11 January 2018

January's Grants and Awards

11 January 2018 - Written by Simon Hall

The sixth annual PHmuseum Grant, the Alexia Foundation Grants, and the Istanbul Photo Awards are among our curated selection of awards open for entries this January.

PHmuseum 2018 Grant // Early Bird Deadline: 30 January; Final Deadline: 21 February

© Salvatore Vitale, from the series, How to Secure a Country (PHM 2017 Grant 1st Prize winner)

The PHmuseum Grant is an annual initiative that recognises the importance of photographic storytelling. Now in its sixth year, the Grant is designed to support the production and promotion of visual stories through cash prizes and relevant opportunities across online media and international festivals.

The total cash prizes have been increased to £15,000, while the features of the Main Prize winners on World Press Photo’s Witness and the projection of all the awarded works at Just Another Photo Festival (India) have again been confirmed. Leading photo festival, Cortona On The Move (Italy) will also host a projection in addition to a solo exhibition of one project from the submissions, to be selected by the festival’s Artistic Director, Arianna Rinaldo. The New Generation Prize, awarded to a photographer under 30 years-of-age, will include a mentorship program with acclaimed educator, Maggie Steber. All prize-winning projects and several Honorable Mentions will also be promoted on the PHmuseum channels throughout the year.

The submissions will be reviewed by an international jury comprised of Monica Allende (Independent Curator), Roger Ballen (Photographer and Artist), Genevieve Fussell (Senior Photo Editor at The New Yorker), and Emilia van Lynden (Unseen Artistic Director).

Photographers are invited to enter projects centred around a specific theme, narrative, or concept, and they must feature at least 4 images shot after 1 January 2015. The entry fee is £30 per project, with the deadline set for 21 February. Learn more and submit your work at

Alexia Foundation Grants // Professional Grant Deadline: 1 February; Student Grant Deadline: 1 March

© Sarah Blesener, from the series, Beckon Us From Home (2017 Alexia Foundation Professional Grant winner)

The Alexia Foundation Grants are designed to support student and professional visual journalists in the production of projects that inspire change through the investigation of topics that are socially and culturally significant. While promoting still photographers remains the primary mission of these awards, entrants can also submit other story forms that may include audio, video, or VR as part of their application.

Professional Grant. The winner will receive a US$20,000 endowment for the production of a substantial body of work that shares the Foundation’s goal of promoting world peace. The Grant recipient must submit 60 high resolution images at the conclusion of the project, and if a motion piece is produced, a digital file shall also be submitted to the Alexia Foundation and Alexia Chair. Submissions will be judged in two rounds – members of the Alexia Board and its Advisory Council will first filter the top tier entries and then forward them on to a three member judging panel for final selection. There is a US$50 application fee and the deadline for submission is 1 February at midnight Eastern U.S. Time.

Student Grant. This award aims to enable college student photographers the opportunity to produce a compelling story close to where they are located. “Our experience is that you’re more likely to produce a successful body of work if you can easily access the setting” say the Foundation. The award will go to those who clearly and concisely propose significant projects that demonstrate the ability to accomplish their proposals by showing photographs of the highest caliber. First place Undergraduate and Graduate winners will each receive a semester’s tuition at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a US$1,000 cash prize. The deadline for submission is 1 March at midnight Eastern U.S. Time.

For further information, go to

Istanbul Photo Awards // Deadline: 31 January

© Frederic Lafargue (2017 Photo of the Year award winner) 

Organised by Anadolu Photo Agency, the Istanbul Photo Awards look to contribute to the field of news photography, and offer a perspective shaped by eastern Europe and western Asia’s unique position at the centre of diverse cultures. The contest rewards endeavors of courageous and talented photojournalists from around the world.

The awards are divided into 10 categories, namely news single, news story, single sports, story sports, single nature and environment, story nature and environment, single portrait, story portrait, and single daily life and story daily life, the latter two of which are new to the contest this year. The 2018 jury features Yuri Kozyrev (Photojournalist, NOOR Images), Marion Mertens (Senior Digital Editor, Paris Match), Andrei Polikanov (Visual Director of Takie Dela), Cameron Spencer (Chief Sports Photographer, Getty Images), Frederic Lafargue (Photojournalist), Ahmet Sel (Visual News Editor in Chief, (Anadolu Agency), George de Keerle (Photojournalist, Media Consultant), Michel Scotto (Director of Photo Business Development, AFP), and Firat Yurdakul (Photo Editor, Anadolu Agency)

A US$10,000 award will be granted to the winner of the Photo of the Year, which is the Single News 1st prize winner, and one photographer under the age of 28 will receive a US$3,000 Young Photographer award. Winners of all categories will be given US$8,000, US$5,000, and US$3,000 for the first, second, and third prizes respectively. Application is free. The deadline is 31 January. Go to to find out more.

CatchLight Fellowships // Deadline: 31 January

© Tomas van Houtryve, from the series, Blue Sky Days (2017 CatchLight fellow)

For the second year running, non-profit organisation, CatchLight is calling visual storytellers using photography to drive social change to submit to its US$30,000 Fellowship programs. These initiatives serve as an incubator, say the organisers, acting as a place to receive financial support, unlock individual potential, and grow and leverage partnerships.

Fellowship for Social Leadership. For this program, CatchLight are seeking individuals demonstrating excellence in their personal art and leadership in their community and/or field. The fellowship will nurture the recipient’s leadership abilities, bringing resources to bear and spotlighting the power of individual action for growth and change.

Fellowship for California. “Everything in California is big, including dreams and challenges. How do we visualise the New California Dream in one of the most innovative, hectic, and expensive places in America?” This is the question posed by CatchLight curators as they call for applications from California-focused photographers whose work broadly reflects any aspect of life in California today.

Fellowship for Social Change. Open to lens-based artists working on any social justice issue globally, the Fellowship for Social Change is aimed at the discovery and communication of issues not only of today, but of tomorrow - stories we don’t yet know about, or that we are revisiting through an entirely new gaze. This Fellow will be partnered with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and will focus both on media and education as distribution for the work.

Applications must be received by midnight pacific time on 31 January. Learn more by visiting

LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism Awards // Deadline: 31 January

© Elena Chernyshova, from the series Days of Night - Nights of Day (2016 exhibitor)

The LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism (Germany) invites all photographers, photojournalists, and students of photography who are under 35 years-of-age to apply for one of 60 solo exhibitions at the festival’s 2018 edition and three awards with prize money totaling €22,000.

FREELENS Award. Submitted projects must be reportages, photo essays or serial works with journalistic character produced or finalised within the last two years. The work should consist of between 15 – 30 photos and may already have been published or distinguished at other festivals. The award comes with a monetary prize of €10,000, and a further two Honorable Mentions, each endowed with €1,000, will also be granted.

LUMIX Multimedia Award. Since the LUMIX Festival is devoted to photography, exclusively film submissions will not be considered - only in instances where the film employs photographic stylistic content will the submission be accepted. Entrants can apply with slideshows and multimedia reportages, scrollytelling stories and web documentaries. A jury of specialists from the multimedia field will select the winner of the €5,000 prize.

A team of curators from FREELENS, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover, and the Association for the Promotion of Photography will choose the 60 works to be exhibited at the festival from the pool of submissions for these two awards.

Lammerhuber Award. Granted by publishing house EDITION Lammerhuber, this prize honours the reportage or series of the Festival that tells the most impressive story of everyday life. Applicants needs not submit to this €5,000 award: the winner shall be selected from the 60 exhibitions shown at the festival. For further information, visit

CENTER Grants // Final Deadline: 28 February

© David Denil, from the series, Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking (2017 Project Development Grant winner)

Not-for-profit platform, CENTER is currently accepting submissions for two of its annual initiatives that aim to help photographers further their careers and grow into their full potential.

The first – the Project Development Grant – is an international competition open to photojournalists, fine art or documentary photographers looking for funding to continue working on projects that are currently in progress. The applicants should be at a place in their work and career where they can benefit from the exposure, networks, and opportunities that CENTER offers.

The second contest – the Project Launch Grant – is awarded to a photographer for a completed body of work, or an ongoing project already considered a cohesive visual story. Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art is the juror this year.

The awards package for each Grant includes a US$5,000 cash endowment, an exhibition in Santa Fe, complimentary participation in Review Santa Fe, an editing workshop, a special invitation to participate in the Art Photo Index, a Lenscratch feature, and an online exhibition at The application fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members of CENTER (the price will go up from 31 January to 28 February). Learn more at



Pictures of the Year International // Deadline: 12 January

Pictures of the Year International is the oldest and one of the most illustrious photography competitions in the world, recognising excellence in photojournalism, multimedia, and visual editing. This year there are 36 categories in which photographers and news organisations can enter their work, the most important of which include: Photographer of the Year, Newspaper Photographer of the Year, Documentary Project of the Year, and the Angus McDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award. Each registration is $50.


Aperture Portfolio Prize // Deadline: 31 January

The Aperture Portfolio Prize is an international competition that aims to identify trends in contemporary photography and highlight artists whose work deserves greater recognition. When choosing the first-prize winner and runners up, a jury comprised of Aperture’s editorial and curatorial staff will be looking for “innovative bodies of work that haven’t been widely seen in major publications or exhibition venues.” The first-prize winner will be featured in Aperture Magazine and will receive a US$3,000 cash award and an exhibition in New York.


Flash Forward 2018 // Deadline: 15 January

A competition that was previously designed to support emerging photographers solely from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward book award is now open to all photographers around the world, 34 years-of-age or under. Prizes include one large compendium of the 100 winners from the year with a special section on Indigenous Photographers, and four artist catalogues; one for each of the special interests relating to Racial Issues, Climate and the Environment, LGBTQ Issues, and Female-identifying Photographers. The submission fee is US$25.


IWMF's Anja Niedringhaus Courage In Photojournalism Award // Deadline: 19 January

The IWMF’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award was created to honour Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Anja NiedringhausIt celebrates women photojournalists whose work inspires action and helps audiences better understand the world. Entrants must be full-time female photojournalists of any nationality. The award includes a cash prize of US$20,000, and the winner will have her work showcased at the World Press Photo Festival of Visual Journalism in April 2018.


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

13 minutes

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