September's Photography Grants and Awards
This September there are many distinguished contests open for entry, offering photographers a host of opportunities to support and develop their work. Read our curated awards guide to learn all about them. Featuring the PHmuseum 2019 Women Photographers Grant, Alexia Foundation Grants, FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo, and much more.
PHmuseum 2019 Women Photographers Grant / Early Bird Deadline: 19 September; Regular Deadline: 10 October / Entry fee: £18 - £27
Moving into its third edition, the PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant aims to empower the work and careers of female and non-binary professionals of all ages and from all countries working in diverse areas of photography. Its mission remains to support the growth of the new generations and promote stories narrated from a female perspective, while responding to the need to work for gender equality in the industry.
The prizes this year include £10,000 in cash, features on Vogue Italia and YET Magazine, a solo show at the 2020 edition of Fotografia Europea (Reggio Emilia, Italy), space in a projection at Photo Vogue Festival 2019 (Milan, Italy), and portfolio reviews with a mentor of choice from our Online Education Program. The New Generation Prize – awarded to a photographer under 30 years of age – will include a one-hour online portfolio review with Magnum Photos Global Business Development Director Fiona Rogers and nomination to World Press Photo’s 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass. All prize-winning projects and several Honorable Mentions will also be promoted on the PHmuseum channels throughout the year.
Applicants are invited to enter one, or multiple, series centred around a specific theme, narrative, or concept. At least four images must have been shot after 1 January 2016. All approaches are welcomed, from classic narratives to experimental projects. Submissions will be reviewed by judges Angelica Dass (Photographer), Ashleigh Kane (Arts & Culture Editor at Dazed), Margaret Steber (Photographer), and Marina Paulenka (Artistic Director at UNSEEN). Photographers can benefit from a £18 early bird fee during the first two weeks of the application window. The final deadline is set for 10 October at 11:59 pm (GMT). Learn more and apply at phmuseum.com/grant.
Alexia Foundation Grants / Deadlines: 30 September / Entry fee: US$50
Created more than 30 years ago, the Alexia Foundation Grants are designed to help both student and professional photographers produce visual stories that inspire change through the coverage of subjects that are socially significant. In recognising that the industry calls for a more diverse range of storytelling, the Alexia Foundation is once again this year accepting submissions that feature alternative creative story forms alongside the mandatory series of still images. Those may include audio, video, VR, and any other visual formats.
Professional Grant. The winner will receive a US$20,000 endowment toward the production of a body of work that shares the Foundation’s goals of promoting world peace and cultural understanding. The Grant recipient must submit 60 high resolution images upon completion 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 Advisory Council will first filter the top tier entries before forwarding them on to a separate three-member judging panel for final selection. There is a US$50 application fee for this contest.
Student Grant. This award aims to empower college student photographers with the opportunity to develop and realise a story close to where they are based. 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 monetary prize. Two additional finalists will each be awarded US$500 and place on a Momenta or MediaStorm workshop during the 2020 calendar year. No entry fee.
Recipients of both Grants will be chosen based on the judges’ determination of the combination of the strongest proposal, supporting photographs, and other media. The deadline is 30 September for both contests. Go to alexiafoundation.org/grants to find out more.
FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo / Deadline: 10 October / Entry fee: US$50
Open to amateur photographers, photographer’s collectives, and established professionals, the annual FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo looks to recognise a documentary photographer whose work demonstrates courage and commitment in addressing a violation of human rights, a significant injustice, or an assault on human dignity. The selected project will be published as part of a series of FotoEvidence monographs dedicated to showcasing the work of long-form visual storytelling in the humanistic tradition.
One winner and two finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their selected projects during the 2020 World Press Photo Exhibition in conjunction with the book launch in Amsterdam. Applicants are required to submit up to 15 images complete with titles and captions accompanied by a statement of up to 250 words about the work. Submissions must be received by midnight EST on 10 October. The entry fee is US$50. Further information can be found at fotoevidence.com/page/book-award.
Magnum Foundation’s Photography and Social Justice Program / Deadline: 15 October / No entry fee
Magnum Foundation’s Photography and Social Justice Program aims to expand diversity and creativity in the field of documentary photography through both capacity-building and critical explorations of photography and social change. Each year the program supports a diverse, international group of photographers who are passionate about challenging injustice, pursuing social equality, and advancing human rights through visual storytelling. Featuring online seminars and training sessions held at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, the initiative seeks to provide space for interdisciplinary experimentation, mentored project development, and cross-cultural discourse at the intersection of photography and critical social issues. Throughout the duration of the fellowship, participants will produce a body of work that advances social justice in their home communities.
The program specifically places a focus on supporting people of colour, women, gender non-conforming individuals, LGBTQ individuals, individuals who are part of racial, ethnic, or religious minority groups, refugees, and others whose authorship is unevenly represented within the field of documentary photography. This year, Magnum Foundation will again cover the cost of travel and room and board for the working sessions in New York City and offer a modest stipend to each fellow to help with the production of their projects. Applications are due by 15 October. Find out more at magnumfoundation.org/socialjustice.
Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award / Deadline: 9 November / No entry fee
International humanitarian organisation 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. The award was created as a tribute to Luis Valtueña, Flors Sirera, Manuel Madrazo, and Mercedes Navarro, all of whom were Doctors of the World aid workers who died performing their duties. “Their memory serves to ensure that each year victims of injustice are brought to light. Give them a voice through your gaze” challenge the jurors.
Applicants are invited to submit a maximum of 10 photographs, which may or may not comprise an individual series, that narrates or tells a story related to the topics of humanitarian action, international co-operation, social exclusion, human rights violations, armed conflicts, natural disasters, refugee and immigrant populations or socially excluded groups. 30% of the submitted images must have been taken between January and October 2019, and the series as a whole must not have been awarded previously.
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. Entries can be submitted until midnight CET on 8 November. Go to medicosdelmundo.es for more information.
Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards / Deadline: 13 September / Entry fee: US$30 - US$60
The Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards have developed into one of the most famed contests in the industry, celebrating the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. Visual storytellers, artists, photographers, publishers, galleries, and institutions around the world are invited to submit their photobooks into three different categories, namely the First PhotoBook Prize, the PhotoBook of the Year Prize, and the Photography Catalogue of the Year Prize.. All shortlisted books will go on display at Paris Photo and feature in the fall 2019 issue of The PhotoBook Review, published by Aperture Foundation.
Liquida Studio Residency / Deadline: 16 September / Entry fee: €10
Set to take place between October and December later this year, the Liquida Studio Residency program in Palermo, Sicily is open to all visual artists who are strongly interested in developing a project pertinent to the photographic medium. The work needs to be coherent with the geographical area of the residency, yet the selected artist will not have any specific limitation in terms of theme, visual approach, and dissemination. The winner will receive a €500 endowment to reimburse the costs of travelling, accommodation, and research, while a final showcase exhibition will be printed and produced by the two co-founders, BACO and Minimum.
Carmignac Photojournalism Award / Deadline: 16 October / No entry fee
Founded back in 2009, the Carmignac Photojournalism Award looks to support the work of photographers working in the field, providing funding every year for the production of an investigative photo reportage that shines a spotlight on human rights violations or geostrategic issues in the world. This year's edition is dedicated to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with one laureate to be endowed with a €50,000 grant to produce a six-month project that documents both the complex realities facing the country today and the grounds of hope for the 90 million inhabitants, 60% of which are younger than 20 years old. The report will be turned into a travelling exhibition and a monograph published by Fondation Carmignac.
Gomma Photography Grant / Deadline: 4 November / Entry fee: €25
The Gomma Photography Grant is an all-inclusive award that aims to promote and expose photographers - both emerging and established - working across all genres of visual storytelling. Since it was established in 2004, Gomma has gained a reputation for bringing recognition to undetected artists with the jury applying a strict meritocratic approach to judging. Winners of the First, Second, and Third Prize will receive €1,000, €300, and €200 respectively, while a number of smaller recognitions will be granted to the Best Colour Documentary work, Best Black and White Documentary work, Best Colour Picture, Best Black and White Picture, Best Daily Life Story, and Best Rising Talent.
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.