The DPPF supports emerging and early-career sports photographers. Candidates should demonstrate serious pursuit of a sports photography career. Photographers with more than 3 years’ sustained professional experience are considered beyond the scope of the DPPF’s programs.

Please note: The application link for the 2020 Awards will be available here on March 15, 2020.


3 photographers will receive

  • A $5,000 award, to be spent on career development
  • Year-long mentorship by DPPF’s current industry-leading professionals.
  • Expenses-paid* trip to the 2020 DPPF Sports Photography Gathering (see below)

Up to 7 photographers will receive

  • A $1,000 gift certificate for photography equipment
  • Expenses-paid* trip to the 2020 DPPF Sports Photography Gathering (see below)

 * Travel coverage for the Gathering is limited to U.S. domestic airfare


Held in Golden, CO on September 25-27, 2o2o, this 2-day event will be led by top working professionals in the business and will include:

  • Multiple individual portfolio feedback sessions
  • Small group sessions on issues critical to the world of sports photojournalism
  • A keynote presentation by a media team from the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Please note: The Gathering is not a workshop. It is designed to provide career advice, access to leading professionals, and individual feedback on the attendees’ body of work. This dynamic informal gathering will give unprecedented access to high-level working professionals in the business. It will honor Doug Pensinger’s generosity of spirit, strong work ethic, sense of camaraderie, and joyful approach to life and work.


The DPPF is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity and to providing free merit-based access to its programs. There is no application fee and the process is open to all aspiring sports photographers.

  •  The 2020 application process will be open from March 15 – May 1, 2020.
  • Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT on May 1, 2020.

The application’s main components are:

  • Body of work of 15-20 sports/action photographs (.jpg format only)
  • Resume
  • References (2)
  • Short essay questions:
    • What drew you to photography in general and sports photography specifically?
    • What would you hope to gain through periodic access to a professional mentor?
    • The monetary portion of the Award must be used for career purposes. What are examples of current needs that could be satisfied with these funds?

Submissions will be judged on the basis of merit and overall quality. Only complete submissions will be considered, and all decisions by the judges are binding.


2020 submissions will be judged by members of the DPPF Advisory Board.