Photography Contest

W. Eugene Smith Grant

W. Eugene Smith Grant

Deadline |


Theme |

Humanistic Photography

Territory |


Eligibility |

Professional photographers

Entry Fees |


Prizes |

Cash Prize
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith's concerned photography and dedicated compassion evidenced during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. This Grant is designed to help a photographer begin a photographic project or help complete an ongoing photographic project. The Judges will be looking for a photographer whose proposed project seems most likely to use exemplary and compelling photojournalism (possibly supplemented by or incorporating multi-media) to address an issue of import and impact related to the human condition; social change; humanitarian concern; armed conflict or interpersonal, psychological, cultural, social environmental, scientific, medical and/or political significance, ideally expressing an underlying acknowledgement of our common humanity

Applicants should submit provisional or ongoing work from an as-yet-to-be completed project that would likely benefit from (and likely be concluded if) the photographer were to receive the grant. Applicants may also submit limited supplementary past work on a related subject as a way of demonstrating the photographer's ability to execute the new proposed project. A written project proposal is required.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, independently administers the grant program that provides photographers with the financial freedom to carry out or complete a major photographic essay. For 2020, the amount of the grant will be $40,000. An additional $5,000 grant will be dispersed as a Fellowship, and two finalists deemed worthy of special recognition will each be given a grant of $2,500. All awards will be presented in a ceremony held in New York City on October 14, 2020.

What the Recipient Receives

In the event the applicant is the recipient of the Smith Grant, applicant hereby agrees to donate to the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, as an unrestricted gift, twelve (12) digital images and twelve (12) prints of work completed as part of the project proposed herein. Applicant agrees to deliver six (6) of said images to the Fund nine (9) months after receiving the Grant, and the remaining six (6) of said images within eighteen (18) months after receiving the Grant.

The images shall become part of the W. Eugene Smith Legacy Collection at the International Center of Photography in New York. Applicant also agrees that as part of the unrestricted gift, the Smith Fund may exhibit the images and may use them to promote the activities of the Fund.

Applicant also understands and agrees that, if applicant is the recipient of the Grant, twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) of the total Grant of $40,000 will be paid upon receipt of the Grant, five thousand dollars ($5,000) will be paid upon receipt of the first six (6) of the digital images and six (6) prints within nine (9) months after receipt of the Grant, and the final ten thousand dollars ($10,000) will be paid upon receipt of the remaining six (6) of the digital images and six (6) prints within eighteen (18) months after receipt of the Grant.