The 20th anniversary of the International Photography Awards (IPA) brings together a stunning collection of images from professional and amateur photographers around the world. Tens of thousands of images underwent a rigorous evaluation by an international panel of judges before winners were selected in diverse categories like People, Nature, Advertising, and Fine Art. While all the photographers created incredible imagery, two were singled out from the 22 category winners for special awards.
Thomas Broening was named IPA Photographer of the Year for his groundbreaking series of self-funded billboards that were displayed across California. This series of 24 images, titled The End of the Dream, sheds light on three incredibly important issues plaguing the state—drought, fire, and housing. By placing his striking visuals in a space typically reserved by advertisers, Broening makes an important statement.
Amateur photographer Carlo Marrazza was singled out for his strong work and was named IPA 2023 Discovery of the Year. Marrazza's imagery sheds light on the truly unique story of the Bakkarwals of Jammu and Kashmir, a resilient community of goat and sheep herders, who embark on their annual migratory journey from the hills of the Jammu region, traversing the majestic Himalayas to reach the lush valleys of Kashmir. This year's journey was fraught with hardship, as heavy snowfall led to a loss of livestock. Marrazza's ability to capture the spirit and resilience of the community, even in the face of adversity, is remarkable.
In fact, all of the category winners show a deep love for storytelling. This passion, combined with their technical abilities, are just part of what make IPA special.
“As I was viewing the submissions, I was acutely aware and thrilled by the love and passion that people all over the world have for the photograph as a medium for story-telling,” commented Quentin Nardi, photo editor of the Smithsonian Magazine and IPA jury member. “The work that used light and shadow, composition, technical skills, and complex color exploration to make a more sophisticated image—one that would hold my eye and call to me to linger longer—is the image that got my vote.”