Peak Design and Roam Media Core Launch Sports Photography Scholarship

Peak Design and Roam Media Core Launch Sports Photography Scholarship

Have you ever flipped through an REI catalog with a twinge of despair, or gazed with more questions than answers at the DICK’s Sporting Goods billboard? Perhaps you’ve wondered who shot those jobs and how they got the contract? Standing in the camping section, you suddenly realize why the 20-year-old employee is looking at you oddly. You have been staring at the billboard for who knows how long in a state of perplexed despair. Articles that line your LinkedIn feed extol the value of “networking,” but who to network with and how to gain access to these gatekeepers didn't come attached. You want a shot, but you don’t seem to be able to get your hands on that opportunity. If that description hits home, and if you are a female, you want to read on about the Peak Design & The Roam Collective Photography Scholarship.

There are many photographers with the skill, talent, and drive to be visual storytellers but translating that potential to paid contracts can sometimes feel daunting. Although professional opportunities, particularly within the outdoor industry are present, breaking into the outdoor creative scene can seem nearly impossible.

Image provided by Peak Design
The Roam Media Core seeks to break down these barriers by pairing up-and-coming creatives with seasoned professional mentors. In this opportunity, the mentors will serve as ongoing professional guides and will also host a series of virtual workshops and in-person coaching at Roam Fest 2024 September 20-22 in Fruita, CO.

About The Scholarship

Peak Design will not only provide $50,000 in monetary support for the scholarship, but the brand will also help facilitate connections, build portfolios and reveal "unwritten rules" that can only be learned through experience and networking. The Roam Collective, a leading organization that celebrates and elevates representation in mountain biking, are proud to partner on a new, all-expenses-paid scholarship program designed to equip up-and-coming female photographers and videographers with the skills, guidance, and relationships needed to launch or level-up their careers in the outdoor industry. 

Imagine provided by Peak Design

According to one study, just 37% of sports photographers were women, as of 2021. To be honest, as a sports photographer myself, that statistic seems way too high. I have never in seven years been to a sports shoot where one in three photographers were women. Certainly, when the ball goes out of bounds at NFL or NBA games and the cameras pan on the photographers seated in a pack like sardines, this is not what I see. This scholarship is aiming to change these statistics for the better. Peak Design Head of Marketing Adam Saraceno said:

Peak Design has long advocated for equity in the outdoor and creative industries, and we're proud to be putting our money where our mouth is.

“We are stoked to be launching the long-awaited Roam Media Core Scholarship. Particularly exciting is the opportunity this program will provide for networking, mentorship, and collaboration, both amongst the creatives, as well as with our brand partners,” shares Sami Ryan, Director of Partnerships of Roam Events. “By bringing together femme creatives through this scholarship program, the intention is to build an ongoing supportive community where they can learn from each other, share experiences, and build valuable connections that can benefit them throughout their careers.”

Scholarship Dates

Scholarship application dates are from April 29 to May 15, 2024. Finalist interviews will take place from May 20 to May 24. Winners will be notified and announced on May 28. Applications for the scholarship can be submitted through starting on April 29, 2024.

If you know a woman who is crushing it in the sports photography realm: pass along this opportunity. If you are one of these women, I encourage you to apply. I know I will be applying!

A Note About Change

On a personal note, I want to thank all the organizations and individuals who champion equality. Although women can face extra hurdles in the realm of sports photography, at the same time many of my biggest advocates are my male colleagues. Most of my colleagues treat me like ‘one of the guys’ and pass on jobs that I’m qualified for without bias. It is thanks to everyone contributing in small ways that we can correct imbalances. Change takes time and intentionality. Everyone’s part makes a difference whether it's a $50,000 scholarship or a pat on the back when your female colleague walks on set making her feel like one of the gang. Every action counts. Thank you, Peak Design, and Roam Collective and every agent of change in the sports photography world.

Michelle VanTine's picture

Michelle creates scroll-stopping images for amazing brands and amazing people. She works with businesses, public figures, sports & products. Titled “Top Sports Photographers in Miami” in 2019 (#5) and 2020 (#4), she was the only female on the list both years. Follow the fun on IG @michellevantinephotography @sportsphotographermiami

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1 Comment

What a great opportunity! Thanks for the info. Let's even up the stats!