This is What Happened When We Asked for Your Best Photo

“What is your best photo?” - that’s one tough question to answer. Is it the one that you planned for a long time, or coincidentally captured in the right place at the right time? Is it the one you love the most, or the one that was loved the most by your Instagram followers? And how do you even choose between a shot of the Milky Way, an urban landscape or a pier at sunset?

When we wanted to celebrate the World Photography Day with our Facebook followers’ best photos, we realized that this question might be too tricky. Aren’t all the photos you choose to demonstrate on your photography website the best ones? That’s the reason we decided to rephrase it: What is the one shot you’re most proud of - and what is the story behind it? Over 600 photographers from all over the world accepted the challenge and shared their sources of pride. Having to choose only three winners was simply not fair to all the amazing works that took part. Today, we would like to showcase the best of the photos you honored us with. Be it a hobby, or a profession - practicing photography and accomplishing what you strive for is the real reward.

Jack Moralee, At Work

Jack Moralee captured this B&W as part of a personal photography project themed 'People at Work'. As the customer that has just been served walked out of the frame, the vendor suddenly turned and looked straight into the lens. Moralee feels he managed to capture a very genuine moment that reflects true emotion. It makes him wonder: what has the man seen, where has he been, is he truly happy? He prefers to let the viewers answer these questions for themselves.

Charlie Smith, Sunrise in my Hometown

Charlie was born in Duluth, Minnesota, but due to a set of circumstances, he had to leave his hometown at an early stage in his life. 25 years later, he filled the large gap in his heart by moving back to his birthplace. He says that the move inspired him to pick up a camera and share his love of the area with others on social media.

Ben Hughes, Melissa

Ben is extremely proud of his sister, Melissa, who is competing for the UK as a swimmer. That is also why he is so proud of this shot. He’s thankful for being able to document her journey, as it combines three passions: her love of swimming, his love of photography, and of course - his love for her. This shot was taken at an annual family holiday, making it an even more heartwarming moment to cherish.

Oliver Pearson Pajtra, Sate-lights

This magical light painting was captured at an abandoned Second World War radar station in Lincolnshire, England. Apparently, spinning a burning steel wool between two enormous satellites was not the only risk Oliver and his friend had to take that night. First, to get there they had to wade through a field full of sheep. Secondly, little did they know that the spinning wire wool would wake up 20 angry bulls who happened to be lingering nearby! As 20 pairs of eyes were starting to move towards the adventurous photographers, they quickly managed to run away. Oliver says it was one of the craziest and most amazing nights of his life that resulted in the best photo he had ever taken. We’re glad he “took the shot”!

Troy Wojtaszek, Friend at Sunrise

Troy’s best friend, Ellie Belle, is his inspiration for a lot of things, but his love for photography all started because of her. He started out with just a cell phone four years ago, continued with an entry-level DSLR, and last month finally bought his first professional camera. One misty morning, the inseparable duo woke up early only to be blessed with this incredible sunrise in Vienna, Maine.

Alex Jonston, The Night Pilot

A great shot is often the result of being in the right place at the right time (with a camera!). That is exactly what happened to Alex Johnston from the Land Down Under. Not only did he find an abandoned plane in long grass, there was a wild bushfire to the left and a shooting star overhead. When you think of it, this chain of events in the background is quite symbolic: the first is a misfortune, whereas the second one - pure luck. To capture the magic, Alex had to run and climb the plane within the 10 seconds span his self-timer allowed.

Simone Cheung, Waiting

Simone is passionate about capturing ordinary things in extraordinary ways. As coincidental as this shot might appear, it was in fact very carefully planned for. Cheung spent hours finding a spot where the sun was low enough to cast the long shadows, where cars would be close enough to the kerb, and where there would be enough people waiting at the traffic lights. Even in light of her scouting effort, she describes the van driving into the shot as pure luck. This extraordinary capture of a nanosecond won her second prize in our mini-contest for World Photography Day.

Jennifer Sweeney, Inside Job

Can you guess what is shown this photo? Okay, we'll tell you: this is the view when looking down a rocket pod. Jennifer Sweeney, a young recruit in the Air Forces, is currently on deployment, working with live ammunition. Facing challenges on a daily basis, Jennifer says she has turned photography into a silver lining among many dark clouds. As she profoundly notes, it is one of her traits to turn something really destructive into something healing and positive. We’ll leave it to her to complete the story: “I found this shot (no pun intended) one morning when I wanted to turn my eye and thought into something more. The sun was rising and it created a feeling of heat at the end of the tube. I loved the effect and detail. You can almost feel the spin and the heat as it would catapult through. It was hard to choose this photo over another I took during an Iraqi sunrise through barbed wire. These pictures will always be monumental to me during a huge time of transition. Thank you for this opportunity.” Jennifer’s ability to spot beauty in a perplexing environment won her 3rd place in our World Photography Day contest.

Orchid Nguyen, Mother Winter

Snow Monkeys (officially - the Japanese Macaques) are the only monkey species inhabiting cold climates. And by cold, we mean snow-cold. They are native to Japan, and a special hobby of theirs is bathing in hot springs. Watching them practicing their unique craze is Orchid Nguyen’s favorite pastime. In this shot we see a mother carrying her baby just a single moment after they jumped out of the water to the ground. That was a sudden move, making these types of shots impossible to plan. Orchid was extremely lucky to capture this instance. She made a lot of attempts, but only the one we see here came out with the desired sharpness.

Sean Paine, Just Fishing

Sean captured this serene image of his son fishing only a week before World Photography Day. He says that the local forest fires worked their magic on the sky, but what makes this moment even more magical is that Sean captured his son doing what he loves by doing what he loves the most - photographing.

Glenisson Jean, Stranger Love

Being at the right place at the right time may land you a great shot, but it can also determine the course of your life. When Jean spotted this girl’s silhouette with Auckland's Sky Tower in the background, he didn’t know she would turn around…. And become his girlfriend for the years to come. He says there’s nothing else special about this photo, but we don’t see how an image could be more meaningful than that.

Gareth Jones, Infinity

An avid astrophotography enthusiast, Gareth had to make four ascents to the summit of Mt. Snowdon in Wales, until he was rewarded with an unforgettable dream - a clear night sky from dusk till dawn. The silhouette belongs to the photographer’s friend, who is standing at the start of the Grib Goch ‘knife-edge’ ridge walk. Walking to the edge of the universe is nice, but climbing a ridge during the night takes friendship to a whole new level. Believe it or not, it took 37 shots to produce this stunning Milky Way panorama. Gareth says, this is one of his favorite shots ever taken, not only for the end product but for the effort and adventure he had while trying to capture the image. We couldn’t agree more, and hence awarded his photo with first prize which is worth of $500.

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By Julia Ronen

Creative Content Developer for Wix Expert Communities

#inspiration #photographycontest #worldphotographyday

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