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Photojournalist RFQ for Tempe History Museum Exhibit

Post Date:07/10/2017 4:00 PM

Humans of Tempe - an Exhibit at the Tempe History Museum

Tempe Photojournalism Opportunity

The City of Tempe and the Tempe History Museum are looking to commission 4 photographers to gather short interviews and informal portraits of people within the Tempe community. The goal is to create a selection of street style images that depict a diverse selection of the people of Tempe. The photographs and interviews will be used to create a featured exhibit at the Tempe History Museum and a dedicated social media site entitled Humans of Tempe. This is a project to discover and connect with the real, ordinary people who make up this diverse community through candid yet quality photography and short, revealing interviews that will be presented in an exhibition, on-line and through social media. The purpose of the project is to inspire empathy for and understanding of the diverse and interesting people that make up our community. With the combined informal portraits and short quotes or stories, visitors will connect with real, ordinary people and learn about people different than themselves.


This Call to Photographers is open to professional photographers or a team residing in Arizona and eligible to work in the United States. Photographers must demonstrate their experience in photographing people, their associated stories and have knowledge of collecting informal audio interviews.

Photographers will retain their copyright to the images while allowing the City of Tempe/ Tempe History Museum rights to reproduce for non-profit/governmental /educational purposes while crediting the photographer.

Photographers will be required to credit the Tempe History Museum with each use/reproduction with “Commissioned by the Tempe History Museum”

Accepted photographers will be required by Arizona State Law HB 2008 to sign a statement verifying that they are lawfully present in the United States. City of Tempe employees, judging panelists, steering committee members and their immediate family members are excluded from participating in this project.

Selected photographers will be required to:

  1. Select your own subjects – in an effort to create multiple viewpoints, each photographer will select their own subjects and these will then be subject to review and approval by the Tempe History Museum. Photographers will concentrate on ordinary folks “on the street” and selecting folks that represent the diversity of Tempe. Selected photographers will initially meet with the Tempe History Museum to coordinate their efforts to ensure complete coverage of the whole of Tempe and as many of its diverse communities as possible.


  2. Take informal portraits – Studio portraits will not be accepted. This commission calls for essay style portraits that capture the subject’s expression and the nature of their interview or story. Photographers will be respectful of boundaries and only photograph what is acceptable to the subject. Portraits should be compelling, respectful and empathetic. Photographers are required to deliver a minimum of 12 subject portrait/interviews in electronic formats. Photo file sizes and resolution must support enlarging to 24” x 24” (600 dpi or a file size of 3-4 Mb is ideal). Provide multiple images per subject and designate your preferred image. Layout, printing and mounting will be handled by the Tempe History Museum.


  3. Collect audio Interviews – audio clips captured on a smart phone will be sufficient. Ten minute interviews or stories are best as these can be edited to 3 minute clips or 250 word maximum transcripts. Sample questions will be provided to assist in the interview process. Final editing will be handled by the Tempe History Museum.

4. Collect photo releases – a release form will be provided and must be signed by each subject before the subject’s words and images can be included in a museum exhibit and a social media site.

Budget: $3200

Each commissioned photographer will receive $800. This amount is to cover all expenses. Payment will be split and ½ paid at the beginning of the project and the other ½ upon completion.


Monday, July 24, 2017 midnight (11:59) Mountain Standard Time

How to Apply

The entire submission must be completed on the Submittable website at

All requirements listed below must be met or the application will be removed from consideration:

  • Letter of interest: (Maximum 1 page) Describe why you are interested in this project and explain previous relevant experience.
  • Resume: (Maximum 2 pages) Outline your recent experience and accomplishments as a photographer.
  • Digital Images: 6 images of previously completed work.
  • Image List: (Maximum 2 pages) A separate document listing information about the 6 digital images. For each image submitted list the title, date, location and any pertinent info with a thumbnail of the image.
  • References: List 3 references and their contact information.

Photographer Selection Process

Applications will be pre-screened by City staff to ensure that the submissions meet the minimum qualifications as described in the eligibility section. A photographer selection committee will review submissions and select 4 finalists. The finalists will be invited to a project orientation and interview. The steering committee is comprised of staff of the Tempe History Museum, community stakeholders, arts professionals and associated city staff. The selected photographers will work with Tempe History Museum throughout the project.  


The Tempe History Museum is responsible for the design and fabrication of exhibit pieces. It also will build and host any web or social media for this project. Short progress meetings will be held twice a month from August through November, 2017 (schedule TBD). A sample portrait/interview package will be required by the first meeting in September. All portrait/ interview packages will be delivered by Nov. 22, 2017.

If you have questions, we are here to help, contact: Dan Miller, Senior Curator of Exhibits 480-350-5115

This Call to Photographers does not commit the city to enter into any agreement, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of the proposal to this request or in subsequent negotiations, or to produce a contract for the project. The city reserves the right to reject any or all applications, reissue the Call to Photographers, revise the project terms or procure any service by other means. While all reasonable care will be taken, the city is not responsible for loss of or damage to materials included with applications.

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