South Asian photographers face an uphill battle if they want to have their work published and eventually recognized here in the West.
Some try their hand at photography contests, some others cold call magazine photo editors and float their project ideas. My friend Abir Abdullah who has consistently proven himself as a serious photojournalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh asked me again to sponsor his submission to the annual Gordon Parks International Photo Competition. Just the other day, Mahesh Bhat, also a friend and photographer based in Bangalore, India wrote in asking to spread the word about his project: Heroes Of India.
Producing great images doesn’t come easy and it definitely doesn’t come cheap. Photojournalists often place themselves in some very precarious situations to capture moments that are historic, evocative, inspirational and wholly necessary for our understanding of the world.
I am asking for your financial support. I am asking for your help to create a revolving account of at least a US$1000 to be used ONLY to support credible photojournalists or documentary photographers in their contest entries or their photography projects. If the corpus balloons to something larger, great, but the very minimum we wish to raise is $1000 before disbursing it.
Please look to the top right of this page to see how you can use PayPal to donate $10, $20, $50, $100 or the entire $1000.
We will be held fully accountable for all disbursements. They will be made at the sole discretion of a small panel of judges from the photography world. All decisions are final.
Here is what we will be looking for: (1) South Asian photographers with serious interest in photojournalism or documentary photography via an online portfolio review [please send us a web address that works], (2) the name and entry details of a specific, highly regarded photography contest that requires an entry fee, with at least a 1 month left before the deadline or a synopsis of your project and (3) the actual contest entries or project samples in electronic format [72 dpi, 9 inches wide or high] that are numbered and captioned. Entries can be sent to us at – tiffinboxmedia[at]gmail[dot]com. Please comply by these rules and follow these steps. Incomplete applications will be deleted.
By submitting your application you agree to provide Tiffinbox.org non-exclusive web/online rights to your images, so that they may be used to highlight the Tiffinbox Photo Fund. All copyrights belong to you, the photographers. Credit will always appear on or next to your images.
If you win a photo contest, you agree to send us a high-resolutiion digital image [300 dpi, 11″x17″] for our archives. Once you complete a photo project that was at least partially funded by the Tiffinbox Photo Fund, you agree to display the entire series on Tiffinbox.org within one month of completing it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are you a 501[c]3 organization or can I get a tax break for supporting your cause?
No, we aren’t a non-profit entity. At least, not yet. If this starts to roll, we might just have to be.
Is the Tiffinbox Photo Fund open only to South Asian photographers?
Yes, this is about advancing the work and careers of highly skilled South Asian photographers wherever they live. If you know of any South Asian photographers, please let them know about this opportunity.
How often can I submit my work?
You can submit your work any number of times throughout the year but you can expect to be funded only once per year. Afterall, we want to make this fair and have more people participate.
How much of my project or contest fees will be covered?
This is left to the discretion of the judges and dependent on how much we have left in our corpus fund for the year.
Can I let other people know about the Tiffinbox Photo Fund?
Need you ask? Of course! Please let your friends, colleagues, family know about it.
Do I have to pay Tiffinbox anything to submit work to be considered for the Tiffinbox Photo Fund?
Absolutely NO! You pay nothing. Just follow the steps to submit your work accurately. That would be payment enough.
Why are you doing this?
The Tiffinbox Photo Fund was partially inspired by Shahidul Alam during his recent trip to NYC and my recurring dreams of supporting other South Asian photographers who are struggling to make ends meet.
Do you give away cameras, film, other tchotchkes?
Sorry, no. Until we have sponsors, all we are going to be about is a funding house for photographers who want to enter their work into photography contests or have extended unfinished documentary photography projects. But we are working on an annual awards program. Stay tuned.