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Filipino Photojournalist Ezra Acayan Wins News Photographer and Photo Essay of the Year at Getty Images Awards

Getty Images cited Ezra Acayan’s works among the best content that moved the world in 2023. Photo from Ezra Acayan’s FB account.

Filipino photojournalist Ezra Acayan has been awarded News Photographer of the Year and News Photo Essay of the Year for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region at the recent Getty Images Global Editorial Awards.

Acayan’s notable works that earned him the News Photographer of the Year award include local drag performers at the 2023 Pride March in Quezon City, former senator Leila de Lima at her bail hearing at Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court, and a penitent in Pampanga carrying a cross, reenacting the Passion of Christ as a solemn form of penance.

Getty Images APAC Managing Editor Vivek Prakash praised Acayan’s work, describing it as a “masterclass in the power of visual storytelling” for its ability to evoke “strong emotions in the viewer, making it a memorable and impactful visual experience.”

Acayan’s award-winning portfolio includes a photo assignment for Break Free From Plastic, a series of images of a worker sorting trash, including one at a junkshop, with the reflection captured in his eyeglasses. The images earned him the APAC News Photo Essay of the Year award for highlighting the rapid increase of small plastic packaging and its ongoing negative impact on the Philippines.

“Ezra’s work humanizes the crisis, transcending mere documentation to become a powerful call to action. It reminds us that the plastic crisis is a global issue demanding immediate attention and collective action,” said Prakash.

This is not Ezra’s first time being recognized at the Getty Images Editorial Awards. He had back-to-back wins as APAC News Photographer of the Year in 2020 and 2022. However, the previous awards were given internally. This year, Getty Images decided to make the awards public.

Ezra Acayan is a Filipino photojournalist with over a decade of experience covering politics, climate change, and social injustice. Starting his career in the early 2010s, he has documented a spectrum of critical events including the Philippine drug war, Typhoon Haiyan, and the aftermath of the Marawi siege. Since 2019, he has been a regular contributor to Getty Images.

The Getty Images Editorial Awards is about featuring and showcasing the best content from News, Sports, and Entertainment teams captured throughout the year.

Ezra Acayan won back-to-back first prizes at the Pictures of the Year Asia (POY Asia) 2023 and 2022 edition.

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Shara Joy Tobias
Shara Joy Tobias
Shara Joy Tobias is a 4th-year Journalism student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She is a former intern at Altermidya and GMA Records where she focused on photojournalism and productions. She is passionate about sharing inspiring stories to inform and educate through visuals and writing.

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