07 February 2019

February's Photography Grants and Awards

07 February 2019 - Written by Simon Hall

It’s award season in the photography industry and there are many wonderful contests currently open for submissions, including the PHmuseum 2019 Photography Grant, Cortona On The Move New Visions, and the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Learn how they can support the development of your work.

PHmuseum 2019 Photography Grant / Deadline: 21 February / Entry fee: £30

© Tommaso Protti, from the series, Terra Vermelha. 2018 Photography Grant Honorable mention awardee

The PHmuseum Photography Grant is an annual initiative that recognises the importance of visual storytelling. Celebrating its seventh edition this year, the Grant is designed to support the production and promotion of compelling photographic projects through monetary prizes and various opportunities across international festivals and online media.

Four winners will share cash awards totalling £15,000, while all the shortlisted works will be showcased in projections at Just Another Photo Festival (India), Cortona On The Move (Italy), and OBSCURA Festival of Photography (Malaysia). In other prizes, the Cortona On The Move curatorial team will also select one photographer to be granted a space on a workshop during its upcoming edition in July; one project will be awarded a solo exhibition at PhEST (Italy) later in 2019; and PHmuseum Director, Giuseppe Oliverio and PHmuseum Curator, Rocco Venezia will select three works to be featured on World Press Photo’s online publication, Witness. The New Generation Prize, dedicated solely to photographers under 30 years of age, will also include a mentorship program with an expert from the PHmuseum educational program. All the winners, honorable mention awardees, and several selected submissions will also be promoted on the PHmuseum channels throughout the year.

The submissions will be reviewed by an independent jury comprised of Louise Fedotov-Clements (Artistic Director QUAD & Director FORMAT International Photography Festival), Maryanne Golon (Director of Photography, Washington Post), Max Pinckers (Photographer), and Thyago Nogueira (Head of the Contemporary Photography Department at Instituto Moreira Salles, editor of ZUM Magazine). Photographers are invited to enter one, or multiple, series centred around a specific theme, narrative, or concept, and at least four images must have been shot after 1 January 2016. The entry fee is £30 per submission and the final deadline is set for 21 February. Learn more at

Cortona On The Move New Visions / Deadline: 2 March / No entry fee

© Claudia Gori, from the series, The Sentinels: Electrosensitivity in Italy. 2018 Cortona On The Move New Visions winner

Cortona On The Move, moving into its ninth edition this year, has continued its creative partnership with LensCulture to create a free open call that seeks strong and original documentary work from all over the world. The idea of ‘New Visions’ stems from the festival’s desire to closely follow emerging trends and the ever-changing language of the photographic medium. “In the spirit of our motto “on the move”, we will value the originality of style and language with which the works have been conceived and created” say the curatorial team. “Concept and execution go hand in hand, and the output should strive to attract a broad audience and to surprise, provoke, inform, and move. Novelty in form and content are our keywords” they add.

10 finalists will have their work showcased during a projection at the 2019 edition of Cortona On The Move, set to take place from 11 July through 29 September. Among these, two winners will further be granted a solo exhibition at the festival and an additional two projects will be featured on LensCulture’s website and network. The selection committee once again features four industry experts in the form of Jim Casper (Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of LensCulture), Arianna Rinaldo (Artistic Director of Cortona On The Move), Laura Sackett (Creative Director of LensCulture), and Antonio Carloni (Director of Cortona On The Move). The deadline for entries is 2 March. Further information can be found at

IWMF Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award / Deadline: 1 March / No entry fee

© Andrea Bruce. 2018 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award winner

The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award was created to honour the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014). Through this award, the International Women’s Media Foundation looks to celebrate the courageous work of women photojournalists whose work inspires change and helps audiences better understand the complex world we live in today. “We believe that courage is reflected in everyday life, beyond the frontlines of conflict, and we seek candidates that share the values of Anja Niedringhaus through compassion, humanity, and a commitment to capturing the whole picture” say the IWMF.

An international jury (yet to be announced) will select one winner who will receive a cash prize of US$20,000 and have their work showcased at the German Ambassador's Residence in Washington, DC, United States. To apply, photographers are required to submit 12 images that best represent the scope and style of their work - within the context of challenging reporting environments - and a one- or two-page statement that details the stories behind the work. The IWMF will accept applications and third-party nominations in English, French, or Spanish until 1 March. To apply yourself or to submit a nomination for someone else, visit the IWMF’s application page.

Verzasca FOTO Festival Award / Deadline: 17 March / Entry fee: CHF20

© Ilana Bar. 2018 Verzasca FOTO Festival Award winner

Verzasca FOTO Festival is calling all visual storytellers to submit their projects for exhibitions and screenings at this year’s festival, set to take place from 5 to 8 September in Sonogno, Switzerland. 10 photographers will be granted space in a special projection during the festival’s Photo Night and one overall winner will receive a cash prize of CHF2,000 and a dedicated solo show.

All the submissions will be reviewed by an independent jury comprised of Alfredo De Stefano (Chief Executive at Luz del Norte Fotografía), Federica Chiocchetti and Sara Cuono (The Photocaptionist), Samuel Wolf (Graphic Designer and Art Director at Wolf Studio), Patricia Karallis (Founding Editor in Chief of Paper Journal), and Verónica Fieiras (Founder and Editor at Chaco). Entries must feature between 3 and 10 images from a personal photo story and the choice of theme is completely open. The deadline is 17 March May and the participation fee is CHF20. For more information, go to

Images Vevey Awards / Deadline: 28 February / Entry fee: €35 - €60

© Laia Abril, from the series, Lobismuller. 2016 Images Vevey Book Award winner

Visual arts platform Images Vevey invites visual artists from around the world to apply to their two annual open calls. The first – Grand Prix Images Vevey – is a CHF40,000 (approximately €35,000) creation-support Grant designed to empower one artist with the funding necessary to develop an original project over a year that will be presented at the next Festival Images Vevey in September 2020. The competition represents unique support for contemporary creation, with complete freedom of choice over subject and genre. Entry fee: €60.

The second contest – Images Vevey Book Awardsupports the creation of a photobook project that showcases an optimal and original balance between publication format and photographic content. It comes with a monetary prize of CHF10,000 (approximately €9,000) that aims to encourage artists to take risks and to innovate in order for them to develop a suitable sophisticated publication format for their project. Entry fee: €40.

The final juries for both competitions will each be composed of five international personalities from the institutional, artistic, curatorial media, and editorial industries. The final deadline for the two awards is 28 February. Go to to submit your applications.



OBSCURA Festival of Photography Open Call / Deadline: 28 February / No entry fee

OBSCURA Festival of Photography (Penang, Malaysia) is inviting all photographers, editors, cultural practitioners, and academics to submit works to be exhibited at the seventh edition of the festival in August 2019. Entries must be centred around the concept of Subculture as the OBSCURA curatorial team looks to celebrate the important role the photographic medium has played in the understanding of human existence and the psyche.


FotoEvidence W Award / Deadline: 15 February / Entry fee: free to submit with a suggested donation of US$20

FotoEvidence Women is a new chapter of FotoEvidence Press; a space for free expression dedicated to engaged women photographers looking to publish and disseminate their stories in the form of a photobook. Entries must be based on long-term projects and should reflect upon the personal experience of the photographer. One winner will be selected by a judging committee that includes Maral Deghati, Yumi Goto, Maggie Steber, Shamila N. Chaudhary, Daniella Zalcman, and Veronica Sanchis.


CENTER Grants / Deadline: 20 February / Entry fee: US$30 - US$55

The not-for-profit cultural platform, CENTER (based in New Mexico, United States) is calling for entries to three of its annual award initiatives, namely the Project Development Grant, the Project Launch Grant, and the newly launched Me&Eve Award. The prize package for each award includes a US$5,000 cash endowment, complimentary participation in Review Santa Fe, a special invitation to participate in the Art Photo Index, a Lenscratch feature, and an online exhibition at


Belfast Photo Festival Open Call / Deadline: 8 March / Entry fee: €22 - €29

Northern Ireland’s premier visual arts event, Belfast Photo Festival is offering photographers and visual storytellers the opportunity to exhibit their work during the upcoming edition of the festival from 6 through 30 June later this year. All winners will also be eligible for a number of awards including a cash prize of £1,000, free membership for one year to the Royal Photographic Society, and a full editorial presentation in a printed/digital issue of GUP photographic magazine.


Every month we curate a list of what is coming up in the world of photography awards. Aimed at early, mid-career, and professional photographers, this list offers details of the most exciting opportunities. To stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter by registering your email address in the space at the bottom of this page.

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

10 minutes

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