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3 Photographers Will Get $500 to Shoot Their Dream Projects

Since we launched our international project The Print Swap in 2016, photographers around the world have taken part. Spanning six continents and all genres, they’ve inspired us with their unique points of view, so over the course of about two months, we invited all participating Print Swap photographers to pitch us the projects of their dreams. It was a limited-time opportunity, and we received an overwhelming number of inspiring ideas from artists and journalists all over the world. We ultimately selected three photographers to receive $500 each to bring their projects to life: Ashraful Arefin, Tori Gagne, and Julien McRoberts. Here’s a brief preview of what each of them has in store. All of the photos featured here are part of The Print Swap.

‘An afternoon in the street of Jaisalmer’ © Ashraful Arefin (@ashrafularefin)

With a background in painting, Arefin creates sun-drenched vignettes of daily life, often in the colorful streets of Bangladesh and India, inviting us to revel in the beauty of ordinary gestures and interactions. He will continue to capture these poetic moments, stepping off the beaten path to reveal untold stories.

The artist writes, “[I want to] photograph people’s unique lifestyle to show the world the diversity of South Asian cities and that there are so many beautiful things to show rather than poverty or something negative.”

‘Epico de Retiro’ © Tori Gagne (@torigagnephoto)

Gagne will continue her work documenting the beauty and the threats currently facing wild horses in the United States. For years, she’s followed the work of organizations like the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, creating moving portraits of these vulnerable animals, capturing their unique personalities, and raising awareness of their suffering.

“Competition for land, grazing, water and mineral rights are forcing the horses off of the land that was granted for their continued protection by the 1971 Federal Wild Horse and Burro Act,” she writes. “The horses are treated inhumanely and ultimately sent to slaughter in Mexican slaughterhouses, where the conditions are horrible.” We shared a bit of her work with wild horses last summer.

‘Purple Haze’ © Julien McRoberts (@julienmcroberts)

For her project A Time for Healing, McRoberts will travel Canyon de Chelly to document the replanting of sacred peach trees in Arizona in Navajo Nation. The volunteer effort comes 154 years after the trauma of the Long Walk of the Navajo, when, in 1864, the United States government forcibly deported the Navajo people from their land, destroying their homes and crops in the process. An estimated 4,000 peach trees, an integral element of tribal pride and tradition, were torched.

“This project will be the start of the restoration to these lands once so devastated,” McRoberts writes. “In an era where Natives and immigrants are so marginalized, I feel this is an important story to be told.”

Congratulations to Arefin, Gagne, and McRoberts, and many thanks to all the talented Print Swap photographers who took the time to share their wonderful project ideas. Though we are no longer accepting project pitches, The Print Swap is always open for submissions. To apply, simply tag your photos #theprintswap on Instagram. Our editors select outstanding images to be part of the project, and every participating photographer gives and receives a print in the mail. It’s free to submit, but if selected, photographers pay $40 per image to take part. We cover printing and shipping in full. We are currently accepting submissions for our Paris exhibition at Studio Galerie B&B this springVisit our website to learn more, and be sure to follow along at @theprintswap on Instagram for updates.

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Thanks for signing up to the Feature Shoot newsletter! You might also be interested in submitting some of your photos to our global Print Swap initiative. More here: https://www.theprintswap.com/photo-upload