September 10th, 2015

Getty and Instagram Announce Winners of $10K Grants For Underreported Stories

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An image by Adriana Zehbrauskas, one of the winners of the inaugural Getty Images Instagram Grant, which recognizes photographers using the social media platform to tell underreported stories. Here, a woman holds her daughter before her baptism at Mexico City’s Basílica de Guadalupe.

Getty Images, in partnership with Instagram, have announced three winners of the first annual Getty Images Instagram Grant, which recognizes photographers who’ve used the social media platform to tell underreported stories around the world. The winners, all of whom are experienced professional photographers, have documented communities in Bangladesh, Latin America and Russia. They will each receive $10,000 and mentorship from Getty photojournalists, and their work will be part of an exhibit which opens today at Photoville in Brooklyn, New York.

Brazilian-born photojournalist Adriana Zehbrauskas (@adrianazehbrauskas), who lives in Mexico City and whose clients include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times, was recognized for her photographs covering climate change and the everyday lives of Latin Americans. Zehbruskas, who worked as a staff photographer at a Brazilian newspaper for 11 years before moving to Mexico, says she began publishing her work on Instagram “naturally” and that her feed evolved from a place where she shared personal images to a space for professional work. “The fact that you could share something in real time appealed to me, maybe because of my newspaper background,” she told PDN via email. She says Instagram allowed her to “post images that were true to my vision and style” without having to conform to the wishes of a publication. It also allowed her to “build a story over time, in just one place.”

Ismael Ferdous received a grant in recognition of his project telling stories of the survivors of the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse.

Ismael Ferdous received a grant in recognition of his project telling stories of the survivors of the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. This image depicts the prosthetic leg of Raihan Kabir, who lost his right leg after a machine smashed it during the collapse, trapping him for 14.5 hours in the wreckage.

Documentary photographer Ismail Ferdous won for his project “After Rana Plaza,” which documents the lives of the survivors of the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Ferdous created the @afterranaplaza Instagram feed to share those stories. Ferdous has an unusual way of sharing his stories on Instagram, publishing still images with audio commentary from his subjects.

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An image of a child with Russian Airborne troops, from Dmitry Markov’s Instagram feed, where he often depicts orphaned and underprivileged children.

Dmitry Markov (@dcim.ru) of Pskov, Russia, has used Instagram to share his photographs of orphaned children and highlight the work of charities for which he volunteers, such as the Russian Children’s Fund.

The three recipients were chosen from more than 1,200 photographers in 109 countries, Getty Images said in a statement. Judges for the grants were National Geographic photographer David Guttenfelder; TIME director of photography Kira Pollack; photographers Maggie Steber and Malin Fezehai; and photographer and @everydayiran co-founder Ramin Talaie.

The three recipients “could not better exemplify the original aim of this grant: to document and share stories of underrepresented communities that otherwise rarely come into focus,” said Elodie Mailliet, Getty Images’ Senior Director of Content Partnerships.

Zehbrauskas plans to use the grant money to start a new project creating portraits of the families of 43 students who disappeared from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers School last year. Family portraits are important as “a proof of existence, [and in] perpetuating memory and hopefully saving [the missing students] from the fate of being forever forgotten,” Zehbrauskas says.

Beyond the financial award, the recognition for her work “means a great deal,” she adds. “It means that someone is listening to what you have to say, that it is worth it to keep doing it and believing in it.”

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January 15th, 2013

$15K Alexia Foundation Grant Deadline, Exhibition Coming Up

© Justin Maxon. Jasmine Rasheed-Bacon, 6, consoles her cousin, Breonna Starkey-Bacon, 6, after she went into a closet to cry because of a disturbance in the house. The two cousins are very close and rely on each other for support. The girls live in a dangerous neighborhood called the Sun Village in Chester, PA, which is notorious for its drug trafficking and drug related crime.

© Justin Maxon, from his Alexia Grant supported project. Jasmine Rasheed-Bacon, 6, consoles her cousin, Breonna Starkey-Bacon, 6, after she went into a closet to cry because of a disturbance in the house. The two cousins are very close and rely on each other for support. The girls live in a dangerous neighborhood called the Sun Village in Chester, PA, which is notorious for its drug trafficking and drug related crime.

The deadline for the 2013 Alexia Foundation grant is this Friday, January 18. The $15,000 grant will be awarded to a photographer who is looking for funding “to produce a substantial picture story that furthers the Foundation’s goals of promoting world peace and cultural understanding.”

The Alexia Foundation supports photojournalism that explores issues of social justice and cultural awareness. It was founded by Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis, in memory of their daughter, Alexia, who was killed in the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

In addition to the professional grant, the Alexia Foundation will also give out student awards that provide educational opportunities and cash grants for photography undergraduate and graduate students who are making work that coincides with the goals of the foundation. The deadline for entries for the student awards is February 1.

Last year’s professional grant was awarded to Justin Maxon, who has used the funding to work on a project about the number of murders that go unsolved in America. The student award went to Katie Orlinsky, who completed an internship at MediaStorm and worked on her project about the human cost of Mexico’s drug war.

Both Maxon and Orlinsky will speak about their work at “Images & Issues,” an Alexia Foundation exhibition and fundraising event that will be held January 23 at 25CPW Gallery in New York City. The event will feature an exhibition of the work of last year’s grant recipients, and images from past Alexia Grant winners, including Melanie Blanding, Wesley Law, Ismail Ferdous, Ezra Shaw, Bob Miller, Marie Aragon, Juliette Lynch, Matt Lutton, Veronica Wilson, Justin Yurkanin, Mark Murrmann, Christopher Lane, Ryan Henriksen, Peggy Peattie, Matt Black, Mackenzie Reiss, Ami Vitale, Katie Orlinsky, Justin Maxon, Stephanie Sinclair and Khaled Hasan.

Visit the Alexia Foundation site for more information on the grants and the exhibition.

Related: Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Tim Matsui on the Women’s Initiative Grant [Subscribers only; PDN subscribers can login to read this story]
Justin Maxon Wins $15,000 Alexia Foundation Grant