EyeEm Photographer of the Year. Photo: Sasha Dudkina
The largest photography contest in the world, the EyeEm Photography Awards, has just announced the winners of its 2017 edition. Selecting from the pool of 100 finalists, photographers across five categories, as well as grand prize and community choice winners, beat over 88,000 photographers for prizes.
An esteemed panel of judges—including experts from National Geographic Traveler, iGNANT, and the BBC—selected the winners, which were announced during Sunday's awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany. In the end, it was 19-year-old Russian photographer Sasha Dudkina who took home top honors as the EyeEm Photographer of the Year for her overall body of work. Awarded to a photographer who “has yet to be discovered but shows incredible potential,” Sasha has been an active member of the EyeEm community for years.
Her stunning photographs, which capture everyday life in Russia, caught the eye of the panel. “Sasha is brimming with potential,” said Brada Vivi Barassi, Head of Photography at EyeEm. “We’re so excited to work with her, help unleash her creativity to the full and provide support throughout her photography journey.” As part of her prize package, Dudkina earned a year-long mentorship by the organization to help further develop her skills.
See more of Sasha's work below, as well as the winners of the individual categories and the stories behind their images.
The EyeEm Photography Awards are the world's largest photography contest. Here are the winners of the 2017 competition.
Adeolu Osibodu, 20, from Ogun State, Nigeria. Winner, The Portraitist. This was taken as part of Adeolu Osibodu’s series, ‘Losing Amos.’ Osibodu says: “My Grandfather Amos died in 2014. It was then that I realized how casual my idea of him was. I constantly asked myself why I couldn’t see beyond his heavy grins, why I couldn’t define him as more than the man who was never unhappy… these were unsettling thoughts that meddled with my conscience.” Osibodu decided to take a series of self-portraits wearing different clothes his grandfather owned at various times in his life. “Maybe this is inspired by an urge to find consolation or my intimate affection for a time before, or me just being Adeolu. Regardless, I’m forever glad I happened to find myself in this state.”
Guiga Pirá, 30, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Winner, The Great Outdoors. This image is part of a six-piece series of aerial photos Guiga took while living in a ship, in Mexico, as part of a marine conservation direct action campaign. He was asked to join the crew of an anti-poaching ship (from an organization he volunteers with called Sea Shepherd) as the drone pilot for a campaign to protect the most endangered marine mammal in the world from illegal fishermen, in Mexico. Drones were used to locate, identify and document illegal fishing activities in a protected area.
Denise Kwong, 37, from Sydney, Australia. Winner, The Architect. Denise Kwong went to a popular spot in Hong Kong to shoot the markets below, when she looked to the left and saw this block of units. Kwong said: “With its lighting scheme, it was giving off a cinematic vibe and I also love how each lit balcony made the building facade look like a sheet of negatives – each telling its own story.”
Ramin Mazur, 30, from Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Winner, The Photojournalist. This image is from Ramin’s series, “The Process,” documenting a production of Hamlet put on in a prison in Moldova. The country has one of the highest numbers of inmates per capita in Europe, including the highest rate of the long-term convicts. To shed a light on the issues of the penitentiary system, the art center “Coliseum” directed a play in the most secure prison in Moldova. For several months inmates were studying the craft of acting to perform on the same level together with professionals from the National Theatre.
Julie Hrudova, 29, from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Winner, The Street Photographer. This photo was taken as part of Julie Hrudova’s series, ‘LEISURE,’ which is an ongoing series Hrudova says is “core to what my work is about.” It’s a play with photography being a trustworthy and truthful medium by creating some confusion about what is actually happening in the image, or why. Hrudova says her subjects are focused on their leisure activities and often isolated. The photos from the series are taken in Moscow, Tokyo, and Amsterdam.
Robert Torrontegui, 27, from Manila, Philippines. Winner, The Community Vote. For the first time this year, the EyeEm Community on Facebook was asked to select their favorite image.
19-year-old Russian photographer Sasha Dudkina won the top award of EyeEm Photographer of the Year for her first-hand account of life in contemporary Russia.