10 October 2018
10 October 2018 - Written by PhMuseum
From forming the jury to engaging partners to offer relevant opportunities, it takes us months to organise a single grant. Here we explain why we do it and why you should consider applying.
© Fabiola Ferrero, Honorable Mention PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant
At the moment of organising a new edition of our grant, we at PHmuseum always ask ourselves the same question: why would I apply as a photographer? How can I benefit from the initiative and why is it worth the entry fee? Well, these are our answers in relation to the PHM 2018 Women Photographers Grant.
I. Support our initiative and be a part of the conversation: one of the main reasons why we gave life to this grant is to state explicitly that we stand for gender equality. The grant is a way to remember that there are friends and colleagues who are still discriminated against or have less opportunities because of their gender - and that they can count on us. It’s a vehicle to renew this conversation and stimulate awareness. With this specific grant we aim to support female and non binary photographers, yet we need your support first as our effort would be worthless without the participation of many. Our initiative wouldn’t be so powerful without the opportunity to showcase and award meaningful projects.
II. Generate new opportunities: with all the applications being reviewed by our panel of judges, plus the Vogue Italia Photo Editors, and the Verzasca Foto Artistic Director, you have plenty of chances to be noticed and be granted an opportunity for the future. We have indeed seen many times photographers, whose work was not eventually awarded, being invited to exhibit at a festival, published on magazines, and even sent on assignment. Placing your work in front of such professionals is a great way to show what you can do and who you are as a photographer.
© Sanne De Wilde, 3rd Prize Winner PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant
III. We consistently promote your work: we love to review all the applications, since grants are always a great resource for us. Most of the photographers invited for Instagram Takeovers or highlighted on social media as Photographer of the Day, as well as most of the projects featured as Story of the Week or in PHmuseum News are discovered via our open calls. Moreover, we often get asked by colleagues if we have photographers or projects to recommend - Do you know any emerging photographers from Chile? Can you share some work on environment? Can you help me find a good portraitist in Poland? Well, most of the answers come from our grants.
IV. Prizes Prizes Prizes: In a month or so from today we’ll have 4 female or non-binary photographers who will share £10,000 in cash, another 9 who will get a special mention, and 20 more who will be shortlisted - and projected at Photo Vogue Festival in Milan. Then 3 more will be featured on Vogue Italia, and another one who will get a solo show at Verzasca Foto - we were there a few weeks ago by the way, such a wonderful festival. This means a direct support to 4+9+20+3+1 = 37 photographers. We know it's difficult to be among them, yet it's not mission impossible.
V. Stop, edit, and see where you are: presenting the work to our grant is a great opportunity to take a break from your routine and see where you are with your work. Is it at an early stage? Think about it, maybe it’s worth to keep working on it and apply to future calls. Are you in the middle of it? It might be a good moment to work on a first edit, get feedback, and try to secure some funds to bring it ahead. Is it ready to go? Check the judges and the prizes, then give it a try - it’s the moment to go for it, and our call represents a great way to get funds, exposure and recognition.
© Raphaela Rosella, 1st Prize Winner PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant
VI. Take action: in an interview we made a few years, Brazilian photographer, curator and cultural producer Iatã Cannabrava told us: “There is this false myth that the artists should not be their own managers, that the world has to discover you and help you out. Well, I have reached the conclusion that photoshop is as important as excel: get organized is as important as being creative.” We totally agree with him. Have a clear project development plan in mind, and save 5-10% of your budget to apply for grants and awards. They represent a great vehicle to promote your work and generate new opportunities. Don’t wait to be discovered, take action to place your photography on the map.
VII. Learn and be self-critical: applying represents also an effective way to follow the grant from the beginning to the end, review the shortlisted and awarded projects, read the judges motivations. It's a good occasion to stimulate yourself, get inspiration and learn from other applicants project. It's a good occasion to be self-critical with your work, improve it and improve as a photographers.
Well, we hope this considerations were useful and we look forward to seeing your projects. There is still time until 17 October. The applications will be reviewed by the four judges Pamela Chen (Instagram), Alessandra Sanguinetti (Magnum Photos), Karen McQuaid (The Photographers Gallery), and Aïda Muluneh - plus Vogue Italia Photo Editors - Alessia Glaviano, Chiara Bardelli Nonino, and Francesca Marani - plus Alfio Tomassini, Verzasca Foto Artistic Director. Apply at phmuseum.com/grant, and good luck!
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