Press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from around the world submitted just shy of 98,000 entries to this year’s World Press Photo contest. The jury awarded prizes to 42 photographers in eight themed categories.
Danish photographer Mads Nissen was named winner of the 2015 contest. He won with his image of a gay couple – Jon and Alex – in St Petersburg, Russia. It is both an intimate image, depicting a moment of tenderness between two lovers, and a photograph that tells a wider story about the increasing difficulties for lesbian and gay people in Russia, where sexual minorities face discrimination and harassment.
“It is a historic time for the image,” says jury chair, Michele McNally, in a press statement. “The winning image needs to be aesthetic, to have impact, and to have the potential to become iconic. This photo is aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”[bjp_ad_slot]
Nissen’s winning image, which also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category, is part of a larger project, Homophobia in Russia, which he shot for Scanpix photography agency.
“I was hoping for a picture that was open and multilayered, not only about a single event, but a global issue,” says World Press Photo jury member Alessia Glaviano.
“The winning image demonstrates what a professional photographer can do in a daily life situation, setting a professional standard for storytelling in life,” adds Pamela Chen, another member of the jury.
Elsewhere, Turkish photographer Bulent Kilic won the Spot News Singles category with an image for Agence France-Presse of a girl wounded during clashes between riot police and protestors in Istanbul on 12 March 2014.
Magnum photographer Jérôme Sessini took first place in the Spot News Stories category for his image shot for Time magazine taken after the MH 17 flight disaster in Ukraine in July last year [2014.]
Sergei Ilnitsky, from Russia, won the General News Singles category with his image taken after a mortar attack in Donetsk, Ukraine, on 26 August 2014.
The winner of the General News Stories category is American photographer Pete Muller, for his image shot for National Geographic and The Washington Post, titled The Viral Insurgent: Ebola in Sierra Leone.
British Journal of Photography will be posting stories throughout the day. In the meantime, you can read about all the winners here.
Stay up to date with stories such as this, delivered to your inbox every Friday.