Made for Documentary Awards
celebrating outstanding documentary family photography
Made for Documentary Awards are devoted to recognising excellence in the world of documentary family photography, celebrating outstanding image makers and encouraging photographers to continuously raise the bar in their craft.
Our 2023 Theme was EVERYDAY.
We encouraged you to interpret this theme in any way you saw fit, as long as it related to documentary family photography. From candid moments of everyday life to environmental portraits, we invited you to submit your best work infused with your unique style and vision.
Thank you everyone who submitted. It was a joy to look through your images and to recognise your exceptional work by awarding photographs that we felt represented the best of documentary family photography in our community today.
You’ve shown us the everyday through your own unique perspectives and we’re here to celebrate that. Congratulations to our award-winning photographers, our runners up, our finalists and our judges’ choice winners.
We hope you enjoy the images and that you learn from the judging broadcast, gaining valuable insights into the art and craft of documentary family photography. Overall, we hope that you’re inspired by the incredible work of your peers and discover new ways to express your creativity.
Watch the judging broadcast.
We set out to make our awards educational as well as celebratory. Initially our first round guest judges made their selections to give us our list of finalists. From this point, we recorded the entire final round judging process, from making our first gut decisions, to deliberating over first, second and third place, as well as a selection of very worthy runners up. We made sure that every photo we picked from the first round selection was discussed. As educators, we know how valuable critique can be, not just for our own images but for our peers’. We hope you can learn from the judging process.
We also set out to be transparent. Appreciation of photography is an art and a science but it’s also personal. We recognise that subjectivity has a place alongside objectivity in judging. We wanted you to see our reactions to the images and how they made us feel, as well as hear our thoughts on the technical and artistic elements of the images in front of us. We gave this process a lot of time. We hope the judging broadcast and the awarded images give you both insight and inspiration.
Judge’s Choice: Marta Baran
Selected by Mikaela Martin:
“There were many images I wanted to stick a blue ribbon on! I was struck by all the humor, tenderness and intimacy explored in the theme “Everyday”. I have chosen this one because it took me to another place that feels like a memory. It asked me to slow down. There’s an invitation to the viewer to put themselves in the scene, perhaps because there is a distinct temperature that is immediately arresting, and also the photographer’s positioning just behind the young boy. We don’t see any faces so there’s a universality to it. Often, the fleeting memories we hold the most dear have no names or stories attached, but we know there was a fragrance there, a bright red rose, cousins, and the sound of a grown up in the distance as daylight fell. I love that photography can create an imagined past that we can long for. This beautiful image exemplifies the everyday in a very simple, visceral, timeless way, and I love it.”
Judge’s Choice: Corey Biskind
Selected by Amy Dangerfield:
“It was almost impossible to pick just one favorite image from all the amazing submissions. This particular image resonated with me the most, in a way that I could envision myself both capturing and being present in the moment it captured. As mothers, our families and children often take center stage while we fade into the background. Watching our families have a grand time becomes a source of joy, almost like a badge of honor when we successfully plan and execute a family activity. With that being said, as mothers, we aspire to document these moments while striving to be present. We hope to have something tangible from these joyful daily moments, providing a keepsake for ourselves while leaving a lasting legacy for our children to show that we were there too. This is the essence of everyday motherhood. From a photographic standpoint, this image is exceptionally well done. The interplay of light, composition, and the captured moment harmonize seamlessly. The decision to convert the image to black and white contributes to making it a timeless frame. Within this image, I perceive a complex narrative unfolding. While as a viewer, I may not grasp all the details of the background story accurately, this image compelled me to pause, smile, tear up, and reflect even more. That’s the power of a strong image—it evokes emotions beyond what meets the eye. Thank you for sharing this image with us, and I sincerely hope the photographer had the opportunity to linger a while longer after capturing the photo or perhaps even joined in the fun instead of rushing to prepare for whatever needed attention after the rest of the family emerged from the water.”
Judge’s Choice: Rita Bragança
Selected by Niki Boon:
“The image I have selected was the one I kept getting back to. I feel it is a strong , and visually compelling image… the composition is powerful and effective, without being obvious, the position of the elements highlights the relationship between subjects and kept me engaged and visually moving through the image. Intentionality with point of view, and juxtapositions in the frame. I am always drawn to anonymity in art, and I think it works really well here giving us snippets of the story , leaving us to insert our own ideas and conclusions. For me it is the gesture in the toes gripping onto the car jack that really sealed the choice for me… it is a picture that I would certainly love on my wall.”
Judge’s Choice: Caroline Pocock
Selected by Antonina Mamzenko:
“I fell in love with this photograph instantly and kept coming back to it. To me it stood out in its straightforward simplicity – and executed beautifully at that. I love how the car interior here is used cleverly to frame the pair of children in the back seat. The toning of the photograph is also beautiful, underscoring the moment it depicts, but not distracting from it. Taking a photograph like that in a car is not easy, with limited space to manoeuvre and get the composition just right. There’s something to be said for simple, understated, quiet, minimalistic photographs, and I want to celebrate that by selecting this as my judge’s choice.”
Judge’s Choice: Eszter Halasi
Selected by Emma Collins:
“The moment I saw this photo I silently gasped, an instant reaction to the mother’s expression… it felt like I was witnessing a deeply private moment that touched me in a way that I can’t explain. I had the sense that the photographer had shot this image instinctively – a visceral capture to a visceral moment. If the photo was more intentional I think it would have lost its power to convey emotion with such purity. The almost imperceptible tension across her brow draws you in and subtly challenges the viewer to connect with her innermost thoughts. Perhaps the relentlessness of mothering is momentarily overwhelming her, is she submitting completely and quietly letting life wash over her… or maybe the enigmatic nature of her expression lets you read into it and see what you need it to represent. It’s a raw and beautiful capture that has me enthralled.”
Judge’s Choice: Lianna Nielsen
Selected by Alice Chapman:
“Many of the submitted images spoke to me – several very much so – but this is the one I found myself thinking about more than others. It has stayed with me. Technically, there are aspects of the image that could be improved, but one of the reasons we have a Judge’s Choice Award is to give space to images that speak to our instincts regardless of the full judging criteria. This image immediately delights me on a graphic level. I appreciate the balance of form and light. Thematically, that balance carries through to an appreciation of everyday family life. Despite the setting, I recognise the everyday in this depiction of the strength and struggle of parenthood. The decision to stand squarely behind the girl feels directly supportive of her as subject and of her personality. I feel relatable humour in the holding tight to kids who are intent on wandering in different directions, the backpacks and the reins adding a layer of storytelling which makes me smile (these ‘puppy twins’). I see the centring of female strength within the family. I’m drawn to the kid and I’m very much drawn to the photographic point of view.”
Congratulations also to the finalists who had at least one of their images chosen my our first round guest judges:
Abigail Wilson, Adam Belmont, Adrianne Richards, Agnes Bledowski, Agnes Sipos-Biborska, Agnieszka Bańkowska, Aiko Wakao Austin, Alexandra Honda, Alissa Fownes, Allyson Klein, Amanda Dalby, Ana Backhaus, Andrea Brum-Oome, Andrea Zampitella, Anet Kava, Anna Mehta, Anna Meyer-Kahlen, Annabell Engel, Anne Nunn, Azure Mahara, Beth MacInnes, Brienne Maloney, Caroline Rocchetta, Dagmara Nikiel, Danielle Jacobson, Daria Petrovic, Dawn Lu, Dawn Weed, Diana Jou, Dominika Palecka, Elika Hunt, Elisa Cesca, Elise Barraly, Erin Byrne, Ewa Burns, Ewa Zielnik, Fiona Russell, Fiona Wolf, Francesca Codispoti, Frederikke Brostrup, Frieder Kremer, Georgi Anastasov, Grzegorz Turek, Guto Oliveira, Hollie Mateer, Janna Vargo, Jessica Cheetham, Jessica Hubbard, Joanna Grossi, Joanna Moskalik, Julia Kojeder, Justin McGregor, Justyna Gemza, Katarzyna Dziuba, Katerina Sedlackova, Katherine Salje, Larissa Nash, Laura Ally, Laura Gutierrez, Lisa Murray, Lisa Hu Chen, Lucia Molina, Lucie vd Oever, Lyra Lintern, Manuela Franjou, Marguerite O’Molloy, Maria Orlova, Maria Del Rosario Martinez, Marta Szyszka, Mary Anne Webley, Matt Coomber-Such, Meagan Boileau, Megan Lefebvre, Neely Ker-Fox, Nic Shuttleworth, Paula Gerein, Petra Eyre, Pia Vogel, Rachel Pray, Raquel Ponte, Rebecca Austin, Rhiannon Lloyd-Hughes, Rita Bragança, Rose Dedman, Samantha Freinbichler-Kallabis, Sierra Hegstrom, Sindy Knapp, Stephanie Armenta, Talya Arbisser, Tanae Sorenson, Verena Meissner, Victoria Kevans, Victoria Lugton.
First Round Guest Judges
Our guest judges reviewed all submitted images, resulting in a longlist which progressed to the second and final round of judging. The guest judges have also selected one image each as their Judge’s Choice.
Amy Dangerfield is a documentary photographer who believes that our lives might not be pretty all the time but they surely are the most beautiful. Amy is passionate about preserving individual and family histories in the most honest way hoping that collaboratively, we can have a more accurate societal history recorded. As an educator and speaker, Amy has also been guiding others to lean in to each artist’s identity and passion to become an authentic storyteller.
Amy has been awarded in Voice competition, DFA photo competition, Fearless Family Photo Contest, This is Reportage: Family Contest as well as Inspirational Family Photo Contest. Her work is frequently published in Click Magazine.
Born and raised in Wuhan China, Amy moved to the US to complete her Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and met her husband at school. Amy currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, 4 little ones, and a tortoise that is supposed to be able to grow to over 100 lbs. Amy is also a homeschool mom trying to raise bilingual kids.
Find out more: www. amydangerfield.com
Mikaela Martin is an Australian documentary photographer, based in South Florida, USA. She is self taught. Her background as an artist is in film and theater, which informs many aspects of her photography. Her work explores narratives of childhood and family life, and has found a home in editorial, commercial, and artistic spheres alike.
Martin’s work has been recognized by The Documentary Family Awards, Palm* Photo Prize, and The Australian Photography Awards. She has exhibited at Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, FMoPA Florida, FORMAT Festival UK, Frontroom NYC, Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, and the South East Center for Photography in South Carolina. Commissions include Apple and The Gates Foundation.
Martin is a contributor for New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She is a member of Women Photograph.
Find out more: www.mikaelamartin.com
Niki Boon is a former physiotherapist turned family photographer, teacher and lecturer internationally. Over the last decade, her work has been internationally award winning and featured.
She is represented by Obscura Gallery, Sante Fe, but feels her best outcomes are making photos families want on their walls, fridges, and bathroom mirrors.
She currently lives in New Zealand with her husband and four children who have been the focus of her personal work, making raw, honest, gritty pictures of their unschooling days in rural South Island.
Find out more: www.nikiboonphoto.com
Second Round Judges
Finalist images were reviewed by the panel of second round judges, our Made for Documentary Co-Founders. They selected the First, Second, and Third Place winners, a group of runners up and have also selected one image each as their Judge’s Choice.
Alice has been a family photographer since 2011. The moment she realised documentary family photography was an established genre was the moment everything started to make sense. Alice is passionate about enabling families and children to be themselves in their family photos so she can champion their individuality. Alice has been listed five times as the top UK family documentary photographer by the Family Photojournalist Association, winning many awards. Alice is a This is Reportage Family multi-award winner and a Documentary Family Awards finalist. Her work has been featured in many international publications, platforms and exhibitions, including the Royal Photographic Society, Digital Photographer Magazine, Photo Vogue, Shutter Hub, Click Magazine, PhotoPlace Gallery and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. With 15 years’ people management experience, being a qualified coach and experienced mentor, Alice is passionate about helping photographers thrive.