Imagine! Siena Awards Announces 2019 Top Photographers

I was lucky enough to attend the Fifth Edition of Siena Awards recently in beautiful Siena, Italy. See the winner’s galleries HERE.

Gazing upon the prize-winning images of the Siena International Photo Awards 2019 is something of a roller coaster experience.

For they amaze, shock and melt the heart – and break the heart.

The Daily Mail

It was my third time attending the Award Ceremony and festival – and the return to Siena each October now feels like a homecoming. Even if you are not a photographer, I encourage anyone interested in experiential travel and rich cultural exchange to attend this globally significant event. And if you are a photographer, early bird entries for the 2020 competition are now open! Special thanks to Siena Awards founder Luca Venturi and the amazing Siena Awards team, including Maria Panniati Karidis, Gabriele Venturi, Michela Bruttini and Michela Virga; top photographer, Siena Awards Master of Ceremonies and friend Luca Bracali; dear friends Seby Scollo (2019 honoree!), Martina Tarquini, Alessandro Toci, Roberto Sessoli & Gianluca Frosini; and everyone I met in Siena for a truly unforgettable experience.

Awe-Inspiring Winning Images of the 2019 Siena International Photo Awards

Among a tight-knit group of people, a Liberian child attempts to retrieve a ball while going unnoticed by the armed guard that stands just a few feet away. Photographer Jonathan Banks captured this tension-filled moment in an image titled A Boy in the Crowd, and it recently earned the title of “Photo of the Year” from the 2019 Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA).

I also had the opportunity to introduce guest photographers for a special photography talk on the storytelling power of photography at the University of Siena. It was an inspiring morning and truly a joy to learn more about the work of award-winning photographers from around the world. Speakers included Mary F. Calvert, Jonathan Banks, Philip Coburn, Costanza Portnoy, Hannes Lochner, Florian Ledoux and Alessio Paduano. The talent, passion, dedication and drive of each of these photographers is remarkable.

Florian Ledoux, for example, was told as a young person that he would never become a professional photographer. That his dream could not be realized. He didn’t listen. He kept fighting for a life of meaning. Now he’s fighting for our planet. Look where he is now:

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