Resource: Photo Contests and Grants Calendar

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(updated December 2017)

Did you know that an editor can help you home in on the right images for contests and grants?

An objective, outside opinion and fresh look at work can help you craft a contest or grant entry that connects with the judges.

I've created contest edits for numerous photographers who went on to win World Press Photo, POYi, Communication Arts, and PDN Photo Annual awards.

Contests... Some are great. Some feel like they only exist to rob photographers of their precious income. Before you enter, carefully consider if it's worth your money. Stick with contests that have, in the past, recognized photographers whose work you admire.

Remember, the primary (commercial) benefit of entering a contest is getting your work in front of industry bigwigs who otherwise might not have seen it. You don't even have to win to enjoy that benefit, although, winning is preferred.

Here's a general timetable of contest deadlines throughout the year. Things change so make sure you go straight to the source for definitive info on deadlines, entry fees and eligibility.

Know of others? Connect on facebook or twitter and let me know.

January

Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest
American Illustration-American Photography
Alexia Foundation
Aperture Portfolio Prize (entries accepted December through early February)
Art Directors Club Photo Contest
Days Japan
Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards
Hillman Prize for Photojournalism
Inge Morath Prize - Recognizing outstanding female photographer under age 30
National Geographic Storytelling Grant
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
NPPA Best of Photojournalism
Pictures of the Year International (POYi)
PDN Photo Annual
Pulitzer Prizes
Santa Fe Prize for Photography
Sony World Photography Awards
The Syngenta Photography Award
World Press Photo Contest

February

Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Documentary Prize (entries accepted February through May)
Foam Magazine Talent Call
FotoEvidence Book Award
CENTER awards (The Choice Awards, Project Competition, & Project Launch)

March

Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
Communication Arts Magazine
The Renaissance Photography Prize (entries accepted March through July)
Spider Awards B&W Photo

April

ASMP/NY Annual Photo Contest
Imagely Fund
OSI Moving Walls
Px3 Photography Competition

May

Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
Canon Female Photojournalist Award
Gene Smith Grant (entries accepted January through May)
Getty Images Grants
Howard Chapnick Grant
ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or
POYi Emerging Vision Grant

June

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography
Visa pour l'image - Visa d'Or award Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Association Grant
CARE International Award for Humanitarian Reportage
The Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents
CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

July

Ian Parry scholarship
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
New Orleans Photo Alliance, Clarence John Laughlin Award

August

Critical Mass by Photolucida
Moran Contemporary Photo Award - Portrait and documentary prizes (up to $150,000) for Australian photographers

September

BJP International Photography Award
FotoVisura Grant

October

International Color Awards
The Documentary Project Fund
Hasselblad Masters Awards

November

Aftermath Project
American Photography
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest
Magenta Flash Forward
Onward

December

FotoEvidence Book Award
The Julia Margaret Cameron Award for female photographers

 

Insight on participating in contests from Tsuyoshi Ito of ONWARD Photo.

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ONWARD Photo Competition 2014 is now accepting submissions. Tsuyoshi Ito, Founder and Director of the ONWARD gives six tips below on participating in photo contests. Six Tips for Finding the Best Competitions for You Now that you know how to effectively enter a photography competition, where will you test your skills? If you've begun your search, you've probably discovered that the sheer number of contests available makes it almost impossible to decide which ones to enter. The goal of this article is to help you, the photographer, cut past all of the industry buzz words and marketing efforts to identify exactly which competition is going to be the best fit for you.

I have a good deal of experience with these competitions - I host an international one annually (ONWARD Photo Competition, for a small shameless plug). And in order to help increase the information I share in this article, I consulted several pro and semi-pro photographers who have also been challenged by this issue. Given our unique experience of both hosting and participating in photography contests, we’re hoping our combined perspectives will be the missing pieces to help you “crack the code.”

So without further ado...

Tip #1: Work Toward Your Goal While this is the most basic of our six tips, it might also be considered the most important. When you come across a competition, start by taking a look at the juror(s) and finding out what "prizes" the competition offers. Do they align with your personal goals?

Having your image chosen by a famous photographer and juror may provide the nod of approval you desire, while being selected by a curator or other industry professional can result in the right contacts.

If you're solely "in it to win it," cash money and/or gifts may be enough. However, should you want to jump-start or advance your career in photography, you will want to confirm that the reward includes some kind of exposure. If so, your objective may be placement in a museum or collection versus a gallery exhibition.

Want both the prize and the ongoing recognition? Find a well-rounded contest that acknowledges various goals and offers all of the above. There truly is no right or wrong decision here. We simply recommend you choose a competition that fulfills or aligns with your personal goals as a photographer.

Tip #2: Know Their Vision

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After you take note of your own objectives in entering a competition, you should take a deeper look at the hosts to learn what their goals are. Do they provide detailed information about how the contest works, as well as what's expected of you? Or do they just request your credit card information and ask you to submit your image(s)?

If you encounter the latter, the organization is most likely in the business to make a profit—the fees they collect will go toward prizes, and whatever’s left over will go into their pockets.

You may be okay with this if your goal is to win a prize. However, if you want more out of the competition, move on and align yourself with an organization whose vision is compatible with yours. This may mean you're looking for an organization that positions itself as a year-round resource with offerings that are important to you. Again, there is no right or wrong decision here; we just want you to be sure that your time and money are being invested into the right organization for you. Tip #3: Be Aware of "Free"

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There are hundreds of competitions that will let you participate at no cost - but are they really free? The old adage, "nothing in life is free," applies to more of these zero dollar contests than you may think. Scan the fine print of these so-called “free” events, and you may find that they plan to own the rights to your image and may even sub-license them to third-party companies for their use, too! As you consider entering this contest, you'll also want to evaluate whether winning that free camera bag you'll use for a few years is worth losing the rights to your image forever.

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On the other hand, the entry fee that you balk at paying will, in many cases, pay off in the end. Those charging an entry fee typically invest that into their competitions, to finance reputable jurors, various promotions (e.g., marketing your selected images) and celebratory events (exhibitions!) — all while allowing you to maintain ownership of your work. So before you skip over a contest because they charge an entry fee, look into where that money goes, and remember how you can benefit from what is typically a small investment in the grand scheme of things.

Tip #4: Calculate the Costs Sure, the only fee written in the contest instructions is the entry fee, but have you truly understood the fine print? Exactly what else will you be responsible for? It's very important not only that you read the competition details, but also that you truly understand them as well. If you don't, you may miss a hidden message, or, even worse, a hidden cost. For example, if the competition will host a physical exhibit to showcase the selected images, will they provide the frame or expect you to frame the work yourself? Who is responsible for the shipping charges, both to and from the venue? You may notice that they will require you to supply the hardware, but not disclose the related fees in detail. Therefore, you'll need to review the information carefully so that you can determine what it is you're really going to end up spending to participate in the contest.

Tip #5: Be Truly Recognized You can usually count on a competition to post the selected images on their website. However, in today's digital world, seeing your image on a website might not be as exciting to you as seeing your image on a gallery wall, where people can experience your winning print in person. Picture your photo perched atop that bright white wall for hundreds to gaze at in awe. Even better, imagine the chance to mingle with photographic peers and industry professionals, discussing your inspiration for the image, making valuable contacts and getting invaluable advice. These networking opportunities might be otherwise difficult to come by, so you want to keep this in mind when deciding which competitions are worth your time.

Tip #6: Stay Exposed So, you've found a contest that's going to praise your work all over the Internet, but have you looked into just how long you'll be featured? Many competitions will remove all traces of your win shortly after the contest is over, in order to make room for the latest and greatest group of participants. However, it doesn't have to be that way.

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There are hosts out there who remain interested in positioning themselves as a partner and trusted source to all of their selected photographers, no matter the year. If this is important to you, it may be a better option to align yourself with a competition that will continue to showcase your photograph(s) long after you've won. In Conclusion… ...With the digital age on the rise, it means that photographs are more easy to share, which has helped lead to more competitions. Wading through the hundreds that are available to you can be a little confusing at first, but knowing what you want to get out of the competition and the - sometimes dirty - little details of the competition should help you feel infinitely more confident in the decision you make. Hopefully some of these tips have helped you get that much closer to finding your right competition - or introduced you to the world of competitions for the first time! Happy contesting!

TheDocumentaryProjectFund

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TheDocumentaryProjectFund was founded to help make sure that photographers who want to tell the stories of their communities will be able to do so. TheDPF focuses on those photographers who work within their communities. They may work locally but the issues of community are the same as those faced globally. Looking through the lens of a photographer who is committed to his community will translate to communities everywhere.

Submissions for entry will begin May 15, 2013 and run through June 15, 2013. More information can be found here.

 

Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowships

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Magnum Foundation has announced that there will be five Human Rights Fellowships available for the 2013 NYU-MF Photography and Human Rights Program.

The application process will open on November 1 and close December 17.

The Human Rights Fellowship will support 5 individuals to complete the 6-week summer program, Photography and Human Rights, at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU), housing, travel, and living expenses. The fellowship is for individuals seeking to deepen their documentary photography practice of human rights, who have not previously had the benefit of extensive advanced study in this field. The five Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowships are open to applicants who permanently reside outside of North America and Western Europe.

Apply here.

The Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward 2013 Competition

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Flash Forward 2013 is now open for submissions, and I'm so honored to be a juror alongside the list of talented individuals below.

 

  • This is an open call for submissions.
  • Open to all photographers working in Canada, the UK and the US.
  • Applicants must be 34 years-of-age or under as of December 31, 2012.
  • All submission requirements and upload instructions may be reviewed here on our web site.
  • Submit your work by December 31, 2012 to be considered!

 

Flash Forward 2013 Jurors:

  • Canada:
    • Julien Beaupré Ste-Marie — Photo Editor, enRoute Magazine
    • Erin Elder, Manager — Business Development & Partnerships, Digital Media, The Globe & Mail
    • Wil Kucey — Director, LE Gallery
  • UK:
    • Sara Knelman — Talks Programmer / Photographers Gallery
    • Rebecca McClelland — Group Photography Editor & Creative Director, Ian Parry Scholarship
  • US:
    • Natalie Matutschovsky — Senior Photo Editor, TIME Magazine
    • Susan White — Photography Director, Vanity Fair
    • Jasmine DeFoore — Freelance Photo Editor & Consultant
    • Jon Feinstein — Humble Arts Foundation
    • Aline Smithson — Photographer, Founder and Editor, Lenscratch
    • Adriana Theresa — Visura Magazine
    • Jason Houston — Co-Founder, Take One Creative
    • Laura Brunow-Miner — Pictory
  • Invited International Jurors:
    • Jim Casper — Lens Culture (France)
    • Tina Ahrens — emphas.IS

Luminance Ticket Giveaway!

I'm headed to NYC soon to join PhotoShelter at Luminance 2012, a two-day event focused on the trends, innovations and opportunities in our industry -- in a nutshell, the future of photography.  A first-of-its-kind event, Luminance strives to spark the new ideas and networks that will push photography, as an industry, to the next level.

They’ve got an amazing lineup of speakers including major thought leaders from Facebook, Google, Lytro, Behance, 20x200, plus award winning photographers like Peter Yang and Barbara Davidson who are are changing the way we see the world.  Check out the full list of speakers here.

The conference is September 12 and 13 in New York City and Photoshelter has given me two tickets to give away!

These are conference only tickets, valued at $149 each. 

To enter to win:

  • Tweet the top reason you'd like to attend the conference
  • Tag @jasminedefoore and include the #luminancetix hashtag

On Tuesday, September 11, at 10am Eastern time I will announce two winners on Twitter (my favorite two answers win).

  • You will have until 2pm Eastern to reply to me and claim your tickets. If I don't hear from you by 2pm, the runner up will be contacted.

See you there!

Paris Photo/Aperture PhotoBook Awards

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Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation announced The Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, celebrating the book’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. Two prizes will be awarded: First PhotoBook and PhotoBook of the Year. A preselected shortlist of thirty titles will be profiled in The PhotoBook Review; will be exhibited at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais and at Aperture Gallery in New York; and will tour to other venues, to be determined.

The initial selection will be made by Phillip Block, Deputy Director of Programs and Director of Education at the International Center of Photography; Chris Boot, Executive Director of Aperture Foundation; Julien Frydman, Director of Paris Photo; Lesley A. Martin, Publisher at Aperture Foundation; and James Wellford, senior international photo editor at Newsweek magazine.

A final jury in Paris, including Els Barrents, Director of the Huis Marseille; Roxana Marcoci, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Curator of the Paris Photo 2012 Platform; Edward Robinson, Associate Curator of Photography at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Thomas Seelig, Curator of the Fotomuseum Winterthur, will select the winners for both prizes, which will be announced at the opening of Paris Photo on November 14, 2012. Each winner will receive a $10,000 prize.

Publishers and photographers can enter online at www.aperture.org/photobookawards until September 10, 2012.

First PhotoBook will be awarded to an artist/photographer whose first finished, publicly available book is deemed by the jury to be the best of 2012. Ten books from this category will be preselected, presented to the jury for the final selection, and exhibited during Paris Photo.

PhotoBook of the Year will be given to the author/editor/featured artist/photographer of a photobook, and its publisher, deemed by the jury to be the best of 2012. Twenty books from this category will be preselected, presented to the jury for the final selection and exhibited along with First PhotoBook pre-selects during Paris Photo. After Paris Photo, the exhibition will travel to Aperture Gallery in New York, and to other venues to be determined.

 

AI-AP Latin American Fotografía and Ilustración Call for Entries

The deadline to submit work for Latin American Fotografía and Ilustración is quickly approaching: enter work by June 30, 2012 for consideration.

All Latin American illustrators, photographers, creative professionals, publishers, agencies, representatives, students and art teachers living anywhere with work published anywhere for any purpose are eligible. As are those working or studying in Latin America with work created or published anywhere for any purpose. Includes Mexico, Caribbean, Central American and South American countries.

Winning images will be exhibited in New York City as part of the annual AI-AP Party in November 2012 and will be part of a traveling exhibit through 2013. In addition to be part of the Latin American Fotografía and Ilustración book, winning images appear on THE ARCHIVE, at ai-ap.com, attracting over 200 unique visitors per day.

Marie Claire International Photography Award, 1st Edition

Marie Claire has a great opportunity for professional photographers to reward the best photo reports about women. To participate, register here and upload 10 photos from a single reportage, before June 30th, 2012.

Their international jury will select 10 finalists including one Award Winner, who will receive 5 000€ and a a Nikon D800 D-SLR.

The Award Winner's reportage will be published in Marie Claire France and in several Marie Claire International editions. And to salute all of the 10 shortlisted participants, an exhibition of their work made in partnership with Artelier Vikart will be held in Paris.

LOOK3 Festival and Scholarship

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia is right around the corner: June 7-9, 2012.

LOOK3 will have photographic exhibitions, presentations, interviews, workshops, and outdoor projections curated by David Griffin and Vincent J. Musi.

10 young photographers attending LOOK3 have the opportunity to apply for a full scholarships to study with famed Magnum street photographer Bruce Gilden. The deadline to apply for this "Street Smart" workshop is May 3.

 

Deadline approaching! CENTER's 2012 awards

 

Submit work by January 30, 2012 to be considered for CENTER's 2012 awards!

The Project Competition honors committed photographers working on documentary projects and fine-art series. Three jurors reach a consensus on the First Prize and 10 Honorable Mentions. Each individual juror also selects a project to receive one of the three Juror’s Choice awards.

The Project Launch Award was initiated to help a photographer complete a work in progress. Open to all photographic fine-art and documentary projects or series.

The Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter. The Awards are divided into three categories: Curator’s Choice, Editor's Choice, and Gallerist's Choice. The winners receive recognition via exhibition, publication and more.

And finally, Review Santa Fe is considered one of the premier juried portfolio review events in the world. Designed to facilitate relationships between photographers and industry professionals eager to discuss your work. Up to 100 photographers are selected to meet with some of today’s most relevant and esteemed curators, editors, publishers, gallerists and others interested in new work. The three-day event offers participants a minimum of nine portfolio reviews, inclusion in the Review Santa Fe 100 Online Listing, receptions and more to make vibrant and inspiring weekend to foster the photographic community.

Good luck!


View a complete list of upcoming contest and grant deadlines organized by month.

Deadline Approaching! The Black and White Spider Awards

Celebrating its 7th year, Black and White Spider Awards is the leading international award honoring black and white photography. This event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers in a prestigious annual competition and globally webcast event, reaching photo fans in 154 countries.

With a collective Judging Panel of the world’s most recognized experts from TATE, BONHAMS, FRATELLI ALINARI, PHILLIPS DE PURY of London and more, the awards are the industry’s most authoritative and important photographic event for black and white and mono art.

Enter your work by December 16, 2011 for consideration.


View a complete list of upcoming contest and grant deadlines organized by month.

Deadline Approaching! Humble Arts Foundation: 31 Women in Art Photography

On July 19, 2012, Humble Arts Foundation, in conjunction with Hasted Kraeutler, will present its third edition of 31 Women in Art Photography at Hasted Kraeutler in Chelsea. Along with Humble’s curatorial director, Jon Feinstein, Natalia Sacasa, senior director of Luhring Augustine, will co-curate the 2012 edition.

Submit work by November 23, 2011 to be considered for 31 Women in Art Photography.


View a complete list of upcoming contest and grant deadlines organized by month.

Deadline Approaching! World Press Photo Contest 2012

Submit work by January 12, 2012 to participate in the the World Press Photo Contest.

The World Press Photo Contest is an annual competition in which the jury looks for the best photographs made during a calendar year. Details about the photo contest, as well as names of the contest judges, are announced in October/November.

The photo contest judging begins at the end of January and the winners are announced in the second week of February. The annual Awards Days, a celebration of the prizewinners, takes place in Amsterdam at the end of April or beginning of May. The first edition of the multimedia contest in 2011 followed a similar timeline, but a different entry procedure. Details about the next multimedia contest setup will be announced later.


View a complete list of upcoming contest and grant deadlines organized by month.

Deadline Approaching! Hey, Hot Shot! Second Edition 2011

Untitled, from the series Party Alone, 2010 by Laurie Kang"

Apply by November 14th Monday, 11/21 @ 11:59 p.m. ET to participate in the second cycle for 2011 of Hey, Hot Shot!

Since its inception in 2005, Hey, Hot Shot! has provided one hundred and forty photographers from all over the world with unrivaled exposure, support and recognition. Hey, Hot Shot! provides an ongoing platform and unparalleled opportunities for photographers at all stages of their career.


View a complete list of upcoming contest and grant deadlines organized by month.