Launch your photography career in style with Canon’s life-changing student program

Designed to train the next generation of photojournalists, the educational program lasts between six and 12 months. Now in its sixth year, more than 1,000 students have participated in the program, and alumni include a photojournalist Ksenia Kuleshovawho works regularly for publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and an award-winning documentary and news photographer Michele Spatari.

The program is open to students and trainees residing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Your portfolio should belong to the genre of narrative photography and communicate about societal issues or other contemporary issues. Apps closing on April 29. Read on to find out what’s on offer and how to participate in this amazing program.

What’s Included: Step 1

The 2022 Canon Student Development Program will provide 100 students with mentorship from renowned photography professionals, including Nobel Peace Prize-winning photographer Finbarr O’Reilly, National Geographic Explorer and VII fellow Anush Babajanyan, the award-winning documentary photographer Laura El-Tantawy and Magnum photographer Jérôme Sessini.

Once selected, each of the 100 students will be associated with an expert mentor. In June and July, they will participate in three virtual sessions to refine their portfolio and project synopsis, focusing on exploring different editing options and ways to further strengthen storytelling skills and develop signatures. ‘author.



Based on these sessions, each mentor will nominate their strongest candidates, and an independent panel will then choose a group of 30 people for the next stage of the program.

What’s Included: Stage 2

The top 30 shortlisted students will be invited to attend Canon’s prestigious workshop, which will take place ahead of Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France, one of the world’s leading photojournalism festivals.

During the workshop, students will be exposed to a mix of lectures and hands-on sessions led by renowned photographers, including the Canon Ambassador Paolo Verzonewho will lead a masterclass on lighting techniques for portraiture.

On a penultimate day, students will participate in group portfolio review sessions led by experts such as Benoit Baume (Fisheye), Chiara Bardelli Nonino (Vogue Italia) and Fiona Shields (The Guardian). Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work and critique their peers in an exclusive knowledge sharing forum.

On the last day, participants will attend the first day of Visa pour l’image and discover all the offers of the festival. Five finalists will then be selected for the final phase of the competition.

What’s Included: Step 3

In the final stage of the program, finalists will head to Europe’s newest development platform, the Hamburg Portfolio Review. During a three-day trip, they will each participate in four individual portfolio reviews, see their work physically displayed at the show, and attend exclusive media appointments with key industry publishers.

Over the next six months, they will benefit from longer-term mentorship and receive a €2,000 grant and high-end Canon equipment to support their next creative chapter.

How to register

“It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners in our industry,” says Finbarr O’Reilly, program mentor and Canon ambassador. “Canon’s Student Development Program gives early-career photographers direct access to some of the most experienced photojournalists, who can share what they’ve learned over decades of work in the field and some of the advice and techniques they use for visual storytelling.”




“Students will learn the different stages of ideation, research, design, execution, then publishing and sharing their work with publishers and the general public,” he adds. . “In addition to the creative aspects, they also learn the business side, to some degree – how to present themselves and sell themselves.”

To apply for the Canon Student Development Program 2022 and review the entry criteria, please visit the Canon website. Submissions will be judged by a panel of editors from AFP, Getty Images and Reuters, who will decide on the initial shortlist of 100 of the region’s most promising young storytellers. The last day for applications is April 29, 2022.




Stewart C. Hartline