For the fourth consecutive year, the Grand Prize Winner of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award will automatically be included in the final list of nominees for the prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam*. IAFOR is grateful for the ongoing support of World Press Photo and their commitment to developing and promoting the careers of talented young storytellers.

*If 32 years of age or younger in the year the masterclass is held.

About the Joop Swart Masterclass

The Joop Swart Masterclass has been organised by World Press Photo every year since 1994 and has established itself as one of the most prestigious events of its kind. Its goal is to bring together some of the most experienced individuals in photojournalism with 12 young, promising photographers to share and pass on their knowledge and experience.

Best of photography

The first decade of the masterclass has shown that its participants are destined to be the best of the best. Their objective is to help them progress on the road toward professional maturity in terms of both theory and practice. The Joop Swart Masterclass is named after World Press Photo’s late chairman, who was a passionate supporter of young photographic talent.


Each year a group of nominators select candidates for the masterclass from all over the world. These candidates are then invited to submit a portfolio of their work and, in the spring, an independent committee selects 12 participants based on the submitted portfolios.

As part of their preparations for the masterclass in November, the photographers are required to produce a photo essay on a given theme. The masterclass curriculum includes lectures by six masters on subjects relating to their professional background. Individual portfolio reviews serve to evaluate the participants’ work and to discuss their working methods. The material prepared on the chosen theme, the ideas behind it and its presentation are discussed.

Image by Alexey Furman | 2016 Grand Prize Winner

Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Thaddeus Pope is the Director of Visual Communications for The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award.