Firecracker Photographic Grant

The Firecracker Photographic Grant is an annual award providing funding for a female photographer to aid with the completion of a documentary photographic project.

Through a combination of self-initiated fundraising and with the generous support of Genesis Imaging, the Grant fund is a minimum financial contribution of £2,000 plus credit of professional printing, mounting and framing services from Genesis Imaging.

Applications are open to female photographers internationally, and those who are female-identifying. Submissions are judged by an independent panel of industry specialists from a cross section of disciplines and sectors, including picture editors, commissioners, art buyers and gallerists.

Submissions are subject to a £10 application fee, with all funding contributing to the Grant total.


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2018 Grant Judges

Vivienne Gamble is Founder and Director of Seen Fifteen, and Co-Founder of Peckham 24.  At Seen Fifteen she curates a programme dedicated to contemporary photography with a specialist focus on artists working within photography’s “expanded field”.  Recent exhibitions include Taisuke Koyama: Sensor Code (2018), Triptych: Ciaran Og Arnold, Megan Doherty and Martin Seeds (Paris 2017) Laura El-Tantawy: Beyond Here Is Nothing (2017) and Maya Rochat: Give Me Space (2016).  In partnership with artist Jo Dennis, she co-founded Peckham 24 Festival in 2016 –  a three day festival that takes place during Photo London week, showcasing the work of over 30 emerging and established contemporary photographers.  She holds an MA: History and Theory of Photography from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Tim Clark is a curator, writer and editor. Since 2008 he has been Editor in Chief and Director at 1000 Words, which was nominated for Photography Magazine of the Year at the Lucie Awards 2014 and 2016. He was previously Associate Curator at Media Space, The Science Museum in London; and Artistic Director of Photo Oxford 2017 together with Greg Hobson. Clark has curated numerous solo exhibitions of artists such as Alec Soth, Julia Margaret Cameron, Martin Parr, Mariken Wessels, Edgar Martins and Peter Watkins. Group exhibitions have included Rebecoming (2014) featuring Tereza Zelenkova, Lucy Levene, Virgilio Ferreira and Henrik Malmstrom; and the two-person exhibition Lexicon of Crime (2017) presenting works by Sergei Vasiliev and Arkady Bronnikov from The Russian Criminal Tattoo Archive. He is currently finalising the exhibitions Who’s looking at the family, now? as Guest Curator of Photo50 for London Art Fair 2019 and another at QUAD, Derby for FORMAT International Photography Festival 2019, co-curated with Louise Clements. He writes widely for the likes of FOAMTIME LightboxPhotoworks, Objectiv and The British Journal of Photography, as well as in exhibition catalogues and publications for the Barbican, Archive of Modern Conflict, Jerwood Visual Arts Foundation and Skinnerboox. He is also Associate Lecturer on the MA in Photography at NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano.

Brandei Estes is Head of Photographs at Sotheby’s London, and spent over ten years working in photography and contemporary art galleries in London and Paris before joining Sotheby’s in 2013. Brandei is regularly a judge and nominator for numerous international photography awards including the Prix Pictet and the Deutsche Borse, and serves as the Chair for the advisory committee of The Photographers Gallery TPG Contemporaries. Brandei also lectures throughout the year on collecting photographs and the photography market for public and private institutions, museums, galleries and fairs.

As Photography Director, Lucy has helped establish WeTransfer as a leading content platform with a strong commitment to the wider photography community. Collaborating with names like Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale and World Press Photo, Lucy has commissioned and curated a number of impressive photographic projects and speaks frequently about the role of photography in digital media today.

Olivia is a London-based photographer who has worked for many years on the East-West cultural divide.  Her first book Jeddah Diary was about the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book, Stranger is a journey into Dubai seen through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in institutional collections in the UK, USA, Germany and Switzerland. She is co-founder of Fishbar a publisher and space for photography in London. She is a member of Magnum Photos.


The Firecracker Photographic Grant is open to international female photographers or female-identifying photographers. It will be awarded to a photographer based on the strength of visual portfolios and artist statements submitted. Applications will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts. The Grant intends to assist with the completion of a documentary photographic project and will be awarded as such.

Terms & Conditions

Grant History

Jo Metson Scott

The inaugural Firecracker Photographic Grant was awarded in September 2012 to British photographer Jo Metson Scott for her project ‘The Grey Line’, a sensitive documentation of ‘conscientious objectors’; American and British soldiers speaking out against the Iraq war. The book has since been highly commended and voted one of the best photo books of 2013 by Time, The Observer, The Telegraph and Empire.

“Receiving the Firecracker grant was a huge endorsement for me and for a piece of work I’d been struggling to find the right platform for. The award gave the work great visibility and the grant itself, as well as the support from Genesis, was instrumental in the final stages of bringing the work together as a book. Beyond being a grant, Firecracker connected me to a supportive group of photography professionals, who gave me the confidence to pull together a project I’d been working on alone for 5 years.”

Nadia Sablin

The 2013 Firecracker Grant was awarded to Nadia Sablin, a Russian photographer living between Brooklyn and St. Petersburg, was chosen for her documentary project ‘Two Sisters’, a story of the photographer’s unmarried aunts who live a traditional and ancestral life in rural northwest Russia, tied to the land and to each other. The project allows us insight into their lives, relationship, identity and the place they call home; each photo offering quiet contemplation on time, aging and family relationships. Since then, Sablin has been awarded a fellowship by the New York Foundation for the Arts and exhibited the project at the Bellevue College in Washington State.

The judges also chose to Highly Commend the work of two additional photographers, Italian Myriam Meloni, nominated for her work on Moldova’s economic orphans, ‘Behind the Absence’ and German photographer Regine Petersen was selected for her constructive narrative about meteorite showers, ‘Fragments’. Each photographer was provided with a bursary of £500, mentoring from industry professionals and a contribution of Trolley publications.

Diana Markosian

In 2014 Armenian/American photographer Diana Markosian was awarded the Grant for her highly acclaimed project ‘Inventing My Father’, the photographers personal attempt to reconnect with her absent parent. By combining her own visual storytelling ability alongside archival and found photography, Markosian delivers a truly authentic and moving account, resulting in her viewer’s total absorption in, and commitment to, the story. The judges also commended British photographer Sian Davy for work exploring the artist’s daughter, ‘Looking for Alice’.

Lua Ribeira

In 2015 Spanish photographer Lua Ribeira was awarded the Grant for her visually stimulating exploration of British dancehall culture. Her project, Noises in the Blood, explores the celebration of a ritual, embracing consciously the exotic stereotype towards a different culture looking at the immediate differences between photographer and the subject, opening a dialogue about the English Jamaican women and their manners within a shared context.

Sanne De Wilde

In 2016 Belgium photographer Sanne De Wilde won the Grant for ‘Island of the Colourblind’, an incredible visualisation of the true story of the residents of Pingelap, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, who have been affected by the hereditary condition of colourblindness.

Carolina Arantes

2017’s Firecracker Photographic Grant was awarded to Brazilian photographer Carolina Arantes for her work ‘First Generation’, an on-going project about the first generation of Afro-French women of France which speaks about national identity, mixed origins and culture deeply anchored in its historical tradition.

Peyton Fulford

American photographer Peyton Fulford received the 2018 Grant for her work “Infinite Tenderness,” exploring her own lived experiences growing up queer in the religious American south.