Aiming to support fresh photojournalist talent, the Ian Parry Scholarship 2018 is open for entries. If you are a photographer under the age of 24 or a full-time photography student, you're invited to enter, but hurry – the deadline is 27 July 2018.
Now in its 28th year, the free competition offers two awards: The Ian Parry Award for Achievement and The Ian Parry Award for Potential. Entrants must submit a portfolio and a project proposal. Winners of both categories receive $3,500 and Canon equipment to help them complete their projects. They’ll also see their images exhibited as part of a major gallery exhibition in London, and published in The Sunday Times Magazine.
The Scholarship was created to celebrate of the life and work of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who died at the age of just 24 while on assignment for The Sunday Times during the 1989 Romanian revolution. It has subsequently launched the careers of a series of successful photojournalists, and attracted the patronage of Sir Don McCullin.
"Winning the Ian Parry Award was a huge boost at a time when I was just starting out as a photographer in 2007,” says Ivor Prickett, an Irish photojournalist, newly-titled Canon Ambassador, Pulitzer Prize finalist and World Press Photo category winner. "It was my first year after graduating from university. To get that sort of recognition not only gave me more belief in what I was doing but also got my name out there and helped me to start getting paid assignments."
"The prize money and platform that the scholarship gave me allowed me to continue my long-term project in the Balkans and gave me the opportunity to exhibit the work in London, through which I met a lot of important, helpful people. At a time when it was very hard for me to get my work published, it was a huge incentive to know that my project would be exhibited and seen. Not to mention the fact that the funding afforded me the freedom to not worry about making money from my personal work and simply follow my own interests at the time."
The winner of the Award for Achievement will be automatically shortlisted by World Press Photo for its Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. The winner of the Award for Potential will receive a year-long mentorship by British photojournalist and previous Ian Parry Scholarship winner Marcus Bleasdale.
"I cannot overstate how important winning the Ian Parry award was in starting my career," says Marcus. "It was the beginning of everything. It is the most important award I have entered and one with the nicest people running it and maintaining it over the years. I am proud to be associated with Ian and his family. These friendships will sustain you throughout the years well after you enter."
This year’s guest judge is Elisabeth Biondi, who spent 15 years as the visuals editor of The New Yorker. She has also worked as director of photography at Vanity Fair and Geo Magazine in Germany, and now works as an independent curator, writer and teacher.
A special awards ceremony will take place at a prestigious venue next to London’s Tower Bridge. Plus the Incite Project will add the winning images to its collection, with the invitation of a private tour.
The competition plays an important role in drawing attention to issues that are often ignored by the mainstream media. Last year’s Award for Achievement went to Sharafat Ali, whose photographs documented anti-India protests in Kashmir, which claimed hundreds of lives. The 2017 Award for Potential went to Tafadzwa Ufumeli, who captured violent demonstrations in Epworth, an eastern suburb of Harare in Zimbabwe.
"I would definitely recommend the scholarship to young photographers starting out," says Ivor. "It is steeped in history and the family of past winners and patrons is a tight-knit community of highly supportive, influential people in an industry where it can often be hard to find your feet."
Free to enter, photographers must submit a portfolio of 12 images and a project proposal by 27 July 2018. Visit www.ianparry.org for more information.