Editor's Note: Curated by Cameron Peters, this 6-part feature, released between February and March 2023, aims to encourage publishers and brands to hire more freelance visual storytellers worldwide to grow their audiences through impactful imagery rooted in diverse voices, narratives, and modes of storytelling.
As we welcome 2023, Visura is delighted to highlight success stories by 50 freelance visual storytellers, artists, and journalists worldwide, who worked to inform audiences with unique, compelling visuals.
"These images ignite resilience, connection, and mystery, causing us to pause and open up to collective transformation." - Cameron Peters, Platform Curator
At a time when the industry continues to inundate audiences with superfluous stock images or AI-regenerative visual content, Visura remains committed to empowering professional creators and buyers with easy access to unique and in-depth visuals. This 6-part feature is a glimpse of the incredible work that is being produced by freelancers today.
Caption: A girl sews and sells clothes while studying in the Balangir district. The sewing machines were provided by Fairtrade with the support of the Bansal Organic Grower group under the Fairtrade Premium Project to earn money during the cotton production's off-season. Distribution in Odisha, India. February 27, 2022.
Johis Alarcón's new book I am black because the sun looked at medocuments the intergenerational stories and spirituality of the maroon sisters and African-descent women who survived slavery in Latin America. The book focuses on their continued resistance, resilience, and protection of the region today.
Caption: Alba Pavón, a community leader at "Caminos a la Libertad," a neighborhood in the northwest of Quito. She emigrated to the city in 1970 from the Afro community of el Chota, Valley. Alba represents "Yemayá," the mother of all the Orishas. Alba feels identified with this Orisha because the memories of her ancestors and territory are linked with water, the river is enrooted with her childhood. Quito, 2018.
Fatima Shbair wins a 2022 World Press Photo award for her image of Palestinian children in Gaza, photographed while on assignment for Getty Images.
Caption: Palestinian children hold candles during a rally amid the ruins of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes, in Beit Lahia Northern Gaza Strip on May 25, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza. Gaza residents returned to damaged and destroyed homes as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding. The ceasefire brings to an end eleven days of fighting which killed more than 250 Palestinians, many of them women and children, and 13 Israelis. The conflict began on May 10th after rising tensions in East Jerusalem and clashes at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
For Vogue, Victoria Razo photographed the Mercadita Feminista, Feminist Market, in Mexico City.
Caption: Portrait of Paola, 27, part of the 'Feminist Front Against Economic Violence.' Paola sells handmade chakira jewerly outside the Bellas Arte Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, February 5, 2022. The Mercaditas became a touchpoint for women seeking help. Passersby in the subway started to approach the vendors to ask for advice about aborting unwanted pregnancies or leaving abusive relationships. Deep in the heart of a city wracked by violence against women, in the face of harassment and extortion, police brutality, and economic precarity, the Mercaditas represented resistance.
On assignment for L'Equipe Magazine, Jeoffrey Guillemard photographed a story about football at HBCUs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Caption: A few minutes before the launch of the Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida, the orchestra's choreographer finalizes the costume details for one of the principal dancers, Kevin Goins. November 2021.
On assignment for Agencia EFE, Adriana Thomasa photographed International Women's Day in Santiago, Chile. Her work was published in El País.
Caption: Two protestors, one of them waving the trans pride flag, pause during a march on the occasion of International Women's Day, in Santiago, Chile, March 8, 2022. The protestors were posing for a photo being taken by another protestor.
Parisa Azadi’s project Ordinary Grief exhibited in a solo show at the Melike Bilir Gallery, curated by Bettina Freimann and Melike Bilir.
Caption: Reza poses for a portrait during his wedding celebration on the Island of Hormuz, located in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2019. Persian wedding traditions vary from region to region in Iran. On Hormuz Island, the groom wears a green veil over his face during the ceremony until the bride arrives. Green symbolizes luck and renewal.
Laurel Chor photographed and reported on the exploitation of cobalt mine workers in The Democratic Republic of Congo for Vice News.
Caption: Workers dig out copper and cobalt ore from an open-pit mine operated by artisanal mining cooperative COMAKAT in Shabaka in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on May 6, 2022. The south of the DRC produces more than 70% of the world’s cobalt and is believed to hold at least half of the planet’s cobalt reserves. Demand for cobalt, which is used in lithium-ion batteries, has surged in recent years due to the rise in demand for electric vehicles.
Caption: “Waiting for the ordinary extraordinary.” I was 33 weeks pregnant with my firstborn son. My body felt heavy all the time. Not only physically, but mentally. The transition into motherhood was an emotional ride of intoxicated highs and lows, where my partner was the place that I felt most safe. Whenever he held me in his arms, I calmed down, and he said that we would do this - together.
Marcio Pimenta’s portrait series “Black Lancers” was published by National Geographic. Caption: Valéria Barcellos is a transgender multi-artist based in Porto Alegre. In her career as a singer, actress, performer, she deals with blackness, gender, diversity, inclusion and transgenderism. In addition to her work in culture, she participates in social projects aimed at the inclusion of trans people in society. As a trans and black woman, Valéria has several times denounced situations of transphobia and racism. In addition to her relevance in Rio Grande do Sul, she has traveled throughout Brazil and other countries doing plays and shows. March 30, 2022.
This portrait is part of the "Black Lancers" series, featuring black leaders from the local community (senator, councilman, actors, judges, athletes, etc.) in South of Brazil.
María Magdalena Arréllaga photographed Cibele Florencio, Brazilian chess champion, for The Wall Street Journal. Caption: Brazilian chess champion Cibele Florencio da Silva, 24, picks fruits from the seriguela tree at home in rural Macaíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil on February 6, 2022, where she enjoys spending time with her family when she is not working or practicing chess.
Jaír F. Coll photographed the celebration of Black Jesus in Quinamayó for The Guardian.
Caption: The most important Christmas procession in Quinamayó is known as The Road to Bethlehem, led by two children who dress up as Mary and Joseph, while three young people play the role of godparents of the Black Baby Jesus. February 2, 2020.
Caption: Image from the series Ojalá nos encontremos en el mar, about grieving my father in the aftermath of Hurricane María. This project is currently being exhibited in no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane María at the Whitney Museum of American Art from November 23, 2022 - April 23, 2023.
Ana Palacios solo show 'Las Habitantes' at the World Gallery in Madrid, Spain. Over the course of ten years, 'Las Habitantes' documents NGO projects promoting the rights of girls.
Caption: Maria Yolanda Ayang, 16, is from Añisok (Equatorial Guinea) and a student at the Vedruna school, whose students study part of their syllabus using tablets to bring technology closer to these young people and close the digital inequality gap with the West. She belongs to one of the few families that owns a smartphone in her village. She uses it to access Facebook Messenger to communicate with her friends and Youtube to watch music videos. February 18, 2019.
David Diaz photographs small-scale fishing and aquaculture Manabí, Ecuador, a project developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations while on assignment for Panos Pictures.
Caption: Heart Island, Ecuador. Pablo Vélez, Byron Zambrano, and Henry Zambrano are shell and crab collectors in the area. They search the mud amid the roots of the mangrove tree for the shells hidden under the roots. Sep 15, 2022.
Caption: Disrupt the silence, expose the systems that oppress neglect dehumanize survivors of domestic violence. Tracy McCarter at the Wall of Silence sculpture by Donna Ferrato outside the NYC Criminal Court in Tribeca. NY, NY, July, 2022.
SANNE DERKS(Based between the Netherlands and Cuba)
Sanne Derks' long-term project Rutopia, on the repopulation of abandoned villages in rural Spain, was published in The Washington Post, National Geographic Magazine in the Netherlands (print) and National Geographic USA (online).
Caption: Pere Lopez Guasa takes a skinny dip in the river near his house in Solanell, an abandoned village in the Spanish Pyrenees, where he bought a ruin and constructed a house to be surrounded by nature. Solanell, Spain. November 29, 2020.
Caption: Newtok is a Yup'ik (Indigenous) community in Southwest Alaska rapidly eroding into the Ninglick River due to thawing permafrost and an increase in storm surges caused by the climate crisis. Newtok residents Bernice John, Charlene Carl, George Carl and Albertina Charles wrote and drew their memories of the lost landscape on this photo taken from an airplane on July 26, 2019.
Caption: Horst and Anna. The last time they saw each other was 74 years ago, when Horst and his family were leaving home just as other Germans were fleeing the Russian army approaching East Prussia. Every year since the 70s Horst has been returning to this place. Anna spent 3 years of her childhood here. In 1942, she and her family were forcibly relocated from the vicinity of Bialystok (Poland) and assigned to work with a German farmer (Horst's father) in East Prussia. After the war, Anna returned to her hometown. She has been coming back to this place for several years.May 22, 2019. Perły, Poland. The picture is from the book "Zamalowane Okna" (Painted-over Windows).
Javier Alvarez's new book PREDIO documents 200 families living inside an abandoned building in São Paulo, Brazil. PREDIO was a finalist in the Lucie Photo Books Awards in the categoryFirst Books, and it was published by Ediciones Buen Lugar (Chile). Caption: Spread from the photobook 'PREDIO' including a reproduction from the author's field notebook with a collage made out of contact sheets, postcards and color crayon.
Andoni Lubaki's series 'Ukraine's War' was exhibited at the Aiete Cultural House in San Sebastian City.
Caption: In Chirkunye, Kharkiv, Ukraine, a man watches the hole that a mortar made in his roof on Wednesday May 11, 2022. The Russian invasion of Ukraine by order of Vladimir Putin in February 2022 produced large displacements of people and had a great reaction from public opinion and political forces around the world. Russian military forces entered Ukraine territory on Feb. 24, 2022.
Caption: A Ukrainian woman hugs her dog while waiting to catch a train to Bucharest at the Suceava train station in Romania on March 05, 2022 in Suceava, Romania. According to estimations by Romanian volunteers at the station, an average of 300 Ukrainians travel every day on each of the five trains that connect the city of Suceava with the Romanian capital.
Caption: Debbie Robinson sits for a portrait in her bedroom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 1, 2022. For 20 years, Robinson has helped organize community efforts near her home to clean up the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery, which was also the site of a fire and multiple explosions on June 21, 2019. According to environmental officials, nearby soil and groundwater are contaminated with lead and hydrocarbons including benzene. Robinson herself now takes a regimen of medication for lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes and asthma. “I was fine,” Robinson said. “And then all of a sudden I’m on an oxygen machine.”
On assignment for NPR, Arin Yoon recreated the story behind her name.
Caption: My name comes from my mother's conception dream, called 태몽 "taemong" in Korean. Conception dreams are common in Asian cultures, usually dreamt by the mother or someone close to her before or while she is pregnant that foretells the coming of a child. It is the relationship between the dreamer and the symbols in the dream that is meaningful. Common symbols are those found in nature, animals, fruits and jewels. My mom had her taemong as I was growing in her belly but she didn't know it yet. For my wedding, she wrote a poem about it:
One day on my dream path I walked by a stream in the forest I saw jewels sparkling in the clear water I scooped up a handful And held them to the light Soon after a baby girl arrived 아 (Ah) is beauty 린 (Lhin) is the sparkle of a jade She grew up like her name Lighting up different paths
M'hammed Kilito's series 'Before it's Gone' exhibited at the 2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) exhibition at the Leica Camera Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar, Germany.
Caption: Youth emigration is one of the major problems facing the oases of southern Morocco. Many of the young people I met are considering crossing illegally to the Canary Islands due to global warming, water crises, lack of job opportunities, isolation and lack of primary resources. This has a negative impact on the maintenance of the oases, which need their youth to take care of them. Hicham emigrated to France for a year and after doing several difficult and poorly paid jobs, he decided to return to Morocco. To his surprise, no one encouraged him. Especially his family, who he thought would support him in his decision, had a very negative reaction. Today, Hicham is a fulfilled young man, happy to be in Morocco. He lives in Guelmim, works in a school and is active in the education and associative field. 2021.
Caption: A group of relatives of victims of those who disappeared under Franco's dictatorship embrace after learning the news that a local judge will investigate the crimes that occurred in 1940, in Paterna, Spain, in 2017. In the cemetery of Paterna there are more than 100 mass graves, where 2,238 people were killed by the military regime between the years 1939 and 1956. According to the latest official studies, in Spain there are more than 114,000 people disappeared by the dictatorship.
Caption: A few times a week, volunteers from the Lemkin Center (set up by the Pilecki Institute) visit the Ptak Humanitarian Refugee Center to interview Ukrainian refugees who were eyewitnesses or victims of war crimes committed during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the picture: Kateryna, 19, said she was raped by Chechen fighters in Mariupol, Ukraine. Poland. Nadarzyn. May 13, 2022.
Serhii Korovayny photographed the evacuation of children with cancer from Ukraine to Poland for the Washington Post.
Caption: Oksana Besidovska (31) praying before departure to Poland with her daughter Evgeniya (9) and sister Marina (20) at their hospital room on March 30, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine. Dozens of sick kids and their relatives were moved to the different hospitals around European Union under the evacuation program. In new places, they continue their treatment. Lviv, Ukraine. March 30, 2022. An outtake while on assignment for the Washington Post.
NPR featured Mette Lampcov for her work documenting the impacts of climate change.
Caption: Mike Doyle stands in what used to be the front door to his family home - looking at the burnt-out remains and what is left after it burned in the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, CA on Dec 12, 2018. The Woolsey Fire burned 96,949 acres of land and destroyed 1,643 structures, killing three people in November 2018.
The 2018 wildfire season in California was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season on record, with a total of 8,527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Caption: Windia Augustin, 20, stands in the doorway and behind her her mother, Rosna Israel, works as a seamstress to make up for the lost income following their land being taking by the Caracol Industrial Park. April 25, 2022.
Marco Garro documented the aftermath of the Repsol spill in Perú and resulting environmental disaster while on assignment for OjoPublico.
Caption: Employees of contractor companies of the Repsol company try to clean up the crude oil that they spilled and that reaches the shore of the Peruvian coast. It is estimated that more than 6,000 thousand barrels of oil were spilled, terribly affecting marine-coastal ecosystems.
Sofia Lopez Mañan photographed a story documenting rescue efforts to save the Andean condor for National Geographic.
Caption: Veterinarian Jennifer Ibarra from Cullunche NGO in Mendoza Province, Argentina, examines an X-ray of a dead condor, looking for signs of six lead bullets the bird ate while scavenging carrion.Pastoralists throughout Argentina still use lead bullets to shoot animals such as pumas, guanacos, deer and wild dogs that prey on livestock. Condors that feed on the dead predators ingest the bullets, and the lead slowly poisons their blood. April 14, 2022.
For Smithsonian Magazine, David Degner photographed a story about Bob Leverett's discovery of New England's old-growth forests and their potential for climate mitigation.
Caption: Portrait of Robert Leverett and his wife Monica Jakuc Leverett in the old-growth forests in Mohawk Trail State Forest on June 18, 2021, in Charlemont, Massachusetts. Robert Leverett has helped find and preserve the tallest and oldest stands of old-growth forest in New England while developing new methods to measure the height of trees.
Caption: Alan Courtis, Roberto Conlazo(back), Miguel Tomasin ( middle), Patricio Conlazo(front) pose for a portrait in their dressing room before their concert at the RUIDO festival, of experimental music in the Cultural Center Nestor Kirchner, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday 9 of September 2022. Reynols is an experimental rock band from Argentina formed in 1993. Today, the band is led by the drummer, Miguel Tomasín, a musician with Down syndrome.
Bissera Videnova was a recipient of The 2022 Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3) for her project, Strive for Freedom. Caption: Framed photo of Vantzeti and his mother at Vantzeti's apartment in Queens, New York, January, 2022.
Sitara Thalia Ambrosio's photo series "Fragile as Glass: LGBTQ+ people in the Russian invasion against Ukraine” was featured in the Folkn Fusion Featival. The series has since been awarded with the Residence Prize at the Hellerau Photography Award.
Caption: Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many people have fled to the west of the country, such as to Lviv. This also accounts for Natalia and Tetiana, who in normal times are publishers of children's books. They came from Kharkiv to the west of Ukraine. Now they tie camouflage nets in a volunteer center. These nets are made from old fabrics and are then sent to the Ukrainian army for support. March 14, 2022.
Caption: Inupiaq elder Betty Anagick, 94, models a tradtional parka sewn by her great-grandmother outside her home in Unalakleet, Alaska. Anagick says that the climate has changed noticably in her lifetime.
Nikki Johnson was commissioned by writer and director Melanie Maria Goodreaux to photograph the actors of "The White Blacks." Caption: In character: Jonathan Duran as "Red" in "The White Blacks." November 2, 2022.
Vidhyaa Chandramohan(Based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Vidhyaa Chandramohan's story on UAE Women in Falconry was published by National Geographic Arabic Magazine.
Caption: The UAE's female falconers regularly come together in the evenings to meet and train their birds, developing friendships and sharing knowledge in the process. Falconry is a multi-million-dirham industry. Like camel racing, women have traditionally been almost completely absent from this heritage sport, but things are changing in the UAE. From left to right, Mariam Al Hammadi, Eman Al Hammadi, and Ayesha Al Mansoori at Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photographed at Abu Dhabi Remote desert during falconry training.
Caption: (Image left) A Family Medicine Practitioner, 36, walks into the room for abortion procedure at Mabel Wadsworth Center, Bangor, Maine on September 7th, 2022. (Image right) Abortion signs in downtown Bangor, Maine on September 6th, 2022.
Caption: Rachel Kiro, 13, the daughter of Dead Sea researcher Yael Kiro from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, sits atop a salt formation in the northern basin of the Dead Sea in Israel on Nov. 5, 2022.
Diego Ibarra Sanchez's project The open wounds of war in Iraq was published by EL PAIS SEMANAL.
Caption: Portrait of Zainab, 14 years old, and her brother, Abd Al-Hussain, 16 years old, outside their house in Zareeji. Zainab was affected by a UXO while she was collecting steel with her brother 6 km far away from her community. “My dream is to see again, I don't want anything else in my life, my wish is to see I have nothing more precious than my eyes. I hope my eyesight will return soon.” The increasing urbanization of armed conflict raises important concerns. Even after conflict, the effects of explosive weapons reverberate for years to come. Iraq remains among the countries most contaminated by landmines and explosive devices in the world. March 1, 2022. Basra, Iraq.
The open wounds of war in Iraq is a project done in March 2022 to highlight how the war affects thousands of children's lives in Iraq as a part of the UNICEF project on"EWIPA," explosive weapons in populated areas in Iraq and Ukraine during 2022.