Indira Gandhi © Marilyn Stafford

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award

Outstanding photo essays by women are set to be celebrated with the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2018.

The award, facilitated by FotoDocument and supported by Olympus, is now accepting submissions.

Granted annually to a professional female photographer, the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award can be used to initiate or complete a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay.

The photo essay must address an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue – whether global or local.

It should, in part, showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the aims of FotoDocument and the wishes of Marilyn Stafford.

About the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award

The award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on unreported or under-reported projects 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.

Entrants must be over 18 and can be of any nationality.

It is free to submit an application to FotoDocument.

An international panel of industry experts will review the submissions. They include:

  • Dorothy Bohm
  • Donna de Cesare
  • Celia Davies
  • Nina Emett
  • Anna Fox
  • Melanie Friend
  • Marilyn Stafford
  • Helen Trompeteler.

Georgina Pavelin, head of Marketing UK from Olympus, will join the panel.

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

Marilyn Stafford
Algerian Refugee in Tunisia 1958 © Marilyn Stafford

The prizes

There will be one overall winner who will receive The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £2,000 towards their project.

The final photo essay will be exhibited at a central London gallery, feature in the exhibition catalogue, be profiled on the FotoDocument website and publicised via social media.

The winner will receive mentoring support from Marilyn Stafford and FotoDocument during the course of their project and free membership of Shutterhub.

There will be two runners up who will each receive £500.

A selection of images from their final photo essays will be exhibited at a central London gallery, feature in the related exhibition catalogue, profiled on the FotoDocument website and publicised via social media.

Short-listed applicants will have at least one of their images selected for a group show at a central London gallery, feature in the related exhibition catalogue, profiled on the FotoDocument website and publicised via social media.

Submissions close on May 18, 2018.

Rebecca Conway

The winner of the 2017 award was Rebecca Conway.

There was widespread agreement among the judges that Rebecca’s photography track record and proposal strongly met all the criteria for the award.

She received support for her project, Valley of the Shadow.

It explores the treatment of civilian trauma (PTSD) in Indian-controlled Kashmir following three decades of separatist insurgency, conflict and violence.

Honourable mentions in the 2017 awards went to:

  • Ranita Roy for her project on child labour and education in India
  • Monique Jaques for her project on girls living on the Gaza Strip
  • Lynda Gonzalez for her project on Colonias in South Texas
Valley of the Shadow © Rebecca Conway

Marilyn Stafford

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

Her photographic career accidentally launched in New York in 1948. Some friends were making a film about Albert Einstein and asked her to photograph him.

On the way to Einstein’s home in New Jersey, she was given a camera and a quick lesson in how to use it.

From there on, her photographic career took her across the world, starting in Paris in the 1950s.

There her friendship with 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.

The area was later bulldozed to make way for the Paris Opera Bastille, 1984.

Stafford’s monograph: Stories in Pictures – A Photographic Memoir – 1950 features these photographs.

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).

In India she spent many weeks documenting the country’s first 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.

Supporting women in photography

Stafford’s work spans from 1948-1980 and covers a variety of subjects including refugees, tribal peoples, international fashion and prominent historical figures.

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

Working as a reportage photographer in a largely male industry, Stafford experienced how difficult it was for women to balance career and family, especially when each opportunity was hard won.

She recognises this difficulty still exists for women in the industry today.

With this award she hopes to help redress the balance.

Marilyn Stafford
Edith Piaf 1950 © Marilyn Stafford

How to enter

Submissions close on May 18, 2018.

For the call to submissions guidance click FotoDocument Call for Submissions 2018.

For the application form click FotoDocument Application Form 2018.

Main image: Indira Gandhi © Marilyn Stafford

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