlets.

John is co-founder of Suntimes.com, the web property of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. He spent 19 years with the Chicago Sun-Times with 14 years in senior interactive management. He is the former Online Director for Time Out Chicago, former Vice President, Digital Products at The Nation Magazine and the former VP, Digital Products for The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) in New York City. He is currently a freelance photojournalist working primarily out of New York City, the Northeast, and the NW Florida Gulf Coast.

His ongoing work can be found on Instagram @ jmilescary and www.johnwcary.org

John is a Marine Corps veteran as well as a graduate of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). He resides in New York and NW Florida.