International Academic Forum (IAFOR) Documentary Photography Award 2019 (prize of £1,000 GBP)

International Academic Forum (IAFOR) Documentary Photography Award 2019 (prize of £1,000 GBP)

Deadline: November 25, 2019

Applications for the International Academic Forum (IAFOR) Documentary Photography Award 2019 are now open. The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by the International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists.

The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Simon Roberts, Simon Norfolk, Emma Bowkett, Monica Allende, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Maria Teresa Salvati and Ziyah Gafic as Guest Judges.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform their academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Now in its fifth year, the award is widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, British Journal of Photography, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism. The award follows the theme of IAFOR’s Media and Cultural Studies conferences, with 2019’s theme being “Reclaiming the Future”.


  • The Grand Prize Winner will receive a cash prize of £1,000 GBP from the International Academic Forum (IAFOR) as a contribution towards the completion of a body of photographic work.


  • Each applicant may submit 10 to 20 images related to the award theme, either in the form of a photo-essay or as a collection of single images;
  • Applicants must be 30 years old or younger on November 25, 2019 OR enrolled in part-time or full-time education on November 25, 2019 (proof may be required);
  • The majority of images should have been made during 2018-2019. However, at the discretion of the judges, images made earlier than 2018 will be allowed if they form part of a photo-essay continued during 2018-2019;
  • Only entries submitted via the award website will be accepted. Entries submitted by email, or by post on a USB or CD, will not be accepted;
  • They accept high-quality scanned images of non-digital photographs. They do not accept hard copies (prints) of photographs.
  • Images must be uploaded in a zipped (compressed) folder. Instructions on how to upload a compressed folder of images are available on the Image Upload page.


  • Along with your images, please submit a project description about the photo-essay/portfolio of images entered into the award and how it relates to the project theme of “Reclaiming the Future” (see below for more information). Your project description should be no more than one A4 page in length (approximately 500 words).
  • Please also submit a short biography of the photographer (approximately 100–300 words).


Photographs must be submitted via the online submission system. A username and password are required to enter the award. Once you have completed the registration process, you will be sent a confirmation email.

You are able to make as many changes as you like to your submission before the final deadline of midnight on November 25, 2019 (Greenwich Mean Time – GMT). Once the submission deadline has passed, the images currently uploaded to your profile will be the images that are entered into the competition.

For more information, visit IAFOR Documentary Photography Award.