[ PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR, ASIA ] This premier category is open to all photographers — independent, agency, wire service, or newspaper photographers. Please submit 10 to 50 images per portfolio consisting of at least two stories. Single images are optional. All images must be taken in 2020 or 2021. Each participant is allowed to enter only one portfolio.

Judges for Photographer of the Year, Asia
Anush Babajanyan
Ikuru Kuwajima
Liang-Pin Tsao
Tanvi Mishra
Nyimas Laula
Samuel He
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Jean Chung
Oded Wagenstein
Our Proud Sponsors

Roman Pilipey is a Ukrainian photojournalist working for the European Pressphoto Agency (epa). His photography career started from freelancing for different Ukrainian news agencies and newspapers while at the same time studying journalism at one of Kyiv’s universities. The first main event he witnessed as the photographer was the Euromaidan revolution in Kyiv, 2013-2014, which he covered from the beginning until the end mainly for epa as the freelance photographer. From 2014 he was covering the war in eastern Ukraine, and the same year became the epa staff photographer. For the next few years, Roman’s focus was mainly on the eastern Ukraine conflict and its aftermath, while also working in other parts of Ukraine. In 2017 Roman relocated to Beijing from where he works on stories and covers major news events in China as the epa photographer. In 2022 he became the epa bureau chief for the China region. Throughout his years in China, he has been traveling to almost every corner of the country. Some of the main coverage stories include the situations in Xinjiang and Tibet, as well in 2019 he has been covering the protest movement in Hong Kong, and in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus.

Finalist

Marcus Yam
Los Angeles Times
USA

Marcus Yam is a roving Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent and staff photographer. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he left a career in aerospace engineering to become a photographer. His goal: to take viewers to the frontlines of conflict, struggle and intimacy. His approach is deeply rooted in curiosity and persistence. In 2019, Yam was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award for his unflinching body of work documenting the everyday plight of Gazans during deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip. He was also part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning breaking news teams that covered the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attacks in 2015 for the Los Angeles Times and the deadly landslide in Oso, Wash. in 2014, for the Seattle Times. His previous work has also earned an Emmy Award for News and Documentary, World Press Photo Award, DART Award for Trauma Coverage, Scripps Howard Visual Journalism Award, Picture of the Year International’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award, Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award, National Headliner Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

Finalist

Ezra Acayan
Getty Images/New York Times
Philippines

Ezra Acayan is a photojournalist based in the Philippines with a decade of experience covering politics, climate change, and social injustice. Since 2019, he has regularly worked on assignment for Getty Images. In 2017, together with a team of Reuters journalists, he was awarded a special merit at the Human Rights Press Awards for multimedia reporting on the Philippines’ drug war. In 2018, he received grants from both the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Lucie Foundation, as well as being named Young Photographer of the Year at the Istanbul Photo Awards. In 2019, he received a World Press Photo Award in the Spot News category. In 2021, he was awarded a World Press Photo Award in the Nature Stories category for his work on Taal volcano’s eruption, and — together with a team of Getty Images photojournalists covering the global outbreak of COVID-19 — was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for his work. In the same year he was also named Photographer of the Year at the inaugural Pictures of the Year Asia, and received several more awards from Picture of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Publishers Asia. He has done work for various outfits such as Getty Images, Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, and Agence France-Presse; and institutions such as the World Bank, Agence Française de Développement, African Development Bank, and French Red Cross, among others.

Finalist

Ta Mwe
Sacca Photo
Myanmar

Ta Mwe is a photographer and documentary filmmaker based in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). He is also a member of documentary photography agency, Sacca Photo. Ta Mwe was one of the pioneer bloggers in Myanmar and followed his passion to become a full-time photographer. He has worked for local newspapers and European Pressphoto Agency, and some of his photography projects have been featured in International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and Bangkok Post. He also contributed video reporting for BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, DRT, France 24 and Global Witness. He is regularly working on assignments for Al Jazeera. He founded a photo and video production studio named ‘25º STUDIO’ to provide reportage and documentary film production services in 2015. He is interested in social issues, political issues, human rights issues, and is currently working on personal projects.

Award of Excellence

Sergei Stroitelev
Independent
Russia

I am a freelance photographer and visual artist based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia working with National Geographic Russia, VICE UK/USA, De Volkskrant, Takie Dela, others. My photographic practice primarily focuses on the exploration of the issues of modern society. With the help of different visual languages and forms I look at problems of identity of minorities, gender, health and racial prejudice, ecology and consumerism. I often execute very personal photographic projects exploring my very own inner demons, past and family. I am the awardee of the number of international contests such as: winner of Bartur Photo Awards 2021 in Unity in Diversity Professional category; Award of Excellence in Portrait series category at POYi 2021, winner of Istanbul Photo Awards 2018 in Daily Life Story category; winner of Debuts 2018 photocontest organized by Doc! Photomagazine; 3rd place at Direct Look Photocontest 2018, finalist of Hellerau Portraits Awards 2016, 2017; winner of Luis Valtuena Humanitarian Photography Award 2016 granted by Doctors of the World NGO (I was developing the grant for 3 months (April – June 2017) In Reggio Calabria, Italy cooperating with the local branch of Doctors of the World NGO whilst working on the several projects dedicated to the issue of migration in that region). I also teach photography at Fotografika academy in Saint-Petersburg.

Award of Excellence

Dar Yasin
AP
India

Dar Yasin is a Pulitzer winning photojournalist born and based in Kashmir. Dar has extensively covered Kashmir conflict and the historical opening of bus route between divided Kashmir. On assignment in Afghanistan has covered Afghan War, Afghan Refugees and Daily life of war-torn Afghani’s. Dar has also covered Rohingya refugee crisis who fled large- scale violence and persecution in Myanmar. Dar has won dozens of international and national photo awards. He has also won POYi, POYasia, Atlanta Photojournalism, China Press Photo contest, Yannis Behrakis International Photojournalism Award, the National Headliner Awards, finalist in WARS Photography Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award by the Society of Professional Journalism. And Indian’s most prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award twice for the stories from Kashmir. Dar also was part of the Associated Press team that won the Hal Boyle Award for the Rohingya Exodus in the Overseas Press Club and a Robert F. Kennedy Award in the International Print category. In the year 2017, he received the NPPA Humanitarian Award which is presented to an individual for playing a key role in the saving of lives or in rescue situations. His work has also been exhibited in Visa Pour L’images in Perpignan.