Getty Images Offers $30,000 in Grants to Instagram Photographers

The stock image company is leveraging Instagram’s unique documentation of “underrepresented communities.”

Screenshot of Getty Images' Instagram account.

Stock image giant Getty will be offering a $30,000 grant program to users of photo-sharing platform Instagram to “document stories from underrepresented communities around the world.” Instagram has increasingly become a repository for some of the most facsinating visual material out there, with an army of citizen-shutterbugs and artists constantly posting a prolific quantity of images. And Getty, trying to reach out into the new frontiers of where pretty pictures come from these days, is challenging the reach and grasp of these vibrant Instagram communities, by seeing if they can step in where many established photographers cannot.

“We’ve been thinking very much about our grant programs, and what kind of support we should give to photographers,” Elodie Mailliet Storm, senior director of content partnerships at Getty, told Time magazine. “We wanted to make sure that we reached communities that that are not necessarily being featured in mainstream media, not because their stories are not important but because they don’t have access to mainstream media.”

The grant will be awarded to three Instagrammers, who will each receive $10,000 and mentorship from a veteran Getty staff photographer. Selected applicants will also have their work featured at New York’s Photoville photography festival in September. According to the Washington Post, entrants’ work will be assessed by a panel that will include Kira Pollack, director of photography for Time, as well as a number of documentary photographers like Malin Fezehai, David Guttenfelder, Maggie Steber, and Ramin Talaie, the co-creator of @EverydayIran.

As Time reports, this is just one shot in a salvo of recognition for the platform’s reputation as a source for some of the world’s most interesting imagery:

Fezehai, an Eritrean and Swedish photographer, won a World Press Photo photojournalism award this year for a photo she shot on Instagram. “I know how hard it is to find support for work that might not be in the news,” she tells TIME. “So I think this new award is a wonderful thing, especially for underrepresented communities.”

The competition is using the hashtag #GettyImagesInstagramGrant, and applicants can submit their work for consideration until June 4.

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