One Life Awards

One Life Awards

Deadline: November 8, 2019
Extended Entry Deadline:
November 27, 2019
Entry fee: $30/series (up to 10 images)
Prizes: $500, $2,500 cash, $250, $500 B&H gift cards

An international photography contest that celebrates the art of telling stories through images. The competition awards in cash prizes, gift cards B&H, a profile in PDN and Rangefinder and incredible worldwide exposure for your most powerful storytelling images of people, places, things and ideas.


  • Ideas
  • People
  • Places
  • Things


One Life Awards 2017 Winners

“Extermination”, © Harry Wilson, Bakersfield, CA, United States, First Place Ideas, Grand Prize, One Life Awards
© Harry Wilson, Bakersfield, CA, United States
First Place Ideas
Grand Prize

A body of personal work about extermination/death camps, photographed in Poland, Germany and Estonia.


“Artist”, © Nicolò Sertorio, Oakland, CA, United States, First Place Ideas, One Life Awards
© Nicolò Sertorio, Oakland, CA, United States
First Place Ideas

This series is based on the idea that the current sense of disenfranchisement derives from the fundamental disconnect we have from the natural world and the social isolation that comes with it. In turn, the perception of the natural environment as something external drives our uses and abuses of environmental resources.


“Sometimes your road chooses you”, © Craig Colvin, San Jose, CA, United States, Ideas, One Life Awards
“Sometimes your road chooses you”
© Craig Colvin, San Jose, CA, United States
Ideas Winner

From an ongoing body of work, “Crossroads,” a series of constructed narrative works that depict how people may or may not cope with significant life events such as marriage, death, the birth of a child, divorce, leaving home, and so on. Some of these images tell a very obvious story while others are purposefully ambiguous, forcing the viewer to create their own narrative and thereby seeing a reflection of their own life experiences.


“Becoming animal: Standing witness for the sentient wild”, © Sharon K. Schafer, Henderson, NV, United States, Ideas Winner, One Life Awards
“Becoming animal: Standing witness for the sentient wild”
© Sharon K. Schafer, Henderson, NV, United States
Ideas Winner

“Becoming Animal” is a series of large-format images created to test our assumptions about the sentient nature of the life on our planet and question how we relate to and affect the world within which we move. Modern man is estranged from nature—with this illusory sense of separation, we can deceive ourselves into believing we have the independent power and right to dominate and claim dominion to satisfy every hunger with impunity. Mankind has brought fragmentation and consumption of habitat, climate change, and destruction. These images are a warning and a stark reminder that our culture’s deepest fear is not that we are separate from nature but rather that we are a part of it.


“Living for Death”, © Alain Schroeder, Brussels, Belgium, First Place People, One Life Awards
“Living for Death”
© Alain Schroeder, Brussels, Belgium
First Place People

During the Ma’nene ceremony in Toraja Land, Indonesia, coffins are opened and mummies are cleaned and given new clothes. In Toraja, the rituals associated with death are complex and expensive; it can take weeks, months even years for the family to organize the funeral. During this time, the deceased is considered to be “sick” and kept at home. While, it remains a sad time, the transition from life to death is a slow and peaceful process strengthening family bonds. In the region of Pangala, Ma’nene takes place after the rice harvest. Expressions of sadness are mixed with the overall happy atmosphere surrounding these moments of bonding with loved ones and honoring ancestors.


“Schooling In A Refugee Camp, Dadaab, Kenya”, © Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Nairobi, Kenya, Early Deadline Winner People, One Life Awards
“Schooling In A Refugee Camp, Dadaab, Kenya”
© Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Nairobi, Kenya
Early Deadline Winner People

Young Somalis displaced by war live in poor conditions in a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, along with 250,000 people. They learn Swahili in the primary school Horyal, which means “showing the path.” The opportunity for education, despite all odds, casts some light in in a road strewn with obstacles.


“Growing Up In Budhwarpeth”, © Yashovardhan Sodhani, Jaipur, Rajasthan , India, People Winner, One Life Awards
“Growing Up In Budhwarpeth”
© Yashovardhan Sodhani, Jaipur, Rajasthan , India
People Winner

“Red light” focuses on sex workers and their children in Budhwarpeth, an area in the heart of the old city of Pune, which is also the third-largest red-light district in India. These children grow up in small hovels on the edge of a dark world protected only by their innocence, a state their mothers strive to prolong. They are sent away to spend the evenings and nights at an NGO close by, where they are given basic instruction and a safe place to sleep, returning to their homes in the daytime. Here they live with their mothers, in a broken-down world, shunned by normal society, on the periphery of childhood.


“The Lonely Man”, © Nicky Hamilton, Southend, Essex, United Kingdom, People Winner, One Life Awards
“The Lonely Man”
© Nicky Hamilton, Southend, Essex, United Kingdom
People Winner

“The Lonely Man” is a deeply personal project that explores Hamilton’s childhood relationship with his father, “a relationship that was conducted through a maze of police raids, guns, drugs, violence and, ultimately, redemption, after he was declared bankrupt in the 1980s,” he says. “In the early years my Dad started out as a builder. Things where simple, holidays where plenty and so was the laughter. In the mid-80s my Dad lost his business in a freak incident and had to declare himself bankrupt. He turned to crime and crime turned him into a drug addict who would one day call his son and ask that he help prevent him from committing suicide.”

“Untitled”, © Stuart Chape, Apia, Samoa, First Place Places, One Life Awards
© Stuart Chape, Apia, Samoa
First Place Places

This series is part of a personal project to record the way people build and live beside water bodies: the ocean, rivers, lakes and canals. Each of the images is an aerial photograph taken from helicopters in different parts of the world.


“...The Noise Of Silence”, © Enzo Crispino, Castelnovo N㨠Monti, Italy, Places Winner, One Life Awards
“…The Noise Of Silence”
© Enzo Crispino, Castelnovo N㨠Monti, Italy
Places Winner

This portfolio is inspired by a few verses of the poem “Seeking Silence” by Alda Merini: “I seek silence/like you who read with thought/not aloud/the sound of my own voice/would now be noise/not words but just annoying sound/that distracts me from thinking.” The series reflects on how frenzied our current daily life is, the hectic pace of modern life distracting us from any emotions.


“Untitled”, © Philip Paritsky, Dallas, PA, United States, Places Winner, One Life Awards
© Philip Paritsky, Dallas, PA, United States
Places Winner

A series of observational photographs.


“Untitled”, © Roza Vulf, Rome, Italy, Places Winner, One Life Awards
© Roza Vulf, Rome, Italy
Places Winner

Rome to Istanbul, photographed in 2017.


“Acrobat”, © Chris A. Williams, Washington, DC, United States, First Place Things, One Life Awards
© Chris A. Williams, Washington, DC, United States
First Place Things

Williams’ family moved and traveled between five continents when he was a child. Flying, he says, seemed to be a normal way to get around. “I was always impressed that objects as large and heavy as a plane could take off into the air and not fall straight to the ground,” he explains. “Aircraft remind me of birds and fish. They move fast, really fast, some supersonic, yet for that brief observation I can see details, the structure of the wing or the tail. And then in a split second, it’s all blurred and the machine rushes by, engines roaring, blood-curling wail. That’s what I want to capture, the movement, the in-air dance of flight.”


“Fatal Flora”, © Molly Wood, Des Moines, IA, United States, Things Winner, One Life Awards
“Fatal Flora”
© Molly Wood, Des Moines, IA, United States
Things Winner

“Fatal Flora” is a series of digital color photographs of toxic and medicinal botanicals in the style of Dutch still-life paintings. The series evolved from Wood’s interest in Renaissance women who made their place in society by using their knowledge of the properties of botanicals, ranging from culinary, to medicinal, to deadly. Women who had botanical knowledge could be perceived as a threat to medical and clerical professions and were sometimes accused of practicing witchcraft; botanical knowledge became dangerous knowledge. Wood seeks out plants that were present in women’s Medieval and Renaissance medicinal gardens or were referred to in historical texts, and, when possible, she cultivates and grow these plants at home so that she can watch the changes they go through during their life cycles.


“Photographer”, © Pratik Mahesh Parulekar, San Francisco, CA, United States, Things Winner, One Life Awards
© Pratik Mahesh Parulekar, San Francisco, CA, United States
Things Winner

Portfolio images from two bodies of work, one on shooting food erasers with context to photo illustration and the other on shooting nail-paint bottles placed on impossible shapes to explore form and color.


“Fine Art And Commercial Photographer”, © Alex Vignoli, Water Mill, NY, United States, Things Winner, One Life Awards
“Fine Art And Commercial Photographer”
© Alex Vignoli, Water Mill, NY, United States
Things Winner

Vignoli photographed these books, acquired over the years but unwanted at book stores or libaries, in high-contrast black-and-white. By folding the pages of the books and playing with form, he creates graphic images that let the “stories unfold.”


Ocean Art Photo Competition
Ocean Art Photo Competition


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