Photographers from Middle East and Africa shine at HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022

Press release
Published February 7th, 2023 - 10:31 GMT
Photographers from Middle East and Africa shine at HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022
Huawei’s annual smartphone photography competition, HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022, concluded on December 30th with the unveiling of 54 prize-winning works

Huawei’s annual smartphone photography competition, HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022, concluded on December 30th with the unveiling of 54 prize-winning works, which included 3 Grand Prize Winners, 24 Best-in-Category Winners, and 27 Runner-up Winners. The NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022 kicked off on August 1st last year and remained open for more than three months and received thousands of entries from around the world. Regional photographers have made a strong showing in the competition. Out of the 54 winning works, 7 are from across the Middle East and Africa region. 

Smartphones have revolutionised the way people take pictures. As smartphone cameras get better year after year, people are relying less and less on digital cameras. According to some studies, more than 85% of photos are being taken with smartphones, and their share is only going to go up. The compact size and flexibility smartphones offer over traditional cameras help photography enthusiasts push the boundaries of this art form. Moreover, smartphones level the playing field for amateur photographers to compete against professionals with years of experience under their belt. HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards have helped close this gap even further over the years. And the fact that several of this year’s winners are amateur photographers such as students, doctors, and engineers drives this point home.

Celebrating the beauty of everyday life 

Four photographers from the MEA region won the best-in-category award, and two others were runner-up winners. Besides winning the award, these photographers also do an excellent job of showcasing the diversity and charm of the region’s rich culture. Their photographs highlight the unique perspectives and stories these cultures have to offer the world. The winner in the Storyboard category is Mark Anthony Agtay from the United Arab Emirates, with a series of nine photographs beautifully depicting interesting and diverse ways people use their hands in their day-to-day lives. These pictures are thought provoking and benefit from clever use of colours. 

The runner-up winner in the Portrait category is a photograph by Junaid Jafar from the UAE. His photograph of a little girl is a great example of portrait mode photography. The light falling from right to left on the girl’s face gives depth and dramatic effect to the photograph. The HUAWEI Mate40 Pro has also done a fantastic job of identifying the subject’s hair and only applying the blur effect to the background.

The UAE also has a runner-up winner in the sport category. Christopher C. Comeso’s photograph of 10 basketball players on the court, with one of them making a lay-up to score a basket. The evening sky and setting sun provide a bright orange backdrop for the silhouettes of the players. 

Interestingly, one of the best-in-category winners in sport is an anonymous entry from Saudi Arabia. This photo does a terrific job of freezing the motion of water droplets falling off the subject’s head. The blue hues of the water and the good use of lighting help the picture stand out, as well.

The Dyehouse by Hossam Hassan Al Sayed Ahmed Sewalam from Egypt was chosen as the best Storytelling Short Film. It is about an overlooked dyehouse in Cairo run by a man named Mahmoud Salama. The setting of the old dyehouse gives plenty of opportunities to fill the frames with vibrant colours and a lot of contrast. 

A photo taken in the Al Mubarakiya market in Kuwait City demonstrates that even mundane everyday things can be interesting when looked at from the right perspective. A runner-up winner in the Hello Life category, the photo draws the viewer’s attention with a clearly visible beam of light irradiating the singular human in the frame.

Kalenga Nkonge from Zambia bagged this year’s best portrait award. His black and white photograph, titled Summer Joy, captures the priceless smile on a child’s face as he splashes around in a washing-up bowl to cool off from the summer heat. Monochromatic pictures can convey deeper meanings than colour photographs when used well, and this picture is a perfect example to demonstrate this.

Nine invigorating categories

The HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards 2022 featured nine categories of submissions: Art & Fashion, Outdoor, Portrait, Sport, Hello Life, Storyboard, Action, Storytelling Short Film, and Storytelling Long Film, with Best-in-Category and Runner-up Winners selected for each. Three works: “FORCE” by Adão Filipe Fernandes Salgado, “Just Shaen” by Enrica Brescia, and “Fireworks” by Wang Zihao, won universal acclaim within the international judging panel. Each of the three works recognised as the Grand Prize Winners will receive a $10,000 USD cash prize to encourage them in their future artistic endeavours. Similarly, each of the 24 Best-in-Category Winners will receive a NEXT IMAGE Creative Fund prize of $1,500 USD, and each of the 27 Runner-up Winners will receive a HUAWEI P50 Pro.

The HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards aims to inspire ordinary users to capture important life moments through mobile photography. Since its launch in 2017, the HUAWEI NEXT IMAGE Awards has served as a unique showcase for outstanding photography works by Huawei mobile phone users. The competition will continue to inspire and engage with talented mobile phone users as Huawei introduces innovative mobile imaging technologies and experiences.

As Huawei continues innovating in mobile photography, driving art with technology, they officially launched a new brand, XMAGE, on July 2nd, 2022, which represented a new milestone and breakthrough in Huawei’s photography capabilities. Huawei XMAGE will serve as a key driver of new technologies and imaging paradigms. In the future, Huawei will continue technological innovation and design new shooting experiences for global Huawei mobile users.

Visit the link for the full list of winning works:

Background Information


Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

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