The fifth annual IdeasTap Photographic Award is now open to photographers worldwide, aged 16 and above.

The IdeasTap and Magnum Photographic Award is aimed at identifying, showcasing and celebrating documentary photographers. Winning submissions consist of creative and striking photographic projects that are well conceived in their narrative, tell a story and demonstrate a higher level of photographic skill and understanding.

Run in partnership with Magnum Photos, it’s the ultimate competition for emerging photographers – with prizes including £5,000 cash, £1,500 project funding, mentoring from Magnum photographers and the chance to work at Magnum’s offices in London or New York.

How to apply

For full details, and to apply, visit the brief page for the category you’ll fall into on the closing date, 17 July 2014:

IdeasTap Photographic Award 2014: UK-based 16-25-year-olds

IdeasTap Photographic Award 2014: UK-based 26+

IdeasTap Photographic Award 2014: International 16+


How it works

The Photographic Award has three overall winners (one from each category), but also offers opportunities to 18 shortlisted image-makers (six from each category). All 18 shortlisted applicants receive a mentoring session with a Magnum photographer, £60 of Blurb book vouchers and £150 to have their pictures printed. Over six weeks, they are encouraged to enhance and develop their projects. Their photographs are framed and included in an exhibition.

At the exhibition, nine finalists are selected by a panel of leading photographic experts; three from each category. The six finalists each receive £1,500 to shoot their dream project and receive a second mentoring session. Finally, a winner is picked from each category. The overall winners of the Award each receive £5,000 and the UK-based photographers are given paid placements with Magnum in London or New York.

Award history

IdeasTap has been working with Magnum Photos on this groundbreaking fund for the past four years, supporting talented emerging photographers to take their careers to the next level. The award has developed and expanded with each year, in response to feedback from the photographic community. We’ve introduced a 31+ age category and for the first time this year, an international category – opening the opportunity up to more photographers than ever before.

Our support for the winners doesn’t end with the final £5,000, however – we continue to invest in them for the next three years, exhibiting their work and offering them access to mentors from the professional world.

In return, the winners share their experiences with the wider IdeasTap community through interviews in IdeasMag, educational events at the IdeasTap Spa, mentoring and by helping to judge future rounds of the competition.

The result is a truly unique and long term photographic exchange.


The winners

Pierfrancesco Celada won the award in 2010 for his work on Japanese global megacities, Japan, I wish I knew your name. The 2011 winners were Maria Gruzdeva (16-22 age category) and Roman Sakovich (23-30 category). Maria’s project looked at life in Russia’s border territories, while Roman focused on post-Soviet architecture in Lithuania.

Most recently, in 2012, Marco Kesseler and Alice Myers took the prizes in the younger and older categories respectively. Marco’s project explored the political situation in Belarus and Alice’s was a personal take on the status of asylum seekers in Calais.

The winners of the 2013 award will be announced on Thursday 22 May 2014.