Istanbul Photo Awards ‘among top contests in the world’

Proud to be winning major contest in photojournalism, says winner Andrej Isakovic

The Istanbul Photo Awards is regarded as one of the top contests in the world among photographers including photojournalists, said Serbian photojournalist Andrej Isakovic, who won this year’s Single Sports category.

At a time when the whole world was trying to adopt to the new normal brought about by the coronavirus pandemic as well as other crises, photojournalists were recording history by capturing powerful images.

Anadolu Agency’s Istanbul Photo Awards did not backtrack support for photojournalism during these pressing times.

Talking about his winning entry, Isakovic, who works for Agence France-Presse (AFP), said the photo was taken during last year’s Formula 1 race.

The race was going as usual until the second half, he said.

He could have left the venue at that moment but he decided to trust his gut and stay.

“I somehow anticipated that something's going to happen, especially in that quarter,” he said.

“At the first moment, you don't think, you react by instinct, you keep on shooting pictures,” he said, referring to the dramatic crash of the 2021 season when Verstappen and Hamilton collide, with Verstappen's Red Bull nearly landing on top of Hamilton's head in Monza.

Calling the halo effect a “life-saving technological innovation,” he said he is glad there were no major casualties in the incident.

“I feel very proud to be one of this contest’s winners in the sports category as the Istanbul Photo Awards is regarded one of the top contests in the world among photojournalists and other photographers, as well,” he said.

He added that he received numerous positive and congratulatory e-mails and comments from his colleagues all around the world.

“When we put my picture aside and look at other winning images, we can see that they are all amazing images,” he said.

About choosing which photo to submit to the contest, he said that it was the decision of his agency.

Additionally, about the submission process, he underlined that the contest’s website is quite “straightforward.”

Power of images

“It’s a cliché when people say that a picture is worth a thousand words, that it can tell us so much but sometimes, it’s also true,” said Isakovic.

“I was also very proud to speak from my side for this particular picture because it was widely published, widely used on Instagram. Lewis Hamilton has thousands of comments for this image on his profile.

“For TV, everybody used this photo, which was so to speak shot in a traditional way with a photo camera. So, this proves to me and a lot of others that fought for photojournalism to have its place in the modern society to bring news to people,” he said.

“You still see the power of one single image and it is still going on despite people saying that we are overrun by multimedia. I don’t think so,” he said.

“I think that this contest is proof that one single image can bring out lots of emotions, news, and so on,” he further said.

Techniques, stories, technological developments

Stating that as an agency photographer he has to deliver photos to subscribers in real time, Isakovic said that is where the recent technological developments in the field of photography come to help.

“You can transmit images from the camera, you can do so many things in the camera, and at the end your client will receive a picture in minutes,” he said.

However, he said technology can only help if the image is powerful.

"Just one camera and one good eye is all that you need,” he said.

Additionally, he said, your instinct and experience as a photojournalist are as important.

He also gave some pieces of advice to the newcomers on the field, and as the first and the most important step, he suggested them “to be honest.”

“What I meant is that they shouldn’t play with the images. If that picture is for photojournalism, it has to be about the truth, to inform the people what's happening there to tell a nice story,” he said.

This year, the contest was supported by Canon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines.

Information related to the 2022 jury and award-winning photographs can be accessed via the website

Istanbul Photo Awards 2022 winners announced

Bloomberg photographer Konstantinos Tsakalidis wins Photo of the Year award with his work ‘Woman from Evia’

Bloomberg photographer Konstantinos Tsakalidis' photo titled "Woman from Evia" won the Photo of the Year award at the Istanbul Photo Awards, the eighth edition of the annual international photography contest held by Anadolu Agency to support photojournalists.

A prestigious jury selected the award-winning photographs for the Istanbul Photo Awards 2022.

Tsakalidis' photo was selected among more than 16,000 photographs submitted from different parts of the world. 

In the Single News category, Getty Images photojournalist Drew Angerer received second prize for his work, in which he captured the violent Jan. 6 siege on the US Capitol.

AFP photojournalist Paul Ratje won the third-place award with his photograph reflecting the difficulties faced by refugees who try to enter an encampment in Texas.

Professional photojournalists entered the contest with photos demonstrating last year's global events, from the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan to floods in Indonesia, from the Australian Open tennis tournament to protests over the UK's coronavirus restrictions.

Two finalists were awarded at the suggestion of jury members in the Story Portrait category, in total, 19 photographers received prizes in seven categories.

This year, the contest was supported by Canon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines (THY), the nation's flag carrier.

The jury members selected the winners through a platform designed exclusively for the contest by the Anadolu Agency Information Technologies team due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Istanbul Photo Awards will continue to support the photography sector'

Speaking about this year's contest, Serdar Karagoz, the agency's director general, said the power of photos extends news content beyond language, space and time.

He praised photojournalists for continuing their work with dedication despite the disruption to normal life due to the pandemic.

Noting that the importance of the quality of the photographs submitted is increasing every year and the jury members are speaking highly of the organization, he continued: "I would like to thank all the photographers who made us witnesses of the anxiety of the California fires, the excitement of the Olympic Games, and the heartbreaking moments in refugee camps. Additionally, I thank each jury member for their invaluable contributions to the contest."

He stressed that Anadolu Agency will continue to support photography in the coming years with the Istanbul Photo Awards, which has turned into a platform that all professional photographers in the world wait for with interest.

Congratulating Mehmet Aslan, who received the first prize for "Single Nature and Environment" with his photo that exposes the effects of drought, Karagoz said: "Special news projects spanning several years will be evaluated in the long-term projects category that we will open next year."

Information related to the jury and award-winning photographs can be accessed via the website (

2022 Call for Entry

Anadolu  Agency’s international news photography contest Istanbul Photo Awards 2022 application deadline is Feb. 15, 2022. Professional photographers may apply to the contest in 7 categories via The winner of the Photo of the Year will receive $ 6.000. First prize winners will also be awarded a Canon camera. Winners will be selected by prestigious jury  members in March. Award-winning photos will be published in photobooks and displayed at international exhibitions.

Istanbul Photo Awards ‘important contest for photojournalists’

Competition is like a ‘rendezvous’ that photojournalists were all waiting for, says prize winner

The Istanbul Photo Awards is an important contest for photojournalists and something the community waits for eagerly, said photojournalist Alain Schroeder, first prize winner in the awards’ 2021 Story Sports category.

Amid the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the whole world was filled with concerns and trying to hold onto everyday life, Anadolu Agency’s Istanbul Photo Awards still managed to reflect unforgettable events with the undeniable power of photos.

Schroeder is among a group of photojournalists who spent nearly three months in lockdown in an apartment in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur Sultan after he arrived to take photos of the traditional Kok Boru horse games in March 2020.

Since measures taken by the Kazakh government meant he could not shoot the games as he had to stay indoors, he said that he came back to the capital that November for another chance to cover the competition.

“I practiced finding different angles and situations that show emotion, tested contraptions with my camera,” he told Anadolu Agency, Turkiye’s premier news source.

“I spent several weeks traveling throughout the country to find playfields in exceptional places, in front of a mountain or near water.”

“Last year I won third prize in the News Category in the contest,” he added.

Mentioning how many people told him that thanks to his photos they learned about the plight of orangutans and the habitat destruction due to “illegal logging, mining and palm oil exploitation,” he underlined the power of good pictures, saying: “Photography can absolutely have an impact and make a difference.”

“The Istanbul Photo Awards is now an important contest for a photojournalist and a rendezvous we were all waiting for,” he said.

Joy of succeeding in ‘prestigious competition’

Roman Vondrous, a photojournalist at the Czech News Agency, won first prize in the Single Sports category for his work in the capital Prague.

He took photos of the football players of the Bohemians 1905 Prague thanking their fans after a match against FK Pribram on Dec. 15, 2020 at Dolicek Stadium.

Despite the ban on fans attending the match due to COVID-19 restrictions, several fans managed to watch the whole game by standing on ladders or stepladders to peer into the stadium.

“It’s not an easy thing to pay attention to the whole match while balancing on a ladder,” Vondrous told Anadolu Agency.

“It was also interesting that a lot of the fans didn’t hesitate to travel with their ladders across the whole city by public transport or by car,” he added.

“We, with my colleague, picked out one of the buildings opposite the stadium and asked the owner if we could take some pictures from it,” he said.

“We were lucky that the home team won and the players walked up to the fans to say thank you after the match. That was the exact shot we were waiting for.”

Despite the technological advances that help photojournalists take good photos in most situations, Vondrous explained: “To get an exceptional shoot you still must be in the right spot at the right time; that hasn’t changed at all.”

“Even in this complicated time we are experiencing, I am convinced that photos still have the power to display our era in an extraordinary way,” he underlined.

Mentioning that after the announcement of the Istanbul Photo Awards winners, he got lots of emails and messages of congratulations, he said: “I was really happy I managed to succeed in such a prestigious competition where the photos are judged by a reputable jury.”

He once again submitted some of his photos for the next round of the contest, and would be “really grateful for any recognition,” he added.

Vondrous also won Second Prize in the Single Sports category in 2015.

For more information on the distinguished photos honored by the Istanbul Photo Awards, visit

On the website, professional photographers can also submit entries to the 2022 contest through Feb. 15.

Winners get cash prizes, and the photos are recognized in the awards photobook and international exhibits.

The 2022 contest is supported by Canon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), and Turkish Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier.

Istanbul Photo Awards announces jury for 2022 contest

National Geographic photographer, filmmaker Ami Vitale, photojournalist Carol Guzy both join this year’s jury for prestigious photo contest

The jury for the Istanbul Photo Awards 2022, organized this year for the eighth time by Anadolu Agency, Turkiye’s premier news source, has been announced.

This year’s jury for the prestigious international photo contest includes NOOR Agency photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev, Reuters photojournalist Goran Tomasevic, visual storyteller Marion Mertens, AFP Former Photo Business Development Director Michel Scotto, Getty Images Chief Sports Photojournalist Cameron Spencer, photojournalist Ahmet Sel, and Firat Yurdakul, the editor-in-chief of Anadolu Agency’s Visual News Department.


National Geographic photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale, who has worked in more than 100 countries, and photojournalist Carol Guzy, who has over 40 years of experience in the field of photography, joined the jury this year.


Guzy is respected for her work in many places around the world, from Africa to the Balkans, since starting in the photography business in 1980. Specializing in long-term projects in the fields of documentary, human interest, news and feature stories, Guzy is currently a contract photographer with ZUMA Press. In addition to being the first photojournalist to win the Pulitzer Prize four times, Guzy has won numerous other international awards.


“Photographers should consider entering this prestigious competition. Awards bring recognition and give images a second life,” she said. “With a newfound awareness of the critical impact of climate change on the environment, the addition of the new nature category is immensely relevant.”

She added: “Cash prizes and camera offer assistance for future photographic endeavors.”


Vitale, who has devoted half of her professional life to publicizing to the world what is happening in international war zones, has recently been working on compelling wildlife stories.

A National Geographic photographer and member of the Advisory Board of Photographers, Vitale is actively involved in organizations aimed at protecting wildlife habitats.

The photographer, who often shares her experiences in talks and workshops programs, has racked up six World Press Photo awards along with many international awards.


The jury of the contest, which attracts hundreds of entries from professional photographers worldwide annually, will meet online on March 17-19. The winners will be announced at the end of March after the selection process, done through a platform specially prepared for the contest by Anadolu Agency's dedicated tech team.

Information on all the jury members, all of whom are prestigious members of the world of photography, can be accessed at


- Deadline for entries Feb. 15


Applications are open for professional photographers until Feb. 15, via


Participants can apply with photographs concerning the year 2021 in seven different categories: Single News, Story News, Single Sports, Story Sports, Single Nature and Environment, Canon Story Daily Life, and Story Portrait.


The winner of the Photo of the Year – the Single News category first prize winner – will be awarded $6,000.

The winners in other categories will be awarded $3,000 for first prize, $1,500 for second prize, and $1,000 for third. Only first place will be awarded in the Story Daily Life and Story Portrait categories.

In addition to the awards, this year the winners of Single News and Story Sports will receive Canon EOS R3 camera, while winners of other categories will be awarded Canon EOS R5 cameras.


This year the contest is supported by Canon, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), and Turkish Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier.