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Photography Scholarships: Programs You Can Apply For and Camera Gear You Need

Photography Scholarships

American students struggle to pay for college tuition fees, which can be notoriously expensive in the US. In fact, students from New York University, one of the best schools for film and photography, have to pay up to $75,502 annually.

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 needs 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: $2,488

Deadline: August 12, 2021

2. YoungArts’ National Arts Competition

Open to 15- to 18-year-old artists in the visual, literary, and performance field. Winners will receive financial aid as well as a chance to participate in a creative and professional program with well-known artists. They will also become eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. You must pay $35 and submit the required documentation and portfolio materials to be qualified.

Award amount: Up to $10,000

Deadline: October 15, 2021

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, 2022

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.

Award amount: $10,000

Deadline: May 1, 2022

Cameras and Photography Tools to Invest In


Photography is one of the top skills that can pave 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.

3. Tripod

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 a 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 for 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 towards a brighter future. By honing your photography skills and investing in good camera equipment, you can build a portfolio for your photography scholarship.

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Photography Scholarships: Programs You Can Apply For and Camera Gear You Need

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