2nd Place in the “Nothing Is Better Than Real Life” category. Photo by Sven Berger, Germany.

Gallery: Nothing Is Better Than Real Life

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 Nothing Is Better Than Real Life 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.

In this gallery, the first 10 photos have received awards and are ranked from 1st to 10th place. Honorable Mentions (if selected by the judges) are given equal weight in no particular order.

(click or tap an image to see more details)

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.