03 November 2019

November's Photography Grants and Awards

03 November 2019 - Written by Simon Hall

The Fotografia Europea Open Call, Sony World Photography Awards, and BarTur Photo Award are among the top opportunities open for entry this November. Learn all about them and how they can support the production and circulation of your work.

Fotografia Europea Open Call / Deadline: 16 December / €25

© Pixy Liao, from the series Experimental Relationship. 2019 exhibitor.

Returning for its 15th edition in 2020, Fotografia Europea will once again transform the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia into a stage for contemporary photography with a rich program of events. The curatorial team have launched an open call for photographers to submit work to become part of the exhibition program at the festival, which is set to take place between 17 April and 24 May. Work must respond to the theme of Fantasies. Stories, Rules, Inventions. Here, the curators explain more about the concept: “Fantasy is the creative power of photography, which has often been instinctively connected to faithful and realistic reproduction of reality, while it is actually capable of the most unbridled fantasies, as it is shown by its history generally, and its recent one especially,” they write. “Fantasy has the ability to create relations through its techniques, its grammar, and therefore its rules (and the transgression thereof). It is through such rules that the fantastic process is communicated, allowing for its transformation into speech and, finally, into storytelling.”

Selection will be carried out by a jury comprised of Walter Guadagnini (Artistic Director, Fotografia Europea), Maria Pia Bernardoni (Director, Lagos Photo), and Oliva Maria Rubio (Director, Master PhotoEspaña). The call is only open to European or European-based artists. The deadline is 16 December. To learn more and apply, go to

Sony World Photography Awards / Deadlines: 29 November - 14 January / No entry fee

© Rebecca Fertinel, from the series Ubuntu - I Am Because We Are. 2019 winner in the Brief category

Free to enter and open to both established and emerging photographers, the Sony World Photography Awards are a global voice for visual storytelling and provide a vital insight into the trends of contemporary photography. The Awards are divided into four separate contests, namely Professional (recognising outstanding bodies of work), Open (awarding single images), Youth (for photographers aged 12 to 19), and Student (aimed at photography students worldwide).

In the Professional Award, an international jury will be looking for series that are technically advanced, exciting, and offer a fresh perspective on what photography has the power to do today. Applicants can enter multiple works into the following categories: Architecture, Creative, Discovery, Documentary, Environment, Landscape, Natural World and Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, and Sport. At the pinnacle of the contest is the Photographer of the Year accolade, one of the most distinguished and highly regarded prizes in photography. A total prize fund of US$30,000 plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment will be shared between the winners.

The four judging panels this year together feature Mike Trow (editor and consultant), Claudi Carreras Guillén (independent curator and cultural manager), Touria El Glaoui (Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair), Katie Hollander (Director, Annenberg Space for Photography), Gwen Lee (Director, Singapore International Photography Festival), Brent Lewis (Photo Editor, The New York Times), Gisela Kayser (Managing Director and Artistic Director, Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus), and Tim Clark (editor-in-chief, 1000 Words). The respective deadlines are: Professional, 14 January; Open, 7 January; Youth, various; Student, 29 November. Further information about each prize can be found at

BarTur Photo Award / Deadline: 23 December / Entry fee: US$20

© Monica Alcazar-Duarte, from the series The New Colonists. 2019 winner.

The BarTur Photo Award was established back in 2011 based on the aim of celebrating the immense power photography has in influencing the way that we understand and engage with the world around us. The contest this year will look to support visual storytellers whose work illuminates the two themes of Unity in Diversity or Climate Change. “With the return of an ultra-nationalism unequalled since the 1930s, the conflict in Syria that resulted in millions of refugees, conflicts in Africa, the Middle East, Far East and North and South America, and the continuing threat to human life on earth posed by global warming, we believe these themes are timely and important,” write the organisers.

The Award is split into two competitions - one for professionals and one for students which come with US$10,000 and US$3,000 prize funds respectively. Four Judges’ Choice Awards and a total of 12 Highly Commended Awards will also be granted. There will be a series of exhibitions of the Winners, Judges’ Choice and Highly Commended work in Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, and New York throughout 2020, while the BarTur Photo Award will also create a permanent online gallery. All submissions will be reviewed by an international jury that includes Amnon Bar-Tur (philanthropist), Lieve Beumer (Head of Photography, Flowers Gallery), Francesca Pinto (Director of Business Development, The Photographers' Gallery), Simon Roberts (artist and photographer), Fumio Nanjo (Director, Mori Art Museum), Chris Littlewood (independent curator), Alex Gao (Director, Today Art Museum), and Jack Latham (photographer). The deadline is 23 November. To find out more, visit



Photo Vogue Festival Portfolio Reviews / Deadline: 3 November / No entry fee

On Saturday 16 November at Base Milano, a group of talented photographers selected by the Vogue Italia team will have the opportunity to have their portfolio freely reviewed by key industry experts including Alessia Glaviano, Amber Terranova, James Estrin, Jenny Smets, Renata Ferri, and our own Giuseppe Oliverio. For the chance to be shortlisted, send an e-mail to accompanied by your portfolio (a selection of 10/15 images in pdf format), a biography, a contact number and a link to your website. If selected, you will need to be in Milan on 16 November.


Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award / Deadline: 9 November / No entry fee

Médicos del Mundo (Doctors of the World) has launched the 23rd edition of the Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award, a prize that strives to denounce the reality of vulnerable communities suffering from human rights infringements in cities across the world. One winner will receive a project grant of €6,000 to develop a photographic essay of at least 50 images and a 30-minute video related to the work of MdM-Spain, whether in Spain or in other countries where the organisation is undertaking humanitarian action or international co-operation programs.


Les Boutographies Festival Open Call / Deadline: 17 November / Entry fee: €22

Les Boutographies, held every spring in Montpellier, France, is based on the simple principle of discovering and promoting the latest proposals of contemporary image-making from Europe. The curators are calling all photographers to submit work for a series of solo exhibitions and projections to be showcased at the next edition of the festival in 2020. Those selected will automatically be shortlisted for a number of monetary prizes and production opportunities that will be awarded during the event. Applications must feature between 10 and 20 images, a brief CV, and a short text explaining the concept behind the work submitted.


VOHH (Voice of Humanity and Hope) Foto Fest Open Call / Deadline: 20 November / No entry fee

VOHH Foto Fest – a month-long biennial hosted in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh – has opened its call for photographers to submit their projects for exhibitions and screenings at next year’s festival. For this edition, the curators are interested in long-term documentary projects that can play a significant role in shaping a better planet and improving humanity. Suggested subjects include war and conflict, international migration, hidden worlds, human right violations, and nature and the environment. Applicants must submit stories containing a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 50 photographs accompanied by a 200-word project statement.


The Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award / Deadline: 25 November / No entry fee

The Portraits – Hellerau Photography Award is calling for photographic works related to the theme of Dignity. The jury, which will include photographers Carla van de Puttelaar and Matthias Creutziger this year, will meet in early December and select the finalists whose works will be exhibited in February 2020 in a Grand Annual Exhibition in Hellerau, Dresden (Germany). The prizes include €8,000 in monetary grants, a six-week residency program at the Hellerau – European Center for the Arts, and invitations to participate in individual satellite shows across Dresden.


Wellcome Photography Prize 2020 / Deadline: 16 December / No entry fee

The Wellcome Photography Prize was established to celebrate compelling imagery that showcases the importance of health in society and the impact health issues have upon people and communities. Open to visual storytellers worldwide, the award is designed to inspire people to think differently about health, medicine, and life, and ultimately open conversations about the pressing health challenges facing humanity today. The theme this year is centred around how we address the issue of people living with or recovering from mental health problems. Applicants are invited to submit work into one of five categories using any form of photography including documentary, reportage, portrait, landscape, fine art, or collage. The winner of each category will receive £1,250, while the overall winner will be granted a prize of £15,000.


Yannis Behrakis Photojournalism Grants / Deadline: 31 December / No entry fee

The Reuters photography grant program, first launched back in 2017, has been expanded this year and renamed after the long-time Reuters photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Yannis Behrakis. As part of the rebranding, Reuters Pictures has multiplied the prizes, now offering ten Grants each worth US$8,000 for photojournalists and students to produce a photo project and develop their visual storytelling skills. Successful applicants will be distributed on Reuters platforms and Reuters Pictures editors will mentor recipients throughout their projects.


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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