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Welcome!

From April 29th to May 10th, we invited aspiring photographers worldwide to participate in a thrilling journey of visual storytelling and creativity. We are immensely proud to announce the winners in each category.

Thank you to all who submitted entries. They were all first class and the decisions were not easy to make.

Winners!

PROFESSIONAL
Gasore Moussa

Please tell us a bit about you.  My name is Gasore Moussa, and I live in Rwanda, Africa. I graduated from high school in 2022 with a focus on Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science. I come from a large family with 12 children, and I am the youngest. I am 25 years old.

I have always been fascinated by photography. Watching others practice it sparked my interest, and I wanted to delve deeper into the art form. I have been pursuing photography for about three years now.

What sparked your interest in photography and how long you have been exploring the world through photography?  I had the opportunity to learn photography through online courses in the Photo Start program in 2023. This experience has been incredibly rewarding, and I have excelled among my peers, becoming one of the successful students in the program.

Why did you choose the image you submitted for the Photo Challenge? The reason I chose the picture I submitted is because it has multiple interpretations. I’ll mention two: one that showcases African culture and fashion, and another that conveys positive emotions.

I chose the emotion of happiness because I love seeing people happy.

What equipment did you use to take the winning photo?  I used a Nikon D810 camera and 24_300mm lens.

What are you looking forward to the most about the Masterclass with a professional photographer?  As I approach the Masterclass, my primary goal is to gain more knowledge and skills. I aspire to become a professional photographer, which has been my long-term ambition.

What are your future goals in photography?  My goal is to learn more about photography because I currently don’t know much, but I have a deep passion for it and aspire to become a professional photographer.

AMATEUR
Edward Wafula

Please tell us a bit about you.  I am Edward Wafula and I’m 24 years old. I’m a passionate young photographer from the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m a Christian and a God fearing person. I love art generally and I love working with children. My dream is to become a good visual storyteller who’ll change the lives of my people through my art and my photography, that I can spread to the world positively.

What sparked your interest in photography and how long you have been exploring the world through photography?  Since my childhood I have loved the art of photography and how the camera flash light usually lights up once and disappears only to see myself looking gorgeous in printed results. My mom used to pay photographers for them to come to our home and take images and the moments were so outstanding to me. That’s where I got my drive since my childhood level. I had a dream of being a pilot but during 2015 when I was in form two I started interactions with cameras with different tourists. My passion grew and slowly I challenged myself by having that anger of knowing photography. I utilized social media as my source of information and interaction with other photographers who taught me ideas that grew my skill till now.

Why did you choose the image you submitted for the Photo Challenge?  I chose the image because it reminds me of my childhood curiosity and that childhood love for dirty water since I was raised in the slums. I used to leave the house every weekend morning just to go out and play with my friends. We used to play with dust, mud and even dirty running water then after playing we just looked for small running waters that seemed clean for us to wash ourselves so as to avoid being punished at home for playing with dirt. So it reminded me how such kind of water was our safest point of hiding our dirty side so as to get home clean.  The emotion in my picture reflects how the kids are happy together while washing their feet so as not to be punished at home. It is a sign of safety and refuge since their day was long and they played and got dirty so the water was their refuge so they felt happy just to clean themselves so as to be safe when they get home.

What equipment did you use to take the winning photo?  I used a Canon 250D and a 50mm prime lens.

What are you looking forward to the most about the Masterclass with a professional photographer?  Adding more skills in my art, networking and also learning from the masters of the art. Since I also teach kids in my community photography, it will also be a great avenue for me to add more knowledge that I’ll share with them and we can grow together.

What are your future goals in photography?  My future goal is to elevate my art and my kids who I teach photography. Also my future goal is to have a center where I’ll be empowering children and young people in my community where they’ll be getting the skills and explore and tell stories of where we come from to the world and to make photography a tool of change from negativities to a positive and a better world. I love art, I love photography and photography is our language. We are the art.

STUDENT
Maryevelyne Achieng

Please tell us a bit about you.  My name is Maryevelyne Achieng, and I am 22 years old from Nairobi, Kenya.

What sparked your interest in photography and how long you have been exploring the world through photography?  I have three months of experience in photography and have found it incredibly interesting, which is why I have developed a strong passion for it. The Photo Start program has broadened my perspective and helped me see things in new ways.

Why did you choose the image you submitted for the Photo Challenge?  I chose to focus on the emotion of happiness because the boy in my photo was happy despite everything he is going through, which also captures innocence.

What equipment did you use to take the winning photo?  I used my phone to take the photo.

What are you looking forward to the most about the Masterclass with a professional photographer?   I aim to gain more skills through a Masterclass and professional training that will benefit me in the future.

What are your future goals in photography?  My goal is to use the knowledge I acquire in photography to market my business.

We are thrilled to announce the incredible professional photographers who will be offering a Masterclass to the winners of our photo challenge. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their pro bono contributions

KATRIN EISMANN

JAKE AHLES

ASA MATHAT

KATRIN EISMANN

Katrin specializes in interpretive travel, still life, and portrait photography. She is an internationally respected artist, teacher, and author of Photoshop Restoration & RetouchingPhotoshop Masking & CompositingThe Creative Digital Darkroom and Real World Digital Photography – all of which have been translated into numerous languages.

Katrin founded and chaired the Masters in Digital Photography department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and, after twenty years in higher education, is now working with the Adobe Lightroom team to create learning and inspirational content.

You can find Katrin in numerous events associated with photography, creativity, and inspiration, and she has never met a pixel that she didn’t want to change!

JAKE AHLES

Jake Ahles is a seasoned photographer and the Director of Strategy + Creation at Morel Creative, where he transforms brands through intentional visual storytelling and strategic content planning. With over 25 years of experience, Jake has honed his craft in photography and filmmaking, capturing the essence of adventure and the spirit of discovery that began with a Pentax medium format camera handed down from his father.

His passion for photography is matched by his professional mission to empower food and beverage brands with visual strategies that resonate deeply with their audience, leveraging Morel Creative’s unique F.E.E.E.D. Framework™. Jake’s work with ‘Future Foods’ brands is driven by a commitment to sustainable, climate-friendly solutions, enhancing brand narratives to address global challenges.

Outside the studio, Jake’s adventurous spirit takes him from the Indian Caves of the California desert to the remote wilderness of Svalbard, always pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling. Whether he’s mentoring upcoming talents, capturing landscapes, or highlighting a brand’s story, Jake brings a unique blend of creative vision and strategic insight.

As a mentor for Photo Start, Jake is excited to guide the winner of the contest, sharing insights from his global adventures and professional achievements to inspire and equip the next generation of photographers. His life’s work not only reflects a journey of visual exploration but also a dedication to storytelling that brings brands—and visions—to life.

Stay adventurous, and let’s create something unforgettable together.

ASA MATHAT

Asa Mathat’s captivating photos empower and inspire viewers, creating a world of beauty and emotion.

From the miracle of life and the love between couples to the power of nature, life-changing events, and the art of fashion, Mathat captures a wide range of subjects.

His subjects include both intimate moments and influential figures like the Dalai Lama, Warren Buffet, and Bill Clinton.

Mathatʼs first acquaintance with photo equipment came at the age of four when he played with his fatherʼs light meter. When he saw the letters ASA (“American Standards Association”) on the light meter, he thought the equipment belonged to him. As a youth, Mathat amused himself with his fascination of visuals, peering through binoculars, staring into his kaleidoscope, and studying how light would reflect off mirrors.

At the age of 18, Mathat borrowed a friendʼs camera to photograph himself in an attempt to venture into modeling. When he applied at the first agency, the response he received was telling: “You look ok, kid. But, WHO took these pictures?? They are fantastic!!!” It was then that Mathat realized his passion for photography was indeed a gift.

With an excitement for fashion and people, Mathat journeyed to Europe to pursue editorial and fashion work. While in Milan, Mathat further developed his unique style and use of light. He captured models in exotic and memorable ways that made them pop off pages. After an intense and successful stint working with top modeling agencies in Milan, Mathat returned to his home in California and to his love for creating the same effect in the corporate and family environments.

Mathat’s enthusiasm and interaction with his clients, his ability to learn his subjects and open the shutter at the pivotal moments in expression, as well as his unique eye for lighting, enables him to capture the passion, beauty, and power his subjects exude during their finest and most defining moments. From a cherished family album of the birth of a child to the last days of a grandparents’ love, to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fortune, and The New York Times, Mathat’s work is brilliant, unparalleled, and timeless.

Mathat’s creative as well as critical eye for color and detail allowed him to share and express his love for fine art photography seen in galleries and private collections.

Mathat also gives back to society by using his talents to empower those affected by breast cancer. www.asa.foundation