Selected photographers from around the world have been rewarded by the Budapest International Photo Awards. The experts and judges evaluate each photo and award Bronze, Silver, and Gold to the best. They shuffle through tens and hundreds of thousands of photos every year to give you the best of the last year.


1. Migrant Girls Mourn. 1st Place, Editorial.

“Two migrant girls mourn during clashes between refugees and riot police on the Greek Island of Lesbos on February 3, 2020, in Mytilene, Greece. Refugees protested against the terrible conditions in which they lived inside the Moria refugee camp. Moria was the largest refugee camp in Europe, providing temporary shelter to around 20,000 asylum seekers before the fires and its final abandonment in September 2020.”


Hannah Lillethun, the General Manager of the Farmani Group and one of the organizers of BIFA, gave an exclusive interview about their impressions from this year. “Each year the quality and diversity of the images that we receive certainly increases, as more photographers become aware of the program and share their incredible work with us. Particularly emerging and student photographers present a truly fresh and pure perspective on the world through their raw and inspiring work.”



2. The Ocean Color Canvas. Silver, Nature.

“This is the submerged forest in Lake Shusenko. Lake Shusenko is so beautiful.”


“Each year the Jury’s task of selecting the winners is truly challenging, and that is especially true when there is so much outstanding work from photographers all over the world.”


3. Change The Conversation. 2nd Place, People, Professional.

“I grew up being called a midget by friends and family, who believed it was endearing to call me so. But as a result, I have battled with the concept of beauty, self-love, and appreciation of myself beyond my physical appearance for all of my life. When my eight-year-old daughter came back home to ask if she is beautiful, it hit me the most. Changing the Conversation is a personal series that speaks of beauty as not bondage but a concept that frees you. Beauty is not this or that; pretty or ugly. Beauty exists beyond binaries.”


Hannah explained how the jury works in such contests. “The jury votes on all submissions in each category and sub-category, both in the Professional and student/amateur divisions. Once the jury has completed their voting, the highest rated entries in each sub-category (based on the overall score from the jury votes) are awarded either gold, silver, or bronze prizes. Then the 1st and 2nd place overall winners in the main category are chosen from the gold sub-category winners. And finally, the award’s top prize — The Photographer of the Year (Professional) and New Talent of the Year (amateur/student) — are chosen from the 1st place category winners. It is a difficult process, but gives the jury a chance to evaluate all the amazing works that are submitted.”


4. Drying Dried Persimmons. 2nd Place, Advertising.

“Every autumn is the harvest season of persimmons. Rural women are busy harvesting and making the remainders into dry cakes. The series of photos show the women’s spirit of enduring hardships and hard works.”


5. Born Of Fire. 1st Place, Nature, Professional.

“During my expedition to the volcanic area of Fagradalsfjall in southwestern Iceland, it was the first photo just after the first contact with lava and the ubiquitous poisonous gas. Volcanoes are a rare opportunity to observe the complete transformation of the landscape. Places that were only recently valleys and meadows became hills, craters, and lava fields. Being there was a great experience.”


Hannah had some of her own as well. “It’s very hard to choose a personal favorite, but I must say that I was deeply moved by the series called “Change the Conversation”, a raw and beautiful work by Sujata Setia that deals with the subjects of perception and beauty. It is such an important issue in our modern culture.”


6. Our Past. Photographer Of The Year, Book, Professional.

“The history of the Soviet Union is a clear example of how propaganda shapes the worldview, values, and way of life of a person. We, who were born in the Soviet Union, sincerely believed in the values that we were inspired by in early childhood. And only during perestroika [the reformation movement] we discovered the Other World.”


7. Universe During Pandemic. 2nd Place, Science, Professional.

“I have spent a year capturing all these mysterious and beautiful images of the universe, including galaxies and nebulas. Every image was shot for at least 25 hours, which means multiple nights per final image. Most of the images were taken at a dark site located in west Texas. Every night I watched the stars while my equipment is working, it makes me think of how tiny we are as human beings, and how little color and luminosity we can perceive with our eyes.”


8. Tears For George Floyd. Gold In Editorial, Political.

“At a Black Lives Matter protest in Cairns, Australia, US citizen Hermela Bealfan cries as she lies on the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the time it took police officer Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis. Cairns residents came out in their hundreds not only to protest against Floyd’s murder but also the Australian indigenous death toll ‘in custody’ – at the time 432 since 1991.”


9. People Of Tundra. 1st Place, People, Professional.

“In the far north of Russia, on the Taymyr peninsula, indigenous peoples continue to live according to the traditional way of life. They wander from place to place with their herds of deer. They spend all year in the tundra from birth to ripe old age, except for the time when children leave to study in boarding schools. It was surprising for me to learn that they are not hostages of the situation, they have a choice. Many families have apartments in settlements, but they do not want to live in them – choosing to roam the endless expanses.”


10. Unyielding Floods. Gold, Editorial/Environmental, Professional.

“Floods in South Sudan have triggered food insecurity across the country. About 1.3 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, exacerbated by the spread of malaria and drinking water made unsafe by the floods, which have affected a million people since July 2020. Jonglei state is at the heart of the devastation. This project documents the devastation on three levels: natural disaster, food insecurity, and loss of dignified living.”