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Photo: Kylo / Unsplash

Photograph a sustainability champion – and win €2500

Photograph a sustainability champion – and win €2500

Words: 5

Photos: Various

5’s Sustainability Champion Photo Contest

At 5 we’re all about bringing people together to build a more sustainable future.

This photo contest celebrates champions of sustainability: those who are helping to protect the planet by leading, educating, innovating, driving forward solutions to environmental challenges or inspiring others.

It’s an opportunity for you to put the spotlight on a Sustainability Champion you admire – and have a chance at winning one of two €2500 prizes.

All you need to do is take a great portrait of a Sustainability Champion. What’s a Sustainability Champion? Well, it’s anyone who’s doing amazing things and inspiring others in the area of sustainability. They might be an activist, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a volunteer, an artist, a scientist or a schoolkid. We’re interested not just in the well-known movers and shakers, but also the everyday people who are making differences, big and small, all around the world, right now.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer – the contest is open to everyone and FREE to enter.

How to enter

Enter the photo contest via Instagram by following these steps:

  1. Follow @5media_official
  2. Create a post with your photo. The photo doesn’t need to be brand new, but it must have been taken no earlier than 2018. (Only one photo per post please.)
  3. In the caption, write the full name of your chosen champion, and how they inspire or empower others to live more sustainably
  4. Add the hashtag #5_photocontest
  5. Tap Share!

Categories and prizes

There are two categories: the Community category and the Jury category.

Ten entries will be shortlisted for each category, chosen based on the criteria below by 5’s Visual Director. From these shortlists, five finalists will be chosen by our jury of professionals, and five will be chosen by the 5 community, voting at From these finalists, the jury will select the winner of the Jury Prize and the community will select the winner of the Community Prize.

Each of the two winners will receive €2500. Winners will also receive:

  • Their photo and an interview featured on
  • Their winning photograph published in the next edition of international print magazine, Let’s Explore
  • A one-to-one coaching session or portfolio review with one of our jury members
  • The opportunity to pitch a photo essay or gallery for potential publication on
  • The winner of the Jury Prize will have the chance to be a jury member for 5’s next photo contest
  • The winner of the Community Prize will have an opportunity take part in a takeover of 5’s Instagram account, to showcase a selection of their work


The jury will be asked to judge images based on the following criteria:

  1. Impact
    The sense the viewer gets the first time they see the photo, best summed up as “I wish I’d taken that picture.” Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder, or some other intense emotion. Does the photo have inspirational power? Does it surprise or touch the viewer?
  2. Technique
    This covers composition, lighting, focus, colour balance. Does the image stand out? Is it skillfully executed? Sharpness, exposure, processing and correct colour are some of the aspects that speak to the quality of the image. These elements should come together to create an effective image.
  3. Subject
    The image shows a true sustainability champion and is backed by a compelling story. The image conveys something about the person, such as a feel for their character, their work or their story.

Entries are open until 3 May. Finalists will be announced on 24 May and the two winners will be announced on 15 June. 

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Good luck! We can’t wait to see your photos!

The jury

See the professionals who’ll be judging the winning photos below and read interviews with a selection of our jury members here.

Mika Aberra

Mika is a photographer and cinematographer based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who has worked with brands including Apple, The North Face, Mercedes-Benz and H&M. He says he is always striving to convey emotion through images, and to create something “that feels honest and transparent”.

website | instagram


Oghalé Alex

Oghalé is a Nigerian-American Photographer, working in London, England and Phoenix, Arizona. Oghalé is determined to change the negative narratives surrounding black men and women, by capturing them in different dignified ways, and expressing feelings of togetherness. His shots have been published in magazines including Nataal and Viewpoint Colour, and he currently has work on exhibition at the English National Portrait Gallery.

website | instagram


Kid Circus

Kid Circus (also known as Michael) is a portrait and fashion photographer from London. His first passion was landscapes, architecture and street photography, and from there he got into portraiture. He shoots mostly on film, explaining: “I just feel the process means I have to be way more intentional with every click, and I believe the slower pace helps me to better build a connection with my subjects.”

website | instagram


Vitalik Denys

Vitalik is a photographer based in Lviv, Ukraine, focusing on fashion and beauty, conceptual and advertising photography. He likes to explore human nature through the lens of his camera, reflecting emotions and giving subjects the freedom to express themselves. Vitalik says: “Photography documents reality, depicts aesthetics, and shows how precious life and the beauty of our world is. But it’s also visual poetry; it can appeal to our hearts, change our perception.” He was a finalist in 5’s Everyday Changemaker Photo Contest in 2020.



Ana Carolina Fernandes

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ana Carolina had a passion for photography from a young age. Inspired by her father’s job on a newspaper, and became a photojournalist herself. Her influences include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum and Brazilian photographers Maureen Bisiliat and Claudia Andujar, who have documented Brazil’s immense backlands and indigenous tribes. Today Ana Carolina works on documentary projects “with a humanist vision”.

website | instagram


Marta Julia Johansen

Marta is 5’s visual director. She has many years of experience as a graphic designer and art director in sectors including theatre, fashion, TV and food. She has worked with numerous leading photographers on commercial and editorial projects.



Denisse Ariana Pérez

Denisse is a Caribbean-born, Barcelona-based copywriter and photographer. She is obsessed with words, people and imagery and finding ways to make them speak to one another. She studied in interactive art direction at Hyper Island in Stockholm, Sweden, and currently works as a freelance senior creative.

website | instagram


Mishael Phillip

Mishael Phillip is a photographer working in London and Copenhagen. He teaches at the Danish photography school Fatamorgana.



Misha Vallejo Prut

Misha is an Ecuadorian photojournalist who describes his work as lying in the border between documentary and art. He was a finalist in 5’s Everyday Changemaker Photo Contest in 2020. His work has been published in Vice, the New York Times Lens and Geo, and has been exhibited at the Lumix Festival of Young Visual Journalism in Germany, the Bronx Documentary Center and the Rencontres de la Photographie festival in France.

website | instagram