Istanbul Photo Awards is an international news photography contest organized by Anadolu Agency. The contest aims to contribute to the sphere of news photography and offers a perspective shaped by the region’s unique position at the center of diverse cultures. The awards reward endeavors of courageous and talented photojournalists from around the world on merit. Although it is only the fourth edition of the contest, Istanbul Photo Awards has become one of the most widely known news photography contests in the world.
The contest has ten categories. Besides the first two years' categories; news single, news story, single sports and story sports; there were single nature & environment, story nature & environment, single portrait and story portrait categories in the third year and now the categories have been extended to 10 with the single daily life and story daily life. A total of $10,000 award will be given to the winner of the Photo of the Year, which is the Single News 1st prize winner. In the contest, an additional $3,000 Young Photographer award is given to a winner under the age of 28. Winners of all categories will be given $8,000 for the first prize, $5,000 for the second and $3,000 for the third. Along with the generous awards of the contest aiming to support the hard work and dedication of news photographers worldwide, the application is totally free.
The contest receives applications from more than 100 countries each year. The Istanbul Photo Awards 2017 received a lot of attention from photojournalists from all around the world. Almost 25,000 submissions from different continents sent to the contest and 22 photographers from 17 countries received awards.
For three years, we have proudly witnessed that the winning photographs from Istanbul Photo Awards being honored by the Pulitzer Prize. Both in 2015 winner of the Photo of the Year and 2017 3rd prize winner of single news, Daniel Berehulak, and last year, Sergey Ponomarev, 1st prize winner of single news, won the Pulitzer.
In 2005, Daniel Berehulak won the Photo of the Year award with his photograph depicting the Ebola crisis. In 2016, Abd Doumany’s image of an injured Syrian boy was chosen as Photo of the Year by the international jury and in 2017, photographer Frederic Lafargue’s image titled “Escaping from Daesh” was chosen Photo of the Year 2017.
All the winning photographs have the power to engage people against wars and conflicts, and to familiarize them with different cultures. The jury had a very tough time selecting the most powerful photos of the year from such a strong field. Every year international jury meets in Turkey on March. In 2017 edition, Director of the Shanghai Center of Photography Liu Heung Shing, photojournalist and visual media advisor Georges De Keerle, AFP director of photo business development Michel Scotto, Photojournalist at NOOR agency Yuri Kozyrev,Paris Match Senior Digital Broadcasting Director Marion Mertens, Getty Images Photographer Cameron Spencer, visual documentary producer and curator Liza Faktor, Anadolu Agency Visual News Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Sel and Photography Editor Fırat Yurdakul were the jury members.
After the jury gathering of 2017, a total of 16 participants took part in the Istanbul Photo Awards Workshop, including photographers from Anadolu Agency, young photojournalists from national media organizations of Turkey and seniors from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s photography department. Photojournalists Yuri Kozyrev and Stanly Greene shared key points from their careers apart from sharing their portfolios with the participants during the workshop. After the workshop, Kozyrev and Greene met photography enthusiasts at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s to share their valuable experience during the Istanbul Photo Awards Talks event.
Every year online applications are accepted between Nov. 1- Jan. 31 via http://istanbulphotoawards.com. The results of the contest announced by the end of March each year. After the winner announcements the winning photographs will be published in Photobook which will be send almost everywhere all around the world to the photography professionals and displayed at significant galleries around the world such as Istanbul, Shanghai, New York, Vienna and Moscow. Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) sponsor the contest.