09 September 2021

September's Photography Awards and Opportunities

09 September 2021 - Written by Simon Hall

In our curated awards guide this month, we feature the Leica Women Foto Project Award, Carmignac Photojournalism Award, our own Women Photographers Grant, and much more. Learn how they can help with the development and promotion of your visual stories.

PHmuseum 2021 Women Photographers Grant / Early Bird Deadline: 16 September / Regular Deadline: 7 October / Entry fee: US$15 - US$25

© Laura El-Tantawy, from the series I'll Die For You. 2020 winner.

Now in its fifth edition, the PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant continues in its original mission of supporting the new generation of visual storytellers and promoting stories narrated from a female perspective, all while responding to the need to work for gender equality in the industry. This year, an independent jury comprising Mirjam Kooiman (Curator at Foam Photography Museum), Poulomi Basu (Multimedia Artist), Damarice Amao (Curator at Centre Pompidou), and Dilys Ng (Senior Photo Editor at TIME) will assign the main prizes, which includes cash awards totaling US$12,000.

The Vogue Italia photography department, led by Alessia Glaviano, will further select three works to be granted an online publication in the magazine and all the shortlisted works (up to 40) will be projected at the upcoming edition of Photo Vogue Festival in Milan. The open call also offers exhibition and educational opportunities through our own channels with our curatorial team set to handpick a project for a solo show at PhMuseum Lab in 2022 and six photographers to be awarded a free online portfolio review with a mentor of their choice from our educational program.

Applicants are invited to enter one, or multiple, series centred around a specific theme, narrative, or concept. All approaches are welcomed, from classic narratives to experimental projects. The entry fee is $25 per project, yet you can take advantage of the $15 early bird fee if you apply before 16 September. The final deadline is set for 7 October. To learn more and apply, visit

Leica Women Foto Project Award / Deadline: 8 October / No entry fee

© Matika Wilbur. 2019 winner.

As part of the Leica Women Foto Project, Leica Camera USA is looking to grant three photographers $10,000, a Leica SL2-S camera, and a Leica Vario Elmarit-SL 24-70mm each to help complete an in-progress personal project that is relevant to today's social and political climate. The mission of the Leica Women Foto Project is to educate, encourage, and empower photographers to demonstrate the importance and impact of a woman's perspective. This award serves as a catalyst to reframe how we see, how we think, and how we express our visual narrative.

All applications will be reviewed by an international jury that includes Karin Rehn-Kaufmann (Director, Leica Galleries Worldwide), Elizabeth Avedon (Independent Curator), Amanda Hajjar (Founding Director of Exhibitions, Fotografiska), Elizabeth Krist (Former Senior Photo Editor with National Geographic), Natalia Jiménez (Picture Editor, The Washington Post), Maggie Steber (Documentary Photographer & Guggenheim Grant Fellow), Eve Lyons (Photo Editor, The New York Times), and Denise Wolff (Senior Editor, Aperture Foundation). Together they will be judging the entries on the basis of the quality of photography, dedication to the medium, and the sophistication of the project, as expressed through the female gaze with narratives that broaden ideas and conversations on modern society. Applicants are required to submit a series of 10 images from a personal project, made on any digital or film camera of any model or brand, and at least four images must have been taken between 2018 and 2021. The deadline is 8 October and there is no entry fee. Further information can be found at

Carmignac Photojournalism Award / Deadline: 18 October / No entry fee

© Finbarr O’Reilly. Winner of the 11th edition.

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 Venezuela, with one laureate to be endowed with a €50,000 grant to produce a six-month project that documents its hardships at the individual, social, and ecological levels. Political-based tensions, combined with problems of instability, are worsening the already terrible living conditions of Venezuelans, 80% of whom live in extreme poverty and suffer from severe shortages of running water, food and medicine. To date, 5.4 million Venezuelans—one in six inhabitants—live in exile in Colombia, Peru or Ecuador: the most significant migratory crisis in the world behind Syria. The report will be turned into a traveling exhibition and a monograph published by Fondation Carmignac.

The selection of the winner will happen in two stages. First, a pre-jury comprised of Alessia Glaviano (Director of the Photo Vogue Festival), Magdalena Herrera (Director of Photography, GEO France), and Fiona Shields (Director of Photography, The Guardian) will pre-select between 12 and 15 proposals. The overall winner will be chosen from this pool of finalists in a second phase of judging by a panel featuring Quentin Bajac (Director, Jeu de Paume), Marcos Gómez (Director of Amnesty International Venezuela), Whitney Johnson (Director of visuals and immersive experiences at National Geographic), Patricia Laya (Venezuela bureau chief for Bloomberg News), Finbarr O’Reilly (Laureate of the 11th Edition of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award), and Sandra Stevenson (Associate director of photography at CNN). At the end of the selection process, the jury will meet the winning photographer in order to talk to them and, if necessary, to provide the support they will need throughout the duration of their project – from the preparation of the reportage to its final exhibition. The deadline is 18 October and there is no entry fee. To learn more about the process and the submission requirements, visit

Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award / Deadline: 6 October / No entry fee

© Emeke Obanor, from the series Heroes. 2020 finalist.

International humanitarian organization Médicos del Mundo (Doctors of the World) has launched the 25th 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 health, natural disasters, humanitarian action, international cooperation, social exclusion, violation of human rights, armed conflicts, vulnerable groups, refugee and/or migrant populations. At least 50% of the images must have been made between 2020 and 2021, and the series as a whole must not have been awarded previously.

The winner will receive a cash prize of €6,000 plus a professional camera model Leica Q2 worth a total of €5,120 and a set of 10 photobooks published by La Fábrica. In addition, winning and shortlisted series will be included in the catalogue and in the collective and itinerant exhibition that Médicos del Mundo Spain shall produce or host. The organization will cover the travel and lodging for two consecutive nights of the chosen entrants to attend the award ceremony and inauguration of the exhibition in Madrid, scheduled for March 2022. Entries can be submitted until midnight CET on 6 October. Go to for more information.



All About Photo Competition - Colors / Deadline: 28 September / Entry fee: US$30+

AAP Magazine is calling all photographers to submit work to be printed in their upcoming publication that will feature the best projects showcasing the theme Colors. “Life is a stream of colors. Red, blue, yellow, and all the possible combinations in between these primary colors without forgetting black and white surround us everywhere,” write the editorial team at AAP. “Send us your images - preferably a cohesive body of work or portfolio - both where colors may not just influence the pictures, but where it may also be the subject solely.” Sandrine Hermand-Grisel – the expert juror – is open to all genres and is looking to discover the best and most interesting photography from all over the world. Winners will receive US$1,000 in cash awards, a free copy of AAP Magazine, and international press exposure.


Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards / Deadline: 10 September / Entry fee: US$20 - US$60

Initiated back in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards have developed into one of the most famed contests in the industry, dedicated solely to the celebration of 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: the First PhotoBook Prize (for a first self-published / limited-edition book); the PhotoBook of the Year Prize (for a book authored by more than one photographer/artist in which the dominant content is photography); and the Photography Catalogue of the Year Prize (for the best exhibition catalogue or museum publication of the year).


Circulation(s) Festival Open Call / Deadline: 13 September / Entry fee: €25

Circulation(s) Festival is calling all European photographers or photographers living in Europe to submit work for exhibitions at next year’s festival which is set to take place between 31 March and 29 May. Each year, at the Centquatre-Paris and satellite sites in France and abroad, Circulation(s) reveals the vitality of young creation and speaks for the diversity of photographic expressions through unique events. A stepping-stone for artists, and a prospective and innovative laboratory of contemporary creativity, the festival has become, over the past 10 years, a must-attend event on the photography calendar and a trendsetter.


Kassel Dummy Award / Deadline: 30 September / Entry fee: €36

Fotobookfestival Kassel has launched the 2021 edition of the Kassel Dummy Award, inviting all photographers worldwide to submit their unpublished photobook mock-ups for the chance to win exhibition and publishing opportunities in addition to monetary prizes. 50 books will be shortlisted by an independent jury and this selection will be showcased at several international photography events across both Europe and Asia. The winning book will be produced and published by Fotobookfestival Kassel’s new cooperative partner MAS, the leading Turkish photobook printing and binding house from Istanbul. Second and Third Prize winners will each get a production grant worth €2,000 and €1,000 respectively for future projects.


Bird In Flight Prize '21 / Deadline: 10 October / €20

The Bird In Flight Prize is designed to support photographers who think outside the box of traditional artistic standards. “Our contest is not about photo projects that cater to the existing general demand” write the curators. “It’s about discovering new ways to tell a story using the means and tools of photography. We encourage artistic freedom and diversity therefore we don’t impose time constraints upon our participants. We do not limit them in their choices of subjects and creativity methods. We also allow image editing as well as the usage of other images.” A seven-person jury composed of industry experts will together assign a host of prizes that come in the form of a €2,000 cash grant, private online portfolio reviews with members of the judging team themselves, and an online exhibition at in January 2022.


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

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 winners plus a selection of top finalists will also 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.


Gomma Photography Grant / Deadline: 3 November / Entry fee: €20

Now in its eighth year, the Gomma Photography Grant is an all-inclusive award that aims to promote 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. “We like to reward photographers that do not follow the trends and are not copycats of any kind," declare the editorial team. "We are looking for photographers with a fresh eye, courage, and a distinct personality; someone that has no fear to show their own soul throughout the work. Artists that have the curiosity to investigate the common and capture the every day." Winners of the First, Second, and Third Prize will receive €1,000, €500, and €200 respectively, while three smaller recognitions will be granted to the Best Documentary work, the Best Black and White work, and Best Rising Talent


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

13 minutes

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