Call for 2022 photo essay proposals

High Country News is seeking proposals for the following two funded opportunities for photo essays. One project for each of the following themes will be selected, and the chosen photographers will each receive $4,000 to produce an original photo essay to be published in HCN’s print magazine and on the HCN website:

  1. Western Communities” photo essay: HCN seeks proposals for an original photographic essay that will offer a deep and nuanced exploration of an under-covered issue, story, or theme from a photographer’s local community. We welcome unexpected projects about rural, urban, natural and/or human communities; that challenge the myths and stereotypes of the West; that center underrepresented communities; that address topics not often covered by HCN or that offer fresh perspectives on themes we regularly cover. 

Proposals for the Western Communities” photo essay will be accepted through April 8, 2022. Final projects will be due by July 31, 2022.

  1. The Futures of Conservation” photo essay: HCN seeks proposals for an original photo essay that will explore what’s working in Western conservation, and efforts that people are trying to make work. We’re looking for visual stories about the people, communities, and coalitions helping to protect the living systems we all depend on, from the local level to the regional scale. Successful proposals will be forward-thinking, exploring such questions as: Who is thinking creatively about Western conservation? Who’s challenging old ways of doing conservation work? Who is bringing fresh perspectives and more equitable and just approaches to solving old problems? How would conservation work if we were designing things anew instead of being constrained by the systems we already have? 

Proposals for The Futures of Conservation” photo essay will be accepted through April 8, 2022. Final projects will be due by August 31, 2022.

To submit a proposal for one of the above themes, please send the following to  [email protected]:  

  • a well-developed proposal of no more than 500 words
  • links to your website and/or samples of relevant work

*If you are interested in submitting proposals for both themes, you must submit them  separately. However, an individual photographer can only be funded for one project.

High Country News is working to address a historic lack of representation, inclusion and equity in journalism with effective solutions. We welcome applicants from all life experiences and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to submit proposals for this call, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, two spirit and non-binary people.

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