Smartphones are becoming a huge part of documenting the world around us and our daily lives, forever watching and listening, whether we want them to be or not. Most of us carry our smartphones around all day, in our pockets wherever we go – to work, to lunch, to bed, on vacation, and even to the bathroom (don't deny it)! And in carrying the best camera phone (opens in new tab) everywhere, we also tend to take lots of photos.
The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA) showcase exemplary work that has been captured all over the world solely using Apple's iPhone devices, and this year’s winning shots depict the beauty of rising out of isolation, while honoring the role played by photography in its ability to build bridges across our lost connections.
• What is the best iPhone for photography (opens in new tab)?
The idea of using smartphones for photography instead of "proper" professional cameras has often been a contemporary debate among photographers, but the iPhone Photography Awards (opens in new tab) exist to disprove the misconception that smartphone cameras aren't as capable. Last year an image shot using an iPhone 7 (opens in new tab) took home the top honors at the IPPA, plus a photography award and a bar of gold!
Winning the Grand Prize this year was Antonio Denti from Italy, receiving the award for his image titled The Kid of Mosul, depicting a moment of tenderness juxtaposed by the dusty rubble of an ongoing war, shot using his iPhone 11 (opens in new tab).
The interesting thing about this image, is that while it's certainly striking, and well-composed, the glass reflection within the middle of the image is very prominent and unmissable, you can clearly decipher that the photographer captured the image from the window of some sort of vehicle or car, with what looks like another van just behind it.
The reason this is interesting is because the reflection adds raw originality and certifies that the image was taken using a smartphone, as arguably the aperture settings and depth of field found on DSLR and mirrorless cameras would usually (but not always) blur out this reflection, depending upon the lens used, so it's refreshing to see an image with this noticeable reflection almost appearing like an accidental double exposure that further supplements the story behind the shot.(opens in new tab)
The First Place Photographer of the Year Award 2022 was awarded to Rachel Sela from Sweden for her image titled Anti-Social Distancing, which elevates the usual process of wearing a face covering and "masking up" almost into an act of rebellious theater.
Her subject is fully covered up, even to the point of blindness as the mask sits behind his glasses, with what looks like toilet paper perfectly draped over the gentlemen to replicate the look of a winter scarf.(opens in new tab)
The Second Place Photographer of the Year prize was awarded to Kelley Dallas from the United States for his image of a Girl with the Violin. This beautiful shot uses natural light and leading lines perfectly, proving that you don't need an expensive studio setup to capture fantastic raw images.
Photographer of the Year in Third Place was awarded to Glenn Homann from Australia for his photo, Wasted, featuring a rubbish skip placed in a rural area.(opens in new tab)
Three top place winners were chosen in an additional 16 categories, awarded to photographers from almost every corner of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, San Marino, Poland, United Kingdom, United States.
Founded in 2007, the IPPA is the first and longest running iPhone photography competition, celebrating the creativity of iPhone photographers and selecting the very best shots among thousands of images submitted by iPhone photographers from more than 140 countries around the world.
The awards has been described by Vogue as the "Oscars of mobile photography". Be sure to check out the full winners gallery (opens in new tab) to see the IPPA images submitted from previous years.(opens in new tab)
The first step to capturing great images with your iPhone involves making sure it's protected! Check out our guides to the best phone cases (opens in new tab) for the:
iPhone 7 (opens in new tab), iPhone 8 (opens in new tab), iPhone 8 Plus (opens in new tab), iPhone XS (opens in new tab), iPhone 11 (opens in new tab), iPhone 11 Pro (opens in new tab), iPhone 11 Pro Max (opens in new tab), iPhone 12 & Pro (opens in new tab), iPhone 13 (opens in new tab), and iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab).