What is it?
The Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award is an annual bursary award for emerging photographers in the UK, worth £3,000.
It comprises a cash bursary of £2,000, plus more than £1,000-worth of printing at Metro Imaging. It funds a professional photographer to undertake a narrative photography project – one that focuses on human stories within a social or political context. The trust supports the project throughout, and works with the winner to help maximise public engagement with the resulting work.
Who can apply?
The award is open to photographers who are either (i) UK citizens or (ii) currently resident in the UK.
The award is for photographers at early-to-mid career stage. By this we mean a working professional photographer, probably trained, with strong and relevant experience – but who does not yet earn a full living wage from their preferred style of photographic work.
There is no age limitation, and no requirement for art school or university education.
We warmly encourage photographers from culturally diverse backgrounds, those whose gender identity is non-binary, and those with disabilities.
Please note that we do not fund current undergraduates, or full-time students on any course. We do not fund work that forms part of a postgraduate degree. Most applicants who make it through to our longlist have been working professionally as photographers for at least 2 years.
What do we look for?
We will fund a stills photography project that is either brand new, or in its earliest stages. The Trust must be the primary funder of the project and we will not fund projects that are already well underway. We do not fund exhibitions or photobooks of existing work.
We use the word ‘narrative’ to describe the kind of photography we want to fund. This is because what’s most important to us is to tell human stories within a social or political context. While this is often approached through documentary photography or photojournalism, we are also open to photographers who work across genres such as fine art or portraiture.
Have a look at our previous winners for 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19.
How to apply
Application is through an online form, in which you are asked questions about your proposed project. It includes submission of a small selection of your previous work. Full information here.