The International Documentary Photography Scholarship is intended to encourage personal involvement in social issues, and promote socially conscious documentary photography. It is open to all fully-matriculated undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of degree major, gender, ethnic background, or country of residence.
NOTE: No high school submissions.
The subject matter is entirely the choice of the student. However, it should clearly document a person, group of people, place, event, or happening of social relevance. Submitted images should be arranged and presented so they clearly tell the story of what is being documented.
The project does not have to be about people. Environmental issues, including land use or misuse, urban or rural issues, global or local events, will all be considered. The key is to indicate through your photographs that you are involved and are able to communicate your feelings about the subject you are documenting.
The medium of capture is not important. Images may be made with a cell phone, DSLR camera, view camera, or any other capture device, film or digital.
About the Judges
Anne E. Havinga is the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she has been on staff since 1989. She looks after a collection that ranges from early daguerrotypes to contemporary photography. Her many exhibitions have ranged from the beginnings of the medium to recent work.
Ken Light is the Reva and David Logan Professor of Photojournalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley. He was the first photographer to become a Laventhol Visiting Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Photographers Fellowships and the Dorothea Lange Fellowship. His work has been in numerous magazines, newspapers and a variety of media (electronic & film), and presented in over 230 exhibitions worldwide including one person shows at the International Center for Photography (NYC), Oakland Museum of California, S.E. Museum of Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, Visa pour L’image Perpignan (France) and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Scholarship Award: $1000US
Deadline: January 1, 2023
(The full application must be electronically received by 23:59 PDT, January 1, 2023)
Notice of Award: The successful award winners will be notified by e-mail no later than March 1, 2023. The award will be mailed to the recipient in the form of a bank check on or before April 1, 2023 (recipients outside of the US will receive their reward via Paypal).
To find out the recipient of the award you may contact the Award committee after April 15, 2023, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required Scholarship Application Materials
This is a blind judging. The judges will not know the applicants name, school, ethnic origin, country of residence, or gender. While you may include captions, do not include any identifying information on the essay or in the photo file that might indicate your name, school, ethnic origin, your country of residence, or gender unless this can be inferred by the nature of the images (example: the documentary is about your family and your ethnic origin can be identified).
Completed on-line application
Photocopy proof of college/university enrollment for the academic year of application
350-words or more about your documentary photo project, including who, what, where, when, and why. Include the project title on the essay.
Drag and drop 12 – 20 JPEG (.jpg) photos onto the application form in the order you want them viewed. It is recommended to use sequential numbering to name your image files (e.g., 01-[Name of Project].jpg, 02-[Name of Project].jpg, etc.).
Optional: You may caption the images by submitting the captions in the same order as the photos in a .txt or Word document along with your photos.
Selection is based upon the application submission and student’s demonstrated interest/involvement in using photography to document a person, group of people, place, event, happening of social relevance, or of personal importance. Scholarships are awarded solely at the discretion of the scholarship committee.
To submit your application for the documentary photography award click here.