Save Our Seas launches conservation photography grant


Press Release:

The Save Our Seas Foundation launches Marine Conservation Photography Grant

CAPE TOWN, 4 April 2014

The Save Our Seas Foundation believes photography is a powerful tool for raising awareness about marine conservation. In an effort to help preserve life in our oceans, the foundation has set aside US$40,000 to invest directly in marine conservation photographers of the future.

“We fund some of the most creative and well-known marine scientists on the planet. Many scientists need media support to translate their findings from the technical into the popular arena in order to reach a large influential audience,” says Thomas P. Peschak, contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine and Director of Conservation for the Save Our Seas Foundation, “We want to use the foundation’s specialty in conservation media to mentor, uplift and drive the next generation of conservation photographers. Working with project scientists, these emerging photographers will create critical photographs and tell stories that drive conservation change all over the globe,” he adds.

The prospective applicants should be serious emerging photographers who may have become successful in their local region, but have not yet been widely published in major magazines and have not earned numerous high profile international awards. Photographers with underwater photography skills in their repertoires are especially encouraged to apply.


Each year two winners will be selected, each winner will receive a US$2,000 cash prize and will be given a paid three week photographic assignment to document a Save Our Seas Foundation supported marine research or conservation project. The foundation has funded more than 160 projects in more than 40 countries and the winning photographers will be assigned to tell one of these stories.

Thomas P. Peschak and Kathy Moran, senior editor of Natural History for National Geographic Magazine will mentor photographers throughout the process. This assignment will be a learning and refining experience as well as an opportunity to earn income through photography.

According to Peschak, “Budgets are continually shrinking, especially in the magazine world. It’s becoming economically harder, especially for less established photographers, to tell stories with real conservation value. I think we’re losing a lot of great young photographers to other, perhaps more financially reliable careers.I hope this grant will be a small step to changing this, and give us the chance to mentor younger photographers to tell honest, balanced and engaging stories.”

Both winners will also receive an all expenses paid trip to an international or conservation conference to present their photostory. Each winner’s story will be published as a photo essay in the Save Our Seas Foundation’s magazine.

To apply, applicants will need to submit a ‘best of’ portfolio of 20 photographs. This portfolio will need to showcase their strongest images and must include some marine, coastal or underwater photographs. They will also need to submit one photostory of 10 images. This story must be nature or environmentally themed. Marine themed subjects are welcome, but not essential. The online questionnaire and application form will also need to be completed and submitted.

Application procedure and deadlines

Applications open: 15 February 2014 Applications close: 30 April 2014 Winners announced: 31 May 2014 The photographic assignment will be from July – November 2014 and the presentation deadline for the photographic story is the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015.

Find out more and complete the application here.

Contact information For Marine Conservation Photography Grant enquiries.

For media related enquiries contact Jade Schultz at Save Our Seas Foundation on email at jade@saveourseas.com or by phone +27 21 788 6694.