Melanie Blanding Awarded Focus For Humanity Foundation 2011 Fellowship For Aspiring Travel and Humanitarian Photographers

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Focus For Humanity, a non-profit organization that provides grants to photographers working with our planet’s most vulnerable peoples, announced today that Melanie Blanding of Roanoke, Virginia, USA has been awarded the Foundation's first fellowship grant

Melanie Blanding, FFH Foundation Fellow 2011

We had over 140 applications from 69 countries for this year’s fellowship. The judges felt that against such a strong field Melanie’s portfolios and potential stood out

Focus For Humanity a non-profit organization that provides grants to photographers working with our planet’s most vulnerable peoples, announced today that Melanie Blanding of Roanoke, Virginia, USA has been awarded the Foundation's first fellowship grant.

One of two major awards to be offered annually by Focus for Humanity, the Foundation Fellowship is a grant of US$15,000 for a currently non full-time photographer keen to focus on photography as a career within the humanitarian or cultural field. During their fellowship year, the recipient is supported in working with NGOs and may undertake their own photo assignment or work with members of the Foundation’s Advisory Council on a new assignment with an NGO.

Included in the fellowship are sponsorship from X-Rite, Think Tank Photo, a year’s membership of the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, a mentor from among the Guild’s members and a stipend of up to US$5,000 towards new equipment. Throughout the fellowship year the Foundation provide business, branding, marketing and social networking advice, to ensure a smooth transition to full time working photographer.

The foundation is awarded by means of a competitive portfolio review and an assessment of an online application by the Foundation's Advisory Council that is composed of acclaimed humanitarian and cultural photographers Gavin Gough, Matt Brandon, Jeffrey Chapman, Karl Grobl, Edoardo Agresti and David duChemin.

“We had over 140 applications from 69 countries for this year’s fellowship,“ explained Marco Ryan, the Foundations Co-founder. “The judges were impressed both with the quality of entries and the passion shown for humanitarian photography but even against such a strong field Melanie’s portfolios and potential stood out. We are excited about supporting Melanie during her Fellowship year and in helping her successful transition to full time photographer.”

ABOUT FOCUS FOR HUMANITY

The hopes and struggles of people all over the globe are recorded by photographers whose profound commitment to their work is matched by their responsibility to their subjects. Our mission is to provide financial support, resources, and training for professional and amateur photographers who capture these stories of our shared humanity and to help fund their work with NGOs.

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