$5000 Grants for Photographers: The 2012 Photocrati Fund Competition is Now Open!

The Photocrati Team is happy to announce that the 2012 Photocrati Fund is now open! The Photocrati Fund offers $5,000 grants to photographers working on important humanitarian or environmental photography projects. For more details, visit the Photocrati Fund page:


The Photocrati Fund, now in its third year, is one of the rare options today for upfront funding of photography projects. It also means great exposure – the judges are some of the best known environmental and humanitarian photographers in the world, and the winner is announced in front of a audience of prominent photographers and editors at the Look3 Festival each year.

Take a look at the 2011 winner and top finalists:

View it in full resolution here.

The Photocrati Fund is one of the most exciting and satisfying things we do each year. It’s deeply personal for me, because I still remember slogging in poverty through Southeast Asia, covering things like illegal logging in Borneo and various humanitarian disasters. I know a lot of dedicated photographers are out there doing the same thing today. Funding for such undertakings has always been sparse, but with changes and financial challenges in the media business, finding project funding outside of a few grants has become almost impossible. That is one of the key reasons that we remain committed to supporting great photographers doing important work.

Please consider applying, or to pass the word along to other photographers you know who are working on important environmental or humanitarian projects!

Erick Danzer is Founder & CEO of Photocrati Media.

Announcing the 2011 Photocrati Fund Winner and Top Finalists

Photocrati is proud to announce the 2011 Photocrati Fund winner and top finalists. We had a wonderful time catching up with industry leaders and photographers at this year’s fabulous LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. And we’re very grateful to our judges for continuing to support the photography community through their efforts with Photocrati: Jim Brandenburg, Michael “Nick” Nichols and Steve McCurry. With more than 400 applicants to the grant this year, competition was fierce and judging was a challenge.

View it in full resolution here.


Paul Colangelo ~ 2011 Photocrati Fund Fellow

Surviving Todagin ~ Paul Colangelo — the 2011 Photocrati Fund Fellow — will lead a four-month-long expedition on Togadin Mountain in the Sacred Headwaters region of British Columbia (June-Sept. 2011) to document the unfolding story of the conflict between development, conservation and livelihoods. Surviving Togadin, part of the Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey endeavor, focuses on the world’s largest herd of Stone sheep, their endangered habitat and the Tahltan First Nations people who depend on these animals. The expedition team includes: Dr. Wes Sechrest from Global Wildlife Residence, Dr. Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and photographer Paul Colangelo.

Robin Hammond ~ Second Place

Still Human – Mental Health in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Struggle for Dignity ~ In most African countries, there is little, or no, provision for mental health. Where facilities exist, they are often woefully inadequate. Mental health care conditions are often atrocious. Patients are caged in prisons, confined with shackles and deprived of dignity. This work aims to inspire change — a more humane and dignified treatment of mentally ill patients.

Matt Eich ~ Third Place

Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town ~ Separated and segregated, it’s a world away from the affluent neighborhoods on the other side of the tracks: with roughly 500 residents and 90 percent unemployment, poverty, crime, violence dominate– but so do beauty, poetry and music. This project examines the complicated legacies of racism and class disparities in a Mississippi Delta town. “There is no salvation in hanging out on the corner.”


Anna Boyiazis AIDS Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa; Stacy Kranitz The Island – Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana; Ivo Viktorov Danchev Saker Falcon Conservation in Central Asia; Wendy Marijnissen Every Woman Counts; Alex Masi War Defects: The Fallujah Legacy; Thomas Edwin Stanworth An Uncommon Faith; Sebastian Liste Vicario Sugar Cane, Slave Work, and Andrew Harrington Living with Lions.

Now Announcing the 2011 Photocrati Fund Competition

Powerful imagery awes, inspires and engages people in the world; it incites dialogue and often encourages action. Great photography brings humanity to statistics, faces to tragedy, connections to cultures far away, and life to dying species. Incredible images tell stories that we need to hear. But those stories are expensive and time-consuming to produce.

The Photocrati Fund bridges the gap for one pro or emerging photographer each year by providing a $5,000 photography grant to focus on a month-long environmental or humanitarian photography project. At the completion of the project, the grant winner’s images will be displayed as a photo essay on Photocrati.com.

We hope to invest in photographers who will have a long-term positive impact. Our goal is to identify outstanding, photographers and to provide the resources necessary to pursue projects that will have a tangible and positive effect on the world.

The 2011 Photocrati Fund competition officially opened in November 2010 and will run through April 1, 2011. The 2011 Photocrati Fund award will be announced at the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia in June 2011. The grantee becomes a Photocrati Fellow for the calendar year from the announcement of their award until the announcement of the following year’s award.

Award decisions will be made by the Photocrati Fund Board, a prestigious panel that includes some of the world’s best-known environmental and cultural photographers. The 2011 Photocrati Fund judges include: Steve McCurry, Jim Brandenburg and Michael “Nick” Nichols.

Check out the Photocrati Fund page for more details about how to apply for this exciting grant. To view information on Mark J. Davis, the 2010 Photocrati Fund Fellow, and top finalists, please visit the 2010 Photocrati Fund Winner link.

Announcing the 2010 Photocrati Fund Fellow and Top Finalists

We’re just getting back into the swing of things here at Photocrati after an incredible weekend at the LookBetween Festival in White Hall, Virginia. What an amazing experience! Two full days of interacting with industry leaders and top-notch emerging photographers was just fantastic.

We’d like to extend a very special thanks to our three judges who are all committed to giving back to the photography community – Steve McCurry, Michael “Nick” Nichols and Art Wolfe.

We’d also like to thank the organizers and sponsors of the LookBetween Festival: Michael “Nick” Nichols, the LookBetween Board and staff, Jessica Nagel (host at Deep Rock Farm), National Geographic and BD, for including us in this year’s event. It really was an honor.

And now, the Photocrati Fund Board and staff are pleased to announce the results of the first-ever Photocrati Fund competition.

The 2010 Photocrati Fund Fellow: Mark J. Davis

Project Title: Fishing For Leftovers

Mark will receive a $5,000 grant to pursue his on-going, environmentally-focused project Fishing For Leftovers, which highlights the impact of commercial over-fishing on small-scale subsistence fishermen in Southern Chile.

About Mark’s project:

A 2006 study by an international group of ecologists and economists projected the collapse of the world’s fishing stocks by the year 2048—due mainly to overfishing. While consumers will be the last to feel the effects –there are tens of millions of people worldwide who live in small fishing communities that depend on the sea for subsistence who are already reaping the consequences.

This project documents life in one such community in Southern Chile where due to a lack of other opportunities, small-scale fishing operations are the main source of income. Recent increases in large-scale commercial fishing enterprises that use controversial fishing practices have led to both the depletion of the fishing stock and the destruction of much marine habitat. Mark hopes that this project highlights the disparity between the lives of the subsistence fishermen and those who operate large-scale fishing operations.

© Mark J. Davis

© Mark J. Davis

© Mark J. Davis

“I am honored and am extremely grateful that through this grant I will be able to continue to tell this important story,” Mark says.

Mark’s project was selected from a competitive pool of more than 400 applicants by our prestigious panel that included some of the world’s best-known environmental and cultural photographers. The judges had a very difficult task—we (happily) received a large number of outstanding and meaningful project proposals by some very talented emerging photographers.

To that end, we would like to recognize the top finalists.

Second Place: Bharat Choudhary


Location: Mizoram, India

This project seeks to document the humanitarian concerns of Burmese Chin refugees and asylum seekers in India. Around 85,000 Burmese Chin refugees live in India, mainly in India’s northeastern state of Mizoram – at the India-Burma border. They live in cramped, unhygienic, unsafe neighborhoods, and earn as little as $35 (US) a month. They are reduced to scouring the garbage left at the night market for food. This project aims to strengthen the existing advocacy efforts for human rights of the Burmese Chin refugees.

Third Place: Anna Beeke


Location: Morocco

The photojournalism project, Untangling Threads: Female Artisans in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry, seeks to document the environment and culture of female weavers who have recently begun to participate in local and global markets. The project also plans to track the rural-to-urban journey of the carpets that are produced. While the carpets are generally sold for high-dollar amounts, the female artisans receive a very small percentage of the profits – which perpetuates the cycle of poverty and child labor in rural Morocco. This project aims to highlight the faces behind the production and the market forces that bring these products to the world.

Fourth Place: Malin Fezehai


Location: Kiribati

Due to global climate change, the small, but highly-populated island – home to roughly 100,000 people – is in danger of disappearing beneath the rising waves of the sea levels. Mass evacuation is now in the initial stages. Malin’s project seeks to document how the rising sea levels are affecting daily life of these “climate refugees” – an entire nation forced to migrate.

Fifth Place: Anna Maria Barry-Jester


Location: India

India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, just behind war torn African countries like the Sudan. Two thirds of women do not give birth at a health facility; aside from the danger to the mother, there is a greatly increased risk of complications and mortality for the infant. Most home births are overseen by untrained birth attendants, with limited ability to recognize problems early enough to seek proper treatment or to get to a facility in time. This project seeks to raise awareness about the complications and dangers related to giving birth in unsanitary conditions and to improve access to services and outreach offered by the Indian government. Trained in both photography and Public Health, Anna Maria Barry-Jester uses her lens to help develop important health outreach and education campaigns.

Other top finishers:

Oliver Michael Edwards (sensory impairment), Laura El-Tantawy (suicide among male Indian farmers), Andrew Cullen (winter disaster in Mongolia), David Belluz (self immolation in Afghanistan), and Ryan Gauvin (depleted uranium/Balkan states).


Congratulations to Mark J. Davis and to all of our finalists. We’re looking forward to following your work and we can’t wait to feature a photo essay from Mark’s project next summer.