15 Spectacular Photos from Mobile Photography Awards Winners

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13th annual mobile photography awards featured image.
Quick summary

The convenience and accessibility of mobile photography revolutionized the way we perceive and appreciate visual art. The Mobile Photography Awards recognizes and rewards mobile photographers with an annual competition.

The Mobile Photography Awards (MPA) showcases and celebrates the artistry of smartphone and tablet photography from around the world. The 13th annual MPA’s grand prize winner, Yajun Hu from Shanghai, China, captured the judges’ attention with his exceptional skills. Hu’s work stood out among thousands of entries from 85 countries, earning him a $3000 cash prize and the Photographer of the Year award.

MPA also awards a $500 prize in the photo essay category, won by Victor Tan KH of Thailand. In addition, photographers in 12 photo categories receive cash prizes of $250 each.

Founded in 2011 by Daniel Berman, Mobile Photography Awards has evolved into the largest and longest-running global competition for smartphone photography. High-resolution sensors, multiple lenses, and sophisticated image-processing algorithms revolutionized mobile phone photography. And it pushes the boundaries of traditional photography, a trend recognized by MPA.

In this article, we’ll highlight the winners in each of the categories and the photographs shot in this worldwide competition.

MPA Grand Prize Winner: Yajun Hu

A systems test engineer, Yajun Hu specializes in street photography and finds a mobile phone camera less intrusive. He’s been capturing moments of urban storytelling since 2015.

“Now, street photography has become a major part of my life and a deeper way for me to observe my city,” Yajun told MPA. “What attracts me to street photography is the uncertainty of what I will find.”

mobile photography awards grand prize winner
MPA Grand Prize winning photos © Yajun Hu (Xiaomi Ultra 13), photo montage by Mobile Photography Awards.

MPA Photo Essay 1st Place Winner: Victor Tan KH

Victor Tan KH’s photo essay, Firecracker Symphony, captured the Nine Emperor celebration in the province of Shang-Nga in southern Thailand. Participants parade through the town carrying sedans.

“Throughout the procession, they face a relentless barrage of firecrackers, creating a powerful and smoky spectacle,” Victor explained.

mobile photography awards photo essay winner
Firecracker Symphony © Victor Tan (iPhone 13 Pro), photo montage by Mobile Photography Awards. 

Photo Essay 2nd Place Winner: Ren Shi

Merging the ideas of flowers and dancers from an overhead perspective, Ren Shi juxtaposed the life of a flower with the rise and fall of a ballet dancer’s career.

“Flowers bloom every year, symbolizing the iteration and renewal of life in nature,” Ren said. “Although ballet dancers may eventually retire from their dancing career at a certain stage due to physical injuries, their artistic spirit continues.”

mpa photo essay 2nd place
Dancing Flowers © Ren Shi (Xiaomi 13 Ultra), photo montage by Mobile Photography Awards.

Photo Essay 3rd Place Winner: Julian Lisek

Photographing scenes and workers in the construction industry and public works sector, Julian Lisek captured dynamic black-and-white images of the builders of society.

“If you do badly at school, they say ‘…You’ll end up as a bricklayer or a welder’ as though it was a threat,” Julian told MPA. “In my opinion, intelligence is no guarantee of success at school.”

mpa photo essay 3rd place winner
Builders © Julian Lisek (Huawei CLT-L29), photo montage by Mobile Photography Awards.

Architecture, Design, and Still Life: Wei Wei

The first place winner in Architecture, Design, and Still Life was Wei Wei for his image The Void.

the void by Wei Wei
The Void © Wei Wei (Xiaomi 13 Pro).

Black and White: Yajun Hu

Grand prize winner and MPA photographer of the year Yajun Hu also took first place in the black and white category with his stunning image Broken Portrait.

mpa yajun hu broken portrait
Broken Portrait © Yajun Hu (Xiaomi 13 Ultra Rear Telephoto Camera).

Landscapes and Wildlife: Di Lu

di lu golden mountains
Golden Mountains © Di Lu (Oppo Find X6 Pro).

Macro and Details: Hollyn Johnson

hollyn Johnson beyond the green
Beyond the Green © Hollyn Johnson (Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Rear Wide Camera).

People Photography Awards: Elliot Ferguson

Elliot Ferguson cadet obstacle course
Cadet Obstacle Course © Elliot Ferguson (iPhone XR).

Portraits and Self-Portraits: Queenie Cheen

queenie cheen the violinist returning home
The Violinist Returning Home at Night © Queenie Cheen (Vivo X90 Pro Plus).

Silhouettes: Roy Pan

mpa roy pan tetris
Tetris © Roy Pan (iPhone 13 Pro).

Street Photography: Chang Nianzu

mpa chang nianzu playground
Playground © Chang Nianzu (Xiaomi 13 Pro).

The Darkness/Noir: Wai Ying Kwok

mpa wai ying Kwok light up
Light Up © Wai Ying Kwok (Samsung Galaxy S23).

Travel/Adventure and Transportation: Yuepeng Bao

mpa yuepeng bao wonder kelingking beaCH
Wonder Kelingking Beach © Yuepeng Bao (iPhone 14 Pro Max).

Visual FX and Digital Art: Melissa Johnston

mpa Melissa Johnston the forge
The Forge © Melissa Johnston, (iPhone14 Pro).

Water/Snow/Ice: Ryan Cardone

Ryan cardone the falls
The Falls © Ryan Cardone (iPhone 12 Pro).

Kudos to MPA founder Daniel Berman for recognizing this emerging art form. The MPA also produces themed exhibits of the category winners in Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne, and other cities. If you’re interested in entering the Mobile Photography Awards, the deadline is December 17, 2024.

And if you wish to develop your skills as a mobile photographer, we offer an exciting 52-week photography challenge on Smartphone Photography.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found some inspiration. If you have any questions or comments, please submit them in the space below.

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Daniel is a professional photographer who has been providing photographic and written content to websites since 1995. He maintains a photo gallery on Pictorem.com, showcasing his most recent work. In addition, Daniel is active in stock photography, with portfolios on Adobe, Getty/iStock, and Shutterstock.
Daniel is a professional photographer who has been providing photographic and written content to websites since 1995. He maintains a photo gallery on Pictorem.com, showcasing his most recent work. In addition, Daniel is active in stock photography, with portfolios on Adobe, Getty/iStock, and Shutterstock.
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