The AYV Awards Photo Essay Winners: Communicating Meaning Without Sound or Motion

Without sound or motion, how can you create media for social change? The winners of the 2014 Adobe Youth Voices Awards Photo Essay category have the answer: Photography. Every week we take the opportunity to highlight the stories behind this year’s Awards winners and they never stop impressing us with their creativity and imagination. , and Read on to learn more about the stunning work from this year’s Photo Essay winners.

1st Place: Jihyeon Park, Inner JourneyAYVAwards2014_InnerJourneyJihyeonPark

19-year old Jihyeon Park uses photography to transcend the limits of colors and emotions. “Don’t stop imagining,” the young photographer urges. She was inspired by the movie UP in creating this Photo Essay and wanted to express the range of human emotions that lie beneath her exterior.

Jihyeon tells us that color and composition are extremely important in this piece and she chose balloons to express this due to their many different hues. As both photographer and model, she also challenged herself to portray a range of emotions in her facial expressions.

Jihyeon moved to Fremont, California from South Korea when she was a freshman in high school. While at first it was difficult for her to understand her teachers and students due to the language barrier, she  quickly learned to express herself and overcome language barriers through photography, giving her the skills to challenge many different types of limitations through her art.

2nd Place: Agata Mroczek, Little Place on Earth

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As a lover of nature herself, 17-year-old Agata Mroczek believes that protecting our environment is our own responsibility. In this fascinating and ethereal set of photos, Agata shares the beauty of creating our own “little place on earth” by pausing to connect with the beauty of nature and animals.

Agata describes herself as having a head full of ideas that she hopes will one day help her become a fashion photographer. See her award-winning photo essay here.


Audience Award Winner: Prabhashana Meegammana and Dilan Wickramakeerthi, Adam’s Peak – A Pilgrimage for Harmony


Adam’s Peak, a 1.8 meter long rock formation that lies atop a tall mountain in central Sri Lanka, is said to be a “sacred footprint” that belongs to either the Buddha, Shiva, or Adam, according to various religious traditions. Through their photo essay, AYV students Prabhashana Meegammana and Dilan Wickramakeerthi share a glimpse of a two-day pilgrimage on Adam’s Peak that unites believers of different religions, cultures and ethnicities in their journey to see the footprint. Through these beautiful photos, these young artists depict the importance of cultural integration and harmony.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager, Adobe Youth Voices.