Resource: Photo Contests and Grants Calendar

(updated December 2017)

photo contest and grants

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

 

Q&A with Erin Siegal: Tapping Social Networks to Fund Investigative Journalism

In a previous post I talked about how journalists and artists can raise money to cover projects through crowd funding.  Erin Siegal, a photographer, multimedia artist and journalist has been working on a story on corruption in the Guatemalan adoption industry. She used kickstarter.com to raise the money necessary to finish the story. Below is a Q&A with her about the process and why she didn't go the traditional route.

You've been working on Finding Fernanda for over two years. Did you start out thinking it would be a photo essay? If so, was your goal to get it published online or in a magazine?

I fell into the world of adoption corruption entirely by accident, and as a result of being a photographer. My sister and I went to Guatemala on vacation in

December 2007. While waiting for our plane in the Guatemala City airport, we were surrounded by Americans leaving with newly adopted children. On a visual level, it was a very striking scene because of the trans-racial element as well as the sheer number of children leaving. I was immediately curious to learn about what was happening. I decided to do a little research to see if there was a story angle I could pitch to my photo agency, Redux Pictures.

Back in the States, I started reading all the English language clips I could find about Guatemalan adoptions. To my surprise, many of the stories focused on issues of corruption like kidnapping, baby-selling, and bribery. There were numerous clips from 2005-2007, and when I watched the six-part Dateline special "To Catch a Baby Broker," my curiosity was piqued. I just didn't understand how the abuses could keep occurring, apparently over and over again. Where was the oversight? Was the US government turning a blind eye to proven child trafficking?

When I thought about how to photograph the story, it seemed like an immense amount of time and reporting was needed. How else could I start to understand corruption that possibly was rooted in organized crime? I'd also been creeping towards a point in my photo work where I wanted to explore multi-faceted, complex human-rights based issues that couldn't be told with just pictures. I wanted to write the text to go with my photographs. The problem was that I didn't know how, or where, to start.

Columbia University offers a Master's degree in journalism with an investigative specialization, the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. The Stabile Center takes about 12 students each year. The application requires a pitch for a year-long thesis investigation, so I proposed an examination into the political side of international adoption. Who was calling the shots, and why? What purpose did a lack of oversight serve?

In August 2008, I started as a Stabile fellow and my life became engulfed in adoption fraud. It was a fascinatingly gray subject, with no black or white. A few months after starting my research, I came across the poignant, incredible story of Betsy Emanuel and Mildred Alvarado, the two mothers whose stories are detailed in Finding Fernanda. I was able to spend a month living in Guatemala City generously funded by the Stabile Center in January 2009, and have returned since, paying my own way.

At first, I imagined pitching to Rolling Stone or Harper's. Yet boiling it down to 3,000 words seemed like a disservice. Hundreds of people (including sources who need anonymity for security reasons) talked to me, and I wanted to honor their trust and faith. A book made sense, though I didn't initially set out to write one. The story simply demanded it.

Did you approach any publications, foundations or NGOs about funding the story?

This past January, I immediately started hustling for funding.

The idea of partnering with an NGO crossed my mind, but accepting funding from an advocacy group would obviously damage the credibility of the reporting. The fundraising process hasn't been easy: it's a full-time job to finish reporting and writing a 300-page book in 8 months. Finding the time to apply for grants and awards, learn about marketing/sales, and freelance stories simultaneously is a constant challenge.

In terms of publications, right now I'm working with the New York Times on an adoption-related investigative story. It's a co-bylined feature I'm working on with Ginger Thompson. Since the Times is already one of my photo clients, Ginger and I are angling to have me shoot the story's photos. My photo agency has been getting me work here and there. Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day to be pitching, reporting, writing, and shooting other freelance pieces right now, because of chapter deadlines.

I've also been applying to every grant and foundation I can find! Both the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and the Fund for Investigative Journalism turned down my original proposals for book support, but I plan to re-apply for the online project component. The Pulitzer Center is so overwhelmed by applicants that they've frozen their program until October to review the backlog of submissions! It's been tough, because I'm up against a crazy amount of laid-off journalists with years and years of experience. I have an ongoing dialogue with a few other grantmakers, and I've come really, really close serious backing- I was one of the finalists for Lowell Bergman's $45,000 Investigative Reporting Project Fellowship at Berkeley, but wasn't selected. I'm currently working on applications for the Alicia Patterson Foundation, among others.

Three funding sources have really come through. The first was Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) who awarded me one of two 2010 Freelance Fellowship Awards to support my part-time research assistant, the amazing Fernanda Diaz. Second, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, an amazing non-profit reporting center, has also kicked me $5,000 towards reporting expenses this spring. The third source had been Kickstarter, which has by far been the fastest and easiest way to fundraise. Finding Fernanda met its Kickstarter target of $3,000 in just six days, and I'm hoping to raise at least $5,000 total by August 20th.

Taking on a project like this requires more than a few leaps of faith. Finding Fernanda is a book both necessary and overdue. It's traditional investigative journalism done in the service of the public good, exposing wrongdoing and holding those in power accountable. The broader appeal lies in the compelling experience of two very different women, one Guatemalan and one American, whose lives accidentally intersect because of one little girl: Fernanda.

What benefits, besides the money raised, have you gotten out of opening your story up to funding through Kickstarter?

Crowd-sourcing has definitely helped raise the profile of the book. People now know why I've been off the radar for so long. Kickstarter also enables more people to become invested (literally!) in your work and your project's success. Finding Fernanda has been on Kickstarter for a little over a week now, and I'm continuing to spread the word through social networking and the occasional email. Folks want to help: I've been offered sources, introductions, and offers for future collaborations. The other amazing thing is all of the encouragement; people out there believe in this project as much as I do. Writing a book-length work is a solitary endeavor, and the support is so warming.  The Kickstarter experience has been incredibly positive.

Are there any potential downsides to tapping your social network for

money to support a project?

In the beginning, it felt really strange, almost like online panhandling. After the first day of being on Kickstarter, I had a moment of absolute terror over soliciting, and considered canceling my project listing all together. Talking about the Kickstarter concept of crowd-sourcing with friends also helped me relax about it. I asked two close friends, one journalist and one photographer, what they thought about the possible sleaze factor. Both independently pointed to the same thing: if the public thinks your project is worth supporting financially, that's a way of understanding your idea's relevance to society at large.

Perspective also kicked in: no one else out there is going to do this work. I'm not making money, let alone breaking even. I'm trying to get by in a media landscape that provides few opportunities and support for long-term investigative/ documentary projects.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I want to say a heartfelt thanks again to not only all of my Kickstarter backers, but to those friends, colleagues, and contacts who helped by reposting, retweeting, and blogging! You are all so wonderful. And of course, Finding Fernanda will be on Kickstarter until August 20, 2010- you can check it out at http://kck.st/c533wf .

The project's website is also currently housed at www.findingfernanda.com. I'm always open to ideas, suggestions, and collaborations, and can be reached at Erin (at) erinsiegal.com

Erin Siegal’s dual passions for photography and the written word led to an education patchworked between New York City’s School of Visual Arts, Harvard University, and Parsons School of Design. She earned a BFA in Photography from Parsons in 2006, and a Master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Columbia University in 2009, where she was a Fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.  Based in the Bay Area, Erin’s clients have included Human Rights Campaign, the New York Times, Reuters, the Urban Justice Center, RollingStone.com, the United Nations, and more. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the School of Visual Arts and the Camera Club of New York, and her work has been shown at the Jen Bekman Gallery.  A 2009-2010 Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Erin is currently working on her first book, which details corrupt practices and child trafficking in international adoption between Guatemala and the United States.

Moving Walls deadline one week away

from: http://www.soros.org/initiatives/photography/focus_areas/mw/guidelines The Open Society Institute invites photographers to submit a body of work for consideration in the Moving Walls 18 group exhibition.

Moving Walls is an exhibition series that features in-depth and nuanced explorations of human rights and social issues.  Thematically linked to OSI's mission, Moving Walls is exhibited at OSI’s offices in New York and Washington, DC and includes seven discrete bodies of work.

Moving Walls recognizes the brave and difficult work that photographers undertake globally in their documentation of complex social and political issues.  Their images provide the world with human rights evidence, put faces onto a conflict, document the struggles and defiance of marginalized people, reframe how issues are discussed publicly, and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.  Through Moving Walls, OSI honors this work while visually highlighting the mission of our foundation to staff and visitors.

For participating photographers, a key benefit of the program is to gain exposure for both the social justice or human rights issues they photograph, and for themselves as photographers.  When the tour ends, photographers may keep their professionally-produced exhibition to use however they wish.

Ian Parry Scholarship Deadline is July 2

For those of you under 24, from http://www.ianparry.org/

The Ian Parry Scholarship 2010 deadline is Friday 2nd July. Applications are digital. FTP instructions and application forms are available from http://www.ianparry.org/

The Ian Parry Scholarship is designed to award young photojournalists with a bursary that will enable them to undertake a chosen project and raise their profile in the international photographic community. The Scholarship is aimed at traditional or contemporary photojournalism and photographers with strong story telling capabilities.

Ian Parry was a photojournalist who died whilst on assignment for the Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution in 1989. He was just 24 years old. The Scholarship was set up by Aidan Sullivan and Ian’s friends and family in order to build something positive from such a tragic death.

The competition is for photographers on full-time photographic courses or who are 24 years or under. The prize is £3,000 towards an assignment, a commission for Save The Children plus £500 for runners up. Entrants must submit: A digital portfolio of 12 images to our FTP following our guidelines An application form A brief synopsis of a project they would undertake if they won the award

We are delighted to announce the continued support of the Sunday Times Magazine, which publishes an extended feature of all the finalist’s work and World Press Photo who will automatically accept the winner onto their final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam.

Once again, our extremely popular and well-attended print exhibition will take place in London at the Getty Images Gallery. The exhibition will run for one week from the 18th August 2010.

Thank you for your interest and continued support, Best wishes Rebecca

Contact: Rebecca McClelland, Deputy Director becky@ianparry.org http://www.ianparry.org/

Magnum Foundation Announces Recipients of Emergency Fund

The Magnum Foundation has committed more than $100,000 to supportexperienced photographers working to document critical issues that have been overlooked or underrepresented by mainstream media.

The 2010 Emergency Fund Photographers are: Christopher Anderson; Jonas Bendiksen; Cedric Gerbehaye; Bruce Gilden; Saiful Huq Omi; Sohrab Hura; Krisanne Johnson; Alex Majoli; Karen Mirzoyan; Dominic Nahr; Simon Norfolk; Louie Palu; Paolo Pellegrin; Gilles Peress; Eugene Richards; Larry Towell; Shehab Uddin; Geert van Kesteren; Kadir van Lohuizen; and Wang Yishu.

read more: http://www.magnumfoundation.org/

Fabrica F Award Deadline Extended

from http://www.fff.ph/ Fabrica, the Benetton Group’s communication research center and Forma, Centro Internazionale di Fotografia (international photography center) launch the third edition of the F Award - international award for concerned photography.

The F Award aims to involve photographers from all over the world.

The F Award aims to award photography that documents and criticizes, that tells a story: dramas, struggles, abused rights, but also dignity; pain and consolation, desperation and hope; the loss of everything and the triumph of life’s new possibilities and lastly the things that people do to face all of this. In a word, life.

The F Award aims to promote photography as a means of transmitting information and creating awareness. Without photography what would we know of hunger in the world, of the likely outcome of every war, of the living conditions of “the other half” to quote the work of one of concerned photography’s pioneers?

The F Award is inspired by the following words, published in 1972 by Cornell Capa: “They are concerned photographers. They take sides. They are people who wanted to show things that had to be corrected…wanted to show things that had to be appreciated”. The Concerned Photographer, Editor Cornell Capa, Grossman 1972

What to do: photographers who would like to participate should propose a series of photographs by June 7th, 2010 that would be part of a wider project that the prize will help finance.

The jury is formed by international personalities and is chaired by Peter Galassi, Director of Photography at MOMA, New York.

The other jury members are:

Monica Allende, Director of Photography, The Sunday Times Magazine Enrico Bossan, Director of Photography, Fabrica Melissa Harris, Editor, Aperture Roberto Koch, President, Forma Paolo Pellegrin, Photographer Magnum Photos Urs Stahel, Director of the Museum of Winterthur (Zurich)

The jury will award the most interesting project with a contribution of euro 20.000 and the possibility of publishing a book.

A special section, F25, for photographers under 25 will see the winner awarded with a one year scholarship in Fabrica’s photography area.

For further information:

Fabrica Press Office Angela Quintavalle angie@fabrica.it ph: +39-0422-516209 www.fabrica.it

Forma Press Office Laura Bianconi lbianconi@formafoto.it ph: +39-02-58118067 www.formafoto.it