American winners of the year from the International Photography Awards

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February 12, 2020

American winners of the year from the International Photography Awards

A picture is worth a thousand words, but those words vary greatly from photo to photo. A product image or series of product images, for example, tell a story that's primary aim is to advertise or sell the viewer on something. A portrait shot, on the other hand, strives to tell a deeper, more personal story, whether it's about the single subject of that image or of a particular group or demographic that the individual represents. Landscape shots celebrate the beauty of nature, photographs of war document key moments in history and the state of the human condition, and photos that are digitally enhanced—layered into a composite photomontage, for example—may serve a deeper purpose of artistic expression that's best achieved through manipulating a photo to send the right message. Pictures may speak, but photographers who determine what they say.

With the range of photography tools available today, the boundaries of this art can be pushed further than ever before. Well-known photographers like Stephanie Pfriender Stylander and Robert Yager are now being joined by newcomers like high-school photographer and drone specialist James Spokes. As the boundaries of photography continue expanding, so do the opportunities for telling stories through the lens.

Each year, the International Photography Awards (IPA) "salute the achievements of the world's finest photographers, discover new and emerging talent, and promote the appreciation of photography." The annual competition looks at professional and novice photographers from around the globe to create one of the most comprehensive showcases of photography talent in the world. Stacker worked with the IPA to bring you a compilation of all the photos by American photographers that were awarded 1st or 2nd place prizes in 2019. Read on to discover the captivating works of U.S.-based photographers that were recognized.

her: I

- Photographer: Alexis Harper
- Prize: 1st Place for Nature: Other

Alexis Harper, the student photographer from the University of Colorado who snapped this shot, was almost prevented from going to the location of this shot, taken in Trolltunga, Norway. She was stopped along her hike and told that it was four hours past cut-off time. Harper and her fellow hikers convinced the guard who stopped them to allow her to take the shot they’d traveled so far for.

Streets of Philadelphia

- Photographer: Andrew Gimblet
- Prize: 1st Place for People: Street Photography

Andrew Gimblet’s ongoing photo series of the streets of Philadelphia portray various random moments in the City of Brotherly Love, from a gentleman crossing the street during a snowstorm to a foggy scene under the bridge. Each photo—which Gimblet shoots in dramatic, high-contrast black and white—is taken on the iPhone X.


- Photographer: Ann Johansson
- Prize: 2nd Place for Special: Night Photography

Ann Johansson is an award-winning documentary photographer and photojournalist whose work—which primarily focuses on climate change and its effects around the globe—has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times. Johansson has also done a good deal of work with foundations and nonprofits, including UNICEF and The Broad Foundation. In her photo series “Illuminated,” Johansson turns her lens onto residents of a slum in Lucknow, India. In the photos, Johansson’s subjects are lit by solar-powered lanterns due to scarce electricity.

Mellowed JD

- Photographer: Arpit Khandelwal
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Brands campaign

These photos of Jack Daniel’s bottles, shot by Arpit Khandelwal and intended for commercial use, are striking examples of how photography can be a powerful tool in marketing. In this case, Khandelwal’s photos of the Tennessee whiskey artistically and beautifully incorporate sugar, maple, charcoal, and proprietary Tennessee spring water, both of which are key components of Jack Daniel’s signature recipe.

Winter Still Life

- Photographer: Aubrie Pick
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Food & Beverage

Though this San Francisco-based photographer specializes in travel, interior, and portrait photography, Aubrie Pick's food photography is what takes the spotlight in her winter still life series. Pick's food photography has appeared in advertisements (Impossible Foods CALL YOUR GRANDMA campaign), editorial (Food & Wine's July 2019 cover), and cookbooks (Chrissy Teigen's "Cravings: Hungry for More").

Migration Of The Eagle Hunters

- Photographer: Audrey Jeane
- Prize: 2nd Place for Event: Traditions and Cultures

Photographer Audrey Jeanie spent two winters—in 2016, and again in 2017—trekking through the Altai Mountains with a nomadic family in northwestern Mongolia to capture a series of photographs chronicling their migrations. In one week, the group travels over 100 miles in sub-zero temperatures with livestock and all of their belongings in tow to reach their spring camp. Jeanie shot the photos of the nomads in black and white to “show the timelessness and beauty of the culture.”

Angela Sarafyan by Benjo Arwas

- Photographer: Benjo Arwas
- Prizes: 1st Place for Editorial / Press: Personality

Fans of “Westworld” and non-fans alike can appreciate this portrait of the HBO show’s star, Angela Sarafyan (who plays Clementine Pennyfeather). The stunning shot, taken by Los Angeles-based photographer and director Benjo Arwas, was taken for the first issue of Number One Magazine, published in 2019.

Surreal Deadvlei Landscape

- Photographer: Bill Gozansky
- Prize: 1st Place for Nature: Trees

Bill Gozansky is a photographer who specializes in travel, nature, and wildlife photography, and who leads photographic safaris in countries including Kenya, Ecuador, and Namibia. In this photo, Gozanksy captures the stunning Deadvlei landscape, a sun-blackened dead marsh in Namibia that sits atop one of the largest sand dunes in the world.

The Irish Travellers

- Photographer: Bob (Robert C) Newman
- Prize: 1st Place for People: Portrait

Shot over the course of three years, this series by photographer Bob Newman is another with nomadic families as its subject. Newman documented a group of nomads known as the Irish Travellers, who are frequently ostracized by society and have lived in roadside camps or small compounds outside city limits since the 1960s.

Betwixt Bloom

- Photographer: Brendon Kahn
- Prizes: 1st Place for People: Traditions / Culture

In this striking portrait, photographer Brendon Kahn captures a woman belonging to the Suri (an indigenous group that lives between the border of Ethiopia and Sudan) wearing a crown of flowers and foliage and has her face vibrantly painted. This kind of self-adornment represents a sense of respect and unity with nature and the environment. The Suri thus rely on these natural materials to honor their natural surroundings.

Runners I

- Photographer: Brooke Bartletta
- Prize: 1st Place for Sports: Other

Photographer Brooke Bartletta lives in coastal Massachusetts and captured this high-contrast photograph of a boys high school track team running straight into a cloud of fog in the distance. The photo is from Bartlett’s “Into the Fog” series.

The Cave of the Wild Horses

- Photographer: Bryony Richards
- Prize: 2nd Place for Nature: Astrophotography

Bryony Richards’ “The Cave of the Wild Horses” is a testament to photographers’ skills and eye for beauty. This juxtaposition of natural and man-made elements is also a composition of stitched-together photographs that capture the scene uniquely. In this photo, the Milky Way is in line with the mouth and eye of the cave.

No Memory is Ever Alone

- Photographer: Catherine Panebianco
- Prize: 1st Place for Fine Art: Other

Photographer Catherine Panebianco puts “a place within a place, a memory within a memory” in her works. Panebianco was inspired by her father’s photo slides to create new photos that captured his memories and merged them into her present surroundings. In doing so, Panebianco forged a connection between her memories and her father’s.

Gathering Storm over Cypremort Point

- Photographer: charles crain
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Analog / Film: Portrait

This shot was the last taken by charles crain during a day of shooting at one of few Louisiana beaches. crain—who was working as an assistant to the curator of exhibits for a natural history museum in the area—had set out to capture the shore’s shabby conditions and spotted this couple on his way off the beach. This photo was taken using Ektachrome film, which is known for its fine-grain detail and vivid, high-contrast colors. Though the shot dates back to 1971, it wasn’t until 2011 that crain discovered the couple in the image were the godparents of his boss.

Not all Heroes wear capes

- Photographer: Christian Uka
- Prize: 2nd Place for Sports: Extreme sports

Though there's less shock factor or purpose behind this photo than the photographer would like—"I wish I could make up some interesting story about how this particular shot came to be," he says—this shot by Los Angeles-based Christian Uka is striking, nonetheless. While Uka specializes in automotive photography, this image was taken during a spontaneous day of shooting on a private beach. Uka challenged a friend to jump off the railing and captured this gravity-defying moment.

Trio From Nadar in 3D

- Photographer: Claudia Kunin
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Still in Motion / Video: Fine Art

This series by Claudia Kunin adds movement and animation to three photographs by the 19th-century French artist Felix Nadar: “Butterfly Boy,” “The Balloonist,” and “The Flying Machine.” While the ultimate goal of photography is to freeze moments, Kunin’s works aim to bring these photographs back to life. Though each of the pieces showcased can be viewed on its own, the photographer recommends observing them with 3D glasses.

Genesis G70

- Photographer: Darren Martin
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Automotive

Photography helps advertising agencies attract potential customers by suggesting how their everyday lives could be improved by a particular product or service. In the case of this photo series featuring the Genesis G70 sedan, Darren Martin depicted the vehicle as a grand-tourer with boundless possibilities. The photos evoke a sense of freedom, connecting those feelings to the car itself.

The Lost Prophets

- Photographer: David Knox
- Prize: 1st Place for Fine Art: Collage

In “The Lost Prophets,” David Knox challenges the limits of traditional photography by creating a layered portrait collage that incorporates original photography and historical images. The effect is the blending of time and suggestion of historical fiction. Knox says these images “portray the forsaken prophets of a lost war, adrift in the destruction of ruined cities, abandoned fields and remote backwoods.”

Cotton Candy Fog Waves

- Photographer: David Odisho
- Prize: 1st Place for Nature: Sunset

David Odisho is a San Francisco-based photographer whose street and landscape photography has appeared in National Geographic, Fujifilm, ABC, and San Francisco Chronicle. Odisho’s photograph, “Cotton Candy Fog Waves,” captures a cotton candy-like blanket of fog as it sweeps over Marin County and Mt. Tamalpais.

North American Farming

- Photographer: David Smoak
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Product

Founder and creative director of Second Shift Design David Smoak works with his team to create marketing assets for companies. These images, taken throughout the U.S. and Canada for AGCO Corporation, were taken to be used by brands including Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, and RoGator in different marketing materials.

Crown Jewel of Winter

- Photographer: Donald Van Horn
- Prize: 2nd Place for Nature: Macro

Few can ever truly get close enough to a snowflake to see what a single one looks like, let alone document how one compares to another. Photographer Donald Van Horn, however, could give his audience a rare up-close look at the delicate design of a snowflake. Shot in a matter of seconds, this image shows a snowflake against a wool scarf in below-freezing temperatures, moments before it melts.

Equus: Light & Form

- Photographer: Drew Doggett
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Nature: Animals / Pets

In “Equus: Light & Form,” Drew Doggett captured the majestic beauty of horses, which the photographer notes have long been presented throughout history and mythology as symbols of “timeless allure.” Doggett photographed horses in various compositions and silhouettes, accentuated by the contrast of the horse’s white mane against a black backdrop.

I Just Simply Did What He Wanted

- Photographer: Emily Kassie
- Prizes: 1st Place for Still in Motion / Video: Editorial

In this short documentary for The New York Times, Emily Kassie tells the stories of two women whose detainment at the U.S. border with Mexico ultimately resulted in sexual abuse by guards. In recounting their struggles this way, Kassie shines light on a viewpoint rarely seen by the public.

Morning Dew Drops on Lotus

- Photographer: Eunice Eunjin Oh
- Prize: 1st Place for Special: Digitally Enhanced

Photographer Eunice Eunjin Oh captures landscapes that exemplify the beauty of nature. In this digitally enhanced photo, Oh created an image of a lotus flower with dew drops, taken early in the morning at Los Angeles’ Echo Park Lake.

The Italian Cowboys of Maremma

- Photographer: Gabrielle Saveri
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Editorial / Press: Other

Taken over four years, this photo series by photographer Gabrielle Saveri captures the lifestyle of Italian cowboys (cattlemen and horse breeders) known as "butteri." As the number of these cowboys dwindle—it is believed that there are fewer than 50 left in the entire country—Saveri's mission with this series was to immortalize butteri culture.

The Community of Tuppers Plains, Ohio

- Photographer: Gaelen Morse
- Prizes: 1st Place for Editorial / Press: Photo Essay / Feature Story

Gaelen Morse captured the spirit of community in this photo series of Tuppers Plains, Ohio. An area marked by rolling hills and open fields, residents here define the community by “their relationships with each other and the land rather than lines drawn on a map.”

Desert Cross

- Photographer: Garrett Byrum
- Prize: 2nd Place for Sports: Other

A Los Angeles-based commercial and advertising photographer, Garrett Byrum specializes in automotive and sports photography. In this stunning image, Byrum captures an athlete performing a flip in a sand dune. The natural symmetry of the photograph along with its clean lines, brightness, and a remarkable sense of movement amidst its stillness, make the image especially striking.

Long-leaf Pines

- Photographer: Gioia Kuss
- Prizes: 1st Place for Editorial / Press: Environmental

Vermont-based photographer and installation artist Giola Kuss seeks to raise awareness about environmental issues. In this work, Kuss turns her attention on the long-leaf pine forest that runs across the Southeast. This forest once covered nearly 100 million acres, but today only exists in fragments throughout the regions it once dominated. This photo series captures the forest’s biodiversity.


- Photographer: Hilda Champion
- Prize: 2nd Place for Nature: Trees

German-American photographer Hilda Champion shows her viewer something ordinary—a tree, in this case—from not just a new perspective, but from all perspectives. Champion created this image by overlaying multiple shots of a tree from different points around it. That the final product is a single image that represents all angles of the tree at once.

In the Mangroves

- Photographer: Hilda Champion
- Prize: 2nd Place for Fine Art: Landscape

Another work by Hilda Champion, this image captures a moment of serenity in a bustling landscape in Fujian, China. Champion focuses on a fisherman inspecting his mangrove seedling, separating the man from the movement around him and demonstrating the tranquility created by looking at one's surroundings in close-up snapshots.

Self Portrait (Selfie) No.2

- Photographer: J. Kimo Williams
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Music

West Virginia-based musician J. Kimo Williams takes a fresh approach to the art of the self-portrait by photographing himself—or rather, his hand—with his guitar. Kimo says playing music helped him find his voice after serving in the Vietnam War.


- Photographer: James Altman
- Prize: 2nd Place for Special: Special Effects

James Altman, son of ZeniMax Media CEO Robert A. Altman and “Wonder Woman” actress Lynda Carter, is the director of publishing operations at video game developer Bethesda Softworks. Altman’s passion for photography and the outdoors come to light in this panoramic work, which he created by blending three images of a bonsai tree on a half-submerged log.

Backyard Racer

- Photographer: James Lipman
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Automotive

In this photo, photographer James Lipman captures Brian Blain as he races one of his many restored automobiles around a dirt track at his California farm. Teacher-turned-walnut farmer Blain is well-known for locating, restoring, and collecting pre-World War I race cars like this one from 1916.

Night Lights

- Photographer: James Ritchie
- Prize: 1st Place for Special: Night Photography

Photographer James Ritchie grasps the essence of darkness in his “Night Lights” series, which explores the mysterious moments that occur in the half-light between dusk and nighttime. The photos depict a sense of stillness, silence, and solitude as they portray places and objects people are used to seeing during the day in a whole new light (or in this case, lack thereof).

Rainbow Beach

- Photographer: James Spokes
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Nature: Aerial / Drone

Drone technology has opened up new possibilities in the field of photography. Here, San Francisco-based landscape photographer and drone pilot James Spokes captures a photo of a beach in France from new heights.


- Photographer: Jason Riker
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Still in Motion / Video: Entertainment

Jason Riker is a Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker specializing in fitness, fashion, and portraits. He’s worked with brands including Hulu, Forbes, Prada, and the Museum of Modern Art. In this unique short video, Jason Riker teamed up with choreographer Audrey Rachelle to shift the viewer’s perspective and create a memorable dance number.

The Lincoln Dress

- Photographer: Jeremy Amar
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Analog / Film: Portrait

Life may imitate art, but art can imitate art as well. These photos, which are portraits of the cast of John P. McEneny’s “The Lincoln Dress,” were inspired by the 1865 mugshots of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators in the assassination of former president Abraham Lincoln. The images possess a haunting quality, thanks in part to photographer Jeremy Amar’s skill with analog photography.

We Came From Fire: Kurdistan's Armed Struggle Against ISIS

- Photographer: Joey L.
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Documentary

Behind these stunning portraits and landscape photographs taken by photographer and author Joey L. lie the stories of the Kurdish people as they fight against ISIS across Iraq and Syria. To capture the collection of photos laid out in this book, Joey L. embedded himself into the regional chaos and turmoil on three separate occasions as he sought to capture the concurrent pain and bravery of those fighting for justice through visual documentation as well as personal accounts.

ZAAF: Made in Africa

- Photographer: Joey L.
- Prize: 1st Place for Advertising: Fashion

ZAAF is a premium lifestyle brand that sells handbags and other accessories, all made in Africa. For this advertising campaign, photographer Joey L. and his crew trekked up an active volcano and camped out for days to capture these images, shot in Ethiopia’s Danakil Desert. The campaign honors the culture and heritage of ZAAF founder and designer Abai Schulze.

ZAAF: Made in Africa - Behind the Scenes Documentary

- Photographer: Joey L.
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Still in Motion / Video: Other

In addition to Joey L.'s ZAAF advertising campaign, a video depicting the journey to getting those photographs also earned a nod. The short documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the creative and production process for the campaign, including the team's journey to the site of the shoot, and the sense of camaraderie that was fostered throughout the process. The video is narrated by Abai Schulze along with Joey L.

Long Track

- Photographer: John Huet
- Prize: 1st Place for Sports: Winter sports

The art of sports photography is in capturing a subject who’s frequently in motion. In the case of this photo series, photographer John Huet used that constant motion to his advantage when capturing long track speed skaters in action. The final images, some of which are incredibly vivid in their colors and others of which are toned down by grayscale, create a sense of movement within the image thanks to a longer exposure.

Opposite senses.

- Photographer: José Ney Milá Espinosa
- Prize: 2nd Place for Special: Pets

Havana-born, Florida-based José Ney Milá Espinosa learned photography from his father. A common theme throughout Espinosa’s works is challenging ordinary perspectives, whether creating a sense of blended boundaries between subjects and their environments or creating artistic portraits that represent a subject’s psyche. In the case of “Opposite senses.,” the boundaries of perspective are not challenged to quite the same degree as in Espinosa’s other works, but the piece still plays with viewers by directing their focus to separate points in the photo.

Three round frames on the wall

- Photographer: Joyce Reinertson
- Prize: 2nd Place for Special: Pets

It’s a simple pleasure to find joy and humor in pets’ behavior, but some whimsically conceptual portraiture doesn’t hurt, either. In this photo, Joyce Reinertson offers a playful portrayal of three cats interacting with each other in and out of frames, almost as though they are emerging out of framed photographs to play with one another.

Studio Practice

- Photographer: Julia SH
- Prize: 1st Place for Fine Art: Nudes

While nudity in classic art was the norm, today, it is rare for nudity to exist outside of sexualized contexts in the U.S. “This contributes to a perception that we’re supposed to evaluate every naked body we see as a potential sex partner or rival,” says photographer Julia SH. In an effort to challenge that notion, she created a series of nudes portraying naked women posing as though they are classical statues or sculptures in a museum. She photographs women with bodies that may stray outside the conventional idea of attractiveness, normalizing the idea that sex and nudity aren’t synonymous.

Stay Inside & Don't Let the Dreams Out

- Photographer: Kavan Cardoza
- Prize: 1st Place for Special: Digitally Enhanced

Though mental health issues have become more openly discussed, issues like depression and anxiety still tend to be widely misunderstood and overlooked. In "Stay Inside & Don't Let the Dreams Out," Kavan Cardoza creates digitally enhanced images that aim to visually depict how struggling with depression can feel. Though each image is different, they all convey feelings of isolation, bleakness, and desperation.

These Boots Are Made For...

- Photographer: Kelsey Sasser
- Prize: 2nd Place for Event: Social Cause

In this photo, Kelsey Sasser plays with a well-known phrase: “These boots are made for walking.” The phrase, in this case, draws attention to an often-overlooked segment of society. For the image, Sasser juxtaposed a Western boot featuring the phrase “FOR WALKING” printed along its side with a wheelchair. This draws attention to the fact that while we may think of boots and shoes as being “for walking,” those with disabilities still wear shoes.


- Photographer: Kelsey Sasser
- Prize: 1st Place for Advertising: Brands campaign

As far as fine champagne goes, it doesn’t get much better than Moët & Chandon. The French wine house, which is rooted in nearly 300 years of history and winemaking, is one of the largest and most prestigious producers of champagne in the world. In this photo, Kelsey Sasser captures the interior of a room at the Moët & Chandon Champagne house. While the image depicts a wealth of bottles carefully arranged in a circular design, the number of bottles portrayed here is nothing close to the nearly 30 million bottles of champagne produced by Moët every year.

The Style of Movement

- Photographers: Ken Browar / Deborah Ory
- Prize: 2nd Place for Book: Monograph

Another example of photography that captures movement in still images, the photographs in this 304-page book shot by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory combine photography, dance, and fashion on every page. Each image portrays one of more than 80 famous dancers as they move in fashion from top designers, including Valentino and Dior.

More Beautiful Broken

- Photographer: Kerry Payne Stailey
- Prizes: 1st Place for Analog / Film: Other

“More Beautiful Broken” is a gallery installation by Kerry Payne Stailey that combines different works, including multimedia, printed images, and mixed media portraits, in order to challenge how society views physical and emotional scars. Stailey pulled from several former bodies of work for this installation, including “Left Behind,” a long-term project that explores the pain of loss by suicide; “My Father’s Daughter,” which looks at depression and fear of one’s own nature and fate; “The Children (I Never Had),” which explores the pain of women who have a hard time getting pregnant, and “Instant Love Story,” a contrastingly joyous piece about Stailey’s love with her husband. Her work is much about patching up what’s broken as it is finding the beauty in life.

My Father's Daughter

- Photographer: Kerry Payne Stailey
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Still in Motion / Video: Other

One of the four works featured in Kerry Payne Stailey's gallery installation "More Beautiful Broken," "My Father's Daughter" is Stailey's short film about the period of depression that she faced following her father's suicide in 2001. In it, Stailey reflects on similarities between herself and her father, and confronts her fear that she may face a similar fate.

Women of the Iditarod

- Photographer: Kiliii Yuyan
- Prizes: 1st Place for Editorial / Press: Photo Essay / Feature Story

Kiliii Yuyan captures women of the Iditarod—the 1000-mile Alaskan dog sledding race—and their dogs in their element in this series. Musher Blaire Braverman says, “Those of us who cross the finish line will find ourselves back in a semblance of civilization. But for those weeks with our dogs, we’ll be the only real things in the world.”

Bulletproof - You only better

- Photographer: Kremer Johnson
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Conceptual

They say anything is possible if you believe, but if these photos are any indication, it’s Bulletproof coffee that can make the impossible possible. These playful, colorful promotional photos snapped by Kremer Johnson take a conceptual approach to portraying Bulletproof coffee as a life fuel with the power to transform your relationship with caffeine.

Saturday in the Park

- Photographer: Lee Vinal Barthelette
- Prize: 1st Place for Event: Competitive Event

While a large part of sports photography is embracing the movement and motion of the activity, this shot by Lee Vinal Barthelette does quite the opposite. This portrait of a young baseball player in the park on a Saturday possesses a balanced, aesthetically pleasing composition, capturing the boy in a moment of downtime as he stands and blows a bubble with his gum.

NOT pets

- Photographer: Lennette Newell
- Prizes: 1st Place for Nature: Animals / Pets

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a facility in Florida that houses monkeys discarded as pets, retired from research, or confiscated after being obtained and kept illegally. Here, Lennette Newell photographs several monkeys that came to Jungle Friends, each with a different story. Her subjects include Puchi, found wandering along a Chicago expressway; Raja, who was kept illegally in a tiny birdcage; and Cuzco, who was caught in the wild and shipped in a wooden crate without food or water.

Western Towboat Co.

- Photographer: Mac Holt
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Brands campaign

Seattle-based photographer Mac Holt shot this series for a campaign to promote Western Towboat Co., one of the leading tugboat services in the city. As an adventure and active lifestyle photographer, Holt's work often reflects his passion for intensity and outdoorsy grit.

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

- Photographer: Mark Parascandola
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Documentary

“Once Upon a Time in Shanghai” explores China’s rapidly rising film industry. Vibrant, highly saturated shots of movie production sites adorn the pages of this documentary book by Mark Parascandola, who completed the project over five years. In the book, Parascandola looks at the space between truth and fiction in movie towns, which the photographer calls “mere phantoms of the real world.”

These Years Gone By

- Photographer: Mark Peterman
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Self Published

Part family history, part timeless romance story, Mark Peterman’s self-published book, “These Years Gone By,” is a compilation of artifacts, family photos, and hundreds of love letters that Peterman’s grandparents had written to each other during World War II. The letters, which were discovered shortly after Peterman’s grandmother passed away in 2008, offer insight into a personal history of the family while simultaneously offering a glimpse into history that may have personal significance to others.


- Photographer: Markku Lahdesmaki
- Prize: 2nd Place for Sports: Team sports

California-based Finnish photographer Markku Lahdesmaki has been taking photos since childhood. Though his work has been commissioned by brands like Nike, Toyota, and Vanity Fair, Lahdesmaki has an affinity for peculiar perspectives. This series depicts polo matches on the fields of Eldorado and Empire Polo Clubs in the Coachella Valley.

Growing Up with Albinism in Tanzania

- Photographer: Matilde Simas
- Prize: 2nd Place for Event: Social Cause

In Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and surrounding areas, there exists a belief that the body parts of people with albinism can bring wealth, success, power, and good luck. In her photo series “Growing Up with Albinism in Tanzania,” photographer Matilde Simas captures the fear of growing up with albinism in a society where violence against you is common. Simas’s subject, Pendo, is an 18-year-old whose right arm was amputated following an attack driven by these superstitious beliefs.

Midwest Memoir

- Photographer: Michael Knapstein
- Prize: 2nd Place for Deeper Perspective: Deeper Perspective

Oftentimes, the American Midwest, which consists of what many Americans call "fly-over states," is overlooked. In his work "Midwest Memoir," photographer Michael Knapstein tackles this often underappreciated region of the country as someone whose own experiences and artistic aesthetic were influenced by it. His series captures the serenity, quaintness, and strong work ethic that define the region in his eyes.

Born to be a fire fighting baby

- Photographer: Ollie Riley
- Prize: 1st Place for People: Newborn / Baby

Oftentimes, people’s career choices and life goals are informed, in one way or another, by their parents or parental figures. In this case, photographer Ollie Riley captures the phenomenon firsthand as a volunteer firefighter places his fire helmet on his daughter’s head to “see what a future firefighting daughter might look like.”

Behind Barbed Wire

- Photographer: Paul Kitagaki Jr.
- Prize: 2nd Place for Book: Documentary

When referring to concentration camps during World War II, most think of the Holocaust. Desolate concentration camps also housed more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans, incarcerated by order of President Roosevelt in 1942. In “Behind Barbed Wire,” Paul Kitagaki Jr. tells the stories of 60 survivors through portraiture and text, paired with historical photographs taken by the War Relocation Authority photographers.


- Photographer: Philip Roy
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Conceptual

It’s hard to believe that Philip Roy’s “transplant” is really just a well-executed shot of a set comprised primarily of props from Home Depot. Roy explains that he and his girlfriend were inspired by story-driven imagery and became interested in creating a scene that felt concurrently strange and fantastical. This shot, captured at 5 a.m., brought their vision to life.

A Mother's Love Series

- Photographer: RemiJin Camping
- Prize: 2nd Place for Fine Art: Still Life

When items are passed down to you, they hold sentimental value even if you don’t have a use for them. Frustrated with the clutter that came with hand-me-downs from her mother, RemiJin Camping had the idea to create a series of photographs that honored the sentimental items her mother had given her in a more meaningful way than leaving them in storage boxes. In the images, Camping creates intricate patterns with jewelry, perfume, and hotel toiletries.

Waterfalls of the Carolinas

- Photographer: Robert McCammon
- Prize: 2nd Place for Book: Nature

The Carolina Mountain Club promotes hiking in the western North Carolina mountains and challenges hikers to see all of the top-100 waterfalls in the region. These are selected from more than 1,500 total waterfalls in western North Carolina based on height, volume, and general setting. In 2018, Robert McCammon, who spent three years working his way through the list, checked off his 100th waterfall and officially completed the challenge. "Waterfalls of the Carolinas" is McCammon's self-published book, featuring these shots in addition to photos of wildflowers and wildlife spotted along his treks.

Balenciaga Summer 2019 Campaign

- Photographer: Robert Yager
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Fashion

Photographer Robert Yager worked in the 1990s on a series depicting street gangs in Los Angeles. Nearly 30 years later, fashion house Balenciaga asked if Yager would be willing to shoot its summer 2019 collection campaign similarly. The resulting photos infuse the high fashion shots with grittiness for a striking effect.

Africa Transgender

- Photographer: Sandro Miller
- Prize: 1st Place for Event: Social Cause

For more than 20 years, photographer Sandro Miller has been capturing images of transgender communities across the world. These portraits, which portray black trans men and women, capture their subjects with honesty. For Miller, the goal of these images is to educate the public on the fear, abuse, bigotry, and violence that members of the transgender community have faced.

Chicago Public Library: Classic to Modern Campaign

- Photographer: Sandro Miller
- Prize: 1st Place for Advertising: Brands campaign

Sandro Miller’s work for the Chicago Public Library’s “Classic to Modern Campaign” encouraged young readers to embrace classic works of fiction. The campaign featured photographs that depict key works of literature throughout history in ways that feel fresh and modern, giving beloved characters the modern treatment and infusing them with new life for a new generation of readers. Hester Prynne from “The Scarlet Letter'' got a high fashion upgrade, for example, while Mowgli from “The Jungle Book” sported a neon tropical shirt and fuchsia face paint.


- Photographer: Sid Rane
- Prize: 2nd Place for Advertising: Music

The best entertainers are often the ones who can surprise audiences and do something new. In this shot, part of an advertising campaign for a DJ and entertainer, photographer Sid Rane explored breaking barriers and going beyond the traditional. This image evokes the sensation of being totally surrounded by music.


- Photographer: Stephanie Pfriender Stylander
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Monograph

When shooting high-profile subjects and iconic fashion brands, it can be difficult for a photographer to infuse their work with a sense of realism. As demonstrated in this compilation, Stephanie Pfriender Stylander, who has shot Kate Moss, Keith Richards, and other celebrities, employs what she refers to as an "untamed" photography process. By getting into a certain flow with her subjects, such that there's a kind of unspoken symbiotic "dance" between them, Stylander captures something more poetic by stripping down the outer layer of celebrity and getting to the authenticity beneath the public character.

Sue Park Photography

- Photographer: Sue Park
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Nature

In “Sue Park Photography,” the Pratt-trained photographer brings together 300 of her photographs shot between 2005 and 2019. By revisiting older works and placing them alongside newer ones, Park is acting on her belief that photographs are a way to keep memories intact. Revisiting old photos is a way to “recollect each moment in time.”

Surfing the Snake River Canyon

- Photographer: Taylor Glenn
- Prize: 2nd Place for Sports: Summer sports

It can be hard enough to catch the perfect wave at the beach, let alone in a river. Photographer Taylor Glenn captures a surfer taking advantage of the very short period during the spring and summer months when river runoff in Wyoming’s Snake River Canyon creates perfect waves. Though river surfing is still relatively unknown, Glenn’s chronicling of this particular point in the river over the years has assisted the sport’s rising popularity, as more and more people travel to the area to ride a river wave.


- Photographer: Ted & Nune
- Prize: 1st Place for Architecture: Abstract

Ted Andreasian and Nune Karamyan are fine art photographers who focus most commonly on architectural-based subjects. In this photo series, Ted & Nune utilize a long exposure, one of their preferred tools for capturing space and the passing of time. This helps the pair portray the energy and interconnectedness of a city through blurry captures of its “canvas of lights.”

Claressa Shields Strikes Back

- Photographer: Terrell Groggins
- Prizes: 1st Place for Editorial / Press: Sports

In this photo series, Terrell Groggins captures two-time Olympic boxing champion Claressa Shields as she trains, preps for a match, and takes on her opponent. While the focus of the images is primarily on Shields’ athleticism, Groggins aims to highlight Shields’ work outside of the ring, as she fights for equality in the sport for women.

Bridal Party in the Field

- Photographer: Tim Dong Ho Yun
- Prize: 2nd Place for Event: Wedding

No couple would be thrilled about a gloomy forecast for their wedding day. For the subjects of Tim Dong Ho Yun's "Bridal Party in the Field," however, the especially foggy backdrop of the image makes for a one-of-a-kind shot that draws attention to the wedding party. The natural white space draws the eye to the bright green field and the photo's subjects.

Blue Muse: Timothy Duffy's Southern Photographs

- Photographer: Timothy Duffy
- Prize: 2nd Place for Book: People

A tintype is a kind of photograph that dates back to the 1850s and is an underexposed negative coated with dark lacquer or enamel. In this photo series, Timothy Duffy revisited the old photographic method to create a series of portraits of jazz, blues, and folk musicians who represent the roots of American music.

Hearts and Bones

- Photographer: Tom Chambers
- Prize: 1st Place for Book: Fine Art

Tom Chambers straddles a fine line between radical conceptualism and realism. His photomontage art creates images that feel logically possible and believable, yet are far from probable or likely. “Hearts and Bones” is a retrospective of the photographer’s work, which used combined photos to tell stories and depict scenes that evoke feelings from tranquility to chaos.

Tales of Heroines

- Photographer: Tom Chambers
- Prize: 1st Place for Fine Art: Portrait

Another collection of photomontages from Tom Chambers, this compilation focuses on stories of young women navigating the world’s complexities, and how their abilities to do so define them as heroines. Chambers’ photographs portray young women through the lens of magical realism, and the resulting photos are fantastical and captivating.

With Grace

- Photographer: Xueying Chang
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Editorial / Press: Personality

In this photo series, Xueying Chang captures the life and vivacious spirit of Grace, a 100-year-old artist. In just a few photos, Chang catches Grace in different moments that create a full portrait of a woman who is at once witty, engaging, and curious, yet also lonely, tired, and fearful of death. In depicting the complexities of Grace’s emotions, Chang also strives to create a series that reflects her own thoughts on death—namely that it’s not to be feared, but rather considered objectively as just the final of life’s many stages.

The Costs of War

- Photographer: YUSUKE SUZUKI
- Prizes: 2nd Place for Editorial / Press: War / Conflict

Brought up in Japan, which hasn't seen or been involved in a war in over 70 years, Yusuke Suzuki was curious to understand regions of the world where peace wasn't a reality. This photo series came from that curiosity, as Suzuki traveled to several war-torn countries and began documenting the realities and costs of war through photographs.

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