INSP Awards: Here are the 2018 Best Photograph Finalists

We’re kicking off our second week of INSP Awards announcements by bringing you the Top 5 entries who’ve each snapped a place as Best Photograph Finalist 2018.

This award will go to the best example of a single original image captured by a street paper, and judged on artistic merit and storytelling ability. You can see the entries that were nominated back in June here.

Our shortlisting panel have narrowed down the Nominees to give us Finalists in each category, who now go forward to the main judging panel to select the winners.

Winners are revealed during the INSP Awards Ceremony held as part of the Global Street Paper Summit in Glasgow, on Wednesday 22 August.

Have a look at the Finalists we’ve already announced, and read on to see the Best Photograph Finalists…

The Finalists:

1. Factor S, Uruguay

La Construcción de una Imagen 
By Fernando Vidal

Factor S

Factor S said: The history of this photograph derives from a newspaper column called “La Construcción de una Imagen” (“The construction of an image”) that I wrote for Factor S. In addition to being Factor S’s editor, I work in a shelter for people over 65 who live on the streets, and during my time there I dedicated myself to meeting people and learning their stories, and many of those I tried to record through my camera. Luis stayed in this position for quite some time, but getting it exactly how I wanted it to look took me longer than I thought. I could never define exactly what spoke to me from this picture but I did know that it was necessary to capture it.

2. Street Sense, USA

“Where else can we go?”
By Benjamin Burgess

Street Sense

Street Sense said: This photo by volunteer photojournalist Benjamin Burgess was taken during coverage of a homeless camp eviction conducted by city government in Washington D.C. The photo accomplished several things: communicated the trauma homeless campers felt during the clean-up, documented the first arrest we’ve observed in the past three years since the city ramped up enforcement of anti-camping laws, and grabbed readers attention as a prominent cover photo. Burgess was the only person on the scene for this event, and the accompanying story reported three different clean-up days at the same site. Once the photograph was received, the story was retooled to begin with what was happening in this strong image. It also happened to run in the first edition of our 15th year of printing – a passive commitment to the strong journalism we produce.

3. Surprise, Switzerland

The Inseparables
By Annette Boutellier


Surprise said: Slavcho Slavov has spent more than 10 years living on the streets of Europe. He first left his home in Bulgaria to earn money to finance the education of his two teenage children. His wife died of cancer when the kids were still young; Slavcho raised the kids on his own. But finding work was difficult in Bulgaria, especially for Slavcho who had lost one hand in a car accident when he was 26. So he left the kids with his mother and travelled through Europe. He earned money by painting, first on the pavement, then on stones and canvas. In Lourdes, Slavcho found a little puppy and decided to keep him, calling him Lourd after the city. It was Lourd who later rescued a cat, Matz. From then on, the trio became inseparable. Today, the three of them have found a place to stay in the Swiss capital Bern, where the picture was taken. Slavcho wrote his autobiography and continues to sell his art and the book on the streets. He is proud not to receive any money from state welfare and that his daughter studies geology in Sofia and his son became an IT-specialist.

4. Surprise, Switzerland

The Post-Soviet Cowboy
By Mario Heller


Surprise said: Bobur lives in Murghob, a small city in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. Located at 3,600 metres above sea level, the region’s soil is unfertile; the climate rough; electricity and water are scarce. The mean temperature lies around 0°c. The ethnic Kyrgyz Bobur has lived in this poor area for all his live. “I was born here, my parents and my brother are buried here, I will never leave this place”, he says. His first wife left for Russia when the USSR broke down, taking their two children with her. Although Bobur married again and had two more children, he sees no prospects for his family here, where the market sells only cheap Chinese imports and there is no work. Back in Soviet times Murghob was important due to its proximity to the Chinese border. Today, even the Tajik government seems to have forgotten about it. But Bobur won’t budge, he loves Murghob just as he loves his well-kept motorcycle – which doesn’t run anymore.

5. Toledo Streets, USA

In Search of the Summer of Love
By Edwin Conn

Toledo Streets

Toledo Streets said: A week after the hate rally incident in Charlottesville, VA, our small community in Maumee, OH held a counter-rally with speeches of inclusion, love, and compassion. I went to the rally to photograph for Toledo Streets as well as listen to some amazing speakers. The shot of the child looking back at me holding his own small sign warmed my heart as it did for many of our readers and supporters. This issue was a sell-out within the first three weeks of release.


Take a look at the Finalists we’ve already announced for the INSP Awards 2018, and use the hashtag #INSPAwards on social media to congratulate them!