04 May 2017

May Awards Guide

04 May 2017 - Written by Simon Hall

Cortona On The Move’s Happiness ONTHEMOVE Award, the Getty Images Editorial Grant, W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, Verzasca Foto Festival Awards, Women Photograph Grants, and British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Awards are all currently accepting submissions.

Cortona On The Move. Happiness ONTHEMOVE Award

© Klaus Pichler, from the series, Golden Days Before They End (2016 winner)

Photographers applying to Cortona’s Happiness ONTHEMOVE Award are tasked with documenting the deeper aspects of happiness. “In this image-obsessed, social-media age we have created, happiness has been devalued to a mere platitude” says the organisers. “A sort of contrived theatrical, or situational, comedy depicting the subject of the 'selfie' during a snatched moment of false euphoria to be flashed before their 'friends' (and perfect strangers), thereby reducing the concept to a purely superficial dimension in an endlessly repeatable series of clichés.” This award aims to tell everyday stories that seem quite ordinary on the surface, yet nevertheless make us smile and offer a window into the realistic happiness of life: not always easy, not always visible.

The winning entry, selected by an international jury featuring Elena Boille (Internazionale), Krzysztof Candrowicz (Triennal of photography Hamburg), Antonio Carloni (Cortona On The Move), Alice Gabriner (Time), Anna Iuzzolini (Pagina 99), Sarah Leen (National Geographic), Elisa Medde (Foam), Ute Noll (Du magazine), Arianna Rinaldo (Cortona On The Move), and Scott Thode (Visura), will win €5,000 and an exhibition at Cortona On The Move 2018. Deadline: 21 May. Entry fee: €10. Visit to learn more.

Getty Images Editorial Grant

© Jonathan Torgovnik, from the series, The Hijacked Life of African Migrants in Johannesburg (2016 winner)

The Getty Images Editorial Grants have been supporting independent journalists around the world since 2004, providing the creative freedom necessary to pursue projects that are personally important, and which would otherwise not have been possible to address.

Five grants, each worth $10,000, are available, with winners to be announced in September at Visa pour l’Image. Alice Gabriner (International Photo Editor, Time Magazine); Jean-Francois LeRoy (Director General, Visa Pour l’Image); Chelsea Matiash (Senior Photo Editor, The Intercept); Thomas Simonetti (Photo Editor, The Washington Post); and Damon Winter (Photographer, The New York Times) are the jurors this year. “Selection will be based on the judges’ determination of applicant’s ability to execute the submitted project with a compelling visual narrative in a documentary feature format, taking into account the caliber of portfolio, the project's merit and professional ability” say the organisers.

The deadline for submissions is 15 May. To find out more, go to

W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund

© Justyna Mielnikiewicz, from the series, A Ukraine Runs Through It (2016 winner)

Established back in 1978, the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is awarded annually to a photographer whose previous work, and proposed project, follows in the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and extraordinary compassion.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees will appoint a three-member jury featuring leading industry figures, which will meet for two judging sessions. They will convene firstly to review all the applications and select a shortlist based primarily on substantive and intellectual merit. The finalists will then be asked to submit a more detailed and focused proposal and to deliver a 1-3 minute video, with audio, describing their project. At the second meeting, the jury will review the new material and choose the Grant winner and the beneficiaries of the fellowship money.

For this year, the grant amount will be $35,000. An additional $5,000 will be given, at the discretion of the jury, to one or more finalists deemed worthy of special recognition. Awards will be presented in a ceremony held in New York on 18 October. Deadline: 31 May. For more details, visit

Verzasca Foto Festival Awards

© Melanie Eclare, from the series, After the Fire (2016 winner)

The Verzasca Foto Festival Awards aim to support the work of emerging photographers through funding and exposure at international events. The winner will receive an endowment of 2,000 Swiss Francs, a solo exhibition later this year in Sonogno, and a projection at the photo night during Verzasca Foto 2017.

Each applicant can submit a personal photo story with a minimum of 3, and maximum of 10, images. Myles Little (Photo editor at TIME Magazine), Silvia Mangialardi (Art director Encuentros Abiertos- Festival de la Luz), Marie DuPasquier (Curator and founder DISPLAY Berlin), Vivienne Gamble (Gallerist and founder Seen Fifteen Gallery), Alfio Tommasini (Art director Verzasca FOTO Festival) comprise the jury. The application deadline is 31 May. Entry fee: 20 Swiss Francs. For further information, visit

Women Photograph Grants

© Rachel Woolf, from the series A Glamour-Filled Tradition

The inaugural Women Photograph Grants aim to increase the exposure of women working in photojournalism and are open solely for female, female-identifying, and non-binary photographers.

The first Grant, organised in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, offers a $5,000 endowment to fund a documentary project – either new or in-progress – from an established mid-career visual journalist. The grantee will work with the Pulitzer Center's existing grant infrastructure to produce the work and participate in their educational programming.

The second, coordinated with the support of ONA, will award separate prizes of $2,500 to three emerging photographers to help with the production of documentary projects. Both Grants will be juried by Mallory Benedict (National Geographic), Ariel Zambelich (NPR), Nathalie Applewhite (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting), and Daniella Zalcman (Women Photograph). "Applicants are encouraged to submit a story, rather than singles, as part of the application. The images need not be related to the project proposal. Multimedia projects are welcome" state the organisers. The deadline to apply is 20 May. To apply, go to

British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Awards

© Felix von der Osten, from the series, The Buffalo that could not Dream (2015 Winner)

Aimed at photographers studying on undergraduate and graduate courses, or those within five years of graduation, the British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Awards are back to award the emerging generation of visual image-makers.

A jury comprised of Emma Lewis (Assistant Curator, Tate Modern); Diana Markosian (Photographer, Magnum Photos); Vivienne Gamble (Director, Seen Fifteen and Peckham 24); Emma Bowkett (Director of Photography, FT Weekend Magazine); Maisie Skidmore (Online Editor, AnOther); and Lisa Farrell (Head of Exhibitions, BJP) will select a Series Award and Single Image Award winner in each of the Undergraduate and Graduate categories. The four awardees will have their work exhibited at the Breakthrough Award showcase in east London, have their work published across BJP’s print, online and social platforms, receive an expert portfolio review from Metro Imaging, and be invited to attend a wide range of professional-practice workshops. The deadline for entries is 8 May. Learn more at


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

8 minutes

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