‘A single photograph has the power to capture attention and in an instant shift what we feel, but if that image is part of a larger story, the potential for real impact is even greater. A well thought out visual narrative of multiple photographs not only invites a deeper understanding of the world around us, but can also inspire concrete behavioural changes.
It is with great excitement that we announce the four winners of our 2021 Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant. Congratulations to Acacia Johnson, Gabriella Angotti-Jones, Sarang Naik and Shane Gross! These four photographers showed exceptional talent in their applications, with great promise as storytellers. We are looking forward to working with them and fostering the next generation of great marine conservation storytellers.
A special mention must be made of the talented photographers who made it to the 11 finalists; Alejandra Potter, Anita Kainrath, Anthony Onyango, Henley Spiers, Jafet Potenzo Lopez, Joshua Vela Fonseca and Kate Vylet. Each of these finalists is an extraordinary photographer and we thank them for sharing their brilliant imagery and powerful storytelling with us. The competition was tight and we wanted to showcase their talent alongside the winners.
They will receive a one-hour portfolio review with either Kathy Moran, Thomas Peschak or Jennifer Samuel as well as a copy of Thomas Peschak’s book Sharks and People.
Acacia is working towards a career that makes a genuinely positive impact on environmental initiatives and decision-making. Photography is often used as a window into something, now she wants to find a broader use for her images and storytelling in action-oriented initiatives that go beyond photojournalism alone.
Inspired by those who use their relationship with the ocean to help raise awareness about ocean conservation and regeneration, Gabriella’s goal is to continue highlighting communities whose identities intertwine with the ocean. Sharing action-oriented stories of those who are acclimating to our rapidly changing environment and bringing hope and inspiration rather than hopelessness.
Sarang’s goal is to tell stories that ignite a spark of curiosity and wonder in others. Work with conservation and research organisations to mould public perceptions, he wants to share the stories of India’s coastal, tribal and rural communities who have been consistently and often violently excluded from the conservation dialogue.
On a mission to save the world, Shane hopes to continue making a living doing work that he believes in, supporting scientists, conservationists, and fellow storytellers. Knowing he’ll be doing this the rest of his life, all he hopes is that his health and circumstances allow it to be a long one.
The Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant builds on the legacy of our previous Marine Conservation Photography Grant and is dedicated to finding and supporting a new and diverse generation of conservation storytellers. While we look specifically for photographers who can tell conservation stories about our oceans, the grant is not limited to underwater photography. It is led by our own director of storytelling and National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak, in collaboration with Kathy Moran and Jennifer Samuel from National Geographic.