2nd Place Award in the “Nothing Is Better Than Real Life” category (Spring 2021). Photo by Christianne Bueno (Brazil).

Nothing Is Better Than Real Life – Award Gallery

Single photographs that reflect authentic, unscripted moments in everyday life. This category is wide open to give photographers the opportunity to explore all aspects of family.

We are proud to share with you the award-winning photographs from our 9th international competition celebrating the very best in documentary family photography.

Award winners were chosen during the final round of judging recorded live from our three judges locations at the time in Berlin (Germany), Florida (USA) and California (USA). The final round of judging in its entirety was subsequently streamed online over three days on June 28-30, 2021. Viewers had the opportunity to watch the unfiltered discussions and constructive feedback as winners were collectively chosen by esteemed judges Song Tae Chong (United States), Kristin M. Young (United States) and CW Griffin (United States).

The following award-winning photographs have been through two rounds of critical review and selection.

Congratulations to the winners!

Top 10 awarded photographs by Tobias Löhr, Christianne Bueno, Lisa Murray, Orsolya Boncser, Caroline Hodge, Justyna Lichota, Mouneb Nssar, Sandra Buschow, Yongguang Wei and Leanna Ramsey.

Honorable Mention photographs by Anna Turniak, Sara Easter and Wendy Stone.

(click or tap an image to view award details)

Our preliminary round guest judges evaluated every single submission we received and selected thirty or less of their favourite photographs per category to move forward to the live-judging round as finalists. Our deepest thanks to Manu Rigoni (Brazil), Mikaela Martin (United States) and Ranita Roy (India) for their hours of dedication during this process. Congratulations to these photographers who were nominated as finalists for consideration during the final round of live judging.

Finalist photographs by Adam Kealing, Aimee Hobbs, Alexander Shilov, Alexandra Quinlan, Alice Chapman, Alina Goroaia Vincenti, Amelie Pelletier, Ashley Sheppard, Barbara Puchta, Ben Heasman, Camila Barrionovo, Caroline Hodge, Cheryl Autry, Claudio Asile, Cornell Watson, Daniel Freitas, Denisa Manaskova, Elika Hunt, Elisse Weinert, Erin Byrne, Ewa Burns, Gretchen Yost, Hezy Holzman, Jennifer Nilsen, Julia Matthews, Justyna Lichota, Karolina Piórkowska, Karoline Saadi, Kristina Lindfors, Krisztián Tóta, Laura Beth Davidson, Lavinia Nitu, Leah Holscher, Leslie Vecray, Lisa Murray, Liz Celeste, Magdalena Adamczak, Maggie Devereux, Marie Baillet, Martina Borsche, Mary Anne Webley, Melissa Helmick, Melissa Rabbitt, Mia Gorrell, Musa Talasli̇, Oksana Roldugina, Olga Kuzminskaya, Ornella Mazzola, Pip Williams, Rayne-Anne Latchford Oosterveld, Rebecca Wang, Sabrina Losso, Saikat Mukherjee, Sara Kolcsey, Sara Paolucci, Sarah Barlow, Shahab Naseri, Shahriar Ahmed Joy, Shannon Douglas, Sven Berger, Thong Nguyen and Wendy Stone.

(click or tap image collage to a view larger )

Re-watch the judging for this category

Stream on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.

The spring 2021 call for entries was made possible with support from the following sponsors:

The Documentary Family Awards is an international competition in search of the insightful and meaningful ways that documentary photographers explore the interpretation of family.