Childhood memories - (photo by Gloria Salgado Gispert)

Gallery: Photo Series

We are proud to share with you the award-winning photographs from our 5th international competition celebrating the very best in documentary family photography.

The preliminary round guest judges for the Photo Series category were talented photographers Kirth Bobb, Lauren Mitchell and Lyndah Wells. Each judge evaluated every single submission received and selected thirty or less of their favourite photographs to move forward to the final round.

Award-winners were then chosen during our live stream of the final round with judges Kirsten Bethmann, Jenna Shouldice and Gulnara Samoilova. Throughout the live stream, viewers had the opportunity to watch the unfiltered discussions and constructive feedback from the judges as they collectively chose the awards given in each category.

Five photo series were selected as award winners. They are ranked from 1st to 5th place. The two honorable mentions were given equal weight in no particular order.

(click or tap an image to see more details)

Childhood memories

1st Place Award

Photo series by Gloria Salgado Gispert, Australia.

For the first few years after my dad’s passing, it was really hard to talk about him and even harder to recall memories. Because with the memories came the obvious grasp that my dad is gone, that my family´s best years had gone. But as the years passed, remembering and recounting tidbits from my childhood started doing the opposite: they started bringing me a sense of peace. I found my self going again and again through my childhood photo albums and somehow, my childhood memories became frames. As a mother, I’ve been going through those memory frames, again and again, thanks to my children. They brought my childhood again, my memory frames.

Kaparot (‘atonements’)

2nd Place Award

Photo series by Hezy Holzman, Israel.

Kaparot, meaning ‘atonements’, is a ceremony held by religious Jews. The ceremony is held on the eve of Yom Kippur (means “Day of Atonement” – the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, in which God determines the fate of man in the coming year). In the ceremony, the chicken is rotated three times over the person’s head, while reciting a prayer, believing that this is how the sins committed during the past year are passed on to the bird, thus releasing the person from his sins. After swinging the birds overhead three times and reciting a prayer, the Hasidim ritually slaughter them. Often the meat is then distributed to the poor.

Additional Information: Rotating the chicken over the head is the main part of the ceremony … (see the 1st photograph and in photographs no. 5, 6, 7), But the entire process has several stages: – Many roosters and hens are brought to the site (see the 1st photograph and the boxes that were emptied in the 2nd photograph). – The people (males – the heads of the families and the young men) stand in line to buy the birds (photo no. 2). – With the birds (A male takes a rooster; a female uses a hen), the fathers turn to their families (photographs no. 3, 4, 5) to perform the kafarot ceremony (photos no. 5, 6, 7). – In the end, they stand in line to the shochet (an expert kosher slaughterer). The bird is slaughtered, and the poor are given the meat or its price.

Life Pieces

3rd Place Award

Photo series by Gloria Salgado Gispert, Australia.

It’s Sunday morning, Mekdi takes a shower and Irene looks through the window of her bedroom. It is sunny outside, we are planning to spend some time on the beach. I grab my camera, they have been able to inspire me once again. In this project, I photograph what is closest to me in an effort to communicate who I am and my relationship with my two daughters. I want to get closer to them and see all those details of their everyday that I was starting to miss. This work is about relationships, sharing and building trust. About friendship, care and love. I try to portrait them sensitively, show their differences and coexistence. (Sometimes the three of us make the picture together (3,5), it is our girls project, but the truth is that after so many years, they don’t see me anymore and I can get very close)

Single Parenthood: All Worth It

4th Place Award

Photo series by Felicia Chang, Canada.

After nearly 5 years of trying to conceive one baby, a single woman finally succeeds, through a transfer of donor sperm and eggs, and becomes a mother to premature twins. “Although nothing about the journey was easy, it has been powerful, mettle-testing, and simultaneously soul-crushing and soul-building.”

Her First Birth

5th Place Award

Photo series by Felicia Chang, Canada.

The first child of the family participates in the birth of her baby sister at the family’s home in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Julian’s boundless summer

Honorable Mention

Photo series by Aleks Gajdeczka, United States.

A quiet summer in the wilderness gives Julian the freedom to challenge gender-normative childhood expectations. All quotes direct from Julian.

A daily story of Van and Raveen

Honorable Mention

Photo series by Khoi Le, Vietnam.

This is about an ordinary and usual weekend of Van & Raveen with their adorable cat, which names Cookie.

This award cycle was made possible with the support of 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.