For 62 years, World Press Photo’s independent jury has recognized the photojournalists who best capture critical events around the globe. The most famous award, Photo of the Year, is annually given to the photographer who most powerfully summed up a significant event in a single image. Last year, Ronaldo Schemidt was recognized for his photograph of a Venezuelan protester set aflame; the year prior, Burhan Ozbilici won for his frame of the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov in an art gallery.
But World Press Photo recognizes much more than that single, impactful moment. The awards celebrate photography spanning contemporary issues, the environment, and sports, as well as long-term projects. This year, the foundation introduced a counterpart to the Photo of the Year award, the Story of the Year, emphasizing the importance of narrative storytelling in visual journalism.
For the 2019 awards, nearly 5,000 photographers from 129 countries entered 78,801 images to the competition. From those, 43 photographers from 25 countries received awards. Lars Boering, World Press Photo’s managing director, noted in a press release that “the need for images and stories we can trust has never been greater.” The awards ceremony took place on April 11th, and the following photographers received the top prizes in their categories. (Editor’s note: Some captions below from World Press Photo have been edited for length.)