Times are tough for photographers and artists everywhere. But history has proven that creative people look out for their own. Have a read over these five initiatives and funds to see if you (or someone you know) can make use of them right now.
If there’s one thing that creatives share, it’s resilience. And that’s needed now more than ever, as photographers are pretty limited in terms of what they can capture. To assist photographers and artists most affected by COVID-19, a host of funds and initiatives have sprung up, with every part of the creative community pitching in.
Led by resourceful individuals, grass-roots organisations and the biggest photography brands in the world, these funds and freebies aim to reduce the economic upheaval resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. But remember, only take advantage of these funds if you truly need the help.
Format makes it easy for photographers and designers to craft professional-looking portfolios that attract clients. In response to the challenges currently faced by photographers around the world, they’ve launched a USD 25,000 fund to help artists manage the next few months.
Self-employed photographers who have faced financial hardships due to COVID-19 are invited to apply, with those selected by the fund receiving $500 as they look to help as many people as possible.
Encouraging photographers and journalists to explore how COVID-19 is affecting their local community, National Geographic has launched a generous fund that offers USD $1,000–8,000 for selected stories. In particular, they’re after pieces that focus on vulnerable communities with a local or hyperlocal angle.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a quick one-off story or something much broader, NatGeo is constantly reviewing pitches so they can send out funding. Naturally, stories should consider the facts around COVID-19, but also ideally convey the social, emotional and economic impact.
Founded in 2011, the Firecracker Grant supports international female and non-binary photographers. Normally, it offers a single £2000 grant based on the quality of work. But in these unusual circumstances, the Firecracker Grant is changing things up for 2020.
Instead, the prize pool will be split into four £500 funds. However, the more people who pay the £8 application fee, the more photographers the grant can support. Submissions are open until 1 May and 100% of the application fee goes towards funding the prize money.
Launched in 1854, the British Journal of Photography has survived through its fair share of tumultuous global events. In support of photographers, they’ve made it easier than ever to become a member of their professional platform, 1854 Access.
For the next three months, the membership fee will only cost £1, which offers people access to BJP’s digital catalogue spanning the last seven years. It also allows members to apply for the publication’s awards for free, while photographers also have the chance to have their work looked over by seasoned professionals and potentially exhibited around the world.
Throughout April, Nikon is offering its catalogue of online photography and videography classes free of charge. There are 10 great courses to choose from, which normally cost between $20 and $80 each, so now’s the ideal time to brush up on your skills.
The topics covered vary considerably, but you can learn environmental portraiture with Joey Terrill and a rundown of camera fundamentals with Reed Hoffman. Some classes are specific to Nikon products, but there are plenty of new skills to learn and add to your future workflow. Meanwhile, you can take a look at our list of online classes to keep you motivated.