Maria Contreras Coll (1991, Barcelona, Spain) is a documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Barcelona, Spain and Kathmandu, Nepal.

Maria became interested in photography at the age of 14 when she was given her first digital camera. She decided to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Barcelona (2010-2014). During those years, she investigated the concept of happiness, unrealized dreams and people's hopes overwhelmed by the rush of urban life. Her documentary projects such as “Ah!” and “Persona” were exhibited at the Català Roca Golferichs center in 2013, and at the University of Barcelona in 2014.

After finishing her degree, she studied a postgraduate in Photojournalism (2015-2016) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona as a valedictorian. She spent the next year photographing intimate and personal aspects of the Refugee Crisis in Europe, traveling to affected areas such as Greece, France, Germany or Morocco. After that, she moved to Nepal in 2017 to work on a women’s rights project.

Since then, her work has been published in Aljazeera, Le Figaro or GEO Magazine among others. She has been a guest speaker at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and her work has been shown in places such as Getty Images Gallery in London or in the DocField Festival in Barcelona. Recently she’s been selected for the Women Photograph Mentorship 2017-2018 and to attend the XXXI Eddie Adams Workshop. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2018-2019, and won the Click Grant 2017 to continue with her work in Nepal.

Maria is an enthusiastic and creative person. She has the need to tell people’s stories in a rigorous and well-investigated manner, capturing global problems such as the Refugee European Crisis from a very intimate and personal perspective. She is able to adapt to very different situations, always with the aim of photographing them in a very sensitive and truthful way. Maria is especially interested in Migration movements, in Gender issues, and in how social structures can affect women’s lives in different cultures, religions, and countries.

Represented by Photographic Social Vision and UPIFC

Formal Education

- 2015 - 2016, Valedictorian - Postgraduate Degree in Photojournalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona

- 2010 – 2014, Major in Image Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona

Awards, Grants, and Workshops

- 2018 - XXXI Eddie Adams Workshop

- 2018 - Women Photograph Mentorship, winner

- 2018 - Joop Swart Masterclass, nominee

-2018 - Lucie Fundation Scholarship, shortlisted

- 2018 - Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award, shortlisted and honorable mention

- 2018 -  Days Japan International Awards, finalist

- 2018 - Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award, finalist 

-2018 - The Moscow International Foto Awards, silver medal

-2017 -  Click Grant, winner

-2017- XVIII Seminar of Photography and Journalism Grant for study Photojournalism in Efti School, winner

-2017- XVIII Seminar of Photography and Journalism Grant, winner

-2017- ND Awards Editorial: Documentary Photography category, honorable mention

-2017- Photogrvphy Grant, nominee

-2017- Lucie Foundation Scholarship, nominee

-2017-  Renaissance Photography Grant, nominee

-2016- World Press Photo Masterclass in Barcelona


- 2018 - "Mortal Again", Visa Off, Visa Pour L'Image, Perpignan, France

-2018 - "Journey To Impurity", Biennal Xavier Miserachs, Palafurgell, Spain

- 2018 - "We Keep Waiting", Les Bernardes, Girona, Spain

- 2017 - "Melilla, the gateway of Europe", IX Jornades Masnou, Masnou, Spain

- 2017 - "We Keep Waiting",  Espai Català Roca, Docfield, Barcelona, Spain

- 2017 - "Hope", Renaissance Photography, Getty Images Gallery, London

- 2017 - "We Keep Waiting", Looking For Refuge, organized by CEAR (Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance),  Casa de Vacas,  Madrid, Spain

- 2014 -  "“Persona”, Freedonia Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

- 2014 - "Persona", Titols, University of Fine Arts, in Barcelona, Spain

- 2013 - “Ah!",Espai Català Roca, in Barcelona, Spain

Publications and Clients

GEO, Aljazeera, Internazionale, Le Temps, Le Figaro, El Pais, El Mundo, Vice Media, Open Society Fundations


- 2017 - Invited at Radio Nacional de España (National Radio of Spain) Radio 4, to talk about her exhibition We Keep Waiting, with Ricard Garcia Vilanova and Proactiva Open Arms

-2017 - Guest speaker at "IX Jornades Masnou, photography in 360º" with Samuel Aranda, Eugeny Gay, Manu Mart, Silvia Omedes, Anna Surinyach, and Eva Parey

-2017 - Guest speaker at a class dedicated to Emergent Photojournalists at the 2017/2018 and 2016/2017 edition of the Postgraduate Degree in Photojournalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona

-2017 - Guest speaker at a class dedicated to Menstrual Restrictions and Photojournalism at Baitadi University, Nepal

-2017 - Guest speaker at a Photographic Social Vision meeting in Estudi Seltona, Barcelona