Google and Aperture Launch Photo Fund

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PICTURE THIS: While some artists are still reeling from the pandemic and others are just trying to get a fair shot at a career, a few new initiatives are trying to help them advance themselves professionally.

Google Devices and Services has partnered with Aperture to launch the Creator Lab Photo Fund. Starting today and running through July 16, photographers and lens-based artists can apply for the financial support. Candidates must be based in the U.S. All entrants must submit between eight and 10 images from one body of work that shows a commitment to making a cohesive and compelling series or project. However, the project does not need to be completed.

Unproven talent need count themselves out. Entrants will not be evaluated based on their previous experience, publications or exhibition history. The strength and originality of their vision will be the benchmarks.

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The winners will retain the copyright to their images. Google will not own them, according to a project spokeswoman. But Aperture and Creator Labs “reserve the right to use the images in connection to the Creator Labs Photo Fund” at which point, the photographer will be credited for the images, according to a spokeswoman for the project.

The Creator Lab Photo Fund will result in 20 artists each being awarded $5,000.

Google partnered with the New York-based agency SN37 to launch Creator Labs in 2019 to set up an incubator for professional photographers, directors and YouTubers. Four seasons of work have been compiled with the creation of work that highlight important cultural narratives being key. Kennedi Carter, Quil Lemons and Mayan Toledano are among the participants.

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SN37 represents image makers across art, advertising and entertainment. Photographers Shaniqwa Jarvis, Micaiah Carter and Charlotte Rutherford are among the talent at SN37.

In other unrelated photography news, Brooklyn-based photographer Andre D. Wagner has launched #LifeReflected, a collaborative digital photo gallery. Created through a partnership with Adobe, the project involved asking people to share images of such themes as love, childhood, culture, adventure and joy. Sharpshooters from 50-plus countries did so, sharing thousands of images. Wagner handled all the photo selections and editing, according to a spokesman for the project. With work that centers on race, class, cultural identity and community, the photographer is also known for his photo essay “On Being a Black Photographer.” This collective effort is meant to illustrate humanity’s common threads.

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