How to Get Scholarships for Photography to Become a Professional


If you are dreaming of being a professional photographer, you can reach your dream without serious costs. All you need is to get one of the available photography scholarships. Seems like everyone with a camera of the smartphones feel like doing photography. So it is important for people who want to get worldwide recognition to stand out of the crowd. Education can give you the advantage as you will understand the process deeply and will be able to showcase your skills to the masters in the industry. You will be able to enter the community of artists and set important connections to push forward your career.

So, in this article, you will learn how many options you can have to get photography education without even paying for it. All you need is to find a few variants of scholarships or grants and do your best to impress the right people and institutions. There are numerous organizations and people who provide such opportunities.

Photo and videography scholarships: where you can get them

You may feel lost as you may have no idea that the right opportunity is just next to you around the corner. Keep reading and you will learn about the most popular as well as unknown options to get the financial help to continue your artistic education.

First, check whether there are any offers in your school. Many schools set scholarships for students who want to master their photography skills. Visit the photography, journalistic or any other relevant department and ask directly whether they have any options.

Then do some research and discover grants available for your territory or country. Grads are aimed at helping students financially in order to encourage them to develop as an artist. For instance, you can look for the available grands on the North American Nature Photography Association Foundation website.

And one more very popular option to get the photography scholarships for high school seniors

is taking part in a photo contest. The price may not cover the entire price of the education but can give you some money to level up your abilities, by buying a new camera or lenses for instance or to arrange a photoshoot you always wanted but couldn’t afford. Also, you can check your skills and artistic level by demonstrating your best works there. For instance, contest help by Smithsonian can give $2,500 as a grand prize.

Sony World Photography Awards have more significant prizes. The winner receives 30,000 Euro worth of equipment and the 10 semi-finalists are given Sony photography equipment as well and a trip to London for free.

One more creative way to earn money using your photography skills is the application Foap where you can post your photos for sale and get $5 for each purchase. You can sell your works to the popular brands and if you will impress someone there they can order more of your photo according to their assignment. Then you will be able to sell your photography up to $2,000 per photo.

Popular photo scholarships programs

Now let’ take a look at scholarships offered by organizations and people who are contributing to developing the photography industry and support the beginners who want to reach new heights. Below you will learn the basic info about the 6 programs.

Bodie McDowell Scholarship. This photography scholarship is set by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. It is available to apply for undergraduates who study any type of photo or videography craft. The grants can vary from $1,000 to $5,000. You can send your application since December.

Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant. Undergraduates and graduates can get up to $1,000 award from the North American Nature Photography Association. The requirements are that they have to study at 2- or 4-year college with arts, design or photography specialization. Your photos should not be obligatorily focused on the filming nature.

National Press Photographers Foundation Scholarships. Here you will find 6 scholarship programs. They are meant for the journalistic students who need financial support to keep their studying. Each of the grads offers$2,000.

The James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists. High school students, graduates, and undergraduates can win cameras, financial prize and the job opportunity here. The requirements are the follows: applicants should study photography in college or take special classes at school. Graduates should study photography or journalism.

Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship. This is a scholarship for talented students who do not have enough social or financial support to study design. But the main feature here is that you as an applicant should have a plan for how you will use the acquired skills to bring benefits to the community.

Lucie Scholarship Program. It offers financial support for those who already work as a photographer and want to get help for improving skills and abilities to evolve as a professional.

High school photography scholarships opportunities

You can also look for special scholarship programs if you will adjust your search considering your peculiarities. It can be the programs aimed at the student in a particular area, race or gender. Do not give up is you will miss the applicable terms or you do not fit the requirements of the most popular programs. Think of your strong sides and remarkable features and take advantage of them. Nothing should stop you from perusing your dream.

Location-based photography college scholarships

Take a look at these options. Maybe your hometown can help you in chasing your dream job offering scholarships for photography majors.

For students in visual arts from Northern Illinois – The Betty Harlan Memorial Arts Scholarship.

Northeastern Pennsylvania – F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship for art and photography students.

Iowa Scholarships for the Arts.

Institute of Professional Photography in New England has Ivan Burnham Scholarships.

Pratt Institute conducts Portfolio Awards in General Art or Photography.

Students of New York City and neighboring three states can get Support Creativity Scholarships.

In Central Ohio students are offered with Tenfold Initiative Scholarship.

Great Lakes Bay Region in Michigan encourage art students with opportunity to get Yellow Dog Studio Memorial Scholarship.

Race and gender-based scholarships

Your origin can also open the door into the world of professional photography to you. Just take a look at these options.

Students of the at least 50 percent Pacific Islander and/or Asian ethnicity are offered with Against the Grain Products Artistic Scholarship.

Students studying visual arts who are black – CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship.

Female art students should pay attention to the Formation Scholarship.

Hispanic students in Orange County, California have their own grand offer as well – Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF).

More variants to get scholarships for photography students

We assure you that there are numerous options beyond those we have mentioned. And the new photo scholarships, grands, and internships appear very often. For instance, you can apply for a few scholarships at once to try your fortune. Take a look at these ones:

Six scholarships from the National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF). Up to $2,000 awards.

Use your takent to win $5,000 at Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship program.

Hight school and college students can get$2,500 from the The James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists.

Photo competitions

Do not be afraid to take part in various competitions that offer financial and other valuable prizes. Consider them as an opportunity to try and develop your skills first. You will always learn something new from your competitors and professionals as judges. And winning the price will be just one more advantage of it.

Do not limit yourself with photo scholarships

As we have discovered, you have much more opportunities to get financial support to keep master your photography skills. But there are options that are not aimed solely on art or photo skills but the general talents of all kinds. Consider those opportunities as well. Try every option you can and you will be rewarded with a scholarship for photography someday!

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