FotoReportage Award

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award for women photographers is accepting submissions.

In association with FotoDocument, the award is granted annually towards the initiation or completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay. Entries should address an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global.

The work should showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism.

Stafford personally experienced how difficult it was for women to balance career and family while working as a reportage photographer in a largely male industry.

She recognises this difficulty still exists for women in the industry today and hopes the award will help redress the balance.

FotoReportage Award
Piaf Paris 1950 Somber © Marilyn Stafford

FotoReportage Award

The FotoReportage Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects, which may be unreported or under-reported, intended to make the world a better place.

Women from any stage of their careers are welcome to apply, whether emerging, mid-career or established. But they must have completed at least one documentary photo essay to demonstrate track record.

An international panel of industry experts will review submissions including:

Marilyn Stafford’s daughter, Lina Clerke, will be an honorary judge.

There will be one overall winner who will receive The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £1,000 towards their project. FotoDocument will profile the final work on its website and via social media. The winner will also receive mentoring support from Marilyn Stafford and FotoDocument.

There will be two runners up who will each receive an Honourable Mention and whose work will be profiled on the FotoDocument website and via social media.

FotoDocument will publish a list of short-listed submissions on its website and via social media.

The award launched as part of International Women’s Day 2017 in Brighton.

FotoReportage Award
Indira Boarding Plane to Kashmir © Marilyn Stafford

Marilyn Stafford

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Marilyn Stafford’s early dreams were for a theatrical career.

However, her photographic career was accidentally launched in New York in 1948. Some friends were making a film about Albert Einstein and asked her to photograph him. Stafford was given a camera and a quick lesson in how to use it on the way to Einstein’s New Jersey home.

From there, her photographic career took her across the world, starting in Paris in the 1950s. There, friendship and guidance by Magnum founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson were instrumental in shaping her work.

While completing commissions for a number of Paris fashion houses she also photographed children living in one of the city’s worst slums – Cite Lesage-Boullourde – which was later bulldozed to make way for the Paris Opera Bastille.

These photographs are featured in her Monograph: Stories in Pictures – A Photographic Memoir – 1950.

In the early 1960s she travelled widely in Lebanon where she produced the photo book: Silent Stories – A Photographic Journey Through Lebanon in the Sixties (Saki Books, London). She also travelled in India where she spent weeks documenting the country’s only woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

She settled in England in the mid-sixties, where she was one of a handful of women photographers working on Fleet Street.

Stafford’s work spans from 1948 to 1980 covering a subjects including refugees, tribal peoples, international fashion and prominent historical figures.

Her portraits include Edith Piaf, Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino, Lee Marvin, Joanna Lumley and Sir Richard Attenborough.

FotoReportage Award
Cite Lesage Kids Posing Girl Arms Wide © Marilyn Stafford


FotoDocument is a unique arts education organisation. It brings visibility to positive social and environmental initiatives by commissioning photo essays and installing the work in public spaces. It aims to inspire and engage a diverse audience.

Creating a sense of active global citizenship the work engages the public in powerful storylines through documentary photography.

In 2015, FotoDocument received a PEA Award for One Planet City, produced in partnership with Photoworks and Bioregional. It is currently exploring women and microfinance in the developing world with core partner Care International.

Award entries

For more information on entry terms and conditions and to download an application form visit

Submit entries by 5pm on Friday, May 26. The winning photographer will receive £1,000 on June 30.

Main image: Sikri Studying Koran 1 © Marilyn Stafford

Copy editing by Sheena Campbell.