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 that caught our eye for January.

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 [email protected]

(Note: Cover photo: “Whale Whisperers” by Anuar Patjane Floriuk, Winner of Nature, second prize singles at the 2016 World Press Photo Awards.)

Grants, Awards, and Open Calls

Dear Dave, Open Call

For our 27th issue, slated to hit newsstands in Winter 2018, we are holding a call for entries. Dear Dave is looking for photo portfolios that exemplify our mission of showcasing work that is original, unpredictable, and deserving of further recognition.

Deadline: January 2, 2018

The Sony World Photography Awards (Open)

Photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels are invited to enter the Open competition of the world’s biggest photography competition. The judges are looking to award the best single images from across the 10 diverse categories, from Architecture and Landscape to Still Life and Street Photography. In addition to the main prizes, winning and shortlisted photographers will be included in a global press campaign, featured across the World Photography Organisation website and exhibited at Somerset House, London in Spring 2018.

Deadline: January 4, 2018

MonoVisions Photography Awards 2018

MonoVisions Photography Awards are an international open call for photographers who use the black and white medium to express their visual language.

Our aim is to discover the best monochrome photographers from all over the world and deliver the best opportunities to be recognized and rewarded for their work. You can compete for $5000 in cash prizes in two categories: Black and White Photo of the Year 2018 and Black and White Series of the Year 2018.

Our annual competition is open to photographers of all backgrounds and all levels, including professionals and amateurs. We accept all forms of black and white photography created with traditional or digital methods.

Our categories: Abstract, Architecture, Conceptual, Fine Art, Landscapes, Nature and Wildlife, Nude, People, Photojournalism, Portrait, Street Photography and Travel.

Deadline: January 7, 2018

WMA Commission

The WMA Commission invites entries for proposals from artists and photographers from both Hong Kong and the international community, to create new research based photography work in Hong Kong, focusing on the theme of TRANSITION. Project proposals must contextually relate to both the theme MOBILITY and to HONG KONG. A five-member Selection Panel will choose the WMA Commission recipient, who will be awarded a HKD 250,000 grant (approximately USD 32,000) which will contribute towards production of the successful proposal and a public event featuring the completed work which will be entered into the WMA Collection.

Deadline: January 8, 2018

World Press Photo Contest 2018

The annual photo contest rewards photographers for the best single exposure pictures contributing to the past year of visual journalism.

Whether entered as singles or stories, these pictures are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and visually compelling insights about our world.

The contest is organized into categories, and judged by a jury comprising leading photojournalism professionals. The membership of the jury changes every year, and is led by a chair and supported by two secretaries who implement the rigorous judging procedures. You must register on the website before January 4, 2018 to enter the competition.

Deadline: January 9, 2018

The Sony World Photography Awards (Professional)

Each year the Professional competition of the Sony World Photography Awards draws a huge variety of inspiring, engaging and emotional photography from around the world. Photojournalism and hard-hitting news photography sit side-by-side with fine-art, still-life and commercial work, as well as awe-inspiring images of the natural world and our travels within it. The Professional competition is judged on a body of work. In addition to the main prizes, all winning and shortlisted photographers will be included in a global press campaign, featured across the World Photography Organisation website and exhibited at Somerset House, London in the Spring.

Deadline: January 11, 2018

Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2018

The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2018 is open for entries to artists and photographers internationally. There are several different prizes, including the Emerging Artist prize and the Emerging Artist Choice prize, each with a cash grant attached.

Deadline: January 14, 2018

Flash Forward 2018

Flash Forward 2018 will be an emerging photographers competition for ALL photographers (Age 34 or under, as of December 31, 2017), in all forms of photography, from all over the world, with 4 additional areas of special interest: Racial Issues, Climate and the Environment, LGBTQ Issues, and Female-identifying Photographers.

Deadline: January 15, 2018

Days Japan, International Photojournalism Awards 2018

For the 2017 awards, more than 10,000 works were submitted. The award-winning photographs have been exhibited all over Japan and a great number of people were touched by these photos. We hope this award can make a significant contribution to the development of photojournalism.

Deadline: January 15, 2018

Vision Excellence Awards

The Vision Excellence Awards have been created to give photographers a platform to exhibit their work and help them promote their work to a wide selection of professionals in the field.

Deadline: January 15, 2018

Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award

The IWMF’s Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award was created to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer and IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014). It celebrates women photojournalists whose work inspires us to take action and better understand the world. This courageous reporting manifests in many different forms, and we celebrate visual journalism that inspires us to take action. We believe that courage is reflected in everyday life, beyond the frontlines of conflict, and we seek candidates whose work reflects the values of Anja Niedringhaus through compassion, humanity, and a commitment to capturing the whole picture. In Anja’s words “I do my job simply to report on people’s courage with my camera and my heart.”

Deadline: January 19, 2018

1X Photo Awards 2017

1x is a competition open for everyone and separated into 12 different categories: Abstract, Architecture, Creative edit, Conceptual, Documentary, Fine art nude, Macro, Nature, Landscape, People, Still life and Street. You can select one category for each photo you upload.

Deadline: January 31, 2018

All About Photo Awards

The 3rd edition of the All About Photo Awards invites photographers from around the world to submit their best work for consideration. In reference to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photo essay, The Mind’s Eye investigates the depth and thoughts behind each image. Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition. A selection of entrants of particular merit will also be invited to display their work in the Winners Gallery and on Daylighted.

Deadline: January 31, 2018

The 6th Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism, FREELENS Award

Applicants can be young photojournalists, photographers, students of photography, volunteer interns and trainees who are not older than 35 at the time of application. A team of curators from the photojournalist’s organization FREELENS, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover and the Association for the Promotion of Photography will then choose the 60 works to be exhibited at the festival. After the Festival and upon agreement of the photographer, visitors will be able to buy these prints in exchange for a donation to the FREELENS Foundation. With the proceeds, the FREELENS Foundation will support the work of photojournalists in developing countries.

Deadline: January 31, 2018

Istanbul Photo Awards 2018

Istanbul Photo Awards is an international news photography contest organized by Anadolu Agency. The contest aims to contribute to the sphere of news photography and offers a perspective shaped by the region’s unique position at the center of diverse cultures. The awards reward endeavors of courageous and talented photojournalists from around the world on merit.

Deadline: January 31, 2018


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)

Patrick Zachmann
Lisbon, Portugal

This theory and practice course is designed to lead you in a condensed and well-structured way through the documentary photography and visual reportage process. With the direct guidance from Patrick Zachmann, you will learn what makes a photograph powerful and a visual story successful; from researching your subject, through shooting, to editing and publishing your work. Early bird tuition: 1085 EUR.

Deadline: Jan 28, 2018 (Early bird)

How To Get Your Message Out with Patrick Brown and Nic Dunlop
Bangkok, Thailand

The award-winning duo of Panos Pictures photographers Nic Dunlop and Patrick Brown will help you improve your skills and hone your creativity to best prepare you for covering humanitarian issues and photographing for NGOs as well as aid and development agencies. The workshop, held at Patrick Brown’s studio on the Chao Phraya River, will include daily shooting, mentoring, one-on-one critiques and insider’s tips and tricks. From the initial idea, to the final edit of images, they will guide you through every step of the process. There will also be visiting lecturers offering presentations on the uses of images on social media and how best to get your message out. Tuition: 1,600 USD.

Dates: February 1-4, 2018 (opening evening + 3 days)

Fellowships and Mentorships

Ansel Adams Research Fellowship

Awards up to $5,000 to promote new knowledge about photography and the history of photography.

Qualifications: Advanced scholars and researchers from any discipline are encouraged to apply. Pre-doctoral applicants must have completed coursework and preliminary examinations for the doctoral degree and must be engaged in dissertation research.

Application deadline: January 16, 2018

2018 Emerging Lens Mentorship Program

Art Works Projects (AWP) is pleased to announce its Open Call for the 2018 Annual Emerging Lens Mentorship program. The 2018 competition is open to young photographers currently working on a human rights, social justice or humanitarian issue related to women and/or girls. Although the entrant must be a resident of the United States, the project may focus on international issues. The winning entrant will have an opportunity to receive a stipend to expand and/or finish their project and to exhibit the final project in May 2018 at the AWP Studio Gallery in Chicago.

Deadline: January 31, 2018