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.




Fortunately, the 2020 Grants and Mentorships programs will go forward as planned and are not impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Whether we will be able to host the Sports Photography Gathering scheduled for September 2020 will be reassessed by mid-summer in the light of new developments and guidelines.


3 photographers will receive

  • A $5,000 grant, 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 card 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 process is not limited to U.S. citizens, although international applicants should be aware that paid transportation to the Sports Photography Gathering is limited to U.S. domestic airfare and that the DPPF is not able to provide support for visa procurement.


  • 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.


  • Body of work of 15-20 sports photographs (.jpg format only)
    • Both action photos and sports-related feature photos are acceptable
    • 50% of your submitted photos must be taken within the past 12 months.
  • Resume
  • Contact information (email/phone) for two references
  • Short essay answers (1,500 characters) to the following 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 grant 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.