The EyeEm Awards 2021 - An Incredible Year With Challenging Photography

By EyeEm Team - 5 min read

See the winning photographs from the 11th annual EyeEm photo awards at Berlin Photo Week 2021

The 11th annual EyeEm photo awards crowned six winners this month at Berlin Photo Week, for the first time seeing the exciting inclusion of cash prizes. Over 100,000 photographers entered 336,922 submissions across the categories, showcasing diversity in style, technique, and perspective.

Photographer of the year received €1,000, along with the first prize winner in each category. Second prize took home €500, with €250 for third place.

Known for pushing visual boundaries, the bar for the awards was set high. However, all our participants surpassed expectations, leaving the judges no easy decisions. Amongst the panel, and showcasing the diversity of the photography industry, sat Sophie Collins, Chief Marketing Officer for MPB, Pauline Benthede, Vice President of Global Exhibitions at Fotografiska, and Kate Phellini, EyeM Photographer of The Year 2019.

A new addition to the lineup, The Best Mobile Photo Award was introduced for its first season. The award is in collaboration with Scandinavia’s newest name in mobile photography technology, Fjorden, who presented each of the winners with a Fjorden x EyeEm Professional Smartphone Camera Grip alongside the 1000 EUR cash prize.

So now, onto the winners.

EyeEm Photographer of The Year 2021

This year’s title went to Brazilian photographer Thiago Dezan and his project covering vigilante forces in Mexico. The judges praised his social concern, fearlessness, and unparalleled visual insight.

Dezan wrote in a statement: “In an artistic sense, chaos is my brush. The current despair is what motivates me to go further, searching for stories and interesting people. I want more people to help me make sense of the world I see.”

Now, onto the six winners, along with those who took home the second and third prizes.

The Storyteller

Bringing together the disciplines of photojournalism, street photography, and travel photography to rethink the way we feel about our world.

First prize: Marie Simonova

Second prize: Fabian Schmiedlechner

Third prize: Beata Angyalosi

The Architect

Our attention is turned to the built environment and importantly, our interactions with it.

First prize: George Kroustallis

Second prize: Eva Tsai

Third prize: Honda Yoshiko

The Portraitist

Category winners here successfully used portrait photography to capture the diversity of the human experience.

First prize: Jonas Albrech

Second prize: Rūta Kenstavičiūtė

Third prize: Juliantara Putra

The Great Outdoors

Photographers are challenged to rise to the same challenges as their subjects.

First prize: Song Gang

Second prize: Adrian Pujolas

Third prize: Stefan Kurzinger

The Minimalist

This category provides photographers an opportunity to rethink the meaning of objects and notional concepts.

First prize: Peter vom Schemm

Second prize: Sotiris Bougas

Third prize: Fotini Georgakopoulou

The Environmentalist

A new category introduced to this year’s EyeEm Awards and celebrated photography that showcases life on Earth today and shows what it will mean for tomorrow.

First prize: Jeremy John

Second prize: Saiful Islam

Third prize: Ryhor Bruyeu

The Best Mobile Photo

Reminding us that a photographic eye is more important than the gear that happens to be at hand.

First prize: Alexandra Ekdahl

Second prize: Dina Abu Mayyaleh

Third prize: Zuka Kotrikadze

Want to see more submissions to The 2021 EyeEm Awards? See the Shortlist of finalists here!