Part of our mission at LensCulture is to provide photographers everywhere with opportunities for both creative and professional advancement. With that goal in mind, we’ve compiled this short list of upcoming deadlines (including our Exposure Awards) that caught our eye for December.

Each month, we will feature our picks for upcoming grants, competitions, residencies, and fellowships that seem particularly worthwhile for photographers around the world to consider. The texts below are taken from the organizations’ respective websites. Click on the links for further information.

Do you have an opportunity that you think we should feature next month? If so, drop us a line at editor@lensculture.com.

(Note: Cover photo: “Ice Matters” by Anna Henly, UK, 2012 Winner of The World in Our Hands Award. Read the full story behind this powerful image.)


Grants & Awards

Sony Awards, Student Focus

The Student Focus competition is one of the world’s leading programs for photography students. Anyone undertaking a full-time photography course can take part.

Each year, all registered universities are given a unique first challenge, with a timeframe for their students to respond and submit a single image per university. A shortlist of 10 students are then selected and given a second and final challenge.

Deadline: December 4, 2017

MedPhoto Award

In its goal to discover and promote new photographers, MedPhoto Festival will once again grant the MedPhoto Award, Greece’s first ever international photography prize.

After the 2016 Award, in which photographers from 30 different countries took part, an open call for submissions began this year on September 20th. The MedPhoto Award will be granted to a photography project (finalized or in progress) chosen by an international jury. The prize comes with a €3,000 grant.

Deadline: December 10, 2017

2018 Arles New Discovery Award

Since its creation, Les Rencontres d’Arles has been a force for the promotion of photography and all its players, from photographers to exhibition curators and publishers.

In that spirit, the festival wishes to open the Discovery Award up to galleries, often the first to spot tomorrow’s talent. Now they can propose a show featuring an artist they support and whose work has just been (or deserves to be) discovered by an international audience. Ten of the submitted exhibition projects will be shortlisted and mounted at the next edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles.

Deadline: December 10, 2017


IPOTY: International Photographer of the Year

IPOTY creates new opportunities to showcase the best photographic work and introduce leading talents to the world of contemporary photography. We celebrate creativity and ambition and support artists in developing and presenting their work through competition.

Our annual competition is open to everyone, amateurs and professionals alike. The overall winners, category winners, and those who are commended will have their work showcased to a global audience by our media partners.

Deadline: December 10, 2017

Photo Life Magazine

Photo Life and Photo Solution invite Canadian and U.S. photographers to submit their best work to “The World We Live In VII”—more than $45,000 offered in prizes.

Photographers are invited to submit images under four themes: Humanity, Environment, Interconnections and, new this year, Series (open theme). Follow your curiosity, share your photographic talent, and show us your vision of the world we live in. Open to pros, amateurs and everyone in between.

Deadline: December 11, 2017


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017

Wildlife Photographer of the Year calls on photographers worldwide to put nature in the frame. Whether you’re young, old, professional or amateur, we’d like to see work that raises awareness of the beauty and fragility of the natural world.

We appoint a panel of judges and a chair to evaluate all entries. The panel will be looking for photographic excellence, artistic merit, relevance to themes of biodiversity and sustainability, freshness of composition, technical proficiency, innovation, narrative form and ethical practice.

Recent laureates include Michael “Nick” Nichols and Brent Stirton. Top prize is £10,000, with many other great benefits for entrants.

Deadline: December 14, 2017


LensCulture Exposure Awards

The LensCulture Exposure Awards 2018 aim to discover and showcase the world’s best contemporary photographers! As we approach the Awards’ 10th anniversary, this year’s competition will celebrate a decade of helping photographers of all levels gain global recognition. The Awards will culminate with a series of international gallery and festival events, worldwide media coverage, and career-changing exposure for the jury’s six winners, eight jurors’ picks and 25 finalists.

Deadline: December 19, 2017


NOTINDOOR Photographer of the Year

NOTINDOOR Photography magazine is looking to find the most inspiring photographers of 2017, along with discovering new talents that really deserve the stage and eyes of millions of people around the world. We want to see your view of the world through your vision and what inspires you to get out and shoot. NIDPOTY 2017 awards the winners with cash prizes of over $10,000 and the opportunity to have their photos exhibited for almost two months at the G2 Gallery in Los Angeles.

Deadline: December 20, 2017


Prix FotoMasterclass

The teams of FotoMasterclass and Fisheye Magazine are happy to offer a competition open to all on the theme of “Inner Journey.” The prize’s winner will be accompanied over the course of 8 months on the occasion of the next session of FotoMasterclass. They will also enjoy visibility thanks to an exhibition at Fotofever 2018 and a publication in the magazine Fisheye after the masterclass has concluded.

Deadline: December 30, 2017


Workshops and Residencies

Grant Writing with Donald Weber
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Photography projects require money. Many photographers produce work at their own financial cost. There are, however, plenty of funding sources available from different organizations. These organizations are ready to support image-makers, providing funding for research, creation, production, travel, and living expenses.

There is a definitive technique to grant writing—learn about it and strengthen your chances of reaching the top of the pile.

Date: January 13 or January 14 (it is a 1-day event, choose your day)

The Photography Master Retreat
Esparon, a village in the south of France

The Photography Master Retreat is a unique, one-week, mentor-led retreat for photographers held in the south of France every year in July, right after the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles. The fourth edition will be held July 7-14, 2018 for a select group of fourteen participants, chosen by the mentors from submitted applications.

Priority consideration and an “Early Bird Special” ends December 10, 2017.

ROOSTERGNN Artist Residency
Madrid, Spain

This residency is open to digital artists, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, videographers, writers, journalists, and bloggers, as well as social media artists, creative programmers, coders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Each resident works on their own self-directed creative projects. Applicants should describe their project on the application form. Residents are not required to finish an entire project during their Madrid Residency stay. As a resident, you can either work on a project that you started elsewhere, or you can work on a project brainstorming with others and then continue to work on your project after the program.

Deadline: December 31, 2017