Vital Impacts Environmental PHOTOGRAPHY Grant
Vital Impacts Environmental PHOTOGRAPHY Grant
Vital Impacts Environmental PHOTOGRAPHY Grant
Supporting long-term environmental photography projects on communities working to protect the environment and wildlife


  1. 10-20 jpeg images measuring 3000px on their longest size showing the applicants experience photographing a local conservation story. The images should represent 1-2 bodies of work or photo stories, as opposed to being a collection of stills.

  2. A short synopsis of the planned project. (25 words)

  3. A statement describing the planned project. (500-1000 words).

The statement should clearly explain why this environmental project is unique and important, particularly now; what the photographer’s relationship with this topic is; and how the photographer will approach the project over the twelve-month period. What will this grant fund? How will this work help the larger world learn about these environmental initiatives? How will this help conservation and environmentalism more broadly?

  1. A bio (up to 1500 characters)

  2. social media tags

ENTRANCE FEE: $25. Fee may be waived for economic hardship. The fee is waived for all applicants from developing countries. Please reach out to for fee waiver codes.

WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT: The two recipients of The Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grant will be announced mid-May 2023. Honorable mention recipients and the 50 recipients of the Vital Impacts Mentorship Program will be announced at the same time.

GRANT DELIVERY: The $20,000 grant will be delivered in three stages.

  1. $10,000 will be delivered after formally accepting the award and signing the Community Environmental Grant Agreement.
  2. $8,000 will be delivered approximately six months after beginning the work. Grantee must show a significant body of work has begun in order to receive this second installment
  3. $2,000 will be delivered once the final project is submitted to Vital Impacts.

EXPECTATIONS OF THE GRANTEE: It is expected that the grantee will spend a year working on this grant to allow a deeper story to emerge over time.

It is expected that the grantee will check in with the Vital Impacts team on a regular bimonthly basis for mentorship meetings and to give updates on the status of the grant.

EXPECTATIONS OF THE MENTORSHIP RECIPIENTS: It is expected that mentorship recipients will attend all mentorship meetings. They will also be actively working on an environmental photography project which they will share with the group at the conclusion of the mentorship program.

DELIVERY OF FINAL PROJECT: The photographer is expected to begin working on their proposed project within three months of accepting the award.

At the conclusion of the grant period, the photographer will be expected to provide Vital Impacts with a wide edit of 100 color corrected jpeg images and their corresponding raw images as well as a tight edit of 10 jpeg images from the project and may provide some agreed upon audio visual material. Vital Impacts will work to place the story in media worldwide to make the greatest impact possible with this story.

Vital Impacts will be able to use any of the work on its channels (social media, newsletters, website, exhibitions and any other media that may arise in the future) to promote the project and the goals of Vital Impacts.

The selection of 10 images will be made in conjunction with the photographer to be made available to media worldwide. Our goal is to amplify the grantee’s work and their profile. We will also help the grantee edit and negotiate getting their story into mainstream magazines.

GRANT OF RIGHTS: All applicants to the Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grant agree to allow Vital Impacts to use their works and application materials in the promotion of the contest and the announcement of the winners. Vital impacts will publish the mentorship recipients in mid-May, with photographs from each of the honorees accompanying the announcement in social media and press outreach.

Likewise, in announcing the winners, Vital Impacts will name two recipients of our two Environmental Grants as well as 4 finalists for the grants. Materials in the application materials from the winners and all four finalists will be used in announcing the competition winners, and will appear across social media as well as in our media outreach.

Recipients of the Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grant will grant Vital Impacts a non-exclusive license to use the materials in the application as well as materials created with the grant’s funds. They will also give the right to use Grantee’s name, likeness, and biographical information in connection with the Grantor’s use of the visual imagery, including for advertising or promotional purposes.


Vital Impacts expects all grantees to adhere to Vital Impacts ethical guidelines. Please review our ethical guidelines here.


In addition to funding the Grant, Vital Impacts will be offering a mentorship program to the top 50 applicants for the Vital Impacts Environmental Grant. Participants will take part in a series of 12 classes with leading environmental and photographic figures.

REQUIREMENTS: Vital Impacts is looking for local photographers in a community who have experience and passion for reporting on an issue, particularly as it relates to the community where it is found, and who are looking to delve deeper and tell a meaningful story that communicates the challenges and solutions to an environmental or conservation issue.

It is a requirement that the recipient document a local story. This grant is meant to support local journalism and we are not looking to fund photographers who are coming from an outside community or country. 

All applicants must be able to agree to and sign our Environmental Grant Agreement [link].

Grantee cannot be the target of sanctions or located or resident in a country, territory or region that is the target of comprehensive territorial sanctions.

Prior publication experience is not a requirement. Vital Impacts is particularly interested in uplifting photographers who have been working on long term projects and who have existing relationships with the stakeholders in this issue.

Any questions?

Please feel free to contact us.

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