13 May 2021

May's Photography Awards and Opportunities

13 May 2021 - Written by Simon Hall

An Open Call from PHOTO IS:RAEL, the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, Lucie Photo Book Prize, and Ian Parry Scholarship are among the top opportunities open for entry this month. Check out how they can support the development of your work and career.

PHmuseum Days 2021 Open Call / Deadline: 13 May / Entry fee: US$20 - 35

© Antone Dolezal, from the series Part of Fortune and Part of Spirit

Taking place in Bologna, Italy from 23 through 26 September, PHmuseum Days 2021 will be the beginning of a new era for our project, characterised by a stronger sense of community and sharing. Photography intended as a universal language can be a powerful medium to transmit important messages, and our goal is to give life to the right platforms to display it. For this reason, after nine years of online activities, we have decided to make the big step into the real world and offer our community a physical playground to meet up, learn, and exchange ideas.

The starting point of the festival is an open call centred around the theme A New Beginning, which represents both the dawn of a new adventure for PHmuseum and, most importantly, an occasion to rethink together the decade that lies ahead of us. A minimum of two works for solo shows, up to 40 images for a collective installation, and up to 15 projects to feature in a night of projections will be selected by a four-person jury comprising Lua Ribeira (Photographer and Magnum Photos Associate), Laura El Tantawy (Documentary Photographer and Canon Ambassador), Rocco Venezia (Photographer and PHmuseum Curator), and Giuseppe Oliverio (PHmuseum Founder and Director).

All applicants will be granted a free full pass for the festival, which we hope will serve as an excuse to come over to Bologna and enjoy a long weekend of photography, talks, book fairs, and much more. The entry fee is $35 per submission and the extended and final deadline is 13 May. Apply now at

PHOTO IS:RAEL Open Call / Deadline: 17 May / US$15

© Francesco Faraci

PHOTO IS:RAEL is inviting all artists to submit proposals centred around the theme Meeting Point for the opportunity to participate in the central exhibition at this year’s festival, set to take place in Tel Aviv in November. “After a year in which the daily meetings we’d taken for granted were canceled or transformed, the concept of a Meeting Point has become ever more significant”, write the curators. “At the upcoming festival we will seek to explore this concept from a variety of angles and interpretations, using innovative methods of representation through photography and other forms of media. We are looking for all kinds of meeting points - between generations, technologies, man and nature, truth and fiction - and will attempt to examine that specific point or moment in which the natural becomes artificial, and dream becomes reality.”

Artists working with photography, video, performance, and multimedia from around the world and at different stages of their career are all welcome to apply. A jury of leading experts spanning a wide range of artistic genres will review the submissions anonymously to ensure an equal opportunity for everyone and select 20 artists to showcase their work. The final deadline is 17 May, and the submission fee is US$15 which includes a free entry ticket to the festival. More details can be found at

IWMF Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award / Deadline: 28 May / No entry fee

© Laurel Chor. 2020 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award 2nd Prize winner

The Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award was created to honour 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.

All submissions this year will be reviewed by an international jury featuring Corinne Dufka (West Africa Director, Human Rights Watch), Jacqueline Larma (Photojournalist, Regional Photo Editor/East, Associated Press), Santiago Lyon (Photographer, Director of Business Development, Adobe), Robert Nickelsberg (Photographer), and Tara Pixley (Photojournalist, Professor, Loyola Marymount University). Together they will select one winner who will receive a cash prize of US$20,000 and the opportunity to exhibit their work publicly at a venue yet to be defined. 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 28 May. To learn more and apply, visit the IWMF’s application page.

Lucie Photo Book Prize / Deadline: 15 July / Entry fee: US$35 - US$55

© Michael Jang, from the book Who is Michael Jang. 2020 Lucie Photo Book Prize winner

Run by the Lucie Foundation, the Lucie Photo Book Prize aims to support photographers in producing and promoting their photobooks through monetary prizes and exposure opportunities. The contest is divided into two separate awards - the Traditional Prize (worth US$3,000) and the Independent Prize (worth US$2,000). The Traditional Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator, or publisher whose book is commercially produced and distributed, while the Independent Prize will be granted to a photographer, editor, curator, or publisher whose book is published and distributed independently.

The 10-person jury this year consists of many acclaimed industry professionals working in a wide range of fields, from editors and publishers to creative directors. They are Bekie Ntini (Interim Head: Market Photo Workshop), Raina Lampkins-Fielder (Curator at Souls Grown Deep Foundation), Sarah Allen (Curator, Tate Modern), Elizabeth Avedon (Independent Curator, Photography Book and Exhibition Designer), Tracey Woods (Director of Photography, The Luupe), Mariama Attah (Curator, Open Eye Gallery), Emmeline Yong (Co-founder and Director of Objectifs), Chantal Pontbriand (Contemporary art curator, critic, and art consultant), Edie Peters (Manager PhotoQ Bookshop at World Press Photo), and our own Founder and Director Giuseppe Oliverio. The top finalists will have their work displayed in New York City at a date to be set in 2022 as part of the Lucie Foundation’s annual programming. Entry fees vary from US$35 to US$55 depending on the award. An application form and a PDF file of the book must be submitted by 15 July. Further information can be found at

The Ian Parry Scholarship / Deadline: 9 July / No entry fee

© Yuki Iwamura. 2020 Ian Parry Scholarship winner

Created to celebrate the life and work of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who died while on assignment in 1989, this annual international photography contest has helped launch the careers of many of the finest photographers working in the profession today. It is a prize aimed solely at young photographers who are either attending a full-time photographic course or are under 24 years of age and it plays an important role in drawing attention to global issues that are often overlooked by mainstream media.

This year’s IPS is divided into two categories: The Sunday Times Award for Achievement and The Canon Award for Potential. The entry criteria for both is the same and the judging panel – which includes Sir Don McCullin and Rebecca McClelland – will be making their decision on who they feel is striving to produce visual stories that are relevant and meaningful. Each winner will be granted US$3,500 and the opportunity to attend a portfolio review day with industry experts in London, while World Press Photo will automatically accept the winner of the Achievement Award into its final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. The Canon Award for Potential also comes with a year-long mentorship program and both awardees will be invited to take part in the Transmissions Program at Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan later this year. Entries must be received by 9 July. Submission is free. For more information, go to

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award / Deadline: 24 May / No entry fee

© Nicky Quamina Woo. 2020 Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award winner

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award, facilitated by FotoDocument and supported by Nikon, will grant £2,000 to a professional woman photographer towards the completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay that addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global. The work should, in part, showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises to help contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford and the aims of FotoDocument. The Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported/under-reported.

Women from any stage of their careers are welcome to apply, whether emerging, mid-career or established. They must already have started the photo essay for which they are seeking funding and be able to show work in progress. Submissions will be reviewed by an international panel including Andrea Bruce (Co-owner NOOR Photo Agency, Nikon ambassador), Donna De Cesare (Associate Professor, University of Texas), Nina Emett (Founding Director, FotoDocument and documentary photographer), Melanie Friend (documentary photographer), Neo Ntsoma (Founder, Neo Ntsoma Productions), Marilyn Stafford herself, and her daughter, honorary judge, Lina Clerke. Entrants must be over 18 and they may be of any nationality and based anywhere in the world. Submission is free. Go to to find out more.



Verzasca Foto Open Call / Deadline: 1 June / No entry fee

The curators at Verzasca Foto Festival are calling photographers to submit work for the opportunity to take part in the outdoor exhibition and projection program at the upcoming edition of the festival, which is set to be held between 2 and 5 September in Sonogno, Switzerland. Entrants must send a single image or a project that reflects the sense of touch. Selected winners will be invited to visit the festival with free board and lodging provided.


Women Photograph Grants / Deadline: 15 May / No entry fee

The Women Photograph Grants aim to elevate the exposure of female, female-identifying, and non-binary visual journalists. The first offers five US$5,000 endowments to support the production of photography projects – either new or in progress – from visual journalists working in a documentary capacity. For the second, Women Photograph has partnered with Getty Images to award US$10,000 to support an ongoing documentary project from a professional photojournalist who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to their story.


Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize / Deadline: 15 May / US$70

First launched back in 1990, the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize was created by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and is intended to support artists, working alone or in teams, who are engaged in extended, ongoing fieldwork projects that fully exploit the relationship of words and images in the powerful, persuasive representation of a subject. The winner will receive US$10,000, features in Center for Documentary Studies’ digital publications, and inclusion in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Rubenstein Library, Duke University.


Camille Lepage Award / Deadline: 19 May / No entry fee

The Camille Lepage Award was founded in 2014 by the family of photojournalist Camille Lepage following her death while reporting in the Central African Republic. The award aims to provide assistance and protection for photojournalists working in conflict areas and support for communities that are victims of conflicts, and, while doing so, promote values that were so important to Camille. Applicants must be photographers working as photojournalists wishing to do a report, alone, on a social, economic, political, or cultural story.


W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography / Deadline: 31 May / Entry fee: US$50

Recognising the widespread financial need caused by the worldwide pandemic, the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography will break from tradition this year. Rather than awarding US$40,000 to a single photographer, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund will grant US$10,000 to five photographers whose work follows the tradition of compassionate photojournalism exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year career. These Grants are designed to help photographers either begin or complete a documentary-style visual story.


Visit our awards page to get a complete view of the best photography opportunities that are currently open for entry.

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

12 minutes

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