New Women’s Photography Award

Nina Emett, Director of FotoDocument shares a new annual photography award that will support a professional female photographer towards the initiation or completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global. 

We’re launching a new women’s photography award at FotoDocument in honour of the wonderful photographer Marilyn Stafford.

Originally from Ohio, US, Marilyn has lived a colourful and interesting life in many different parts of the world including New York, Paris, London, Beirut. As a young woman, she was keen to pursue a career in singing when by chance in 1948 she was asked to photograph Albert Einstein by a film-maker friend who needed a stills person at short notice. She was taught a few controls in the back of a car on the way to Einstein’s house and from that moment on she became a photographer.

© Marilyn Stafford 'BIBA DRESSING ROOM'

© Marilyn Stafford ‘BIBA DRESSING ROOM’

Although Marilyn had the opportunity to photograph the glitterati of her day including Twiggy, Lee Marvin and Carlo Levy among many others, she preferred to spend time on more in-depth projects when she could, focussing her lens on street children, tribal peoples and refugees in order to raise awareness about important global issues. She was fortunate to be mentored by her friends Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson but she found that being a woman in the industry as well as a mother meant that her options as a photojournalist were more limited.

Although she recognises that things are more balanced today, there are of course still gender disparities in the industry. When Marilyn asked FotoDocument to launch this award to help towards a woman photographer achieving her goal, we were delighted to partner for this project.

© Marilyn Stafford "SIKRI STUDYING KORAN "

© Marilyn Stafford “SIKRI STUDYING KORAN”

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award will be granted annually to a professional woman photographer towards the initiation or completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global.

The work should, in part, showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford and the aims of FotoDocument. The Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported or under-reported.

© Marilyn Stafford "CITE LESAGE KIDS POSING GIRL ARMS WIDE"

© Marilyn Stafford “CITE LESAGE KIDS POSING GIRL ARMS WIDE”

At such a difficult time globally, some would say a dark time, there is more need than ever to focus on solutions which bring about lasting change and we believe that photography has an important role in that.

We have put together an impressive panel of judges who will review the submissions so it’s also a great opportunity to get work in front of seasoned eyes.

The deadline for the award is Friday 26 May 2017 – an application form and call for submissions guidance can be downloaded from our website.

To find out more please email info@fotodocument.org or follow them on Twitter.

Featured image: © Marilyn Stafford “KASHMIR WELCOME”

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