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Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award

Women working in photography are being invited to apply to the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021.

Indira Gandhi, New Delhi by Marilyn Stafford
Indira Gandhi, India’s only woman Prime Minister, New Delhi, 1972-5 © Marilyn Stafford

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award for women photographers is open now for international submissions.

The £2,000 award is for the creation of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay.

A winning submission will address an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue.

It should also focus on positive solutions.

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award is facilitated by FotoDocument and supported by Nikon UK.

Submissions for the 2021 award close on Monday, May 24, 2021.

“I started this award in 2017 in order to salute and support the many strong, dedicated, brave and talented women documentary photographers around the world who, through their work are fighting to right the wrongs of our world and to show that change is possible – they have my deepest admiration,” says Stafford.

“In time, the award has gone from strength to strength, with the continuous generous support of FotoDocument and Nikon UK and to my joy it is now in its fifth year.

“My many thanks and deep appreciation to them and to everyone who has made this possible.”

This image from last year's Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award winner Nicky Quamina Woo shows a local cemetery in Saint Louis which is starting to flood.
The local cemetery in Saint Louis is also beginning to flood. Most people from the region have at least one relative buried here. © Nicky Quamina Woo, As The Water Comes

Constructive photojournalism

One overall winner will receive The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award of £2,000 towards an ongoing project.

One runner up will receive £500.

An international panel will review submissions:

  • Andrea Bruce – award-winning photojournalist, co-owner NOOR photo agency, Nikon ambassador
  • Donna De Cesare – award-winning photojournalist, associate professor University of Texas
  • Nina Emett – award-winning founding director FotoDocument, documentary photographer
  • Melanie Friend – documentary photographer
  • Neo Ntsoma – award-winning photojournalist, founder Neo Ntsoma Productions
  • Marilyn Stafford and her daughter, honorary judge, Lina Clerke.

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

Projects should aim to make the world a better place and may focus on unreported or under-reported issues.

Nicky Quamina-Woo won the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2020 for her photo essay As The Water Comes.

As The Water Comes focuses on climate change in Senegal.

Speaking at the time, Quamina-Woo said: “I am so excited to be the recipient of the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2020.

“Thank you for believing in the project and my work.

“We can be so isolated as documentarians, endeavouring to share stories – often independently with no concrete idea if our creative and storytelling efforts will resonate.”

Özge Sebzeci won the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award in 2018 for her series I Am Beautiful – But My Destiny…
Aya, 15, is eight months pregnant and is expecting her first child. © Özge Sebzeci, I Am Beautiful – But My Destiny…

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award 2021 winner’s project will feature on the FotoDocument and Nikon websites.

It will also be published on social media and shared with international media.

Shortlisted applicants will feature on the FotoDocument and Nikon websites and publicised via social media.

“As long as there are social and environmental problems in the world – and we know there are many – there are also solutions and we feel it is particularly important to focus on these in order to bring hope, inspiration and the possibility of a better future,” says FotoDocument director Nina Emett.

“We are very much looking forward to reviewing this year’s submissions.”

Women from any stage of their careers are welcome to apply, whether emerging, mid-career or established.

They must have completed at least one full documentary photo essay to demonstrate track record.

Entrants must be over 18, they may be any nationality and based anywhere in the world.

It is free to submit an application.

Submissions close at 5pm on Monday, May 24, 2021.

For more information visit