Motivation Technology

Canon paves the way for aspiring photojournalists

March 29, 2023

Canon South Africa once again opens its prestigious Canon Student Development Programme (CSDP) for applications, marking its seventh iteration of the programme that has already supported hundreds of aspiring photographers in taking the first vital steps towards a career in photojournalism. The industry-leading initiative offers access and exposure to experienced professionals from the photographic community and the opportunity to attend key industry events.

CSDP has become an invaluable springboard to the next generation of photojournalists. Former alumni have gone on to work for reputable news agencies and internationally renowned publications, such as 2021 alumni Chiara Negrello, whose work has since been regularly featured in the New York Times; 2022 alumni Vasilis Tsiolis, whose intimate portrayal of nomadic goat herders in Greece has been covered by the Guardian, and Swiss-based Sara Affolter, who her CSDP mentor Ulla Lohmann has supported throughout the process of publishing her first book on animal rights.

The programme is open to students and interns residing and studying in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from March 13th until April 16th. Limited spaces will also be available to talent endorsed by industry professionals. Submissions will be judged by a panel of editors from Getty Images, Reuters, AFP and EPA, who will decide on the initial 100-strong cohort of the region’s most promising young storytellers.

One-to-one mentorships

The selected 100 students will be partnered with one of the programme’s expert mentors to discuss their current work and longer-term career aspirations in dedicated one-to-one sessions. Virtual reviews throughout the summer will help refine their portfolio and project synopsis, exploring different editing options and ways to strengthen narrative skills further and develop authorial signatures.

Canon Ambassador and photojournalist Daniel Etter said, “The Canon Student Development Programme has become one of the leading initiatives supporting and connecting young photographers. For me, it has been a privilege to follow previous students’ work and growth over the years. It is fantastic to see that this year’s programme again offers access to one of the industry’s major events and most esteemed photojournalists, as well as financial support that gives young photographers a platform to launch their careers.”

Take your first vital steps into photojournalism with the Canon Student Development Programme.

Girona workshop and Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France

In September, up to 30 students will be invited to a five-day Canon workshop in a grand Catalan farmhouse in Girona, Spain, concluding with a final night’s stay at the Visa pour l’Image international photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France.

The workshop will offer an intimate forum to exchange ideas and build relationships with renowned professionals from the world of photography, such as award-winning photojournalist Brent Stirton, Head of Photography at The Guardian, Fiona Shields and Lars Lindemann, Director of Photography at Germany’s GEO Magazine. Group portfolio reviews offer a rich learning opportunity for students and a chance to critique their peers’ work and receive professional feedback on their own. Canon Ambassador Paolo Verzone will also deliver participants a practical hands-on lighting masterclass.

Aside from taking in the key exhibitions and evening screenings during Visa pour l’Image; students will also have the opportunity to participate in additional portfolio reviews and further expand their network.

Hamburg Portfolio Review

After finessing their portfolio and learning how to present their work in the various programme modules, a final group of five mentees will be given the opportunity to attend Hamburg Portfolio Review. During a three-day trip, each student will participate in individual portfolio reviews and attend exclusive media appointments with key editors in the industry. Participants will also receive a €2,000 grant and top-of-the-line Canon equipment to support their next creative chapter.

To apply to be a part of the 2023 Canon Student Development Programme or view the entry criteria, please visit Canon/StudentDevelopmentProgramme.

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