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The winners of the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes have been just announced and, given how eventful the year 2021 was, it should be no surprise that there is some incredible work showcased in the two photography categories: the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography and the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. Although the awards are given for journalism—or journalistic photography—published in the US, the photos and the events they highlight are from around the world. 

Each winner gets $15,000 in cash—though we suspect that being able to call yourself a Pulitzer Prize winner is probably the real award. You can check out the full awards over on the Pulitzer Prize website.

The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography

A military transport plane departs overhead as Afghans hoping to leave the country wait outside the Kabul airport on Aug. 23, 2021.
A military transport plane departs overhead as Afghans hoping to leave the country wait outside the Kabul airport on Aug. 23, 2021. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan earlier in August, more than 120,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan in one of the largest mass evacuations in U.S. history. Marcus Yam/The Los Angeles Times

Related: 10 photojournalists to follow to stay informed on Ukraine

The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography was jointly won by Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times and Win McNamee, Drew Angerer, Spencer Platt, Samuel Corum, and Jon Cherry of Getty Images.

Yam’s award was for his “raw and urgent images of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan that capture the human cost of the historic change in the country.” His work was originally entered in the Feature category, but it was moved to Breaking News by the jury.

Adam Johnson, a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, carries a lectern belonging to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol after members of a mob broke into the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Adam Johnson, a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, carries a lectern belonging to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol after members of a mob broke into the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The team from Getty’s award was for “comprehensive and consistently riveting photos of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.” The Pulitzer Prize jury is obviously pulling no punches with how they view the events of January 6th, 2021.

Protesters throwing firebombs in Yangon, in an attempt to block the military and police forces who fired bullets at the crowds.
Protesters throwing firebombs in Yangon, in an attempt to block the military and police forces who fired bullets at the crowds. Anonymous/The New York Times

With two winners, there was only one Finalist: an Anonymous, freelance contributor to The New York Times for “striking images, conducted at great personal risk, of the military coup in Myanmar.” If this sounds familiar, we also featured this photographer when we covered the regional winners of the World Press Photo Contest.

The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography

A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a woman inside her hut during a coronavirus disease vaccination drive for workers at a brick kiln in Kavitha village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, April 8, 2021.
A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a woman inside her hut during a coronavirus disease vaccination drive for workers at a brick kiln in Kavitha village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, April 8, 2021. Amit Dave/Reuters

The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography was won by Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, Amit Dave, and the Danish Siddiqui (who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan last year) of Reuters for “images of COVID’s toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation while offering viewers a heightened sense of place.” Although originally entered in the Breaking News category, it was moved to the Feature category by the jury. 

The two Finalists were Gabrielle Lurie of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Photography Staff of Reuters.

Laurie watches helplessly as her daughter Jessica smokes a mixture of crack and fentanyl in her car.
Laurie watches helplessly as her daughter Jessica smokes a mixture of crack and fentanyl in her car. This was the second time they had seen one another in nearly 10 years. San Francisco’s homeless and drug crises are deeply intertwined. The city’s last homeless count found 8,011 homeless people in the city — 42% of them, like Jessica, struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle

Lurie’s nomination was for “intimate and harrowing images of a mother’s attempts to care for her homeless, drug-addicted daughter.” The series featured on the Pulitzer’s website tells an all too common American tale. 

Fishermen bring in their catch from a lake in front of a power plant of the State Development and Investment Corporation outside Tianjin, China, October 14, 2021.
Fishermen bring in their catch from a lake in front of a power plant of the State Development and Investment Corporation outside Tianjin, China, October 14, 2021. Thomas Peter/Reuters

The Reuters staff were nominated for “images of climate change collected around the globe, effectively portraying extreme and dangerous natural events as common and widespread threats to human life.”

How to enter the Pulitzer Prize

Believe it or not, anyone can nominate themselves (or anyone else) for a Pulitzer Prize provided the submitted photos were featured on “U.S. newspapers, magazines, wire services, and online news sites that publish regularly.” Be prepared to pay a $75 non-refundable fee if you do choose to submit. Of course, given the standard of the winners, it’s highly unlikely you’ll win unless you’re covering important or newsworthy events, but you can still throw your name in the hat if you’d like. 

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