Share this post





A £2000 prize to showcase positive solutions to global issues through documentary photography is to be awarded to a womxn photographer. The international prize will be granted through an award founded in honour of renowned photographer Marilyn Stafford. The international award is free to enter and applicants can be working anywhere across the globe. The prize goes towards the completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay, which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global. The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award is facilitated by FotoDocument and supported by Nikon. It opened on 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day 2022, and closes on Friday 20 May. 


Mama Josefina Lema, a seed guardian and medicine woman, leads a ritual of Kuya Raymi & Tarapuy Pacharaymi to mark the beginning of the fertility season. Imbabura, Ecuador. From ‘Muyu Lab’ a documentary series about the conservation of agrobiodiversity in Ecuador from both a scientific and ancestral perspective and the positive impact for the environment and future generations. © Isadora Romero – WINNER OF THE MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD 2021.


Womxn from any stage of their careers can apply for the award, whether emerging, mid-career or established, but they must have completed at least one documentary photo essay to demonstrate a track record. Entrants must be over 18 and they may be any nationality and based anywhere in the world. It is free to submit an application for the award. 

The successful work should, in part, showcase positive solutions to any issues it raises in order to contribute to constructive photojournalism, in line with the wishes of Marilyn Stafford and the aims of FotoDocument. The Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported or under-reported.


Christening of a baby girl named Charlotte that is born healthy after the loss of a stillborn boy in 2018. Harz, Germany. From ‘Loud Silence’ a collaborative work about families living with stillbirth. © Stefanie Silber RUNNER UP OF THE MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD 2021.



Andrea Bruce – Photojournalist, Co-owner NOOR Photo Agency, Nikon Ambassador

Donna de Cesare – Photojournalist, Associate Professor at University of Texas

Nina Emett – FotoDocument Director, Photographer & Curator, and Manager of Marilyn Stafford Archive

Neo Ntsoma – Photojournalist, Founder of Neo Ntsoma Productions

Marilyn’s daughter, Lina Clerke, will join as Honorary Judge.


Tiktum, aged 8 and a half, stands in the stairs of the soon-to-be-finished new house that the family is building. Chibayish, Iraq. From ‘Al Banaat’ an intimate work exploring the idea of freedom and childhood from a personal and feminine perspective in contemporary Iraq. © Emilienne Malfotto SHORTLISTED FOR THE MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD 2021.



Marilyn Stafford said: “In a year where my own retrospective exhibition and book has come out, I look back at my life’s work and what stands out for me most is the humanitarian work, whether I was covering children living in slum housing in 1950’s Paris, the refugee crisis in the Algerian War of Independence in 1958, or the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, my heart lay with the victims of tragedy and neglect. Although I very much enjoyed shooting celebrity portraits and fashion, I did it largely to be able to support my family and to self-fund my reportage work. I fully understand how women need additional support to make the reportage sustain itself, which is why I founded this award with FotoDocument and we are honoured to be supported by Nikon.”

Nina Emett, FotoDocument said: “Now in its sixth year thanks to the generous support of Nikon, we are delighted to be able to launch this year’s FotoAward at a time when the world seems to need it more than ever. I know how many talented and passionate women documentary photographers are out there working on stories which desperately need to be seen and heard, and they go to extraordinary lengths to bring them to the light of day, often at great personal cost, whether physically, emotionally or financially. We particularly favour a positive and constructive approach to visual story-telling and we hope this Award goes some way to bringing recognition and support where it is needed most.”

Annalisa Davies at Nikon UK said:At Nikon we are committed to supporting the work of incredible female photographers and industry pioneers. We’re very proud to continue our partnership with the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award, which provides an invaluable platform for women behind the lens working to drive global change through inspiring and under-reported projects. We look forward to seeing the entries.”


A group of women during a political meeting organised in the township of Khayelitsha one of the poorest areas of Cape Town. From ‘Globesity’ a work about how the global obesity crisis impacts on the poorest communities of the world and steps to overcome it. © Silvia Landi HONOURABLE MENTION FOR THE MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD 2021.


Tuesday 8 March: FotoAward launches and Call for Submissions opens

Friday 20 May: Deadline for photographer submissions

Wednesday 25 May: Receipt of applications acknowledged by FotoDocument

Friday 17 June: Shortlist announced

Tuesday 28 June FotoAward Winner & Honourable Mentions announced 


Marilyn Stafford (b.1925, USA) honed her own craft under the tutelage of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa and is now based in the UK. Her career spanned the 1960s’ fashion scenes of London and Paris; portraits of significant historical figures such as Albert Einstein, Sir Richard Attenborough, Edith Piaf, Le Corbusier; high profile documentary projects including a reportage on Indira Gandhi’s intervention in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, and refugees from the Algerian War of Independence in 1958, as well as extended photo essays on pre-civil war Lebanon and mid-20th century Parisian slums. Stafford’s work is currently on show in a major retrospective at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, until 8 May and her accompanying retrospective book has been published by Bluecoat Press.




Cover photo: Samantha, Alexa, and Escarle talk together in Escarle’s room in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. From ‘Abre Camino’ a work about the issues facing trans migrants in Central America and their search for safety in Mexico and the US. © Danielle Villasana HONOURABLE MENTION FOR THE MARILYN STAFFORD FOTOREPORTAGE AWARD 2021.