Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Awards: Winning entries capture stories through the lens

After 114 days of photography, submissions and judging, the Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Awards have crowned their winners. This year’s wins come especially well earned as Huawei received a record-breaking number of submissions, with participants from over 120 countries and regions submitting more than 1.19 million incredible entries. With entries up 128 percent since last year’s contest, 2020’s Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Awards was one of the world’s most popular and influential photography competitions.

Winners were chosen from across six categories, with three Grand Prize winners, 15 category winners, 50 runners-up and five Honourable Mentions being awarded. Each Grand Prize winner was given up to $10,000 from the NEXT-IMAGE creation fund, while category winners were awarded $1,000. Winners across all categories were given a Huawei P40 Pro. The Grand Prize Winners hail from Denmark, Argentina and China, with winning entries submitted under ‘Hello, Life!’, ‘Live Moments’ and a new category named ‘Storyteller’, which allows for collages made with multiple images, elevating the flexibility of the format to allow for something that lends itself to telling a story.

“We are thrilled to announce the well-deserved winners of this year’s Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Awards” said Li Changzhu, Vice Minister of the Consumer Strategy Marketing Dept at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group. “The standard for photography submitted this year has continued to surprise us, in terms of both quality of the images and the incredibly moving stories behind them. With the fine tuning of Huawei phones’ photography capabilities and the continual increase in talent, we cannot wait to see what next year’s submissions hold.”

The Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Award’s panel of judges comprised of a host of world-famous photographers, including Magnum photographer and iconic contemporary photography figure Steve McCurry; Russian fashion photographer Elizaveta Porodina; Swedish photographer and Profoto curator Karolina Henke; and Canadian extreme sports photographer Reuben Krabbe. They were joined by Andrew Garrihy, Global Chief Brand Officer at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group; and Li Changzhu, Vice Minister of the Consumer Strategy Marketing Dept at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.

This year, Huawei offered participants more options for submissions. In addition to going through the Huawei official website, Huawei also allowed for entries to be submitted through the NEXT-IMAGE Community.


NEXT-IMAGE Award Winners Tell Stories with Photography

Huawei NEXT-IMAGE Awards provide a new platform for photographers to tell their stories and express their feelings.

Danish winner Sune Pedersen used the lens to capture the warmth exuded through the embrace of a grandfather on his grandson’s birthday during the pandemic. This was the first time he had left his home in months. Separated by a sheet of protective plastic, he and his two grandchildren enjoyed a special moment of embrace. Pedersen witnessed this exceptionally special moment and captured the image with his smartphone, with the image moving everyone who saw it.

© Sune Pedersen (Denmark), The Hug, captured on HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro

“The Hug picture illustrates what universal storytelling means. It depicts the situation in which billions of human beings have been facing since the beginning of the pandemic. This is intimacy in the age of covid, in the world we live in now. We still need more than ever the human touch, being connected with friends, loved ones and relatives. We must find new ways to give love, attention, and affection to avoid solitude and be sure that elderly people are not isolated”, said Steve McCurry, Magnum Photographer (US)

“I immediately loved the photograph ‘The Hug’ out of all the images. There is no need for a caption, we all immediately understand the deep emotion, and situation of the photograph. It is a perfect image. It speaks to our humanity, to humanity today, to the distance and closeness we all feel. Even in our most powerful emotions in 2020, there is always a barrier. It achieves what few photographs do; an instant communication that is more powerful than words”, said Judge Reuben Krabbe, Extreme sports photographer (Canada).

Argentinian photographer Carloman Macidiano Céspedes Riojas used the smartphone camera to record a series of everyday moments. This sequence of nine images may look unrelated at first glance, but combined, the calm and tranquility makes one reminisce of more simple times. The image titled Resilience under the Storyteller category was also awarded the Grand Prize.

Grand Prize and Storyteller category winner
© Carloman Macidiano Céspedes Riojas (Argentina), Resilience丨HUAWEI P10

“In this series Resilience the photographer’s work on the light, the atmosphere and the composition resulted in a beautiful balance of grace and serenity. There is an overall feeling of calmness, and the artist successfully combined natural elements, human beings, and animals all together with great harmony”, said Steve McCurry, Magnum Photographer (US)

With every situation there are always two stories. 2020 is a story of drama, of loneliness, but it also a call-back to quiet. A call to simplicity. It is also a time of contemplation; we look at everything more closely this year. Who am I? Who are we? Where do I live? How do I find peace? The photo essay Resilience shows all of these feelings, and more”, said Reuben Krabbe, Extreme sports photographer (Canada)

The third annual photographer award was awarded to Chinese photographer Lin Haiyin’s work, Master of the Horse and the Horses. In this four-minute video, the Master of the Horse speaks the ancient Tajik dialect, telling the inseparable story of the Tajiks and horses for generations.

Grand Prize and Live Moments category winner
© Lin Haiyin (China), Master of the Horse and the Horses丨HUAWEI P40 Pro

“This short film I have carried with me since I saw it the first time! I think it is a beautiful, important and interesting film. I wish I had done it myself and I would love to know more about the horseman and his grandson, the horse boy!” said Judge Karolina Henke, Portrait photographer / Recommended by Profoto (Sweden)

It is worth noting that the number of submissions in the Timeline category of this years’ awards increased 22 times over since last year, which shows that people are increasing using video to record their lives. Video shooting can provide users with more possibilities and make memories more vivid and lively.

In addition to the above three Grand Prize winners, there are also some award-winning works that surprised the judges.

Near Far category Top 3
© Dong Yanru (China), Horse Whisperer丨HUAWEI P30 Pro
Comment from the final jury:

“I love this! It is a piece of art. I would love to have it framed on my wall!”, said Judge Karolina Henke, Portrait photographer / Recommended by Profoto (Sweden)

The author photographed two horses on the edge of the canyon with a telephoto lens, producing a calming effect. There is no sense of intruding upon nature. The entire scene and colors are quite breathtaking”, said Judge, Li Changzhu.

Hello, Life! category Top 3
© Aljona Akszjonovics (Alena Axenovich) (Hungary), Life Goals丨HUAWEI Mate 20 lite

“This is a very serene scene; its composition and colors are quite comfortable. I can’t help but think that they’re an elderly couple – the wife is playing a word game, and the husband, with his hat on, is reading a book. I’m intrigued to know how long they’ve been together. Are they on holiday? Or there for another reason? How long have they been there? Interesting life moments captured on a mobile phone don’t necessarily need to be submitted for a competition to be treasured. For instance, no matter how many times this image is viewed, it will always remind the photographer of the feelings that moved her in the moment”, said Li Changzhu, Vice Minister of the Consumer Strategy Marketing Dept at the HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

Hello, Life! Best-in-Category winner
© Andrea Biri-Toth (Hungary), Summer time丨HUAWEI Mate 9
Comment from the final jury:

“This photo is a moment of family gathering captured with a smartphone. Technically speaking, it is not easy to capture such a photo. The shutter, exposure, and focus must all be fast and accurate. I am very happy that users can create and capture whatever they want with the speed of Huawei smartphone” said Li Changzhu, Vice Minister of the Consumer Strategy Marketing Dept at the HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

Storyteller category Top 3
© Monchai Parteeppichai (Thailand), Face丨HUAWEI P30 Pro

“What you can see is everyday scenery that gives the impression of a series of faces. This is because the author consciously captured life details, and then meticulously arranged them to create this effect. The arrangement of the nine photos is highly-surprising, but remarkably harmonious, and comfortable to view”, said Li Changzhu, Vice Minister of the Consumer Strategy Marketing Dept at the HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

NEXT-IMAGE Award, Explore Humanities with Technology

Among the submissions in this year’s NEXT-IMAGE Award, the top three smartphone models that were used are all from the Huawei P Series. The Huawei P Series continues to challenge the boundaries of mobile photography with technological breakthroughs, inspiring the global smartphone users and enabling them to capture and share the beauty of life anytime, anywhere.

In the four years since the NEXT-IMAGE Award was first started, Huawei has continued to build a more authoritative and diverse global photography platform for mobile photographers, allowing them to take and share photos freely.

In this year’s submissions, there are many works that focus on children, women’s power, natural environment, and social issues. Through these images, more people can understand what is happening in this world, which is something not always seen in other mobile photography competitions.


As an important part of Huawei’s NEXT-IMAGE Plan, which started in 2017, the annual NEXT-IMAGE Awards is committed to inspiring mobile phone users worldwide to create a new visual culture. The “NEXT” in NEXT-IMAGE refers to the photographers using next generation tools to create and spread cutting-edge visual content. “IMAGE” refers to both static imagery as well as new forms of dynamic visual expression. HUAWEI proposed the “NEXT-IMAGE” concept not only to highlight the many years of innovation it has brought to the field of visual expression, but also to create a concept that represents a new growing school of photography.

The NEXT-IMAGE Awards embody Huawei’s dedication to the craft and artistry of modern photography. By equipping aspiring photographers with cutting-edge technology, Huawei hopes to provide the outlet for an outpouring of creative inspiration. For more information please visit:

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]