We bet you’ve seen a lot of amazing photos; picking your favorite might be pretty challenging. Judging a photography contest might be even more difficult. The subject of the photo, the technique used to capture the photo, and even the story behind the photo are all important criteria. This year, the Sony World Photography Awards received many contributions in categories such as documentary, architecture, and landscape. We were particularly curious about one group: the youth category, which is open to any photographer between the ages of twelve and nineteen. Check out the final submissions and the winner below.
Image Name: Ignite
Photographer Name: Faiyad Uzzaman
Image Description: This is for those who are not self-confident. Just a small message from me to everyone that they are not worthless and that they can “ignite” themselves.
Copyright: © Faiyad Uzzaman, Bangladesh, Shortlist, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Name: Divided
Photographer Name: Emma Last
Image Description:This self-portrait symbolises the segregation of individuals due to their differences, and shows how their features can see them placed into groups characterised by stereotypes created by society. It aims to highlight how, although diversity is increasing, the lack of acceptance of it is responsible for the absence of equality in the world today. The black string indicates the groups created, and shows the boundaries and restrictions placed upon certain groups in the world. The out-of-focus side profile in the foreground shows how those segregated by society are often dominated or almost hidden by individuals who don’t accept the differences of others, and therefore see themselves as more powerful. For diversity to truly be accepted we need to embrace each other’s differences and view ourselves as equal.
Copyright: © Emma Last, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Name: Young Shepherd
Photographer Name: Ilya Bugaev
Image Description: For many years, work was in full swing in the gorge near Trinka village, Moldova. For centuries, lime was mined here, burned, and sent to all the surrounding area. Today, the walls of this natural quarry are overgrown with grass and trees, the old kilns have been destroyed, and this village is famous for its meadows rather than its fossil resources. However, there is enough work here now. Herds of sheep grazing require a shepherd. It was important for me to capture the calm and tranquility in the eyes of this young shepherd, cut off from work, knocked out of his routine by a visit from an unexpected guest. This is exactly what is rarely seen in the bustle of the city, in the eyes of those who work far from nature and whose leisure is not enriched by unity with beautiful natural landscapes.
Copyright: © Ilya Bugaev, Moldova (Republic of), Shortlist, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Name: Untitled
Photographer Name: Jeremy Kupfuwa
Image Description: The movie Deadpool 2 was coming out and my friend and I thought it would be “cool” to create a superhero for our city, which happens to be very boring. People looked at us very strangely when we shot these images, but that is very normal in my city. People have not embraced new culture, fashion and arts such as photography. I want this photograph to inspire others to not conform to society and its endless rules and to do what they like.
Copyright: © Jeremy Kupfuwa, Zimbabwe, Shortlist, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Name: Abuot (Winner)
Photographer Name: Zelle Westfall
Image Description: I had this image in my mind before I took it. This was the very first shot, just to test the lighting. Right away, I knew this was exactly what I was going for. The rest of the shoot was spent collaborating with Jordan. Abuot is my friend from school and she is one of the funniest people I know. In today’s society, with skin bleaching products and colorism flooding the media, it’s important to highlight the beauty of dark-skinned women who are often told that they are “too dark.”
Copyright: © Zelle Westfall, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards