The Best Photography Submissions of 2020 (What a Year!) NSFW

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Photography submissions come in thick and fast here at The Phoblographer. Each week we’re overwhelmed with photographers stating their case for why the world needs to see their work. Thankfully we love what we do, so spending time with new photographs isn’t a problem for us. Photographers have sent us some spectacular work throughout the year. And as 2020 comes to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on the best photography submissions we received over the past 12 months.

Barbara Cole / Photography Submissions

When we first set our eyes on Barbara Cole’s work, we asked ourselves, “Are these photographs or paintings?” Of course, they’re photographs, but with Cole’s unique underwater style, she’s managed to replicate paintings, which in turn makes her work captivating. Cole is an interesting character too, which is why the interview we did with her was one of our most popular. You can read it here.

Yuri Benitez / Photography Submissions

We’re always extra selective when deciding whether we should publish nude photography. We get a lot of photography submissions that include nudes, and unfortunately most of them lack substance. But when Yuri Benitez sent us his work, something clicked. Yes, it’s nude photography, but it’s also minimalist and textural. Benitez blends all the elements to create exciting images that hold more value than other submissions.

Mitchel Wu / Photography Submissions

Photography needn’t always be serious. Often it can be fun, something to make you smile and chuckle. Mitchel Wu is an exceptionally gifted toy photographer. And while he takes his craft very seriously, he intends to make you feel silly and laugh when you view his images. His work is some of the best toy photography we’ve seen. He clearly thinks about his scenes in great detail, which is evident by the high standard of work he produces.

The Portrait Kitchen / Photography Submissions

If you don’t believe in fate, you might after reading this. The Portrait Kitchen (a married couple) sent us a photography submission soon after global lockdowns began. Their concept is simple; they use their kitchen as a home studio. The timing couldn’t have been better, as we were doing our best to show photographers how they could keep active at home. But that’s not the only reason we published them. They do their work to a professional standard, and their business is thriving. It was an excellent education for photographers of all levels.

Alessio Trerotoli / Street Photography

Italian street photographer, Alessio Trerotoli, sent us some of the most gripping street photography somebody has sent us for a while. His double exposure street photography provided something fresh, mixing the streets’ darkness with the tranquility of the rain. Trerotoli’s interview was a fascinating read, as he shared his full creative process. Top marks for this street photographer, offering something new in an oversaturated scene.

Matteo Verre / Self Portraits

When it comes to photography submissions, Matteo Verre certainly sent us the most noticeable. His quirky self-portraits, which he describes as an “exploration of self,” certainly stand out from the pack. We liked how he’s not afraid to do something different. Happy to make himself publicly vulnerable, Verre certainly has some images that verge on the peculiar, but in the right kind of way.

Maren Klemp / Personal Essay

Maren Klemp’s submission hit us right in the heart. After her daughter became sick, Klemp began to develop anxiety and PTSD. Although her daughter was okay, she lived in constant worry that something may happen to her or another family member. To help herself heal, Klemp took the worries in her mind and turned them into photographs. It’s an inspirational read about how photography can help heal our deepest wounds.

Phil Penman / Sheltering in Place

When Covid-19 struck, many photographers started documenting life indoors. People flooded us with their take on the “new normal.” While most of it meshed into one, Phil Penman sent us something different. Instead of photographing people with housing, he focused his lens on those who had no home. He humanized those that couldn’t stay indoors and showed how the global pandemic was impacting them. Powerful stuff.

Keep Those Photography Submissions Coming

We write about photography because we love it so much. Because of that, we’ll never tire of receiving new work from photographers around the world. We’re grateful for the work that you sent us in 2020, and we want to keep seeing new work to feature. So as we move into 2021, get those submissions sent in, and if it floats our creative boat, we’ll happily share it with our readers.

Lead photographer is by Barbara Cole