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Photography Scholarships: Programs You Can Apply For and Camera Gear You Need
These steep tuition fees can definitely be a challenge, but you shouldn’t let this stop you from reaching your dreams of becoming a professional photographer. Many institutions are willing to offer photography scholarships for students with financial need or even those who have an innate talent for photography.
Pursue your dreams and earn your degree by applying to these photography scholarships, grants, and programs that are available for talented and deserving budding photographers, like you!
Photography Scholarships, Grants, and Programs for Aspiring Photographers
1. Christian ‘Myles’ Pratt Foundation Fine Arts Scholarship
Open to all minority students who are planning or currently attending degree programs in an art-related field. You must submit an essay and pictures of your artwork to be considered for the scholarship.
Award amount: $3810
Deadline: August 12
2. AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships
Open to U.S. college students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in the disciplines of graphic design, illustration, or photography. College-bound high school seniors (Class of 2023) are also eligible to apply.
Award amount: $500 to $5000
Deadline: April 7
3. Anchell Photo Workshops Scholarship for Documentary Photography
Open to students who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs. You must complete the online application and submit a photo that is socially relevant to be considered for the scholarship.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: January 1
4. Greater than Gatsby Annual Scholarship
Open to students who are currently enrolled in high school, undergraduate, or graduate programs. You must submit three of their best photographs along with a 500-word essay to qualify for the scholarship. Recently accepted high school seniors may also apply.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: May 1
5. Nikon Photo Contest Scholarship
Open to all students regardless of nationality, age, gender, or professional/amateur status. Individuals 18 years of age or younger must have consent from a guardian.
Award Amount: Varies
Deadline: February 13
6. Photographer.org Scholarship
Open to recently accepted high-school students and undergraduate or graduate students from an accredited college/university in the United States.
Award Amount: (2) $1000
Deadline: May 1
7. Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition
Open to individuals who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry and have access to a light microscope.
Award Amounts: (20) $100 to $3000
Deadline: April 30
Cameras and Photography Tools to Invest In
Photography is one of the top skills that can pave the way for a college scholarship. However, as the programs above have highlighted, you need to demonstrate your talent before you are granted financial aid. While you might already have some gear, you might want to consider investing in these tools of the trade if you’re serious about becoming a professional.
1. DSLR Camera
There are many types of cameras available on the market at different price ranges. Budding photographers can invest in a camera bundle starting from $900, which is a good price for entry-level cameras of high quality. Before purchasing a model, consider its sensor size, megapixel resolution, and other settings to ensure that they align with your needs as a photographer. A DSLR camera is certainly a hefty investment, so you must properly choose one that you can use for your scholarship, degree program, and even your professional career!
2. Camera Lens
Camera lenses come with different settings for the aperture, focal length, and depth of field. These are all integral settings that can drastically alter the outcome of your photo. For instance, if you’re interested in taking portraits of people, consider investing in an 85 mm lens, which allows you to get close-up shots of your subject even at a distance. On the other hand, those who want to take up food photography would benefit from a 100 mm macro lens that can capture sharp and focused images of delicious dishes.
A tripod won’t only enable you to take stable and clear shots, it can also allow you to capture images using a longer exposure time and a slower shutter speed. If you’re interested in long exposure shots, for example, you’ll need a reliable tripod.
4. Photo Editing Software
You should complement your photography hardware with good photo editing software to enhance the quality of your pictures. Luckily, you can edit your pictures in image editors that you can download for free. For paid software, Skylum and Adobe have some great options.
5. Essential Accessories
Budding photographers need to invest in camera filters, which protect your lens and add enhancing features to your photos. You must also include extra batteries in your camera bag so that you can continue working with minimal interruptions. Finally, invest in a memory card that can handle large volumes of high-resolution images.
There are several institutions that are willing to lead you toward a brighter future. By honing your photography skills and investing in good camera equipment, you can build a portfolio for your photography scholarship.
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regard to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets, and more have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars. She teaches them how to apply S.M.A.R.T. with outstanding results.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites, and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.