Today, Reuters announced the second round of its photojournalism grant program at the Visa pour l’Image, the international festival of photojournalism in Perpignan.
The program was launched last year to provide financial and logistical support for photojournalists early in their careers. As part of our commitment to help nurture and develop the next generation of talent in the industry, Reuters offers grants of $5,000 to help fund assignments and projects that will advance the recipients’ experience and skills. Young photojournalists also benefit from mentoring from Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis; as well as increased exposure for their work, with Reuters distributing photos from their assignments across our global platforms.
One year on from the program’s launch, three previous recipients tell of their experiences since receiving the grant, and how Reuters support will help them to develop and advance their careers:
Much of Ekaterina Anchevskaya’s career so far has seen her focus on the people and culture of her home country, Russia, including a Reuters Wider Image feature on Russian Orthodox nationalists, published last month.
As part of her grant assignment, Ekaterina travelled to Turkey to document the life of a Palestinian refugee fleeing the violence in Syria. Ekaterina will show this man’s new life and work within the refugee community in Izmir – telling the story of someone Ekaterina says is just “a loving man looking for peace for his family and friends in extraordinarily difficult circumstances.”
She says that Reuters support has made this assignment possible – not just by covering her expenses but by providing crucial guidance on journalist safety and other challenges of working in a volatile region – “I have learned so much about the standards and ethics of photojournalism. I have received a lot of advice on how to continue my story, how to behave and most importantly, how to protect the identity of people I am photographing when it is necessary. Yannis has been very supportive, open for ideas and discussions and ready to share his professional experience”.
This is a view echoed by Thomas Nicolon, originally from France but currently based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where his work focuses on documenting wildlife and conservation. “Yannis has given me advice, but without being intrusive – he trusts us to tell our own story”.
Thomas wants to show the link between political instability and its detrimental impact on environmental efforts. He says the grant will allow him to cover the illegal wildlife trade in the Congo basin – mapping its route from the poachers in the wild to the market traders and consumers in Kinshasa.
Furthermore, through the prestige of working with Reuters and Reuters photographers, Thomas hopes his reputation and visibility as an environmental photographer will grow – “Reuters is one of the world’s most influential press agencies – it’s a true honour to work with them”.
Access to experienced photojournalists and working in an agency environment is also key to Daro Sulakauri – “you really feel you have someone beside you guiding you through the story process. Today in the world of photography, it is very rare to have a mentor like this”.
Daro’s ongoing project focuses on the border regions of her homeland, Georgia, and how ten years after the war with Russia, shifting and ambiguous borders have an everyday impact on the lives of ordinary people.
Daro also wants to use the grant to develop her skills in video journalism – finding a new medium to tell these vital stories.
Like her colleagues, Daro would strongly recommend any aspiring photojournalist to apply for this grant – “Apply! A lot of talented photographers face financial crisis today and are unable to fund their work. A Reuters grant is great opportunity to change this”.
When asked if they had any advice for potential candidates, Thomas and Ekaterina repeat each other almost word-for-word: choose a topic you believe in, a topic you love. Be passionate about your story.
To learn more about Reuters photojournalism grant program and for details of how to apply, please click here.
[Reuters Press Blog]
Heather.Carpenter @ tr.com