Presenting The 2018 EyeEm Awards Winners
By Marili Persson - 4 min read
Billed as the world's largest single photography competition, the 2018 edition of the EyeEm Awards drew more than 700,000 submissions from 100,000 photographers around the world. Today we're unveiling the winners.
This year marks the fifth EyeEm Awards, covering nine categories and inviting photographers of all skill levels and backgrounds to participate. For weeks, our jury, consisting of industry leaders and representatives from Adidas, VII Photo Agency, WeTransfer and more, sifted through all submissions across the diverse categories.
They have now picked the winners from a pool of 100 finalists who tell important stories, show us unique perspectives and are driven by the unbound desire to capture moments of authenticity. The jury has also chosen one photographer to receive our highest honor: The 2018 EyeEm Photographer of the Year.
Winners in each category, as well as the coveted Photographer of the Year prize, were announced during Berlin Photo Week.
EyeEm Photographer of the Year
The EyeEm Photographer of the Year serves as an ambassador to EyeEm for the following year. We’re thrilled to introduce this year’s winner: Aiyush Pachnanda, who’s a 21-year-old photographer based in London and Cardiff, UK. He received a trip to Berlin for Berlin Photo Week, and a Sony Alpha camera.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where is home? What got you started in photography?
Home to me is wherever I photograph. I feel more connected to a place if I’m photographing it. I originally grew up in London throughout my childhood and my adolescence, but right now home is Cardiff, where I’m living and studying photojournalism.
How would you describe your photography style? Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from many places, the majority being people and music. These two factors contribute greatly to the environment that I find myself in wherever I may be, and this is reflected in my work. My mood can also alter the end product. If my morale is low, I’m more of a fly on the wall. If my mood is high however, my work becomes more vibrant due to my boosted confidence.
What does it mean to you to become EyeEm’s photographer of the Year?
Winning the award is an honour. I never would have predicted winning but that makes it even sweeter I suppose. Winning an award with so much calibre from an organisation so pivotal to the world of 21st century photography is amazing, and I was grateful to make it to the final let alone win.
The Fashion Photographer
Gear: Canon 5D Mark II
Location: Sydney, Australia
Inspired by landscapes, ground and sky, and quirky expression.
Gear: NIKON D750
Location: At the kitchen table in my home in Krasnodar, Russia.
“Dusha” is the Russian word for soul. Rich with romance and quietude, this work is a part of the series as a glimpse into the Russian soul on the example of my mother and her inner world. Using photography as the means of portraying her individuality, the process became like a therapy for both of us. My mom is a rare, incredible woman with her own unconquerable romanticism and heightened sensitivity of perception. The “Dusha” project is a dialogue between mother and daughter with immersion in each other’s inner worlds; it deals with intuition and subconscious of human essence, against emotional self-alienation, social isolation and sensory deprivation.
The Street Photographer
Gear: Canon 60D
Location: San Dionisio, Parañaque City, Philippines
I was amazed to see these children who were playing on a dumpsite in the middle of Paranaque City. They were totally oblivious to the hazards of their recreation. Indeed, a poignant reminder of how these children are able to find ways to enjoy their childhood even in the most distressing environments like this.
Gear: Canon 7D
Location: Vauxhall Station, London
Every building in my pictures has surreal touch. In a retouching process I sometimes create a completely new building like I did it with this one. The initial building is small and it looks like it’s an extension of the air condition system for the London underground system, very unspectacular and in the middle of the pavement. But the geometry inspired me and I gave it a fresh color combination, duplicated and stacked it. It’s part of my RND series where I photograph minimal geometric architecture in Berlin and London with a clear blue sky. Most of my work I share on Instagram. Giving people access to my work or inspiring them makes me more than happy.
Gear: Canon 6D
Location: Train journey from Dhaka Kamalapur to Narsingdi, Bangladesh
A train ride can be one of the most comfortable and enjoyable journeys that a person can experience over a long distance. People commuting via train is very common in Bangladesh, especially when it’s a long trip. The majority of these people are beggars, Hawkers, Labor and very low earning people whom are coming to Dhaka to earn a living and provide a meal for their families. They can’t afford the train ride, so they end up climbing the roof of the train while the station master is unaware. I even spoke with a few people who travel on the roof of the train because they simply enjoy it, since there is an adrenaline rush involved. Sometimes these people fall off and get injured severely losing their limbs and sometimes their lives, but that does not stop them from traveling this way. This has also become a great place for the hawkers to make a profit for themselves by selling tea, biscuits and cigarettes to these train passengers who are traveling atop, risking their own lives in the process.
The Still Life Photographer
Gear: Fujifilm X100F
Location: San German, an illegal settlement in the South Eastern border of Bogotá
This photo is part of a project called “Entrenubes” (“between the clouds” in Spanish). It takes place in a slum called San German which lies on the outskirts of the Colombian capital of Bogotá. The project follows the lives of its inhabitants: victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, ex-guerilla members, single mothers, indigenous and afro communities - communities that form a microcosm of Colombia’s complicated story, its hope and its tragedy.
The community doesn’t trust the authorities. In September 2016 more than 200 police officers raided San German in an attempt to finally evict the community. Six people were arrested, accused of being bosses of a local band of “Tierreros” (land pirates), but they were released that same day for lack of evidence. Violence is a constant in San German, and it’s often the way in which people resolve disputes. However, in between the chaos and struggle, there is also a harmony to the community; people are proud to have a piece of land and a place to call home.
The Great Outdoors
Gear: DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
Location: Lake Buyan, Bali
On our first day cruising around Bali on our scooter, I had noticed this odd looking geometric structure floating in the middle of a large lake and knew that it would look unique from the air. I had never seen anything quite like it and decided to venture back here with the drone during sunset to give the shot some depth.
As the drone neared the structure, I could see a lone man paddling out to it and realized it was set up for fishing. I decided to hover above at a safe distance and see what he was doing. He began walking around each square, checking the fish before moving onto the next. Eventually, he went back to his hut, pulled out a fishing line and cast it into the lake.
I saw an ancient way of life, fragile and untouched by technology and a different side of Bali away from the beaches, waterfalls and nightclubs. It reminded me that there are many amazing hidden gems like this, you just have to be willing to look a little closer, drive a little further and think a little different. It also reminded me that the ideology of ‘the great outdoors’ doesn’t necessarily have to be enormous mountain ranges 1000’s of km away from civilization. It can be encapsulated as a beautiful place in the outdoors that encompasses greatness.
Gear: Nikon D610
Location: New York, USA
This image, entitled “Christine Performing the Role of Sam” is part of my ongoing series “Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” This body of work seeks to dismantle and redefine the genre of self-portraiture. Both in title and visual vocabulary, this body of work engages with a century-old practice of the young artist seeking to depict their own image. Playing off of the illusionary qualities of mirrors, and the subjective perception of our self-image in photographs, I turn to the others to show me what I might actually look like. I ask my subjects to perform as myself before the camera, recreating both my physical characteristics and gestures. The final images are, in fact, collaborative in nature: my subjects do their own makeup and perform based on how they perceive me; I then manipulate these photographs before a mirror, adjusting my subjects’ facial features to match what I believe myself to look like. The final images, which should be seen collectively, embody both my own self-perception and that of those around me, making for what I believe to be the most complete self-portrait.
Gear: Nikon D700
Location: Mississippi, USA
I intentionally titled this image with a long name, “James, the Smoking Delta Cowboy With a Golden Grill.” This was one of the final frames I took at the end of a full day shooting my personal documentary photography project called “Delta Hill Riders.” James’ face caught my eye amongst a group of about eight riders who I randomly bumped into while driving home, just before sunset. I asked James if I could take his portrait, and his face lit up with happiness because I singled him out. He gave me a few moments to snap, and to this day, it’s still one of my favorites from the project. I remember looking at in camera when I got back to my car, and a rare behavior for me, but I screamed out loud in joy because I loved the shot immediately.
This ongoing, unpublished documentary photography project in the Mississippi Delta, sheds light on an overlooked African-American subculture — one that resists both historical and contemporary stereotypes. The project began in January 2017 when I attended a rodeo in Greenville, Mississippi celebrating black cowboy heritage in the region.
Congratulations to every winner, and to everyone who made it onto the shortlist of the 2018 EyeEm Awards! See all the 100 finalists here.