Istanbul Photo Awards
Initiated by the venerable Anadolu Photo Agency, the Istanbul Photo Awards rewards outstanding work in news and sports photography. Free to enter and adjudicated by a typically high profile international jury, the Istanbul Photo Awards rewards the most meaningful images of the year with a place in the photo exhibition that travels from Ankara to New York, via Istanbul and Vienna, as well as in a stylish publication that can be downloaded from the site.
John Gutmann Fellowship
Not only did German-born, San Francisco-based photojournalist and teacher John Gutmann leave a lasting legacy of images documenting American life from the Depression era well into the 1990s, he also created a foundation that continues to encourage emerging photographers through the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship. The Foundation offers annual awards of between $5,000 to $10,000 to “an emerging artist who exhibits professional accomplishment, serious artistic commitment, and need in the field of creative photography.” Details for fellowship eligibility are outlined on the site, as well as galleries full of Gutmann’s luminous work.
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Since 1925, the venerable John Simon Guggenheim Foundation has awarded annual Fellowships to many disciplines, including photography. Supporting individuals only, the Foundation attributes substantial grants to “assist research and artistic creation.” Past Fellows include mature photographers such as Gilles Peress, Eugene Smith and Diane Arbus. Extensive information on the Fellowships, which are only offered to applicants from the Americas, is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Kentucky Foundation for Women Grants
Women making art within a feminist framework can apply for support from two sources: the Artist Enrichment grant that funds individual artists and art organizations that promote social change, or the Art Meets Activism grant that is aimed at artists and organizations that engage others in art-based social change projects. Through these two grants, the KFW distributes $200,000 in grants annually, a real commitment to the feminist art scene in Kentucky and beyond.
“Funding for women and trans artists creating social change,” Pennsylvania’s Leeway Foundation provides granting opportunities for artists that whose work takes on issues outside of mainstream culture. The Foundation offers two grants: the Transformation Award is an annual $15,000 prize awarded to women and trans artists with at least 5 years of artistic production that addresses social change, and the $2,500 Art and Change Grant that is awarded to support social change art projects. The site provides a good description of the qualities, ranging from “visionary” to “bridge-builder,” that Leeway is looking to find and to nurture in their Delaware Valley arts community.
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
An international jury awards the Leica Oskar Barnack Award to professional photographers whose “unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment.” Named for the inventor of the legendary Leica camera, and a pioneer of documentary photography, the Oskar Barnack prize is 10,000 Euros and an equivalent amount in Leica photographic gear that rewards work that breaks new ground in exploring the connection between humanity and the environment.
Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award
Leica camera inventor and documentary photography pioneer Oskar Barnack is the inspiration for the annual Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award, an invitation to photographers aged 25 and under to submit their best work to the contest’s online site. The rewards include a Leica rangefinder camera and lens worth 10,000 Euros, a cash prize of 5,000 Euros, and of course, vital recognition at the start of one’s career.
Lens Culture Exposure Awards
Nine jurors sift through over 10 000 images submitted by photographers from 62 countries in an open and inclusive call for pictures that yields an eclectic field of top-notch photography. The six winning photographers share a group show in London and an individual gallery on the Lens Culture site.
Luceo Student Project Award
LUCEO, the “Creative Visual Agency,” does not simply conceive of image-based stories for others, it is also very invested in nurturing the vision of emerging photographers. The Agency’s Student Project Award is structured to give more than financial support to its annual laureate: there is hardware and software gear, passes to the annual LOOK Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia, a paid assignment from AARP as well as a paid interview on CNN. Finally, LUCEO itself offers a year-long mentorship to the winning student in order to help them realize a significant body of work and set the stage for an important career.
Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation Prize
The Prize, awarded annually to one filmmaker and one photographer, recognizes documentary work that goes beyond observation and incites real change in some of the most intractable situations in the world. This quote, dedicated to the 2014 MRO Prize winner Camille LePage, slain while on assignment, gives a sense of the level of commitment and professionalism that is being honoured: “The MRO Foundation Prize — the highest honour we give to a documentary photographer or filmmaker — was not created as a means to reward merely greatness of the individual, but greatness of the soul, of compassion, of an eyewitness that transcends well above the self.”
National Arts Policy Database
Americans for the Arts, a long time arts advocacy organization, has created a database of resources for individual artists that covers issues from artist’s space to health and safety. The “Funding” section helpfully displays the abstracts and contents of a variety of publications on arts funding in North America.
National Geographic Photo Contest
National Geographic’s photo contest is a hugely popular event in the photo world, and not solely because of the cash prize – the chance to be published in this venerable and vital magazine was enough to inspire entries from 150 countries last year. In typical National Geographic fashion, the rules, FAQs, and galleries of images from former winners are all clearly laid out in friendly and encouraging language. Past winners and editors’ favorites photos galleries will give participants an idea of how high the bar is. They make for compulsive viewing for the rest of us!
National Geographic Young Explorers Grant
National Geographic has a very long history of supporting promising young explorers in disciplines that include archaeology, biology, ecology, geography and photography. Offered to American and international candidates between 18 and 25 years old, Young Explorers Grants are designed to cover the costs of research, conservation and exploration projects that address National Geographic’s own broad mandate: “understanding – and improving – the world we share.”
Nikon Photo Contest
The Nikon Photo Contest has been going for more than three decades, a period that has seen vast changes in the medium. The digital era has changed the dynamics of photography: who makes pictures, how they make them and how photos get seen has been blown wide open. The Nikon Contest acknowledges this by selecting its judges from around the world and broadening categories for types of images. In this way, Nikon has re-imagined its photo contest as a meeting place for the new diversity at play in photography, and the winners’ galleries are a small example of what’s out there.
NPPA Short Grants
The National Press Photographers Association wants to reassert the importance of the community photo story; the kind of micro-level journalism that has yielded compelling, Pulitzer Prize-winning stories in the past, but that is increasingly hard to fund in this rapidly changing media landscape. NPPA Short Grants award small-scale local photo projects with a $3000 grant towards completion. Applications are judged, as they should be, on the strength of the story and on the power of the images.
NPPA Student Scholarship
Undergraduate and graduate students studying photojournalism can submit their portfolios for a chance at part of the National Press Photographers Association’s $14 000 in student scholarships. The NPPA also offers the Still and Multimedia and TV News Scholarships, memorial scholarships which are both worth $2000.
OjodePez Award for Human Values
Offered in the context of the annual PhotoEspaña festival, the OjodePez Award targets documentary photography committed to themes of solidarity, social justice and ethics. OjodePez (or Fish Eye), the respected photo documentary magazine, offers the annual 2000 euro award as a means of inspiration and support for the sort of “human values” documentary projects that they typically publish. The judges are recruited from recognized galleries, magazines, blogs and museums.
Open Meadows Foundation
Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization that supports the kind of projects that stand up for social justice and disenfranchised groups and communities. Grants of up to $2000 are available to initiatives that are led by and are a benefit to women. Projects that might otherwise struggle for funding, those that address subjects such as gender, race and economic disparity should consider Open Meadows.
Open Society Institute
Financier–philanthropist George Soros envisions a world where respect rules: respect of the individual and respect of the institutions of democracy. The Open Society Institute is Soros’s contribution towards shaping this world. The Institute is a grant-making foundation that “aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.” It does this through financial support of local and international projects (including photographic projects), but also by implementing a range of initiatives that deal with issues which are truly impressive in scope: freedom and democracy, human rights, education, public health and access to care as well as transparency and access to information. If these goals seem improbably ambitious, check the web site for a list of the accomplishments and works in progress, and be impressed.
Open Society Audience Engagement Award
The Open Society Documentary Photography Project funds the kind of photo documentary work that incites viewers to action. Through its Audience Engagement Grant Program, Open Society offers two levels of support: Project Development, which provides photographers in the early stages of their projects with resources and community through an annual professional development retreat. A second level, Project Implementation, offers funding and professional support to photographers whose projects meet the Audience Engagement’s active social engagement criteria.
Open Society Production Grants
With a goal of opening up the discussion on human rights in Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan, Open Society Production Grants offer documentary photographers and photojournalists from these areas the practical and financial support to do important work. Ten grants of $3,500 USD are framed by educational support and mentorship in the form of two master-level workshops on visual storytelling through photography and multimedia that are taught in the region by internationally respected photographers. Open Society looks for photographers, either professional or emerging, who are committed to their country and to the larger mission of building a civil society.
Photographic Museum of Humanity Grants
The Photographic Museum of Humanity, an online gallery of international photography whose mission is inclusion, has created an open international contest that aims to support talented photographers and highlight emerging talents. Photographers working in any genre can submit a series of work for review from the international jury, free of any entry fee but contingent on PMH photographer’s account. The same criteria apply for the special “New Generation” grant for photographers under the age of 25. In all, there are $4000 in cash prizes on offer and pride of place in the “Winners” gallery.
Photographies de l’année
This is a contest open to French speaking professional photographers from around the world – if you can read the rules, you can enter. Photographers from all over the French-speaking world compete in 15 thematic categories where they can employ any process they choose. Category winners come away with a trophy and gifts, while the winner of THE Photographie de l’année, chosen among the 15, is awarded 3000 euros.
Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography
Documentary film-maker and long time champion of independent film Robert Gardner is responsible for a fellowship at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology that helps documentary photographers to create a body of work that examines the “human condition anywhere in the world.” This is not, however, an open competition: an international panel of curators, academics and professional photographers suggests nominees to the Fellowship committee that selects the winner. The Gardner Fellowship features a “generous” stipend that sustains the creation of the work, followed by its publication through the Museum’s press. Past Fellows are featured on the site with small galleries of their work.
Rory Peck Training Fund
Future photojournalists are supported and mentored through grants, workshops and portfolio reviews, yet, the knowledge that is arguably the most vital to a career in the field is rarely spoken of: hostile environment training. The Rory Peck Training Fund targets its training grants to freelance journalists, those who work without the support of an organization and could be most in need of the expensive training. Freelance journalists, photographers, cameramen and filmmakers who have at least 18 months of international work behind them can apply for a bursary that covers much of the cost of an approved hostile environment training course – invaluable training for the real world crisis journalism.
Tim Hetherington Grant
Photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed while on assignment in Libya in 2011, a loss that inspired Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo to create an annual memorial grant that supports the completion of projects that explore human rights issues. Beyond the themes of social justice, judges look for the qualities that were inherent in Tim Hetherington’s own photography: “work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.” The annual € 20.000 prize is open to professional photographers who have participated in a recent World Press Photo Contest.
Terry O’Neill Award
Terry O'Neill, one of the original rock & roll photographers, has had such a celebrated career that Britain’s Royal Photographic Society created an annual award in his name, one that looks to get exceptional work seen by a panel of equally celebrated judges (including O’Neil himself). There is £6500 in cash prizes to be divided among the winners, as well as a showcase in the London Sunday Times Magazine and exhibitions in the U.K. and abroad.
Urban Photographer of the Year
Calling for images of the city at all times of the day and night, this prize honors images of the urban experience. The subject can be any city world-wide, and themes to work from include architecture, environment, work, cityscape and transportation. Prizes come in the form of photo gear for runners-up, but The Urban Photographer of the Year wins a trip to the country: a photo safari!
Named in honor of a young photojournalist, Yarka Vendrinska, who valued the personal and empathetic role of old school photojournalism. To mark her passing and most of all to help support the work that she loved, Yarka’s parents created the Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Memorial Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation. The Fund offers grants for nonprofits that provide education, training and travel assistance to young photographers. Individuals can benefit from these funds through a nonprofit.