Vital Impacts Grant and Mentorship Program 2023

Vital Impacts Grant Recipients

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Vital Impacts Environmental Photography Grants: Musuk Nolte of Mexico and Peru and Tailyr Irvine of the Salish and Kootenai tribes in western Montana (USA). Each will receive $20,000 to document solution-based environmental initiatives in their communities.

2023 Grant Recipients

Musuk Nolte, Peru

Musuk Nolte is a Peruvian-Mexican photographer, documentalist, and editor. His work strives between documentary and artistic photography to approach social issues, such as memory and environmental depredation. His project will examine Peruvian communities reviving ancestral water harvesting practices, planting queñual shrubs, combating climate change, and improving water access.

See Musuk Nolte's Work

Tailyr Irvine, Salish and Kootenai Tribes, USA

Tailyr Irvine is a Salish and Kootenai photojournalist born and raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. Her work focuses on providing in-depth representations of the lives and complex issues within the diverse communities that make up Native America. She will document the change of stewardship of public lands — many of which were taken illegally — back to tribal nations.

See Tailyr Irvine's Work

Honorable Mentions

Ingmar Björn Nolting, Germany

Ingmar Björn Nolting is creating a visual anthology of stories in Germany that courageously advocate for solution-oriented climate protection in the midst of a divided society.

Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá, Xakriabá Indigenous People, Brazil

Says Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá. "For the Xakriabá people, the earth is considered a mother. That is why it is increasingly necessary to give visibility to the struggle of its protectors and its continuity."

Fatma Fahmy, Egypt

Fatma Fahmy's project explores how the deterioration of Lake Qarun affects the community.

Daylin Paul, South Africa

Daylin Paul's work looks at the looming effect of the coal-fuelled Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in Limpopo, South Africa

About Our Grants

The purpose of our grants program is to support and encourage visual storytellers to create long-term documentary photography projects with local communities who are working to protect the environment and wildlife.

“Our hope is that these grants and mentoring programs will foster and support other ways of seeing,” says Vital Impacts founder Ami Vitale. “We want to create opportunities and space at this critical moment for the next generation of environmental storytellers to explore the most complex environmental issues with originality and nuance.”

The 2023 Mentorship Recipients

About Our Mentorship Program

Vital Impacts is offering a mentorship program to 50 applicants for the Vital Impacts Environmental Grant. Participants will be paired with either an editor or a leading environmental photographer over a 12-month period to help them develop their photographic project. Mentees will also take part in the Vital Impacts lecture series. We will be featuring monthly talks that will be both inspirational and provide an opportunity for photographers to connect with one another, editors, and scientists around the world.

The Vital Impacts Mentors

Abir Abdullah, Photographer, Bangladesh

Acacia Johnson, Photographer, Alaska

Alex Snyder, Senior Photo Editor, The Nature Conservancy

Altaf Qadri, Photographer, Kashmir

Amy Toensing, Photographer, USA

Andrea Bruce, Photographer, USA

Ben de la Cruz, Senior Visual Editor NPR

Brian Skerry, Photographer, USA

Britta Jaschinski, Photographer, UK

Carlton Ward, Photographer, USA/Florida

Christian Vizl, Photographer, Mexico

Christian Ziegler, Photographer, Germany

Ciril Jazbec, Photographer, Slovakia

Daniele Volpe, Photographer, Guatemala

David Maris, Photo Editor, New York Times

DJ Clark, Multimedia Director, China Daily

Donna Cohen, Photo Editor, Bloomberg

Esther Horvath, Photographer, Hungary

George Osodi, Nigeria

Georgina Goodwin, Photographer, Kenya

Gurcharan Roopra, Photographer, Kenya

Jaime Culebras, Photographer, Spain based in Ecuador

Javier Aznar, Photographer, Spain

Jim Richardson, Photographer, USA

Jody MacDonald, Photographer, USA

John Stanmeyer, Photographer, USA

Joshua Cogan, Photographer, USA

Karine Aigner, Photographer, USA

Kathy Moran, Former Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic

Katie Orlinsky, Photographer, USA

Kirsten Luce, Photographer, USA

Lauren Joseph, Photo Editor, Producer and Researcher, USA

Lauren Steele, Journalist and Filmmaker, USA

Lynn Johnson, Photographer, USA

Melissa Farlow, Photographer, USA

Michael Wichita, Director of Photography, AARP

Michelle Valberg, Photographer, Canada

Nichole Sobecki, Photographer, Kenya

Paolo Verzone, Photographer, Italy

Ronan Donovan, Photographer, Montana

Sarah Hylton, Photographer, USA

Sarah Stacke, Photographer, USA

Steve Bedard, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, bioGraphic

Steve Woods, Photographer, British Columbia

Suzi Eszterhas, Photographer, California

Tony Wu, Photographer, Japan

Turjoy Chowdhury, Photographer, Bangladesh

Vincent Musi, Photographer, USA

W. Scott Olsen, Educator and Curator, Frames

About the Judges

Kathy Moran

Former Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine

David Barreda

Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic

Jeff Campagna

Photo Editor, Smithsonian Magazine

Sabine Meyer

Photography Director, National Audubon Society

Fiona Shields

Head of Photography, The Guardian

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Photographer, Magnum Photos