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Grants & Fellowship

Documentary Photography Grants and Fellowships

Note: SDN takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented here. We encourage grant seekers to visit the website of each organization to determine actual submission requirements.

The Aaron Siskind Foundation
Individual Photographer Project
The Aaron Siskind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the lens arts community. It works to preserve and protect Aaron's artistic legacy and foster knowledge of and appreciation for his art through new books, exhibits, educational events and scholarly research. It seeks to support contemporary photographic art and art-making through a variety of projects, events and collaborations.

Who May Apply: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Students enrolled in a college degree program are not eligible to apply. Please note: students who will graduate before the 2018 application deadline are eligible to apply.
Application fee: $25.
Amount: $10,000 each.

Alexia Foundation
The Alexia Foundation awards grants to student and professional visual journalists to help them produce projects that inspire change by addressing topics that are socially significant. See rules below for details on each.

Application fee: Professionals: $50 application fee
Students: there is no entry fee for students.

A Blade of Grass Grants 
A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art
One-year fellowship for socially engaged individual artists and collectives.

Amount: $20,000 each to seven-ten artists or collectives.

Cathlight Fellowhsip 
A CatchLight Fellowship serves as a form of incubator for innovative leaders working in visual storytelling. It is a space to receive financial support, unlock individual potential, leverage partnerships and amplify your impact.

Amount: $30,000 in addition to mentorship, personalized project development, and networking opportunities.

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
CDS Documentary Essay Prize
The CDS Documentary Essay Prize honors the best in short-form documentary photography and writing in alternating years: one year, photos; one year, writing. The focus is on current or recently completed work (within the last two years) from a long-term project—fifteen images; fifteen to twenty pages of writing.

Application fee: $40
Amount: The winner of the competition will receive $3,000 and will have his or her work featured in Document, a periodical published by the Center for Documentary Studies, as well as on the Center’s website. The winner’s work will also be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Rubenstein Library, Duke University.

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize

This year, CDS is proud to re-launch the Lange-Taylor Prize, which supports documentary artists—working alone or in teams—who are involved in extended, ongoing fieldwork projects that rely on and exploit, in intriguing and effective ways, the interplay of words and images in the creation and presentation of their work.

Application fee: $70
Amount: The winner receives $10,000, features in Center for Documentary Studies’ digital publications, and inclusion in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Rubenstein Library, Duke University.

The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Daylight Books
Daylight Photo Awards

The annual Daylight/CDS Photo Awards honor talented and committed photographers, both
emerging and established, with numerous prizes, which include a solo exhibition, a multimedia
podcast, and a published portfolio.

Application fee: $35
Amount: $1000 cash prize; Solo exhibition at the Daylight Project Space; multimedia feature; a set of Daylight Books.

The Clarence John Laughlin Award
The Clarence John Laughlin Award was created to support the work of photographers who use the medium as a means of creative expression. It honors the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985), a New Orleans photographer best known for his surrealist images of the American South.

Amount: $5,000

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
The Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship

Reporting responsibly and credibly on violence or traumatic events — on street crime and family violence, natural disasters and accidents, war and genocide — is a great challenge. Since 1999 the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has offered the annual Ochberg Fellowships to outstanding journalists interested in exploring these critical issues.Fellowships are open to print, broadcast and online reporters, photographers, editors and producers with no fewer than five years’ full-time journalism experience. Approximately half of the Fellowship participants are based in North America, with the balance drawn from Central and South America, Europe, the Asia Pacific region, Africa and the Mideast. 

FotoEvidence Book Award
The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers. Submit up to 15 images from one project. If you are selected for the FotoEvidence Book Award you will be asked to submit 100-120 photographs on the same topic.
Application fee: $50.

The Hillman Prize for Photojournalism
Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has honored journalists who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good. Sidney Hillman was the founding president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union of America, a predecessor union of Workers United, SEIU. Sidney Hillman, an architect of the New Deal, fought to build a vibrant union movement extending beyond the shop floor to all aspects of workers’ lives.

Amount: $5,000
Application fee: Free

International Photography Awards
Application fee: Professional: $35
Non-professional: $25
Students: $15
Grant Amount: Over $22,000 in cash

The Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography
New Orleans Photo Alliance

The Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography (MPS Fund) was created by the New Orleans Photo Alliance to honor the life and work of Michael P. Smith, one of New Orleans’ most legendary and beloved documentary photographers. Both emerging and established photographers residing in the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are eligible to apply for the MPS Fund’s annual $5000 grant. The subject matter for the proposed project is not limited to the Gulf Coast region.

Application fee: $25. Application fee + NOPA membership: $60.
Amount: $5000.

POYi (Picture of the Year international)
Amount: $1,000 cash prizes

The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting
Special Grant opportunities for students and non-native, English speaking journalists (http://pulitzercenter.org/grants/persephone-miel-fellowship)

Travel grants: The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting funds international travel costs associated with reporting projects on topics and regions of global importance, with an emphasis on issues that have gone unreported or under-reported in the mainstream American media.
Deadline: Rolling.
Amount: $2,000 - $10,000 (depending on project and budget planning.)

Sony International Photography Awards 
The World Photography Organization
The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most celebrated and diverse photography competitions in the world. Now in its 12th year, our goal is to showcase the best contemporary photography worldwide.

Professional: $25,000 (USD)
Open: $5,000
Youth: Receives flights and accommodation to the Awards ceremony in London and other benefits.

W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund 
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist.

Amount: $35,000
Application Fee: $50

We, Women

Call for community engagement & collaborative photo-based projects from women, transgender, and non-binary artists working across the United States, D.C., and Puerto Rico

Women Photograph+ Nikon Grants: $5,000
Women Photograph + Getty Images Grant: $10,000
Application fee: Free


Women Photograph also operates an annual series of project grants for emerging and established photojournalists, a year-long mentorship program, and a travel fund to help female photographers access workshops, festivals, and other developmental opportunities.

Amounts: A cash grant of $5,000-$7,500, mentorship and production, promotion and marketing, exhibitionat Photoville
Application fee: Free