Cologne, September 27, 2018 – More than 10,000 photos from 15 countries around the world were submitted for the first edition of Picanova’s ‘Top 100 Photography Award’ at photokina. The top-class jury has subsequently selected the best 100 pictures and has awarded three main prizes. First place went to “Lean on me” by Laura Zalenga from Munich. Second and third places went to Michael Jaster with “Rosa Flamingo” and Carsten Schröder with “Firefighter” respectively. The award ceremony with Picanova’s Managing Director, Philipp Mühlbauer, and Managing Director of Foto Koch, Thomas Görner, took place yesterday in Hall 1 in front of the picture gallery of the ‘Top 100 Photography Award’.

“We are overwhelmed by such a large number of participants and are very pleased with the outstanding quality and unique visual language of the entries,” said Philipp Mühlbauer, Managing Director of Picanova.

The first, second and third place winners received prizes worth 10,000, 6,000 and 4,000 Euros respectively, half of which can be redeemed at Foto Koch photo shop in Düsseldorf and half at In addition, the winners will receive their own picture sized at 120x80cm as an Alu-Dibond photo print as well as strategic support in setting up their Photo.Club web shop for selling their own motifs.

The winners were not the only ones who benefited though. Prizes worth 500,000 Euros were awarded to participants.


The three main winners live for photography

Laura Zalenga from Munich studied architecture and has been an independent portrait artist since 2014. She impressed the jury with her winning picture “Lean on me” (taken with a Sony α7R II).  The photo is part of a project where the artist reinterprets existing pictures from her portfolio. “I am very happy about the first place and the attention my photo gets from the exhibition at photokina. This is a great opportunity to make my photography even better known,” says Zalenga.

Second-placed Michael Jaster from Düsseldorf has been closely associated with photography since 1975. His photo “Rosa Flamingo” was taken during a holiday stay on Fuerteventura with a Nikon D800/70-200. “We were in a beautiful park and were surprised by passing flamingos. Sometimes you need a little luck with the motives!”

Carsten Schröder, who finished third with his photo, has been taking pictures since his early childhood and has already received numerous awards for his work. This specific piece “Firefighter” taken with a Fuji X-T2, was produced during a workshop at Saarbrücken Airport. “The photo was taken during the blue hour. It shows a panther of the airport fire brigade “throwing the water cannon at the right moment.”

Further information about the competition and the 100 winning pictures can be found here:



Picanova is a world-leading manufacturer of individual wall decorations and individual home and lifestyle products. With four production facilities in Germany, the US, Latvia and China, the company produces high-quality, long-lasting premium products that aim to bring happiness into the lives of private customers and professional business partners in more than 170 countries.

Additionally, Picanova is a technology partner offering innovative B2B solutions to support its design, photography and retail partners from production through to sales and delivery as a global fulfilment partner.


PHOTO.CLUB by Picanova is all about buying photographic products at the right price and selling your own pictures as products. We offer our a range of attractive benefits to our members: from 50 free photo prints per month through to exclusive deals on wall decoration and photographic gifts and support in setting up your own online shop. The Club is absolutely essential for ambitious amateur and professional photographers alike, while the innovative shop function, with can transform pictures into products within seconds for easy resale in the customer’s own online store, is a particular highlight.

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