Stock photography service Getty Images has announced the winners of its inaugural grant program centered around the popular photo-sharing social network Instagram. What makes this even more noteworthy is the fact that these recipients have been documenting stories from underrepresented communities from around the world.
In May, Getty collaborated with Instagram to launch its grant program. More than 1,200 entries were received from across 109 countries. Getty’s senior director of content partnerships Elodie Mailliet Storm said at the time: “Photographers in all corners of the world use the Instagram platform to share unique and authentic stories that otherwise rarely come into focus. Getty Images is guided by our belief in the power of pictures to move the world and we are excited to collaborate with Instagram on this grant to support and amplify new and important voices.:
The winners of the inaugural grant are Ismail Ferdous, a Bangladeshi documentary photographer who photographed the surviving relatives of those killed in the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory; Brazillian Adriana Zehbrauskas for her work covering climate change and the everyday lives of Latin Americans; and Dmitry Markov who spotlighting the plight of orphaned children in Russia and is looking for ways to help children “in a humane way.”
The above winners will receive $10,000 each towards their respective projects and will be mentored by several of Getty’s award-winning photojournalists.
But besides the grant winners, Getty is also recognizing work from five additional photographers, all who will have the opportunity to be mentored by a professional photographer. These include Tasneem Asultan of Dubai, UAE, Kevin Cook from Philadelphia, Penn., Igor Pisuk of Stockholm, Sweden, Cassandra Giraldo of New York City, New York, and Ako Salemi of Tehran, Iran.
Photography is about telling a story and there are many talented individuals out in the world. But not everyone can have their work shown on Getty Images. Moreover, this service doesn’t have the network effect you’d have on Instagram, which now has over 300 million monthly active users.
With the aim of this grant program to highlight those that are best showcasing what’s happening in underrepresented communities, there’s probably no better photo service to use in order to draw attention to various plights and community struggles.
“Every day people come to Instagram to be transported, to be inspired, and to learn something new about the world around them,” says Instagram’s director of community Amanda Kelso. “Ismail, Adriana, and Dmitry are master visual storytellers whose work on Instagram shines a powerful spotlight on causes in need of champions.”
All of the entries were judged by photography experts and the winners will have their work shown at the annual photography event Photoville in New York City.