Last September, TIME Magazine and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) launched a new global photography competition called “The Human Element,” seeking to showcase portrait photography in all its forms. The winners have been announced, and they are gorgeous.
NSFW Warning: Some of the images below show implied or partial nudity.
“The Human Element” is divided into five categories: portraits in the world, portraits of influence, portraits of family, and finally the open category and a series category. The winners, therefore, represent the best in each of these categories but the judges also awarded a “Best in Show” that was also the winner of its own category. Prizes include a paid TIME photo assignment, custom three-month mentorship with the photo editors of TIME, and over $16,000 in cash.
TIME Magazine says that over 2,200 images were submitted across five categories, with the winning photos hailing from nine different countries including Bangladesh, Poland, and Iran. The photo above, taken by Owen Harvey, won top honors in the Portraits of the World category and was also named best in show.
Below are the other winning images from each category along with a caption written by the photographers that describes the photo.
Portraits in Family Category Winner — Maria Louceiro
Portraits in Influence Category Winner — Aixiao Li
Open Category Winner — Sonali Ohrie
Series Winner — Ryan Schude
To see all of the top images along with the second-place finishes, check out TIME’s full story.
Image credits: All photos are individually credited and provided courtesy of TIME and the ASMP.