Supporting emerging sports photographers
2 May 2021
3:59 AM


The Doug Pensinger Photography Fund supports emerging and early-career sports photographers.


Photographers with more than 3 years cumulative paid professional experience are considered beyond the scope of the DPPF's programs.
The DPPF is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity and to providing free merit-based access to its programs. There is no application fee and the process is open to all aspiring sports photographers. The process is not limited to U.S. citizens, although international applicants should be aware that paid transportation to the Sports Photography Gathering is limited to U.S. domestic airfare and that the DPPF is not able to provide support for visa procurement.


7 photographers will receive

  • A $5,000 grant, to be spent on career development

  • Expenses-paid trip to the 2021 DPPF Sports Photography Gathering (see below) ** Travel coverage for the Gathering is limited to U.S. domestic airfare


Held in Golden, CO on September 24-26, 2021, this 2-day event will be led by top working professionals in the business and will include:

  • Multiple individual portfolio feedback sessions

  • Small group sessions on issues critical to the world of sports photojournalism

  • A keynote presentation by a media team from the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Please note: The Gathering is not a workshop. It is designed to provide career advice, access to leading professionals, and individual feedback on the attendees' body of work. This dynamic informal gathering will give unprecedented access to high-level working professionals in the business. It will honor Doug Pensinger's generosity of spirit, strong work ethic, sense of camaraderie, and spirited approach to life and work.


3 of the 7 grant winners will be chosen to receive a year-long mentorship opportunity with leading industry professionals on the DPPF Advisory Board. 2021-2022 mentors are photographers Deanne Fitzmaurice, Jed Jacobsohn, and Jamie Squire.

  • Mentorships recipients will be chosen based on their current profiles and mentorship essay.

  • Applying for a mentorship is not required in order to compete for a DPPF grant.


The DPPF is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity and to providing free merit-based access to its programs. There is no application fee and the process is open to all aspiring sports photographers.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of merit and overall quality. Only complete submissions will be considered, and all decisions by the judges are binding.



  • Quantity: 20 sports photographs (action and portrait both accepted)

  • Timeframe (metadata for each image must include the date it was taken):

    • 15 of the required 20 images must be current and taken on or after 1/1/2019.

    • The remaining 5 required images must be taken on or after 1/1/2017.


  • Candidates applying for an optional mentorship opportunity must  respond to an essay question about how they would value a mentorship. (1500 characters maximum) Note: This essay is only required if you wish to apply for a mentorship opportunity.


Call for entries open
15 March 2021
Submission deadline
2 May 2021
Winner announcement
1 July 2021



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    First name

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    Biography with up to 1500 characters

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    Last name

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    CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)


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    1 project per submission

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    20 images per project

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    File type must be JPG

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    At least 1500px on the long edge


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    Project title

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    Image country

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    Image description

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    Image title

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    Image location

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    Image date (year)

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    Image creation date must be between Jan 1, 2017 and Jan 1, 2022

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Juror information

Jurors will be drawn from the Advisory Board of the Doug Pensinger Photography Fund


When is the deadline?

Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on May 1, 2021. Deadline conforms to applicant's local time.

Is there a fee?


Can I enter by email?

No. Submissions can only be made through the application process on Picter.

Are there age restrictions for applicants?


What do you mean by "emerging and early-career" photographers?

If you are a student or are within the first few years of establishing a career, you are eligible.

If you have more than three years cumulative paid professional experience, you are beyond the scope of our program.

How many images can I submit?

20 images are required.

How should I choose my images?

Simply submit your best work. A collection of photos that make a case for your

Must all images be sports-related?


May I submit heavily edited photos?

Images may not be digitally manipulated or altered through extensive post-production processing (other than routine exposure correction, white balance and color toning.)

What size / format file should I submit?

jpg only, 1500 pixels on the long side.

Do my images need to be taken within a certain timeframe?

15 of the required 20 images must be dated 1/1/2019 or later.

The remaining 5 required images must be dated 1/1/2017 or later.

Some of my images have been submitted to other competitions. Is that OK?


Do I retain copyright to my submitted images?

You retain copyright to your work. Winners agree to allow the DPPF to use their names, likenesses, and a mutually agreed-upon selection of their images, free of charge, for the purposes of promoting its nonprofit programs. See more in DPPF's Terms & Conditions.

When and how will the winners be notified?

Winners will be notified by July 1, 2021 and their names will be listed at

If my work is not selected, will I receive feedback about it?

We regret that we are unable to provide feedback.

Who are the judges of the competition and the mentors of the winners?

The photographers and editors in DPPF's Advisory Board will serve as judges and mentors.

DPPF states that its grants must be used for career development purposes. What does that mean?

Because the DPPF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting emerging sports photographers, winners of its grants will be required to submit receipts proving that the proceeds were used for career purposes. Examples of acceptable usage include purchase of photographic equipment and supplies, the cost of courses and software, workshop tuition, and direct travel costs associated with career opportunities. Winners will have one year from the acceptance of the award to submit documentation for how the funds were spent. If you have a question about a specific proposed usage for the funds, please contact us.

How do I contact you?

We may be reached at

2 May 2021
3:59 AM