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Photojournalism Passion Projects now open for submissions

Update: the deadline has been extended to Sunday, May 20th, at 11:59pm.

Got a documentary photography project burning inside you?

The SPJ Western Washington Passion Projects award is now open to Washington state photojournalists with an outstanding idea and superb portfolio to back it up. This year’s grant awards have risen to $3,000 and $1,000 for first and second place.

All submissions must be documentary-style projects focused on issues of social, environmental, economic or political concern. Projects must follow the Newspaper Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) Code of Ethics.

To apply please submit one PDF or MS Word doc and include:

  • CONTACT info
  • SYNOPSIS: In fewer than 30 words, write a summary of the project.
  • PROPOSAL: Please submit a description of your project, up to 750 words, including what it is, why it’s important, why you’re the very best photographer to do it and how you hope it will be presented to the public when all is said and done. Photographers may propose projects that are already in progress or in the early stages. The projects must be self-initiated and self-funded (rights owned by the photographer). The project can be photographed anywhere around the world but the photographer must currently be a working photojournalist in WA state. Please include relevant research, contacts and a URL to any photographs associated with the project.
  • BIO: up to 250 words.
  • WEBSITE: Please include the photojournalist’s web page.

Submit your application to spjwascholarships@gmail.com with the subject line “Passion Projects” by 11:59pm on Sunday, May 20.

Winners will be announced at the SPJ Wash Gala in Seattle on June 21.

To help with your application, read about how the judge’s chose last year’s winners here or check out prior Passion Project winners projects in this article.


 

Click on this link and specify “Northwest Passion Projects”

The Pew Research Center reported photographers and visual journalists have been the newsroom staffers hit hardest by layoffs throughout the United States. Their jobs have been trimmed by about half during the last 10 years. More than ever, photographers and videographers are self-funding important documentary projects within our communities.

SPJ-RAMONANDJOVELLE-002PASSION PROJECTS 2018 WINNERS JOVELLE TAMAYO AND RAMON DOMPOR

Received $1,000 for their project, “The Deported” documenting the effects of immigrant detention and deportation on families in the US.

IMAGE: Solmarie Deida, 4, peaks out from behind her new passport cover on Saturday May 6, 2017, in Williston, Vt. Her father, Alex Carrillo, was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on March 15, 2017 and is set to be deported to Mexico due to overstaying his visa. Solmarie's passport is scheduled to arrive within two months allowing her and her grandfather to join her parents in Mexico. (© Ramon Dompor and Jovelle Tamayo)

Solmarie Deida, 4, peaks out from behind her new passport cover on Saturday May 6, 2017, in Williston, Vt. Her father, Alex Carrillo, was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on March 15, 2017 and is set to be deported to Mexico due to overstaying his visa. Solmarie’s passport is scheduled to arrive within two months allowing her and her grandfather to join her parents in Mexico. (© Ramon Dompor and Jovelle Tamayo)

They write, “We are deeply grateful to fellow photojournalists for giving back to the community and for the support they’ve given us since we moved to Seattle. Receiving the Passion Projects grant helped us offset the cost of starting our project on immigrant detention and deportation, and energized us to keep creating. Now, more than a year later, Alex, the focus of our story so far, finally has an immigrant visa interview date for his return to Vermont. We hope one of us can join them in New England to document his pending reunion with his family.

Issues of migration and family separation are deeply personal to us, and we intend to produce work that reflects that. Opportunities like this are important for the journalism industry, which in many ways fails to meet the needs of our communities because of disconnect and a lack of representation. ”

IMAGE: Sofia JaramilloPASSION PROJECTS 2018 WINNER SOFIA JARAMILLO

Received $500 for her project “Migrant Sheepherders”.

Jaramillo writes, “The SPJ grant furthered my project by giving me the opportunity to spend more time with the main character in my story. Funding from the grant covered travel expenses so I could photograph one of the sheepherders while he worked deep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. I spent over a week walking with one of the herders and photographing him as he traveled throughout the mountains with his sheep. With the photos I took then, I was able to show the remoteness of sheepherding and what the herder’s daily life looks like.”

The final domestic side of the sheepherding project was published on the NYT lens blog in January. Jaramillo also presented her work during Forterra’s Ampersand  LIVE event in Seattle last year.

Jaramillo adds, “This grant is important because it not only provides resources for photographers who might not otherwise have them, but support from a community that believes in quality journalism. Beyond the financial help, encouragement and support from the judges and friends inspired me. To have funding and then to also know that others support the work you’re doing is sometimes all you need to get moving on a project. ”

Image: Heraclio DeLaCruz takes a break with his herding dog, Oso, in the Okanogen-Wenatchee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Herders walk dozens of miles per week moving their sheep. (© Copyright Sofia Jaramillo)

Heraclio DeLaCruz takes a break with his herding dog, Oso, in the Okanogen-Wenatchee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Herders walk dozens of miles per week moving their sheep. (© Copyright Sofia Jaramillo)

If you love the work of Northwest photojournalists please considering making a donation and specify “Northwest Passion Projects” in this link. Currently our support comes from SPJ and from print sales donated from the local photojournalism community. We also welcome sponsors. If you have any questions please contact Erika Schultz, Matt McKnight, Genna Martin or Karen Ducey on the Passion Projects committee or write to our local chapter President Ashley Stewart at  spjwascholarships@gmail.com.

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