2021 Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant

Deadline: November 30, 2021.

At the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF), we have a strong history of supporting marine conservation and education projects and believe that to truly translate knowledge into effective, meaningful change we must communicate through engaging stories. An inspiring or compelling story can spur positive action in ways that no presentation of facts can.

They are delighted to introduce our new emerging Ocean Storyteller Grant, which will focus on photography in its inaugural year. The photography grant is led by our own director of storytelling and National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak, in collaboration with Kathy Moran and Jennifer Samuel from National Geographic.


  1. They are particularly seeking to support early career and emerging storytellers and aim to encourage new voices with new perspectives.
  2. Applicants should therefore have no more than five years of professional experience in any photography-related discipline.
  3. Moreover, they feel it is very important for the grant to be as diverse and representative as possible. More than two-thirds of their previous photo grant applicants were male and almost 80% came from North America and Europe.
  4. In an effort to actively remedy this geographical and gender imbalance that is pervasive throughout the industry, they especially encourage women and applicants from South and Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as underrepresented communities, to apply for this opportunity.
  5. Applications will be accepted both directly via open call and through nomination.
  6. They hope to encourage applicants from all backgrounds the world over as they search for exciting new voices in the field of conservation storytelling.


  • Four winners will be selected for each grant.
  • Each winner will receive a US$2,000 cash prize and will be given a paid three-week photographic assignment to document an SOSF-supported marine research or conservation project. The SOSF has funded more than 400 projects in more than 85 countries and the winning photographers will be assigned to tell one of these stories.
  • Thomas P. Peschak, National Geographic Magazine photographer and director of conservation for the Save Our Seas Foundation, Kathy Moran, senior editor (natural history) of National Geographic Magazine and Jennifer Samuel, photo editor at National Geographic, will mentor photographers throughout the process.
  • All winners will be given the chance to showcase their work at an international conference or an exhibition.
  • Each winner’s story will also be published as a photo essay for Save Our Seas Foundation.


  • The Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant application process consists of a one-stage online application. The form consists of a few questions and requires the submission of a portfolio (20 images) and photo story (10 images).
  • Only one application will be accepted from any one applicant.
  • If an applicant has any other current SOSF grant, they cannot apply for a new grant.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant judging panel and require final approval from the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • If successful, the SOSF Grant agreement between the Foundation and the applicant must be sent back by the deadline. This agreement cannot be modified.


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