INSP Awards: best photo finalists are picture perfect

Featuring vendors’ makeshift homes, tender moments and compelling portraits of true survivors, the nominees for Best Photograph at the INSP Awards show the ability of street papers to offer their readers a different point of view – with a single click of a camera.

After plenty of deliberating, our international design judging panel – which included renowned photojournalist David Burnett, formerly homeless photographer David Tovey and Photographers for Hope founder Anna Wang – narrowed hundreds of entries down to these five striking finalists.

The winner will be announced next week at the Global Street Paper Summit and, of course, right here. Keep an eye on social media using the hashtags #INSPAwards and #INSP2016 for more updates.

Check out our other INSP Awards finalists here.

The Big Issue South Africa

The Happiness Shop Photo: Don Pinnock

The Happiness Shop
By Don Pinnock

Captured during a bullet-proof vest-clad ride-along with Cape Town police, Don Pinnock’s image was recognised for its great composition and long-lasting impact. The photojournalist caught the moment a sobbing child was comforted through the doors of a make-shift shop, afterwards noting the ironic placement of the Coca Cola advert.

The Curbside Chronicle, USA


By Trace Thomas

Trace Thomas’ photo of domestic abuse survivor Cathy works on so many levels. A clever concept is backed by a powerful composition. The fact that the hand is silencing her with just a finger – rather than a fist – spoke to our judges of the subtle violence and the power of abusers.

The Curbside Chronicle, USA

Dashboard Confessional by Gary (Curbside Vendor) and Christian Bruggeman

By Gary (Curbside vendor) and Christian Bruggeman

The significance of this unassuming image grows the longer you look at it. Our judges loved how the photograph draws the eye, all the way along to the scene caught in the wing mirror – does Gary trust Jesus to watch over him, one wonders, or is he watching his own back?

= Oslo/Norge, Norway

Death takes a break Photo: Dimitri Koutsomytis

Death takes a break
Dimitri Koutsomytis

Part of a 10-page photo essay from Dimitri Koutsomytis’ trip to cover the refugee crisis in Lesvos, this harrowing image was praised for its emotional impact. The picture shows a father, mother and their seven-month-old daughter who had just been rescued. “This story ended well,” said Dimitri, “The minute after she was smiling!”

Hinz&Kunzt, Germany

Bernah Photo: Lena Maja Wöhler

By Lena Maja Wöhler

The amazing details in Lena Maja Wöhler’s photo of 70-year-old Bernah – a pot plant, a pair of flip-flops outside the tent – captured our judges. This is a both a homeless man, and a man in his home. The style of the image is both portrait and reportage, revealing the domestic in an unfamiliar environment.