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CameraPro making a difference

When we saw the press material on the CameraPro Explorers’ Grants, we jumped to the assumption that yet another local photo business was opening up a side-hustle in the crowded photo contest/photo grants field.

Having had a pretty deep dive into the sometimes murky waters of for-profit photo contests and photo grant programs over the past few months, we now know that the majority of grants programs are basically a permutation of the photo contest model, where you pay an entry fee and take your chances that you ‘win’ the grant. It’s a game of skill rather than chance, but you still have to pay an entry fee to play. It’s a business.

So we were both pleasantly surprised – and perhaps a little chastened – when following up with CameraPro to find that its  Explorers’ Grants is an entirely altruistic initiative, with no entry fees.
This is the third year The Explorer’s Grants have been running and in 2021 will provide $12,500 ‘to assist worthy causes and raise awareness of them through photography/video’. This year there is also a new Junior category for creatives who are under 13-17 years old.

It’s an opportunity for photographers/filmmakers, either established or emerging, to enact real, positive change through their work.

Here’s a little more from Telan Wade, the CameraPro Explorer’s Grant Coordinator:

‘There’s nothing more powerful than a visionary with a cause. But any cause needs support and gaining support needs exposure.

‘The Explorer’s Grant was established to offer humanitarians, environmentalists, storytellers, innovators and pioneers both financial support and exposure for their chosen cause through photography and/or videography.’

The Explorers Grant project can last for up to 6 months with a focus on Australian creatives making a positive social or environmental impact within Australia. The assessors are looking for ‘creativity that has impact and a strong reach.’

The types of projects supported in the past include:
– Replanting a Rainforest: supporting Daintree buyback programs through Rainforest Rescue;
– Meet the Ocean: an educational non-profit using virtual reality to inspire/teach the public about marine conservation and rehabilitate kids in hospital;
– Rafiki Africa Ministries, Buwooya Mission School, EthiopiAid and Action Ethiopia: locally run Ugandan and Ethiopian aid organisations assisting disadvantaged children, women and local farmers.

The initiative has been cleverly designed: the nominated project or cause benefits immediately by receiving a proportion of the grant money. If the project itself then adds some extra value, it’s one of those win-win things.

For the 2021 Explorer’s Grant, CameraPro has pledged $12,500 in funding in the 3 categories:
Photography – $5000 funding ($3000 for project + $2,000 for cause)
Videography –  $5000 funding ($3000 for project + $2,000 for cause)
Junior (13-17 years old) – $2500 funding ($1500 for project + $1000 for cause)

Applications are open to Australian residents.

For full details please visit: www.camerapro.com.au/explorersgrant

Applications close August 31.

‘We believe in the power of creativity as an effective agent of change,’ wrote Telan. ‘As such, we frequently collaborate with organisations whose missions align with our values and are constantly looking for new avenues to create positive impact.’

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