Yunghi Grant

Yunghi Kim photo, Copyright protected

Photo by ©Yunghi Kim

The Yunghi Grant03

Happy Holidays 2022

In this season of Thanksgiving, The Yunghi Grant gifts $15,000 USD in recognition of the values and principles all of us hold as essential to our creative and productive well being.  This grant will select five photographers and each grantee will receive a $3,000 USD grant. I am doing this to emphasize the importance of copyright registration of your work with the Library of Congress and as a way for me to give back to the profession of photojournalism, an industry that I care for and am proud to be a member of for more than 38 years.

Every penny recovered from the unauthorized use of my work is put towards this grant and I want to share it with my fellow photographers in the Photojournalists Cooperative to emphasize that, YES it makes a difference if you copyright register your work (Tutorials: ASMP, Todd Bigelow’s Freelance Photographers Guide to Success  and John Harrington’s Best Business Practices for Photographers) and everyone should make a practice of it in your workflow.  Think of it as digital teeth brushing.

As you know image theft is rampant and registration is the first step toward protecting our work; it gives photographers better legal options when the work is registered. By doing so, you are also helping to map out paid image use on the Internet and protecting our industry for the next artist.

In a very real sense, registration acts as a deterrent to stop an infringer. Attorneys take you very seriously as it exposes an infringer up to $150,000 per infringement statutory damages and can allow to collect legal fees as well. I see it as a matter of survival for the creative industry.


YK indo06_1998

Indonesia 1998.  Photo by Paula Bronstein. 


Requirements:  Email me a 300 word explanation/statement of why you need the grant. You are welcome to send a link to the work in progress or done, please do so. Send to: Yunghi@YunghiKim.Com.  This money can be to start, further or finish a project, or go towards everyday life expenses.  Make an honest compelling case, concisely and in 300 words. 

This year’s judges: Jeffrey Smith, director of Contact Press Images and freelance photojournalist and picture editor and (TBA) will select FIVE recipients.

1) 300 word email, one image of your work 2000 pixel, 300 resolution with publishable title and caption (image will be used for award winner announcement and promotion of the grant).  An image submitted does not have to be from your project pitch. 

2) Photographers portrait 2000 pixel, 300 resolution with photo credit and permission cleared to use in winners announcement and promotion.

3) Please list your website URL. In assessing grant candidates, we evaluate the overall applicant, the photographer’s body of work in diverse situations, as well as the applicant’s vision and style.

4) The city and country where you are based.

5) In email SUBJECT please write: Yunghi Grant 2022 (a must to keep track of emails).

The deadline  is midnight, EST, Tuesday (night), December 13, 2022.  Five awardees will be announced on Christmas, Sunday, December 25, 2022.  A Brief title and short description of your project will be listed with the announcement.  As a grantee, The Yunghi Grant may use the winner’s submitted image to promote the grant and possibly release it to other media organizations that seek to do a story on this philanthropic endeavor.



Khyber pass, Pakistan 2001, Border to Afghanistan. This was at the start of what is now an 20 year war in Afghanistan.



* The Yunghi Grant is for working freelance photojournalists. For those who earn at least half of their income from freelance photojournalism.

* Yunghi’s friends are eligible!

*Past winners are eligible to apply again for The Yunghi Grant after 4 years.

Not Eligible:

* The Yunghi Grant is intended for full-time working freelance photojournalists.  Specifically ineligible are: salaried photographers, staffers, full-time educators or  students enrolled in full-time undergrad, graduate, or other programs.  

* Those from other professions (i.e., doctors, lawyers, nurses) “trying to transition to” photojournalism or visual storytelling are not eligible. 


Photo by Paula bronstein of Yunghi Kim, Gardez, Afghanistan 2002

Gardez, Afghanistan 2002.  Photo by ©Paula Bronstein


* Consider this money as a gift; should there be any tax liability, it remains the responsibility of the recipient to deal with appropriately and in accordance with IRS regulations.

* Note: The grant was initially devised in 2015 as open only to 5,000 members of the Facebook group “Photojournalists Cooperative” — an invite only group dedicated to educating photographers about copyright, the First Amendment and related professional issues. Relatedly, PJ Co-op members understand that obtaining a subject’s consent in a public venue (i.e., especially in NEWS situations) is (a) not required (b) rarely possible but primarily (c) inconsistent with the hard-fought and time-honored principles of what an independent press is about.

* All entrants, in submitting their application for The Yunghi Grant acknowledge and agree with the NPPA Ethics Code.  If any applicant is brought to our attention as having violated the ethics code or has behaved in an unprofessional manner, the administrators of the Yunghi Grant reserve the right to deny or pull back the award. 


Write Ups:

*Photo District News  *NPR   *PhotoShelter    *Duckrabbit   *PetaPixel **




The Yunghi Grant is also partially funded by a modest inheritance from my late mother, Dr. Ouk Lee Kim. 

“My mom was a woman ahead of her time with a career in medicine when women of her generation, from her native country often didn’t have a career.  Standing a petit 4 ft. 11 inches tall, she was a force to be reckoned with: strong, spunky, self sufficient, penny-wise and with a huge heart.  She came to the United States in the early 1960’s from her native South Korea (her daughters would joined her 10 years later).  As a single mother with three kids, she embodied what pursuing the American Dream was about.  For 40 years, she served as a dedicated psychiatrist at a NY State  psychiatric hospital, where she worked until her death at the age of 77 in 2010.”

* The Yunghi Grant was first held in 2015 and solely funded with from large fees recovered from unauthorized use Yunghi’s work.

 *As always, special thanks to Jeffrey Smith, Kenneth Jarecke, Bryan Durr and Natalie Behring.








2021: Mark Abramson, Sharafat Ali, David “Dee” Delgado, Raquel Natalicchio, Adrienne Surprenant.

2020:  Andrew Cullen, Rory Doyle, Goncalo Fonseca, Alisha Jucevic, Stephanie Keith

2019:  Preston Gannaway, Go Nakamura, Robert Nickelsberg, Alessandro Rampazzo, Robin Rayne

2018:  Paula Bronstein, Erin Clark,  Nora Lorek, Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Byron Smith, Joao Velozo

2017:  Amber Bracken, Andrea Campeanu, Mikala Compton, Marko Drobnjakovic, Brendan Hoffman, Lauren Justice.  Leo Novel, Michael Santiago, Andrew Seng, Ines Della Valle

2016:  Frank Fournier, Amnon Gutman, Carol Guzy, Derek Hudson, Dania Maxwell, Myriam Meloni, Jackie Molloy, Rick Rocamora,  Ann Wang, Rony Zakaria.

2015: Jason Houge, Kenneth Jarecke, Andrew Lichtenstein, Leonie Marinovich, Michelle McLoughlin, Matt Mendelsohn,   William B. Plowman, Rikki Reich, Ray Whitehouse, Angel Zayas



Macedonia 1999 ©Yunghi Kim



 George Floyd protest. Brooklyn 2020.   ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images

Updated 11/16/2021

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