Awe-Inspiring Winners of Smithsonian’s 15th Annual Photo Contest Annual Photo Contest 2018

Breakfast at the Weekly Market
© Thong Huu. All rights reserved.
In northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to the market and have breakfast here.
Grand Prize Winner

It seems like just yesterday we were marveling over the amazing photography finalists in the 15th Annual Photo Contest. We're now excited to report that recently announced their Grand Prize Winner, Readers’ Choice Winner, and six Category Winners. The judges certainly had their work cut out for them—from March 28, 2017 to November 30, 2017, the competition received 48,000 submissions from photographers in 155 countries and territories.

The winning images showcase the beautiful diversity of our world, particularly in terms of people and culture. Many of the winners offer a snapshot into a different facet of a society, whether that’s a crowd watching an outdoor wrestling match or one man meticulously bundling bunches of incense. This trend is evident in the Grand Prize image, too. Photographer Thong Huu gives us a glimpse into breakfast in northern Vietnam by capturing a picture of people as they enjoy a hot meal at a marketplace. For those familiar with this area, this might be something they've seen before—but for others across the world, it's a totally new sight.

Now, it’s your chance to enter the next competition. The 16th Annual Photo Contest just started accepting submissions and will do so through November 30, 2018. To learn more about the categories and how you can enter, review their contest guidelines online. Good luck!

Learn more about the winners and finalists of’s 15th Annual Photo Contest.

15th Annual Photo Contest Winners

© Sara Jacoby. All rights reserved.
This is Maggie. She has two rare chromosome duplications, one of which she's the only child on record to have. This photo captures not only her vulnerability, but also the magnitude of the science for which we are so grateful. A little girl and her “Gigi” already way too familiar with hospitals and doctors offices than any child should be.
Readers' Choice Winner

15th Annual Photo Contest Winners

© © Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Hosseini. All rights reserved.
Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.
People Category Winner Annual Photo Contest 2018

Shadow Highlight
© Mohammad Mohsenifar. All rights reserved.
A couple of ladies are passing in front of graffiti.
Mobile Category Winner

15th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Making Incense
© Tran Tuan Viet. All rights reserved.
Decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, incense is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religious ceremonies.
Travel Category Winner

15th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Backflip Submission
© Dan Fenstermacher. All rights reserved.
A wrestler does a backflip off the ropes of a wrestling ring in an attempt to defeat an opponent.
The American Experience Category Winner Annual Photo Contest 2018

© Adam Żądło. All rights reserved.
There are not many other animals as productive as sheep. They give us wool, milk, meat. Their memoirs are usually short. The pool of names is repeated every two years on our farm. We have already had two Queens, three Theos and four Fables.
Altered Images Category Winner Annual Photo Contest 2018

Pinnacle of Existence
© Oreon Strusinski. All rights reserved.
Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores.
Natural World Category Winner 14th Annual Photo Contest: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Smithsonian Magazine.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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