7 reasons to apply to the PHM 2017 Grant

There are many contests and grants out there. Here are 7 reasons why you should apply to the PHM 2017 Grant and what your investment of £30 could give you in return.

© Nick Hannes, from the series The Continuity of Man (PHM 2013 Grant 2nd Prize winner)

When deciding for which contest to apply, you probably evaluate if it is worth the time and effort - if applying could mean an important milestone in your career or an important step for the life of your work. This is what our grant can offer you and why it is worth the entry fee. 

I. Finance your work. With a total of £12,000 in cash prizes, the grant allows you to independently finance your current work or future projects. Since we do not demand any reporting, you can decide independently how to invest this money in the way you find most appropriate to your work and career.

II. Increase your online audience. One of the great opportunities photographers have today is to build, engage and enter into a dialogue with their online audience. An audience that is needed for any good marketing opportunity to work, for example at the moment of selling your photographs, crowdfunding your photobook, and so on. The PHM 2017 Grant aims to support you in this sense by getting the winners' work published on the PHmuseum platform and on World Press Photo Foundation’s Witness, one of the most important and fastest growing online publications. Additionally, even if your work will not be amongst the winners, you will be taken into consideration for promotion on the various PHmuseum sections - like News, Exhibitions, Story of the Week and Photographer of the Day - and social media accounts. Long story short, your work will be seen by a large number of people and this will help you increase your personal online audience.

III. Participate in international photo festivals. This year we have joined forces with Cortona On The Move and its Artistic Director, Arianna Rinaldo, who will hand-pick one submission that will be granted a solo show during the upcoming edition of the Italian festival. The prize will not only be an opportunity to discover Tuscany at the festival’s expenses but also, and more importantly, a milestone in your career. Your work will be shown along with that of internationally recognised photographers, and being present for the festival opening weekend will offer you a fantastic opportunity for networking with curators, photo editors, publishers and fellow photographers. All the awarded works will also be projected at Just Another Photo Festival. JAPF is a new guerrilla project that aims to show powerful, inspiring work to people of all classes, vocations and backgrounds across India. Here you can see a 360° experience of its latest edition. While below you can see more about the latest edition of Cortona OTM.

IV. A mentorship program. If you are 26 years old or older you can move to the next point. While, if you are younger, the opportunity of a mentorship program with Maggie Steber (awarded to the New Generation Prize winner) is probably the most meaningful reason to apply. Maggie is one of those few renowned educators who combines 30 years of teaching experience with her knowledge and network as a photographer and photo editor. As an educator, she has conducted workshops and lectured at universities and organisations across the globe and helped boost the careers of many young and emerging photographers. Over the course of 9 months, during different contact moments, you will not only have the chance to improve your work and discuss the most proper ways to show and market it, but also to further develop yourself as a photographer and boost your career.

V. Exposure to top professionals in the industry. Submitting your work will bring it to the attention of different highly experienced professionals. Applying means showing your talent to them. Your work might not be standing out in this grant, but might well do so on another occasion. We have often seen submitted work later published online and in print, or brought to festivals because one of our judges noticed it while reviewing the grant submissions. This year the panel of judges include a different range of recognised professionals: photo editors like Sarah Leen (National Geographic), Kate Bubacz (Buzzfeed) and Emma Bowkett (Financial Times); international curators such as Ihiro Hayami (Tokyo Institute of Photography), Arianna Rinaldo (Cortona OTM) Poulomi Basu (JAPF) and Alejandro Kirchuk (PHmuseum); business manager, Fiona Rogers (Magnum Photos); and photographer, Alejandro Chaskielberg. The range of opportunities that could arise from simply submitting your work is quite wide.

VI. Revisit your work. Applying forces you to edit your most relevant projects, think and re-think about them and ultimately push yourself to compete with ‘the best’. You can see this engagement as part of your business and personal growth plan. Committing yourself to present your work to a panel of judges is always a good excuse to take the proper time to step away from your routine, see where you are and evaluate what you have done in the last few months. It is an important moment of your working cycle, and regardless of how your applications will go, it will benefit your future projects. 

VII. You have to try. I know it is frustrating to receive an email where you see that your work has not been shortlisted or awarded a prize. Still, if you believe in your work, you need to keep trying while accepting the fact that there are many talented colleagues out there. It is only with persistence and hard work that you can reach your career goals, one milestone at a time. Winning an important award, is for sure among these milestones. So do not stop only because the odds are apparently against you. 

Good luck with your applications!


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To learn more about the PHM 2017 Grant go to phmuseum.com/grant and apply before 15 February. 

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