© Alejandro Chaskielberg, EPF winner 2009

We are now officially announcing the Emerging Photographer Fund award for 2012.

We will now award $15,000. as three different grants.  We are trying to spread the love a bit.

Burn will give $10,000. to one photographer,  and two smaller grants of $2500. each . Three awards instead of one.

Each intended to get a photographer going, and with efforts on our part to create more funding to finish an essay  depending on what the photographer produces.

The whole point of these grants is to support emerging photographers in our craft. All types of photographers. This is not a photojournalism grant, nor an art photographers grant, but could be garnered by either or both. We just want to support committed authored photography of any ilk. Please click here  and see who has secured this grant in the past and who our jurors have been.

The deadline for entry will be May 15, 2012 (6pm EST). No extensions for any reason.

Current edition jurors are Stephen DuPont, Jim Goldberg, Sarah Leen, Bill Marr, Arianna Rinaldo, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb.

In 2011 we will have published here on Burn at least 50 of those who enter and feature in advance of the announcement of the recipient at least 20 finalists.

Our Burn finalists can be published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02  and of course we have already Burn 03 as a limited edition magazine/book in our head.

44 thoughts on “Emerging Photographer Fund 2012”

  1. Once again, when businesses close down and photography is dead, you find the funds, the energy and the time to give it a kick, big triple kick.. thank you to all working and contributing! Looking forward to see all the essays.. and Burn03!

  2. i will COPY AND PASTE from Eva and Brian above:

    February 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Once again, when businesses close down and photography is dead, you find the funds, the energy and the time to give it a kick, big triple kick.. thank you to all working and contributing! Looking forward to see all the essays.. and Burn03!

    Brian Frank
    February 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

  3. I want to say, good luck to all you who enter, but only three can find luck here.

    So, best wishes to all you who enter: submit your best!

    And thanks to David for the support and encouragment he provides to so many photographers, emerging and otherwise.

  4. Bill..

    Respectfully, I disagree (“but only three can find luck here”).. if you narrow it down to the three who will get the funds, then yes, maybe.. but I just cannot see it this way..

    Having a platform like Burn displaying your essay, jurors like those in the past looking at your work, getting your work printed in a book/magazine along with names as Nachtwey, Gilden, Anderson, Pellegrin (just to name a few).. having your work up the walls at HeadOn as it happens to those featured in Burn02, along with Harvey’s show opening and the buzz going on.. I think there’s many many more than three being ‘lucky’..

    One thing though has been confirmed, to me, once again, in the past few weeks: what happens has nothing to do with luck. But with talent, hard work, effort put to the maximum, believing in yourself and the work you do, and most importantly: FINISH IT!


    Bill i KNOW you only meant to be enthusiastic because i know how you are…so this comment is just an addition to what you wrote, not a contradiction…..and for sure you did not mean it, but yes, “only three can find luck here” does sound a bit disparaging when in fact there are three more opportunities than there were 2 milliseconds before the announcement!!

    three photographers who maybe can get something going instead of one as in previous years or none in the years before Road Trips…we are the ONLY grant out there at all with no corporate kickback , publicity or whatever…ok yes it reflects well on Burn, but what is Burn? Burn is still three people with laptops and no tie in to anyone…

    were those who garnered the funding prior from the EPF “lucky” or were they deserving photographers with a significant body of work? point is, have a significant project going, and you have a great chance to be “lucky” …even if a photographer does not even become a finalist, at least 50 will have a story here on Burn and a whole lot more traffic to their website and a whole lot more eyes from respected editors in the business than they ever had before…if we just did some sort of ad promo here on what happens to folks who are published on Burn we would have some amazing career advancement stories…photographers get jobs because of Burn…assignments…prints sold…real things happen…which is of course my whole intent for starting Road Trips and then Burn in the first place…

    being the student of human nature that you are Bill, i am sure you know how quickly people will take things for granted….the same as if you buy someone a beer at the bar one day to happy grateful surprise, and then that same person will EXPECT you to buy them a beer the very next day!! if you buy them a beer the next day too, you then OWE them a beer from then on :)

    we are the ONLY non corporate entity giving away a grant of this size based on audience participation….the funding comes from generous donors who believe in Burn yet do not have ANY control over Burn….this is a real anomaly in our craft….can you think of another? all other grants are hooked up to some corporate funding or promo one way or another….we have 15k to award deserving photographers and with zero strings attached….

    …for those of us who take great pride in being able to make this grant possible, and it must be built all over again each year, we just want to make sure this audience understands the origin of the funding and why it happens at all…

    i do thank you personally for being such a lively and honest and forthright participant here on Burn….everyone here sees FROSTFROG and knows words of wisdom will follow….i count on it….i am still only halfway through reading and seeing all that happened to you here in new york at the loft workshop…amazing…i had no idea all that happened to you….that was a workshop inside the workshop!!

    ok, gotta get home…been in new york too long…need to see the light on the dunes…and talk to a cat or two…hmmmm, well not just human nature is up for discussion now….ANIMAL nature is the thing…my cats will be EXPECTING canned tuna fish if they see me…give it to em once and then forever thereafter , no tuna , no love!! ahhhh, woe is me :)

    peace, abrazos, david

  6. Ive always thought the Whole fund thing is unalloyed good. Doesnt matter that most of us will fight and disagree with the eventual choices…thats what people with strong opinions and differing views are meant to do.
    The fact is that no-one is forcing anyone to support this, or enter it. Photographers will benefit and without the need for any type of agenda, corporate or otherwise. David and co make it happen and many many people unseen support it…Like I said, a totally positive thing.

  7. Am I reading this wrong or what?

    In 2011 we will have published here on Burn…

    Should it be: In 2011 we published?


    Our Burn finalists can be published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02

    Should it read:

    Our Burn finalist have been published in print via Burn 01 and Burn 02?

    or was that written because not all of the finalist were published?

  8. David and Eva

    – yes, in this case, I chose my words poorly. As I reread my statement now, I see it seems to state something quite different than what I meant. I did in fact mean that only three could win, but of course it is a matter of talent and of course many more than the three will benefit, some just by putting their entry together and so better clarifying in their own mind what they want to accomplish. Others will, indeed, not win, but will gain exposure here and subsequently elsewhere as well.

    Burn is a wonderful builder and encourager of photographers, period.

    I hate to make excuses, but I jumped almost straight from the David Alan Harvey Workshop blog series to this one that I am now doing, in response to the movie, Big Miracle in which John Krasinksi plays my fictional counterpart but with a video camera, to document the Great Gray Whale Rescue of 1988. It is totally exhausting me. I no longer have a working film scanner and so I must photograph my black and white negatives with a digital camera and invert them and more problems arise in this simple matter than you would imagine.

    And tomorrow night I leave on a five week trip to Arizona and India!

    I’m afraid my brain is frazzled. I chose my words very poorly. I apologize, for they say something other than what I meant them to say.

    You know I love you all and the work that you do and encourage.

  9. I should add… and then there’s the writing. I think that’s what exhausts me the most. I spend the day editing, photographing negatives, photoshopping to make them positive and to remove 23 years worth of dust spots, then place them in the blog and then, once all this is done, I must write – when what my body wants to do is call it a day and go to bed. So that’s part of my excuse as well.

    I wonder sometimes just what is the nature of all this insanity that causes me to work so hard and so long for free, with little hope of any return, other than have done the work itself? I shouldn’t ramble on about this here like this, but if I cannot unload in this way with my Burn family, then who do I unload with?

  10. There is nothing but generosity, and golden at that, in the continued life of BURN and this special and extraordinary grant. In life, we all struggle with winning and losing, and this has nothing to do with awards or grants or photography or money. It is with humility that we accept things when all goes well and with grace and awareness when things go unwell and failing.

    The EPF grant specifically, and BURN more broadly, is powered by the steerage of grace and generosity and I celebrate the donors and the organizers and the editors and the commentators and the photographers and above all David whose leadership has kept the ship pointed in the right direction, even if that course was drunken from time to time.

    May as many people has hope submit and submit not with expectation but with a sense of pride and honor for the commitment to your life and work and for the love that you put into that. That is the greatest prize above all.

    Congratulations again David, BURN and company…..

    may you all someday understand that everyone, at least as this is concerns, wins when you have your life and your health and your passion and your love…

    celebrate that each and every one of you….



    well Bill doesn’t it or shouldn’t it come down to the work itself no matter what? if you were being paid, would that improve the work? or if you were being paid would it change the work you do to match the agenda of whoever was paying you? these are the big questions for all of us right now who have been a part of or at least seen the world of commissioned photography pretty much disappear for most…there is the obvious lament of “how do i pay the bills?”….and yet with your blog you do as you please….your blog reflects Bill Hess…it is Bill….can you think of any commission that would allow that sort of freedom? if you suddenly had super sponsorship, wouldn’t you then be working for them with your bills paid, but with another whole set of stress conditions that would i am sure take the Bill Hess right out of your publishing?…

    we have tried on Burn to alleviate and set up at least some kind of model for photographers to be compensated for their work…we have succeeded with some very small models, but the overall business will not be affected….big companies are going to do what big companies do, make just as much profit as they can…small “mom and pop shops” like us (yes like you and like me) are a result of new tech coming onto the stage at exactly the same time the whole traditional biz paradigm leaves the theater…the super venues are over, even for Lady Gaga, so playing to the “home town crowd”, the selected audience, is just the way the proverbial ball has bounced….enjoy it , it is YOURS

    yes, the day to day responsibilities , as you describe, of keeping up with a blog can be formidable…but this too is a “body of work”….not the same as a photographic body of work , but you seem to be doing that as well….and me too..so the blogging is not in fact keeping you from your photographic work as you might imagine..in fact, it could be the biggest stimulus of all…you are just rolling rolling with great day to day stories…we love ’em

    can we do a Skype call? funny question after just doing my Skype post i guess, but i really would like to do a piece on you…on your life and your blog etc..Logbook is a masterpiece….hey we bloggers gotta keep each other warm…it’s cold out here…

    safe travels amigo..

    abrazos, david


    thanks amigo…yes, we just want to do the right thing….i have thought of every kind of way to get funds into the hands of worthy photographers….i just cannot come up with a better one…

  13. david:

    you, burn et all have done more than the fair share and that has translated into heart-shaping lives (the beautiful re-birth of Panos and his life and his golden, generous heart and commitment to being the great human he once doubted he was) and work-delving dreams (all the photographers who’ve been helped and enhanced and watched and mentored and shown)……there is not better scheme than what you have done this year, it seems to me, by spreading the kitty…but even if it were not done so, i would have nothing but praise….

  14. a civilian-mass audience

    I knew it…we are all ONE…hiii…we are ALL Greeks now…oime…

    I had no internet…
    time to read your comments… I am slow…BUT I AM HERE…yes,I am here…and I LOVE U ALLL…

    P.S ADMIN…which one is my aisle?

  15. a civilian-mass audience

    BOBBY…I see you around…oime…How much I miss you MY ACADEMIAN…

    and I miss so many of YOU…I need your reports ASAP…helloooooo:)))

  16. Absolutely, David – I love what I am doing. It is kind of fantasy to think I can get away with it for very long, but, on the other hand, I think I have staked my place and now I either live or die by it. Yes, I would like that. Maybe one day next week when I am in Arizona? Tuesday or Wednesday should work, I think.

    Toucon Sam – thanks for the endorsement and its good to know you have been following.

    Bob – the best to you.

    Civi – us Greeks got to stick together.

    Akaky – I love grammar nanny’s and I drive them nuts.

  17. Frosty, I’m assuming that’s why you are using the possessive in place of the plural [nanny’s versus nannies, which, despite what anyone may think, is not the title of a porn flick]

  18. Anyway, to get back to the subject…

    Verticality is a trait common to most bipedal species, except, of course, on Saint Patrick’s Day, when many a young biped finds horizontality a bit more congenial, especially if said horizontality occurs somewhere near an unoccupied porcelain receptacle. Verticality is also a trait most bipeds do not appreciate until they cannot exercise it for a prolonged period of time, a position, I trust, that you will never find yourself in.

    There are few things in life as annoying as finding yourself in a position you do not want to be in. Consider, for example, the case of an infantryman on a battlefield. He is clearly in a position he does not want to be in and yet he stays where he is. A sense of duty binds him to his position, as does patriotism, loyalty to his comrades, fear of having his comrades think him a coward, and, in a sufficiently obnoxious army, fear of the firing squad. Without any of these regulating factors, our young infantryman may decide for himself that the position he is in is simply ridiculous; he is young, after all, and has better things to do with his time than dying violently to advance the pretensions of politicians; and so he may quit and take the first bus home.

    Similarly, many a clerk at the DMV stays at the window long after any rational human being, a semi-mythical creature like the Sasquatch but with a less effective public relations staff, would have moved on to the tax assessor’s office or to some agency that regulates the number of rat hairs allowed in a bottle of ketchup [for those of you interested in such arcana, the answer is 1 rat hair per 100 grams of ketchup. Really.] Our DMV troll may have all sorts of reasons for remaining in the Siberia of local American bureaucracy: they like lording their pathetic bit of power over a perpetually angry public, they find spiritual contentment in telling people who’ve been waiting patiently to get to their window for an hour and a half that this is the wrong line or that these poor people’s documents are not in order, or that our troll simply enjoys having an irate yet powerless motoring public scream at them for several hours a day; but all of these reasons leave the casual observer thinking that our DMV clerk is more than a little nuts, a condition common to DMV clerks in this country and I suppose other countries as well. What distinguishes our two hypothetical sufferers from our next example is that they could abandon or avoid the situation they find themselves in; they choose, however, not to.

    Now, for the purposes of comparison, consider the case of one A. IRL, a poor schnook who makes his living leeching off of the taxpayers. Arthritis recently struck this poor doofus down—I should point out here, simply for the sake of information and the general edification of the readers, that this is a disease whose complete and utter suckiness, assuming that suckiness is a word, the readers must experience for themselves in order to appreciate fully. Our not so young bureaucratic drone recently spent the better part of three months flat on his back whining pathetically and wishing someone else was dead as he learned to appreciate the awesome suckiness of this loathsome malady, a situation which, like our two hypothetical sufferers, he did not want to be in and could not get out off without the schadenfreudenous assistance of his family, most of whom did not want to help at all, the lousy bastards [Mom’s been a real trouper, though.] Yes indeed, bipedalism is a wonderful thing, and something your average bipedal does not appreciate until neither of his pedals work.

    This pathetic dolt illustrates this great truth perfectly. A. IRL was an avid flaneur in his day, before the ravages of disease caught up with him, a man who thought nothing of walking five miles a day, seven days a week through the admittedly not very great length and breadth of our happy little burg. On more than one occasion he even thought of walking the six or so miles between Grand Central Terminal and 475 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn just to see if he could do it, but he never did. That he never made the journey to Brooklyn shows the power of the Williamsburg Bridge to bring out the cringing acrophobic in any cringing acrophobic, and there are few people in the world who cringe as acrophobically as A. IRL, a true master of the art form. That he never tried is unfortunate, because nowadays A. IRL regards walking the six or seven yards between his bedroom and the bathroom as a great accomplishment, and to do so without peeing on himself as a milestone in humanity’s ongoing fight with chronic disease.

    In a related vein, I should point out that there hasn’t been nearly enough research done on discovering why some people’s need to relieve themselves increases exponentially the nearer they get to a bathroom. There seems to be no logical biological reason for this, except in the case of women needing to use a public restroom, where, given that most architects are men, the phenomenon is explainable as indicative of the usual male’s loutish insensitivity to the personal needs of women. But the phenomenon exists, architecture or not, and it seems to me someone ought to study just why it occurs. You know, I’m not really sure how I got here from where I started; this rant was about verticality not too long ago—I remember this because I had to look up verticality in the dictionary to make sure I was spelling it right. Well, it’s been a long day’s journey into the bathroom, and a very odd journey, I think, no matter how you choose to look at it.

  19. a civilian-mass audience

    ” I love what I am doing…”

    no further comment…

    Grammar nunnies???…hmmm…AKAKIUS…who else…:)))))))))))

    May the PARTY begin !

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  22. Great size for a grant. It should go to 1 person. Next year it should be $45k to three people:) Just sayin’

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  25. Hi, when I’m following the “apply here” link I get a long error message and it is not possible to log in.. Anyone having the same problem? Deadline is today, what is not working..?

  26. Bob Dixon Photography

    Hi Andrea Gjestvang, I am getting the same error message. I had previously opened up my submission account but now I cannot access it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated as I would really love to confirm my submission before close of call?



    I received a reply from support:

    Hello Anton,

    Our database went down and our development team is working on resolving the issue and bringing the database back online. I will notify you when the system is fully functional. I apologize for the inconvenience this is causing and assure you that we will have it back online as soon as possible.

    SlideRoom Tech Support

    Of course “the clock” will be stopped and anyone who was submitting will be able to continue as soon as things return to normal…

    cheers, a

  28. FIXED

    I just wrote the message above, and all is back online now…. nice coincidence!

    good luck to everyone submitting…



    do not worry…any errors in the system will of course be taken into account….these glitches happen….if we know of an error that keeps you from entering properly, we will fix it..thanks for your patience..

    cheers, david


    for the last four years the grant has gone to one person….we thought we would try to spread the love a bit…maybe next year we will go back to just one…but no matter what , we just do not have enough funding for a 45k grant!! what small blog does?? we are doing the best we can do at this moment…thanks for your interest, and help us raise the funding for more!!

    cheers, david


    you are right…and we are all in the same boat…i work for free too…99% of the time…we are ALL trying to figure out how to make our work mean something and perhaps pay us back for all the hard work….i feel your pain and share your pain….the bright side: hey amigo we are still very privileged to be able to do what we do…to be able to communicate ideas and imagery on the net and in print…i have been prepared my whole career to do some menial job just to be able to make photographs…i have been fortunate in that i have been able to make a living in photography, but it has had me feeling often as do you….add up the hours, and i could have made more money at minimum wage levels….take heart amigo, your work IS out there…you touch many people…thank you for being you…you are an inspiration….

    cheers, david

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