The Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grants and Mentorships

The Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grants aim to champion the power of visual storytelling in driving positive change for our planet.

We're offering one grant totaling $20,000 and six grants worth $5,000 each, all dedicated to nurturing documentary projects that spotlight solutions-based environmental narratives.

Recipients will have the opportunity to work on their projects over the span of twelve months, bringing these impactful stories to life. 

In addition to the grants, Vital Impacts will select ten emerging photographers to participate in an intensive mentorship program and will invite all applicants to participate in an online mentorship series. 

The applications are open. Applications will close July 1, 2024.


Previous Recipients

Prior applicants as well as previous grant and mentorship recipients are welcome to reapply. Please view the recipients of the 2023 Vital Impacts Environmental Grants and Mentorships here

The Grants

Our grants serve a dual purpose: to provide support and encouragement to visual storytellers embarking on long-term documentary photography projects, and to foster collaboration with local communities dedicated to environmental and wildlife conservation efforts. 

Vital Impacts is proud to offer one $20,000 (US) grant to an established environmental photographer, along with six $5,000 grants to emerging photographers from across the globe. These funds are specifically earmarked for the development of documentary projects focusing on environmental stories, with each grant supporting a separate photographer and project over the course of twelve months. 

The aim of these grants is to spotlight solution-based environmental initiatives through visual storytelling. Recipients will have the opportunity to dedicate their time, guided by mentorship and intellectual freedom, towards producing a compelling body of work. 

Throughout the twelve-month period, the Vital Impacts team and our mentorship community will provide ongoing support and guidance to grant recipients. By the conclusion of the grant period, it is expected that each recipient will have completed a comprehensive body of work ready for publication, showcasing the impact of their efforts on environmental conservation. 

The Mentorships

In addition to the grants, Vital Impacts will select ten emerging photographers to participate in an intensive mentorship program. 

Over the span of twelve months, these selected individuals will have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one sessions with industry experts, renowned photographers, and influential photo editors. Through these mentorship sessions, participants will refine their storytelling skills, receive guidance on navigating the industry, and establish vital connections. 

By the conclusion of the mentorship program, these ten photographers will emerge with a deepened understanding of environmental photography, strengthened industry networks, and a compelling story ready for pitching or publication, marking a significant milestone in their professional journey. 

The Online Mentorship Program

The Vital Impacts team understands the hurdles encountered by emerging photographers driven to share environmental narratives. Our global community spans diverse backgrounds and geographies, often extending to remote regions where access to educational resources and community engagement can be difficult. 

That's why we're thrilled to unveil an exciting opportunity: all applicants for the Vital Impacts Environmental Grant will be extended an invitation to join a 12-month online mentorship and lecture series. Throughout this series, participants will have the privilege of learning from leading environmental, scientific, and photographic experts. 

The primary focus of this series is to provide emerging photographers with a platform to pose critical questions and acquire practical skills essential for advancing their careers. We're dedicated to nurturing a supportive community where all applicants can access valuable knowledge and engagement opportunities, regardless of their background or level of experience.  

The Requirements

Vital Impacts is seeking out local photographers deeply embedded within their communities, possessing both the knowledge and passion to report on environmental issues, particularly those relevant to their own surroundings. We're on the lookout for individuals who can convey the complexities of environmental or conservation challenges, along with potential solutions. 

It's imperative that grant recipients focus on documenting a story within their own community. Our goal is to bolster local journalism, so we're specifically targeting photographers rooted in the communities they aim to spotlight. We won't be considering applications from photographers outside of the respective community or country. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply in their native language or in English. For proposals submitted in foreign languages, we'll arrange for translation services to ensure fair evaluation and consideration. 

All applicants must follow the Vital Impacts Code of Ethics and be able to agree to and sign our Environmental Grant Agreement

Grantee cannot be the target of sanctions or located or resident in a country, territory or region that is the target of comprehensive territorial sanctions. 

Prior publication experience is not a requirement. Vital Impacts is particularly interested in uplifting photographers who have been working on long term projects and who have existing relationships with the stakeholders in this issue. 

The Timeline



Entrance Fee

$25. Fee may be waived for economic hardship. The fee is waived for all applicants from developing countries. Please reach out to for fee waiver codes.