Photojournalism has the power to both inspire and educate, and it’s a power we remain committed to promoting through our grant programs.

This year is no exception; Getty Images Editorial Grants totalling $50,000 were awarded to five photojournalists earlier this month at Visa pour l’Image so they can continue telling the most important stories of our time.

Presentations in Perpignan
Over its 25 year history Visa pour l’Image has evolved to become the world’s foremost photojournalism festival. To mark the milestone, thousands of photographers and editors descended on Perpignan in September to celebrate everything that’s special about the event whilst casting an eye of the last photography offerings from across the globe.

The festival also provided the perfect setting for us to announce the recipients of this year’s Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography, each of whom receives both US$10,000 and editorial support from our team to enable them to pursue a photographic project of both personal and journalistic significance.

The program, now in its eighth year, is something our Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Klein said he was glad to support. “I am deeply heartened that our Grant program continues to provide emerging and established photojournalists with the encouragement and freedom to bring global attention to some of the most complex issues of our time,” he said.

Judge, jury and Jean-Francois
Leading the group of notable judges deciding on this year’s Editorial Grants was Jean-Francois Leroy, founder and director of Visa Pour L’Image, who, over 25 years, has nurtured the event from a pipedream to the biggest event in the photojournalism calendar.

Judging alongside Leroy were Jon Jones, Director of Photography at The Sunday Times Magazine, Olivier Laurent, Acting Deputy Editor of British Journal of Photography, Tiziana Faraoni, Photo Editor at l’Espresso and Fiona Rogers, Founder of Firecracker.

The task before them had been to judge proposals from a record number of applications – almost 500 – from both emerging and established photographers living in more than 60 countries.

And the winners are
After careful consideration, five winning photojournalists were selected, described by Klein as exemplifying “the dedication, determination and integrity that define the photojournalism community.”. Each proposed a fascinating body of work, on subjects ranging from the very personal to the profound:

Eugene Richards, War is Personal Part Two

Richards continues to look at the American social landscape: soldiers returning from Afghanistan, the rise in suicides among military personnel and the number of homeless and jobless veterans.

Samuel James, The Water of My Land

The project follows those forced to work in the clandestine and environmentally destructive oil trade in the Niger Delta , where one of the largest deposits of crude oil has been found beneath the soil.

Tomas van Houtryve, In Drones We Trust

Estimates suggest 2,800 people have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somali over the past 10 years. Of them, 178 were children. Houtryve’s project aims to shed light on this complex issue and arouse questions about being watched and followed by drones.

Marco Gualazzini, M23 – Kivu: a region under siege

Gualazzini plans to document the stories of both aggressors and victims of the ongoing Kivu conflict in FARDC, which has seen the Hutu set against the Tutsi once more and left 700,000 refugees dispersed across a region under siege.

Matt Eich, Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town

Eich’s goal is to foster understanding and dispel uncertainty and fear in Baptist Town, one of Greenwood, Mississippi’s oldest African American neighborhoods, where the legacies of racism continue to impact people economically and culturally.

These five photojournalists may only be at the beginning these projects, but their winning proposals see them join a select group who have been recognised and rewarded for their originality and vision.

Our continued investment in the very best of image-making has seen us award, through all our grant programs, funds in excess of US$1,000,000 over the past nine years.  And it’s an investment we remain committed to, ensuring that the images created by this year’s roll of honor are as thought-provoking as those that have gone before them.

  • Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, December 2011. Carlos's wife Melida had made the wake and funeral arrangements for her stepson Brian, since Carlos had been too distraught. A white plastic collar had been placed around the young man's throat to cover the marks from his hanging, and white paste had been applied to his lips, since they had turned black. The morticians hadn't yet begun their cosmetic work. (Eugene Richards)
  • At an illicit refinery deep in the creeks of the Niger Delta, a worker discards boiling sludge, a by product of refining, in a pit in the jungle. (Samuel James)
  • Nabin Pun, a Maoist rebel soldier of the People's Liberation Army, raises the communist flag from a tree above the village of Rukumkot, Nepal on Friday, 11 February 2005. (Tomas van Houtryve)
  • Africa, R.D.C.- North Kivu, Goma. FARDC, the troops of the government army. Underpaid and without sufficient means, the soldiers at the forefront of the fighting live in tent cities with their families, while those further back and in the city are often guilty of banditry, corruption and violence. On average the salary for a solder of the FARDC is about 50 USD per month. The abandoned airplains on the background of picture are used by the soldiers as haphazard shelters. (Marco Gualazzini)
  • Roger "Winky" Williams wipes food from his daughter Cameriyana's face while having dinner at Shoney's in Greenwood, Mississippi on March 31, 2012. Despite having spent 10 of his 28 years already behind bars, Winky tries to be a good dad to his three children. (Matt Eich)
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