13 Best Photography Scholarships in 2024 (Worth $50,000)

Desire to capture the future? here are 13 best photography scholarships to apply for in 2024, globally and in the United States. Photography, the art of freezing moments in time, is a passion that requires skill, dedication, and often, financial support.

If you are an aspiring photographer ready to hone your craft, we have curated a list of the thirteen (13) best photography scholarships available in 2024 to help turn your lens towards a brighter future. For each of the scholarship description, we include an official website that helps you stay up to date with their updates.

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1. National Geographic Society Photography Grant

  • Award: Varies
  • Overview: The National Geographic Society Photography Grant is a prestigious opportunity for aspiring photographers keen on using their craft for impactful storytelling. Whether you have a project in mind that explores environmental issues, cultural narratives, or social dynamics, this grant provides the financial support and recognition needed to bring your vision to life. The National Geographic Society website (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/) is the gateway to more information on this transformative grant.

Read Also: National Geographic internship Program ( Fully Funded)

2. Ansel Adams Scholarship

  • Award: $5,000
  • Overview: Named after the legendary Ansel Adams, this scholarship is tailored for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in photography. It not only provides financial assistance but also serves as a recognition of outstanding commitment to the art of photography. The Ansel Adams Scholarship is a stepping stone for those who wish to carry forward the legacy of this iconic photographer. To explore more and apply, visit the Ansel Adams Scholarship page on the University of California, Santa Cruz website (https://www.ucsc.edu/).

3. The Ian Parry Scholarship

  • Award: Varies
  • Overview: For young photojournalists under the age of 24, the Ian Parry Scholarship is a unique opportunity offering more than just financial support. It includes mentorship from industry professionals, providing invaluable guidance for those navigating the challenging field of photojournalism. This scholarship aims to honor Ian Parry’s commitment to nurturing emerging talents in the world of photography. For application details, visit the Ian Parry Scholarship website (https://www.ianparry.org/).

4. The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest

  • Award: Varies
  • Overview: This international contest is designed for young photojournalists aged 18 to 33. It provides a platform for emerging talents to showcase their work on a global stage. The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest not only recognizes outstanding photojournalism but also offers exposure and networking opportunities for participants. To participate and learn more about the contest, visit the official contest website (https://stenincontest.ru/).

5. Adobe Design Achievement Awards

  • Award: $3,000
  • Overview: While not exclusively focused on photography, the Adobe Design Achievement Awards celebrate outstanding creative projects across various disciplines, including photography. It’s a global competition that acknowledges the innovative endeavors of students worldwide. For submission guidelines and more information, explore the Adobe Design Achievement Awards website (https://www.adobeawards.com/).

6. World Press Photo Foundation Student Contest

  • Award: Varies
  • Overview: Open to students worldwide, the World Press Photo Foundation Student Contest encourages the next generation of photographers to delve into visual storytelling and photojournalism. The foundation aims to support emerging talents and provide them with a platform to showcase their narratives. To enter the contest and explore more, visit the World Press Photo Foundation website (https://www.worldpressphoto.org/).

7. Women Photograph Grants

  • Award: Varies
  • Overview: Dedicated to addressing gender disparities in the field of photojournalism, the Women Photograph Grants support the work of female and non-binary visual journalists. This initiative not only provides financial assistance but also contributes to fostering diversity within the photography community. For details on how to apply, visit the Women Photograph Grants page (https://www.womenphotograph.com/grants).

8. PDNedu Student Photo Contest

  • Award: Cash prizes and equipment
  • Overview: Geared towards students and emerging photographers, the PDNedu Student Photo Contest offers an excellent opportunity for recognition and valuable prizes. It covers a wide range of categories, allowing participants to showcase their skills and creativity. To participate and explore submission guidelines, visit the contest page on the PDNedu website (https://www.pdnonline.com/contests/pdn-photo-annual/edu/).

9. The Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography

  • Award: $5,000
  • Overview: Honoring the legacy of Michael P. Smith, this fund supports photographers engaged in documentary projects. It’s a testament to the importance of visual storytelling in capturing the essence of human experiences. To learn more about the fund and the application process, visit The Michael P. Smith Fund website (https://www.neworleansphotoalliance.org/grants/MPSFund/).

10. The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography

  • Award: $40,000
  • Overview: Recognizing photographers committed to documenting the human condition, the W. Eugene Smith Grant is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of documentary photography. This substantial grant not only provides financial support but also elevates the recipient’s work to a global audience. To understand the application process, visit the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund website (https://smithfund.org/).

11. The Aftermath Project

Award: Varies

Overview: Focused on conflict photography, The Aftermath Project supports visual storytelling that explores the lingering effects of conflict on communities. This unique initiative provides a platform for photographers to delve into the complexities of post-conflict scenarios. For application details, visit The Aftermath Project website (https://www.aftermathproject.org/).

12. Getty Images Creative Bursary

Award: $5,000

Overview: Getty Images offers a Creative Bursary to emerging photographers, providing not only financial support but also mentorship and guidance. This bursary aims to encourage and empower young talents to pursue their creative endeavors in photography. For more information and to apply, visit the Getty Images Creative Bursary page (https://wherewestand.gettyimages.com/gi_grants/creative-bursary/).

13. The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film Grant

Award: $5,000

Overview: This grant from the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation supports photographers and filmmakers working on documentary projects that highlight social issues. It serves as a beacon for those utilizing their lens to bring attention to important societal narratives. For details on the grant and how to apply, visit the foundation’s official website (https://mrofoundation.org/).

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Are there scholarships for photography students?

Absolutely, there are numerous scholarships available for photography students. From a look into these 13 top photography scholarships, funding comes from various sources that make up your answer. Whether you are pursuing a degree in photography, photojournalism, or a related field, there are opportunities to receive financial support for your education.

Here are a few types of scholarships in this list:

  1. Photography-Specific Scholarships:
    • Some scholarships are specifically designed for photography students. These may be offered by photography schools, institutions, or organizations that aim to support the growth and development of aspiring photographers.
  2. Art and Design Scholarships:
    • Many general art and design scholarships are open to photography students. These scholarships recognize the artistic merit and creative vision of students pursuing studies in various visual arts disciplines.
  3. Journalism Scholarships:
    • Photojournalism is a unique field that combines storytelling with visual elements. Journalism scholarships, particularly those focused on visual storytelling, can be an excellent fit for photography students interested in documenting events and narratives through their lens.
  4. Media and Communication Scholarships:
    • Photography often falls under the broader category of media and communication. As such, scholarships in these fields may also be applicable to photography students, especially those interested in the communication aspects of visual storytelling.
  5. Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships:
    • Some organizations offer scholarships specifically aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in various fields, including photography. These scholarships may target underrepresented groups in the industry.
  6. Industry-Sponsored Scholarships:
    • Companies in the photography and imaging industry may sponsor scholarships to encourage students to explore and excel in the field. These scholarships might be linked to specific brands or organizations within the photography industry.
  7. Photography Contests and Awards:
    • While not traditional scholarships, participating in photography contests and winning awards can provide recognition and sometimes financial rewards. Some competitions offer cash prizes, scholarships, or opportunities for exhibitions.

To find these scholarships, you can explore scholarship databases, visit the websites of photography schools, check with professional photography organizations, and inquire with your academic institution’s financial aid office. Always carefully review the eligibility criteria, application requirements, and deadlines for each scholarship opportunity.

Remember to showcase your passion for photography, highlight your achievements, and articulate how the scholarship will contribute to your educational and professional goals in your scholarship applications.

Are there photography scholarships for high school students?

Indeed, there are scholarships in the United States designed for a diverse range of applicants, including high school seniors with a keen interest in photography, undergraduate photography students, and even veterans. In each application information portal, it is essential to ascertain your eligibility before proceeding with the submission of your documents for consideration

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