Meet OpenWalls judge Clément Saccomani, Managing Director of NOOR Photo Agency

Clément Saccomani arrived at NOOR Photo Agency in 2015, with fifteen years of experience in the photography industry. Having initially worked as Editorial Director for Magnum Photos in Paris, he now helms NOOR as Managing Director

Clément began his photographic career as a press photographer. Represented by Gamma Agency, he covered news, conflict and violence against women, before joining the staff at Magnum Photos in 2009. In 2011, he took over as Editorial Director, and then moved to NOOR several years later, to develop the young agency’s new strategies for visual storytelling.

At NOOR’s core, is its commitment to showing the more difficult moments of human experience. Its international roster of award-winning photographers seek to bear witness to the struggle for human rights and social justice through photography. They document civil and political unrest, environmental issues, war, famine, and natural disasters, to stimulate positive social change.

Clément’s expertise embraces all aspects of creative management, from seeking out business opportunities, to overseeing the communication and dissemination of creative projects.

© Stanley Greene / NOOR

How will you bring your experience at NOOR to the judging panel?

I love storytelling, and am very curious. Curiosity is something I find important in my work, and I look forward to bringing that to the judging panel, alongside my experience as Managing Director of NOOR, and my previous work at Magnum Photos.

What excites you most about the OpenWalls award?

The opportunity to discover new work. I love that little moment when you look at a photograph and realise you’ve discovered something stunning.

What are you expecting the response to be to the theme ‘Home & Away’? What sorts of images do you hope to see?

I am trying to avoid having expectations before judging. I think having visual expectations can often lead to bad judging and missed opportunities. You need to have fresh eyes and a fresh mind. That’s the best way to avoid reproducing the same visuals again and again.

© Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR

What advice would you give to photographers submitting work to the award?

Make sure that your selection is a narrative, and that you have a nice edit. Be pushy and ambitious. Mostly, just be yourself. Don’t copy, innovate.

What do you think the benefits are of entering photography awards?

Entering a photography award is a good opportunity to get constructive criticism from industry experts and potential clients. Being a storyteller is often an individual process and it’s important to find ways to engage with an audience, to listen to different opinions and to open your mind. Entering photography awards is a good way of increasing your work’s visibility and exposure.

What makes for a compelling, and memorable, photograph?

A perfect translation between someone looking at a photograph of someone being photographed. Photography is a great tool with which to interact with your audience, and to amplify someone’s voice and experiences. A compelling and memorable photograph will connect people and give them the opportunity to open a narrative.