The Canon Student Development Programme launches for 2022

London, UK – 28th March – Canon Europe launches its prestigious Canon Student Development Programme for 2022. Now in its sixth year, the industry-leading student incubator offers invaluable access and exposure to experienced professionals from the photographic community and the opportunity to attend key industry events.

  • Aspiring photographers to be given an incredible platform to showcase their work, gain direct access to and feedback from acclaimed experts, and attend key industry events
  • 100 students to receive mentorship from renowned photography professionals – including Nobel Peace Prize photographer Finbarr O’Reilly, National Geographic Explorer and VII agency member Anush Babajanyan, award winning documentary photographer and book maker Laura El-Tantawy, and lauded Magnum photographer Jérôme Sessini, whose hard-hitting images consistently appear in the world's most prestigious news publications
  • 30 of the strongest students will take part in a career-defining, five-day Canon workshop and attend Visa pour l’image in Perpignan, one of the world’s leading photojournalism festivals
  • A final shortlist of 5 students will be granted an exclusive Canon-curated experience at the Hamburg Portfolio Review, and supported for a further six months with longer term mentorships, a €2,000 grant and top-of-the-line Canon equipment
  • Applications open from Monday, March 28th to students across Europe, Middle East and Africai

The educational programme lasts between six to twelve months depending on mentee’s progress through the process and is designed to cultivate the next generation of photojournalists. By creating a peer-to-peer network for visual storytellers, the programme will work with a cohort of international experts to support this year’s mentees and provide them with the knowledge and inspiration they need to launch their careers.

The programme is open to students and internsi residing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, from March 28th until April 29th. A limited number of spaces will also be available for recommendations from industry professionals. Submissions will be judged by a panel of editors from AFP, Getty Images and Reuters who will decide on the initial 100-strong shortlist of the region’s most promising young storytellers.

Forging future careers through 1:1 mentoring

Once selected, each of the 100 student mentees will be partnered with one of the programme’s expert mentors. Throughout June and July, they will complete three virtual sessions to refine their portfolio and project synopsis – with a particular focus on exploring different editing options and ways to further strengthen narrative skills and develop authorial signatures.

Based on these sessions, each mentor will nominate their strongest candidates and a 30-strong group will then be chosen by an independent panel for the following stages of the programme.

Finbarr O’Reilly, Programme Mentor and Canon Ambassador commented : “It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners in our industry. The Canon Student Development Programme gives photographers, who are in the early stages of their career, direct access to some of the most experienced photojournalists, who can share what they have learned over decades of working in the field, and some of the tips and techniques that they use for visual storytelling. Students get to learn the various stages of ideation, research, concepting, execution, then editing and sharing their work with editors and the wider public. In addition to the creative aspects, they also learn about the business side to a certain extent – how to present and market yourself.”

Hands-on workshops and portfolio reviews

The top 30 shortlisted students will be invited to attend Canon’s prestigious workshop, taking place in the run up to Visa pour l'image in Perpignan, France – one of the world’s leading photojournalism festivals. The workshop will offer an intimate forum to exchange ideas, build relationships and nurture talent. Students will be exposed to a mix of lectures and practical sessions hosted by revered photographers including Canon Ambassador Paolo Verzone, who will run a masterclass on lighting techniques for portraiture.

On the penultimate day, students will take part in group portfolio review sessions hosted by acclaimed industry experts, including Benoit Baume (Fisheye), Chiara Bardelli Nonino (Vogue Italia) and Fiona Shields (The Guardian), and have the incredible opportunity to present their work and critique their fellow peers in an exclusive knowledge sharing forum. On the final day, participants will attend the first day of Visa pour l'image and explore all that the festival has to offer.

Hamburg Portfolio Review

The final stage of the process will see five finalists head to Hamburg for Europe’s newest development platform, the Hamburg Portfolio Review. During a three-day trip, the final five will each take part in four individual portfolio reviews, have their work physically exhibited at the show and attend a series of exclusive media appointments with key editors in the industry. Over the following six months, they will receive longer term mentorships and will be provided with a €2,000 grant and top-of-the-line Canon equipment to support their next creative chapter.

Susie Donaldson, EMEA Marketing Director for Canon, said: “We are really seeing the incredible successes of the Canon Student Development Programme, as we are watching alumni of previous years advance in their careers. We’re establishing something special, a truly impressive programme of knowledge sharing and talent development that is self-perpetuating with successful candidates returning to give back to the programme which helped them in the right direction.”

“We are constantly learning and evolving how this programme can best serve the creative community it looks to cultivate and support. For example, for this year, we’ve added new activities to the overall package, designed to support students longer term to make a real difference to their career development. This year will also be the first since 2019 undisrupted by the pandemic and with the return of in-person events and experiences.”

Since 2017, more than 1,000 students have taken part in the programme, resulting in real success stories of talents that have gone on to establish incredible careers. Alumni such as Ksenia Kuleshova (2017), who has since gone on to become a successful photojournalist, works regularly for publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; while Michele Spatari (2018) is an award-winning documentary and news photographer for AFP who has captured some of the most significant events in recent history, including the Covid-19 pandemic. Since attending the Programme, both photographers have also gone on to become Canon Ambassadors.

To apply to be a part of the 2022 Canon Student Development Programme or view the entry criteria, please visit: