The internationally acclaimed portrait photographer Michael Dannenmann has been the chairman of the jury of the Felix Schoeller Photo Award since the competition began. Dannenmann alone holds the right to nominate the members of the jury, all of whom judge and decide on the quality of the entries without any influence of the company whatsoever. This independence is what consistently inspires and motivates the prominent jury members from the worlds of museums and galleries, research and academia, specialist publication and photojournalism to place their professional expertise and critical judgment at our disposal. The jury does not know the names or origins of the entrants.

Jury 2019

Michael Dannenmann

Jury-Vorsitzenden

Photo Tatjana Blechert

Michael Dannenmann initially studied art at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design and went on to study photography at the University of Dortmund. When he’s not tied down by chairing the jury, he travels the world setting the scene for the persons portrayed in his highly acclaimed portrait work. Since 1990, he has predominantly shot portraits of artists, dancers, musicians, authors and prominent representatives of the worlds of business and politics in private or in his own studio. His work has been published in various media, including international magazines and book projects, and has also been shown in numerous exhibitions and collections. In addition to working as a photographer, Michael Dannenberg also hosts workshops and curates exhibitions. He is a member of the DGPh.


Clare Freestone

Clare Freestone studied art Wimbledon School of Art and began work as an assistant curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London in the year 2000. Clare is in charge of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and acts in an advisory function when additions to the collection are bought. She has also curated numerous exhibitions or accompanied them as an advisor. These include exhibitions such as Seizing an Instant: Photographs by Roger Mayne (2004), John Gay: Portraits in Print (2006), Private View: British Pop and the 60s Art Scene (2007), Famous in the Fifties: Photographs by Daniel Farson (2012), Illuminating Women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus (2018). In 2009, she was the curator of the exhibition and co-publisher of the book of Ida Kar’s work titled: Bohemian Photographer (2011). 


Gérard A. Goodrow

Photo Tobias Grewe

Gérard A. Goodrow (born in 1964, New Jersey, USA) studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the City University of New York and the University of Cologne. His main professional experience includes roles at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne (1992 to 1996), the Ursula Blickle Foundation in Kraichtal (1994 to 2001), Christie’s auction house in London (1996 to 2003) and the two fairs ART COLOGNE and Cologne Fine Art (2003 to 2008). Since 2007 he has been a lecturer at the Centre for International Arts Management in Cologne and Düsseldorf. In the last 25 years, Gérard Goodrow has organised more than 50 art and photography exhibitions in Germany and abroad. He is in demand as a presenter and writer on international contemporary art, photography and the global art market. Gérard A. Goodrow now works in Cologne as a freelance curator and author.

Clara Maria Sels

Photo Joanna Kischka

In 2011, Clara Maria Sels co-founded the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend together with Werner Lippert, the former director of NRW-Forum Düsseldorf. She assumed the position of festival director in 2013 and has successfully managed the event ever since. In 2014 and 2015, Clara Sels organised the exhibitions staged at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf in conjunction with the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend. A highlight of the photo festival in 2016 was the exhibition HP Horst Photographer of Style which was also able to be shown in Düsseldorf thanks to the initiative of the Duesseldorf Photo Weekends. Clara Sels is the owner of the Clara Maria Sels Gallery in Düsseldorf, which she founded in 1989. Among the first artists she represented were the photographers Duane Michals and Francesca Woodman.


Julia Sörgel

Photo Martin Lengemann

Julia Sörgel (born 1970 in Munich) studied from 1991 – 1994 at the Staatlichen Fachakademie für Fotodesign in Munich. Immediately after graduation, she worked as a freelance photography for various magazines (1994 – 2004). Between 2005 and 2011, Julia Sörgel was employed as picture editor at the weekly newspaper ‘Welt am Sonntag’ (WamS). Since 2012, she he has been photo editor-in-chief of the magazine ICON, the luxury supplement of the WamS. Julia Sörgel lives in Berlin.


Andrea Vollmer-Hess

Photo Elisa Berger

Andrea Vollmer-Hess was born in London and grew up in Munich. After studying economics and languages at the English Chamber of Commerce in London, she went on to study at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins College for Art and Design in London. Andrea Vollmer-Hess initially worked for Miss Vogue magazine before leaving to take on the position of Photo Editor at Harper’s Bazaar. She has been Photo Editor at the German edition of VOGUE magazine since 1992, and also holds responsibility for syndication management and the development of the digital archive. In her daily work, she sifts through hundreds of photos, manages the communication with stock agencies and agents, and is constantly on the lookout for the new and the beautiful in the photographers’ numerous pictures.

Jury 2017

Michael Dannenmann Portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf
Gérard A. Goodrow Curator and author, Cologne
Simone Klein Magnum Photos, Paris
Clara Maria Sels Gallerist, Düsseldorf
Julia Sörgel Photo Editor-in-Chief at ICON / Welt am Sonntag, Berlin

Jury impressions – the quality of the work entered in the competition


Jury impressions – the internationality of the competition


Jury impressions – the principle of anonymous assessmen

Jury 2015

Michael Dannenmann Portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf

Ellen Dietrich Picture Editor, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg

Thomas Gerwers Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of PROFIFOTO, Juechen

Gérard A. Goodrow Curator and author, Cologne

Norbert Waning Curator, Stuttgart

Jury 2013

Michael Dannenmann portrait photographer (DGPh), Düsseldorf

Ellen Dietrich Picture Editor, DIE ZEIT, Hamburg

Thomas Gerwers Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of PROFIFOTO, Juechen

Werner Lippert
art critic and exhibition organizer, Düsseldorf

Prof. Jörg Winde Vice Dean of the Faculty of Design and Photography at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts