New photography award shines light on businesses that contribute to society

Chilli pickers in the Bogra district of Bangladesh, captured by Azim Khan Ronnie on 12 February 2017 on a Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

A new photography award from the London Business School (LBS), in partnership with Canon, is calling for stories that shine a light on the positive social impact businesses can have on the world.

Individual photographers, as well as agencies and organisations, are invited to submit stories of five to 10 images, with a 500-word description, that highlight how a company is improving people’s lives. Pictures must have been shot after 1 January 2015 and fit within one of three categories: Environment, Energy and Resources, Community Engagement, and Human Development.

French photographer Pascal Maitre took this image of a worker at the Kalimbi mine in South Kivu, DR Congo on 12 May 2015. Shot on his Canon EOS-1D X. © Pascal Maitre

The LBS Photography Awards is the brainchild of Daniele Molteni, a current MBA candidate at LBS, and a keen amateur photographer. Daniele studied Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its impact as part of his course, but was motivated by his passion for photography to push the debate beyond the classroom. “The LBS Photo Awards has been created to inspire and promote projects with significant community, human or environmental impact."

“Organisations have the power to shape our society,” says Daniele. “Think, for example, of the positive impact a new technology to produce safe cooking fuel can have on an African community, or a locally-owned restaurant that employs disadvantaged young Londoners can have on the city's youth. I believe that photojournalism can play a key role in encouraging, strengthening and influencing the narrative around these topics.

Also by Pascal, this is the highest town and gold mine in the world in La Rinconada, Peru, reaching up to 5,600 metres. “There are 400 mines there, with 30,000 people living a very difficult way of life”. Shot on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. © Pascal Maitre

The Best Story winner and two runners-up will be announced at a ceremony in the London Business School, London, on 8 February 2018. The winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize and pro bono consultancy from LBS students to support the organisation they are promoting, or a charity of their choice. The five best stories in each category will be displayed at an exhibition to be held at LBS from 8 to 14 February.

We’re looking for stories that dig deep into the issues humanity is facing.

Chaired by LBS Dean François Ortalo-Magné, the judging panel will bring together senior figures from academia, Canon and the wider photography industry. Impressing them will take more than technically-accomplished, beautiful pictures. “We’re looking for visual storytelling that digs deep into the key issues humanity is facing,” adds Daniele. “The competition gives photographers the opportunity to pick from a wide range of stories and topics, from first-world communities to developing countries, from global corporations to family businesses and start-ups.”

Taken 24 March 2012 by Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, this shot shows a broker checking baby shrimps in a local shrimp market. “Fishermen never get the proper price for their products,” says Mohammad. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

As a global company with its own commitment to responsible business practices, Canon is proud to sponsor the awards. “Since we were founded in 1937, the company has followed a Japanese corporate philosophy of Kyosei, or ‘living and working together for the common good’,” says Canon Europe Pro Imaging Group Marketing Manager, Richard Shepherd. We’re conscious of the impact of our business on communities, and the natural environment. These awards offer an opportunity to inspire a wider conversation about how companies can create change across the world through compelling visual stories.”

The London Business School Photography Awards close for entries at 11.59pm on 30 November 2017. Visit to apply.

Written by Rachel Segal Hamilton

Canon Professional Services

Members get access to CPS support, both locally and at major events; a priority repair service; and — depending on your level of membership — free back-up equipment loans.


Learn more

Canon Professional Services