I do not do this work alone. There are countless people, from amazing translators and guides to generous grantees, who have not only given me opportunities but have also been there to offer a smile and encouragement as I’ve pursued my work. I hope they can help you as much as they have helped me. I am including a list of grants, fellowships and contests that I hope will help you along your own path in photography and story telling. Feel free to contact me if I can assist you with finding translators and assistants in the regions I’ve worked.
In addition to these resources, there are a number of other great places to find opportunities. Editor and Publisher magazine in New York City compiles an annual list of contest and awards. That issue is published the last week of December each year and can often be found in business libraries. DVA Foto has an excellent calendar they regularly update with all coming competitions. The Curatorship is a fantastic compendium of photographic opportunities and competitions around the world.
Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship
The Aaron Siskind Foundation offers a limited number of Individual Photographer’s Fellowship grants of up to $10,000 each, for artists working in photography and photo-based art.
The Aftermath Project
The Aftermath Project is a non-profit organization committed to telling the other half of the story of conflict — the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace. The Aftermath Project holds a yearly grant competition open to working photographers worldwide covering the aftermath of conflict. Deadline is typically in November.
The Alexia Foundation provides grants and scholarships to photojournalists, enabling them to create work that gives voice to those who go unheard, fosters cultural understanding and exposes social injustice. It annually provides a $20,000 grant for a professional photographer to produce a substantial story. The Foundation also provides grants and scholarships for six students. Students must be enrolled full time in an accredited college or university. Photographers from anywhere in the world are eligible.
The Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship Award
The Alicia Patterson Fellowships are open only to U.S. citizens who are full-time print journalists, or to non-U.S. citizens who work full-time for U.S. print publications, either in America or abroad. The aim of the award is to improve the quality of U.S. print journalism.
American Illustrator-American Photography
American Illustrator-American Photography are juried showcases for established, emerging and student illustrators and photographers. The award annuals offer high visibility and recognition where it matters most. Winners are published in a large-format, luxurious, hardcover, showcasing work that’s ahead of its time.
The AI-AP books, published annually in November, are the first go-to resourses for art directors, designers, photo editors and art buyers who insist on assigning only the best original, thoughtful and compelling pictures.
The award is an opportunity for visual storytellers to exhibit their work and demonstrate their commitment to human rights issues. AnthropoGraphia will grant a $3,000 award to one outstanding Visual Storytelling essay. Deadline is in May.
APA / Lucie Foundation Scholarship
The APA/Lucie Foundation Scholarship awards one grant of $5,000 to a professional photographer beginning a new project idea, or for a work in progress of a specific series.
Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
The Emerging Photographer Grant is designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project. One major grant of $10,000 and one Young EPF grant of $5,000 and a camera valued in excess of $1,000 are awarded.
Canon Female Photojournalist Award
The Canon Female Photojournalist Award is an annual prize for women photojournalists. Women photojournalists worldwide are welcome to enter the competition, for which there is no age limit. The 8,000-euro award enables the winners to finance their projects and have their work exhibited at the festival in Perpignan and later in Paris at the Cosmos Galery. I’m grateful to have been a former recipient.
Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award
In addition to an award of 50,000 euros, the Carmignac Gestion Foundation supports the winner after completion of the project by financing an exhibition and a monograph. The Foundation also commits to buying four photographs from the work produced. In offering this award, the Carmignac Gestion Foundation aims to support photojournalists who find themselves working on the front-line of different situations. In choosing to support this profession which is critically underfunded, Carmignac Gestion wishes to provide these key witnesses of the contemporary world with the means to go where others don’t.
CDS Documentary Essay Prize in Photography
The CDS Documentary Prize honors the best in documentary writing and photography in alternating years, with a focus on current or recently completed work from a long-term project. The winner of the competition will receive $3,000 and have his or her work featured in Document, a quarterly newsmagazine published by the Center for Documentary Studies, as well as in a virtual gallery on the CDS website.
Center: The Project Development Grant
The Project Development Grant offers financial support to fine art, documentary or photojournalist works-in-progress. The grant includes a cash award to help complete a project as well as platforms for feedback and professional development opportunities for the works final stages. This grant is awarded to projects that are still in progress and have not been exhibited or published.
Center: The Project Launch
The Project Launch is presented to an outstanding photographer working in fine art series or documentary project. The grant includes a cash award to help complete or disseminate the works as well as providing a platform for exposure and professional development opportunities.
The Documentary Project Fund
The Documentary Project Fund is focused on supporting still photographers and improving communities. Each call-for-entries is intended to fund one project and will award up to $5,000. The fund may grant project support to photographers working in conjunction with another nonprofit, provided that group will match funding. Submissions are accepted twice a year.
Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize
The Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize was created to encourage collaboration between documentary writers and photographers in the tradition of the acclaimed photographer Dorothea Lange and writer and social scientist Paul Taylor. The winner receives $10,000, a solo exhibition at the Center for Documentary Studies, and inclusion in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Rubenstein Library, Duke University.
FotoEvidence Book Award
The annual FotoEvidence Book Award will recognize a documentary photographer whose project demonstrates courage and commitment in addressing a violation of human rights, a significant injustice or an assault on human dignity. The selected project will be published in a book, as part of a series of FotoEvidence books dedicated to the work of photographers whose commitment and courage create an awareness of social injustice.
The FotoVisura Grant aims to support personal photography projects and encourage the production and development of photography outside of the commercial realm. The Grant recognizes photographers as judged by their images, story, dedication and commitment of the photographer to the story or concept.
Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship
The Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.
Getty Images Creative Grants
Getty Images Creative Grants program recognizes, celebrates and supports emerging and established photographic talent. Eight prizes totaling $40,000 will be offered.
Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography
Getty Images believes that photojournalism is a powerful tool for telling compelling social, political and cultural stories. Getty Images also understands that creating and managing world-class photography assignments requires time, freedom, support and considerable resources, which is why Getty Images continues to offer the Grants for Editorial Photography, which in 2015 will provide five total grants of $10,000 each to photojournalists pursuing projects of personal and journalistic significance.
Ian Parry Scholarship
The Ian Parry Scholarship is an international photographic competition for young photographers who are either attending a full-time photographic course or are under 24. Entrants must submit a portfolio and a brief synopsis of a project they would undertake if they won the scholarship. The prize consists of £3,500 towards their chosen assignment £500 to those awarded Highly Commended and Commended, as well as a choice of Canon equipment, publication of the finalist’s work in The Sunday Times Magazine and admittance into the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Reportage by Getty Images adds the winer to their Emerging Talent Group and Save the Children offers one of the finalists an all expense paid assignment. Deadline is typically in August. Watch the Ian Parry Scholarship website for more details.
Inge Morath Award
The annual Inge Morath Award is a $5000 prize given to a woman photographer under thirty years of age to assist in the completion of a long term documentary project.
The International Academic Forum Documentary Photography Award
The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award promotes and assists in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The contest is free to enter and the £1000 award is judged by a panel of leading professionals in documentary photography and photojournalism.
IWMF Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists
The International Women’s Media Foundation will award $2.3 million to women journalists over the next 10 years through a gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation that seeks to empower women around the world working in the media.
John Gutman Photography Fellowship
For over sixty years, John Gutmann made an imprint as an artist and educator on the development of photography as an art form. Through his philanthropic generosity, annual awards of up to $5,000 are made to emerging photographers showing professional accomplishment, serious artistic commitment, and need in the field of photography. Candidates for Gutmann Fellowships are nominated by an appointed jury.The annual award of $5,000 will be given to one or a number of emerging photographers, showing professional accomplishments, serious artistic commitment and need in the field of creative photography.
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
The Leica Oskar Barnack Award is for professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form. The winner of the “Leica Oskar Barnack Award” receives a Leica M camera and a lens worth 10,000 Euros in addition to a cash prize of 10,000 Euros.
Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program
Each year Light Work invites 12-15 artists to participate in its residency program, including one artist co-sponsored by Autograph ABP and one artist in conjunction with the Urban Video Project (UVP). Artists selected for the residency program are invited to live in Syracuse for one month. They receive a $5,000 stipend, an apartment to stay in, a private digital studio, a private darkroom, and 24-hour access to our facility. Submissions are reviewed regularly throughout the year.
Lucie Foundation Emerging Scholarship
The Lucie Foundation Emerging Scholarship provides a grant of $2,500 for an emerging or student photographer, working on a portfolio or specific body of work.
Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation Documentary Photography Grant
The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation calls for project proposals along with portfolios to highlight human unrest, forgotten communities, over-exploited people and environments impacted by war, poverty, famine, disease, exploitation and global distress. The foundation will award a $5,000 grant to the winning documentary/reporting project proposal.
Nikon Photo Contest
Nikon has an incredible opportunity and I am honored to have been a judge. The Nikon Photo Contest nurtures an aspirational community that supports photographers who wish to share important stories and influence the way people think through photography. Get your entries ready and watch the Nikon Photo Contest website for more information about this year’s contest.
NPPF Student Scholarships
The National Press Photographers Foundation scholarships are awarded to encourage those with the talent and dedication to photojournalism and who need financial help to continue their studies. These awards are directed toward those studying full-time or returning to college.
NPPA Short Grants
The National Press Photographers Association is supporting the community photo story through the NPPA Short Grants, with six awards of $6,000 each. A project funded by a short grant should be small in scale and focused. Staff photographers are encouraged to apply and complete the project during furlough, vacation or comp time. Independent photographers are also encouraged to apply. Priority is not based on employment status but on your ability to tell a great visual story, and on whether or not you have a great idea for a story that needs to be told.
Open Society Fellowship
The Open Society Fellowship supports individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges to enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world.
Open Society Documentary Photography Project
The Open Society Documentary Photography Project offers grants for documentary photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. The fund awards approximately ten cash stipends in the amount of $3,500 USD each to photographers to produce a photo essay on a critical human rights or social issue in the region. Along with the stipend, successful applicants will receive two master-level workshops on visual storytelling through photography and multimedia. Watch the Open Society website for information about the next round.
Photographic Museum of Humanity
The Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant is an international contest with the aim to finance talented photographers and discover new talents. A total of $4,000 will be awarded.
The Photocrati Fund offers a $5,000 grant to a photographer to undertake an important humanitarian and environmental photography project. Our goal is to identify outstanding photographers and to provide the resources necessary to pursue projects that will have a tangible and positive effect on the world.
PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards
The PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards identify outstanding work done by photographers in collaboration with nonprofit organizations worldwide, with prizes ranging from $2,000-$15,000. The application period begins in October.
Soros Justice Fellowships
The Soros Justice Fellowships Program’s Media Fellowships is for individuals with distinctive voices proposing to complete media projects that engage and inform, spur debate and conversation, and catalyze change on important U.S. criminal justice issues. Deadline is in October. Watch the Open Society website for the next round.
Rory Peck Training Fund
The Rory Peck Training Fund makes hostile environment training affordable for freelancers. Since its launch in 2000, the Fund has given over 500 bursaries to freelance journalists, photographers, cameramen and filmmakers, enabling them to gain the vital skills and knowledge needed for work in hostile environments. The Trust works with five approved course providers. You must take your training with one of them, but it is up to you which one.
Rory Peck Trust Assistance Grants
Rory Peck Trust offers individual grants to freelance newsgatherers and/or their families who find themselves in a critical situation. This includes freelancers who have been threatened, imprisoned or injured, forced into hiding or exile, or killed.
Tim Hetherington Grant
The Tim Hetherington Grant is an annual grant awarded to a photographer to finalize a project on a human rights theme. It is open to professional photographers who have participated in a recent World Press Photo Contest. Applications are accepted in October every year.
The W. Eugene Smith Fund
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist.
The W. Eugene Smith Howard Chapnick Grant
The Howard Chapnick Grant was developed to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management. The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual.