The iPhone Photography Awards Are Real And These Are The Winners

Published on July 29, 2019

We’ve all seen the “shot on iPhone” billboards littered throughout major cities that depict unrealistically good photographs that were allegedly taken on the same iPhone cameras us average folk use to take mediocre selfies and pictures of our dogs with. But did you know that there really is an award dedicated to the best iPhone photographs out there? Now that mobile phone cameras are comparable to even the best DSLR alternatives on the market, the shots are getting even more impressive.

The awards are split into a variety of different categories, but only a couple of the categories have been published to the official awards website for 2019. The iPhone Photography Awards (or the iPPAwards for short) offers two main categories for its 2019 winners: Best Photographers, and Best Photographs. Other categories are things like events, news, animals, children, landscapes, and floral.

History of the iPhone Photography Awards

The iPhone Photography Awards were started in 2008 as a way to recognize stunning photographs that were taken on mobile phones. The award is open to anyone with photos to submit that were taken on an iPhone or iPad. Users can upload any amount of photos they want to submit for consideration, but must be able to prove that the photos were taken on an iPhone or iPad. Winners must also, however, be able to prove that the photos have not been previously published elsewhere (though having posted them to personal social media accounts is ok). Today, as many as 18 categories make up the various awards that can be won for iPhone photography, and some of the original winners had photos that were simply pictures of food (with no filter, of course).

Right now, the iPPAwards is accepting entries for the 13th Annual iPhone Photography Awards that will be announced in 2020. Entrants can submit photos through the website, which lists a step by step description of how to enter the free competition. “IPPAWARDS has been celebrating the creativity of the iPhone users since the first iPhone has inspired, excited and engaged the users worldwide. Since then every year, IPPAWARDS has selected the best shots among thousands of images submitted by iPhone photographers from 140+ countries around the world,” reads the website.

What sets these photos apart from those you see on the Apple billboards is that they’re often focused on capturing cultures around the world and different nuances that make up evocative photography, rather than objectively stunning photos that work well as advertisements. Together, the photos create a collage of different cultures and forms of beauty—from architecture, to people, to traditions like the Chinese New Year. The curation of the images strings together different stories from around the world to capture the year in photos. Below are a couple of the winners of the 2019 competition.

2019 Top 3 Winners

Gabriella Cigliano– Grand Prize

Diogo Lage – 1st Place

Yuliya Ibraeva– 2nd Place

Peng Hao – 3rd Place





Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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