Andres Gallego
A woman in a pink dress sits in a drab room staring out the open sunny window.

A Year in Review: 2023 Wrap-up

January 10, 2024

2023 was an exciting year for the Tokyo International Foto Awards and the many photographers that TIFA is dedicated to supporting and exhibiting. The Tokyo Foto Awards brings photographers from around the globe and shows their work to one of the hearts of the photo world; Tokyo, Japan. 2023 saw new photography being displayed and new boundaries being pushed. Both professional photographers and non-professional photographers saw their work reach new heights through TIFA and spread worldwide. Let us look back on the award-winning photography from last year.

2022 TIFA Photography Competition 

With the 2023 TIFA photography awards winners being announced recently, let us look back on last year’s winners and their great accomplishments. From the global submissions, only a handful of winners are chosen by the esteemed jury. Below are some of our top photos from 2022:

Photographer of the Year

Desolation by Alejandro Martinez Velez

Alejandro Martinez Velez explores the Russia Ukraine war through his eclectic photojournalism. His images show the devastation that the war has caused.

Below is an excerpt from TIFA 2022 Photographer of the Year photographer Alejandro Martinez Velez:

A person on their knees is hunched over the covered and bloody body of a loved one.

“The photographic report ‘Desolation’, made up of nine images, documents the first weeks of war in Ukraine. All the photos have a story behind them, but I will talk about the first photo of the series. On March 17, 2022, I went with two photojournalist colleagues to a destroyed building in a residential neighborhood in Kyiv. When we arrived we met Oleksandr Shvets, 36, crying next to the lifeless body of his mother, 67- year-old Ukrainian theater actress Oksana Shvets. Mother and son were together at home when the remains of a Russian missile, shot down by the Ukrainian Air Defense, fell into their apartment. Oksana was crushed to death by a wall that collapsed on her.”

Read the full interview with Velez here:

A woman in a pink dress sits in a drab room staring out the open sunny window.

Discovery of the Year

Hopper Essence by Andres Gallego

Inspired by painter Edward Hopper, Andres Gallego plays with light, windows, and the drab colors that make up Hopper’s work.

Advertising Photography

Blueberry Waffles by Gareth Morgans

A playful and captivating image by Gareth Morgans shows waffles, blueberries & maple Syrup dripping on a fork.

A floating fork pierces a piece of a waffle with a blueberry. Syrup pours from above.
Industrial building sits in a sunrise with the moon in the sky.

Architecture Photography

2021 ± 2: Utopia Broadcasting by Serena Dzenis

Capturing the Icelandic landscape, Dzenis plays with themes of sci-fi, dystopia, and futurism. A possible look into the future of our world.

Book Photography

Shadows of Emmett Till by Bob Newman

In his book “Shadows of Emmett Till”, Bob Newman explores the Mississippi Delta and the history of what remains of Emmett Till’s time. Newman explores the racism, poverty, and socio-economic problems that lead to and resulted from Emmett Till’s murder.

Cover of a book featuring an image of Emmett Till and the words
Rows of chairs sit in a dimly lit room

Event Photography

Chairs by Cain Shimizu

A surreal and meditative image by Cain Shimizu breaks the boundaries of event photography.

Fine Art Photography

Life On A Prosthesis by Michael Dorohovich

Michael Dorohovich uses his camera to capture the life and work of Tetyana Litus: the girl who overcame oncology lost her leg, but did not lose herself.

Black and white image of a naked woman with a prosthetic leg.
Soft and flowing image of a flower.

Nature Photography

Watercolors by Olena Zubach

Olena Zubach takes an artistic and unique look with her nature photography as she mimics the brushstrokes and beauty of watercolors.

People Photography

Ethiopia : The Ethnic Earth by Jatenipat Ketpradit

Jatenipat Ketpradit explores the eight different tribes of the Lower Omo River in south west Ethiopia. Each tribe has a unique culture and way of life that creates a beautiful array of life in Ketpradit’s images.

A group of tribal people sit on a hill.
A bull charges directly towards the camera from the shadows.

Portfolio Photography

Bullfighting: Art, Religion and Death by Jordi Cohen

Jordi Cohen uses bullfighting as a way to explore the themes of art, religion, and death. The controversial practice in Spain lends itself to these themes as the intensity and heritage of the sport is unmatched.

Press Mentions

The TIFA community’s photography has reached far and wide with help from fellow organizations and magazines. Look back through the press mentions highlighting the fantastic photography featured this year.