London-based photography start-up Picfair is set to award ten £2,000 grants for projects that explore or support the relationship between photography and mental health. It's part of a scheme called Mind The Lens, which coincides with World Mental Health Day.
The grants are open to anyone in the world working at the intersection of mental health and photography, from mental health specialists through to anyone involved in a wellness project that includes photography. The panel for awarding the grants will include Fiona Shields, head of photography at The Guardian, Picfair's Head of Content Philip Mowbray and myself, Katy Cowan, the founding editor of Creative Boom.
Partnering with non-profit The Photography Movement, Picfair will also launch a range of tools and free content throughout October, including a free-to-use image gallery for anyone covering mental health ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. This resource will be curated from over 500,000 photography stores on Picfair, where creatives sell their work. Picfair will pay all photographers featured in the gallery, which also hopes to broaden the visual spectrum of mental health imagery available.
Mental health specialist and photographer Paul Williams, who recently featured in BBC's Great British Photography Challenge, will also contribute guest content exploring the potential for photography on improving mental health. "Being with nature, enjoying the great outdoors and connecting with our environments is unequivocally linked to improved mental and physical wellbeing," says Paul. "We slow the pace of our lives down, feel energised and our minds are taken to a peaceful place where we can once again hear our true thoughts through the noise our often hectic personal spaces create."
Sound good? Grant submissions are now open online at www.picfair.com. The deadline for applications is Friday 29 October 2021. Meanwhile, here are just some of the photographs from the image gallery available for use around World Mental Health Day.
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