“Exposure” Puts BIG Stakes on Camera Phone Photography

Matthew Honda
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There’s a new reality competition series that aired Monday on Hulu and it might have you looking to upgrade your phone. Exposure is the new show created in partnership with Samsung, that boasts a pretty lucrative prize for talented photographers. The catch is these shutterbugs trade in their SLRs, mirrorless, and medium format cameras for the camera on the newest Galaxy S21 phone. Can these up-and-coming photographers capture a life-changing image on a camera phone?


What to Know About Exposure 

The show is a Hulu original series that puts eight up-and-coming photographers to the test. They will have to recreate iconic images, get creative, and master lighting all from the screen of a phone. Competing in a series of themed challenges each week to get one step closer to the grand prize: a $250,000 photography contract with Samsung. 

Their work throughout the competition will be judged by established content creators and photographers. Cole Walliser, of E! Red Carpet fame, is the host and judge and Cat Jimenez is the head judge. They will be joined each week by a guest judge and fellow content creator. 

Here’s What You Missed on the Exposure Premiere

The premiere episode introduced us to the eight contestants. Street photographers, studio photographers, and even a self-proclaimed “momtographer” all look to take that $250,000 photograph. 


This week tested them on selfies. And not the selfies we take when we feel cute and might delete later. Instead, they had to recreate portraits. 

The Flash Challenge

For their first flash challenge, the photographers had to #tbt and recreate one of their childhood photos. They had just one hour to produce an image that matched the emotion, lighting, and details of their childhood photo reference. 

Some photographers cleverly used forced perspective to deliver a more childlike appearance, but it all came down to the details. The attention that contestant Marilyn gave, matching the color tones and trying to recreate the pattern in the background earned high praises from the judges and the first flash challenge win. 


Marilyn tapped into her inner child to win the first Exposure flash challenge | Photo: Hulu

The Portfolio Challenge

In the portfolio challenge, the photographers had to recreate a historical painting. If trying to match the lighting and perspective the painter used wasn’t challenge enough, they also had to produce any props and costumes with unconventional materials.

It was a lot of work to get done in the two hours they were given for the challenge. With the reference so recognizable, every detail mattered. The judges paid handsomely for those that nailed the fine details giving top marks to the works of Jose and Tommy. Jose managed to claim the first portfolio challenge victory which is made sweeter with the $5,000 cash that comes with it. 

Jose backed his strong confidence by capturing this winning recreation | Photo: Hulu

As with any competition, someone had to go home. This week saw Krys, Michelle, and Monroe at the bottom. Monroe was then eliminated, having missed the mark with matching his selected painting. 

Want to Watch Exposure?

If you want to catch the first episode or tune in for the competition, you’ll need to have a Hulu account (or try out the free trial). Once you’re logged in, you can catch the new episodes as they are released every Monday on your own time.

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