Travel Photography Scholarship - Common Questions

Photography Scholarship FAQs

Every year we repeatedly get asked many of the same questions about the photography scholarship. Please take a few minutes to read these carefully. If you have any other questions, please post it in the comments section below.

Quick Links to commonly asked questions about:


1. By "18+ years of age", would this be "18 before the deadline" or "18 before the actual trip"?
You do need to be 18 at the time of the application deadline (before November 25, 2015).
2. Am I considered a professional photographer?

We appreciate that the photography industry is difficult to break into and there are a lucky few who can count themselves as professional full time photographers. This scholarship is very much about the mentorship opportunity, and the judging panel will be selecting the person who they feel will most benefit from the learning opportunity. So, if you currently make more than 25% of your income from photography activities, you are not eligible. You will be asked to outline your experience to date in the submission process, and it will be the judging panel who decides who is most suitable based on their photos and written component.

3. I speak very little English. Will this be a problem?
English does not have to be your first language, but you do need to have conversational English for this scholarship. In order for you to get the most of the mentorship you will need to be able to understand and converse with your mentor, Richard, on the trip.
4. I am Nepalese. Can I apply for this scholarship?
Yes, of course!!


1. Can I enter more than once?
No, you can only submit one entry and set of (maximum of 5) photos per person.
2. Can a pair or team submit an entry?
No, each photo essay must be submitted by an individual photographer.
3. Do photos need to be taken with somewhat professional-grade camera equipment?
Camera equipment does not matter at all! Submit what you think works best as it's all about the image! Have a look at the winning photographs of our previous photography scholarships and see how your photos compare.
4. Do the photos have to be from a singular event / place / time?
The images do not need to be sequential from an event, and yes they can be a combined from over a period of time. However, please remember every image must tell a story and THEN the images must work TOGETHER to tell a story about a PLACE you have visited. Five great stand-alone images will not win the Scholarship (especially if they are all from different places!). They must represent one place you have visited.
5. What do I need to include in the captions?
You do not need to write an entire story, just give the photos context and a bit of background. You MUST include a caption for each image (see the Judging Process below). DO NOT use the Essay to tell us about your entry! Images that do not have a caption will receive a score of zero for this component.
6. What do I need to include in the essay?
The Essay is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, it's the easiest part of the competition! Tell us about YOU, what you hope to gain from the experience and what you hope to contribute back to the greater community through your photography. If you like even tell us why you think you should win but really this is about us learning about you and your photography. DO NOT use the essay to tell us about the images in your entry, that is what the Captions are for. If you use the Essay to tell us about your entry you will be penalised! See the Judging Process below.
7. Is it acceptable to enter an image that was shot in colour but converted to black and white?
Yes it is acceptable to convert a colour digital file to black and white but process the image carefully as over-treated black and white is as unacceptable to us as over-treated colour. It will not negatively affect the chances of an image winning.
8. What resolution do you recommend for my photos?
We suggest a resolution of 72 ppi/dpi and a pixel length of at least 960 pixels of the longest length of the image. The file size of each photo must not exceed 1MB.
9. Are HDR images acceptable for entry?
No, we do not accept images created using HDR techniques. In addition, compositing and multiple exposures are not allowed. Sandwich shots, double exposures, photographs which consist in any way of more than one separate image and images that have been digitally manipulated are not eligible.
10. Do I have to submit RAW files?
For the shortlisted entries, we will be asking for your RAW files to compare with your submitted files. If you did not originally save your images as RAW files, or no longer have them, an untouched JPEG file would suffice - but only if it was not processed.
11. Help! I have a problem submitting my application. Can I email my entry to you?

No, you cannot email your entry to us. All entrants need to fill the application page and submit their applications via our website.

If you have encountered any specific issues please contact us at
12. I'm not sure if my application was submitted correctly. How do I check this?
If your entry is complete, you will automatically receive an email confirmation. You can also see your submission in the list here along with everyone else's entries.

The Judging Criteria

Please read this carefully before submitting your application for the best chance of success.

1. The judging panel will be looking for a series of images that:

  • - Are clearly considered
  • - Well executed 
  • - Work together to tell a compelling story

2. The images should:

Reflect your unique perspective on your chosen place and subject
What is it about this story that caught your attention? What makes your story original?
Be technically proficient 
The subject should be sharp, unless deliberately blurred for effect, and correctly exposed to convey  the mood, quality and feel of the story.
Be creatively composed
Compose for impact making sure there is a clear point of interest and that all the elements in the photograph are considered in relation to this.
Use light to enhance the subject and composition
The colour, quality and direction of the light should enhance your subject and focus the viewer’s attention on the point of interest.
Be un-adulterated
We want to see a true representation of the images that you captured in the field. So keep your digital adjustments to the absolute minimum - we can and will be able to see through any unnecessary enhancements. Bear in mind also that we will also ask for your original RAW files should you be chosen as a finalist, and you will be penalised for excessive changes to your original images.

3. You will also be judged on your: 

Photo captions
Make sure that each image has a caption that provides some information about the frame. The captions for your photo essay should tell the viewer a story when strung together.
Personal essay
Tell us what winning this scholarship would mean to you and why we should choose you. You must be eager to learn and convey what you hope to get out of the mentorship experience

The Trip

1. What will I have to produce from my trip?
You will work through a specific shot list of 30 photos that will be commissioned by the scholarship partners as part of your assignment.

You will keep a daily journal about your time on the trip and upload this to a travel journal (minimum 200 words per day), including pictures you've taken.

On your return you will work with Richard I'Anson through the editorial process to shortlist your top photographs and colour balance to achieve professional looking shots.

You will also keep a daily diary about your time on the trip and upload this plus pictures you've taken to your World Nomads travel journal.

2. Are the trip dates final or could they be altered a little?
Yes, these dates are final.
3. What will the mentorship entail?
Everyday you will work alongside Richard I'Anson to gain invaluable mentoring and hands-on experience in everything from shot set up, technique and composition through to insights into his many years of diverse experience as a travel photographer and Canon Master.
4. Will I need to bring my own gear? If so, what gear do I need to bring?
Yes, you will need to bring your own gear. DSLRs are preferable, point-and-shoot cameras and iPhones are less preferable - simply because you are limited in what you can do with them. However, if you are able to demonstrate you have an excellent eye for a story and an excellent grasp of visual language, we will look past gear limitations.
5. Can I bring a travel companion or my partner along for the trip?
Only the winner will be allowed on assignment. Should the winner wish to extend their stay in Nepal after the assignment, this can be discussed.
6. Is there any other way to get into the program besides the scholarship? Can I pay for my room & board myself and take part in the program?
No, unfortunately, you cannot pay your way onto this trip.