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Boxer's Hands
CREDIT: © Estate of Eamonn McCabe

The RPS inaugurates the Eamonn McCabe Bursary

The RPS, in partnership with The Guardian and McCabe's family, has launched a new annual bursary to support a photographer aged 25 and under

Eamonn McCabe / © Popperfoto/Getty Images
CREDIT: Eamonn McCabe / © Popperfoto/Getty Images

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), in partnership with The Guardian newspaper, and the family of the photographer Eamonn McCabe FRPS (1948-2022) have launched the inaugural Eamonn McCabe Bursary to support the next generation of emerging photographers.

The annual bursary will provide a photographer living, studying or working in the UK, aged 25 years or under with a £3000 grant to produce a new photography project and bring it to a wider audience. Applicants will produce work to a broad theme which in 2024 will be ‘sporting endeavour’.

Eamonn McCabe (1948-2022) was one of the outstanding photographers of his generation, producing a swathe of memorable images that defined their era. McCabe started as a sports photographer, before moving into wider editorial work, especially portraiture, but also photojournalism. Throughout his career McCabe supported his colleagues, other photographers, and students. He enthused the wider public about photography through his books and television programmes. The bursary is intended to continue that support and honour his memory through new photography.

Eamonn's wife Rebecca Smithers said: ‘Eamonn was always generous with advice and practical help to up-and-coming young photographers - whether on assembling a portfolio, choosing the right course or trying to secure work experience. He knew from personal experience how tough it was for people starting out who did not have any contacts in the business.  His family is delighted that the RPS is supporting this initiative, to reflect his own passion for photography while helping to nurture the next generation of practitioners.

Multi award-winning Guardian sports photographer and videographer Tom Jenkins - who was mentored by Eamonn - commented: ‘The photographic world owes Eamonn McCabe a huge debt - he was an inspiration to a whole generation in this country and abroad. Countless young photographers like me were given a first break and encouraged into the profession by him. Not only has he left a legacy of incredible images, but he has also generously ensured that photographers following on behind him are set up to succeed. This new bursary will help build on that legacy.

The RPS said: ‘Eamonn received the RPS’s highest honour, a Fellowship, and it is delighted to be able to provide a bursary, in partnership with his wife and children, and with The Guardian and Observer newspapers which published so much of his work. Eamonn was incredibly encouraging of photographers and this bursary will continue that by producing new and exciting photography into the future.’

The Eamonn McCabe Bursary is open for applications until 1 August with projects to be completed within one year of the award. The project will be published by The Guardian and the RPS. 

Full details about the bursary and more information about Eamonn McCabe can be found here: