Stock photography service Getty Images has announced the winners of its inaugural grant program, which is 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, receiving 1,200 entries 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; Brazilian Adriana Zehbrauskas for her work covering climate change and the everyday lives of Latin Americans; and Dmitry Markov who is spotlighting the plight of orphaned children in Russia and looking to help children “in a humane way.”
The above winners will each receive $10,000 towards their respective projects and will be mentored by several of Getty’s award-winning photojournalists.
Besides the grant winners, Getty is recognizing work from five additional photographers, each of whom will have the opportunity to be mentored by a professional photographer. These include Tasneem Alsultan of Dubai, UAE; Kevin Cook from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Igor Pisuk of Stockholm, Sweden; Cassandra Giraldo of New York City, New York; and Ako Salemi of Tehran, Iran.
Photography is about storytelling and there are many talented individuals out in the world with stories to share. But not everyone can have their work shown on Getty Images. Of course, this service doesn’t offer the network coverage of Instagram, which now has over 300 million monthly active users.
As this Getty grant aims to highlight underrepresented communities around the globe, there’s probably no better platform than Instagram to draw attention to the 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,” said 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 professional photographers and the winners will have their work shown at the annual photography event Photoville, in New York City.