Our Panel of Preliminary Round Guest Judges

We are honoured to have the following lineup of guest judges reviewing every submission we recieve.

Aniya Emtage Legnaro


Website   /   Facebook   /   @aniyalegnaro

Aniya is a wedding and documentary photographer living in the very tiny island of Barbados (a.k.a Bim) with her husband and 3 kiddos.

Photography was not Aniya’s first love. Although she always enjoyed taking pictures, Aniya is a trained criminologist with a Law degree. After years of working with sex trafficking, Aniya realized that the world of criminology was too dark, and she found light in photography. (Seriously – no pun intended!)

When Aniya isn’t making memories for couples from all over the world on their wedding day, she photographs documentary projects that focus on social and family life.

Her current project focuses on one woman in prison separated from her family and how the justice system works or doesn’t work, to keep families together once a mother is incarcerated.

Along with this, Aniya is exploring the relationship between her two teenage daughters and their baby brother through photographing the nuances that separate them as siblings, but also bind them together because of their age difference.

Rocio Vega


Website   /   Facebook   /   @momenticosbyrociovega

I was born in Colombia, and at the age of 20 I came to live in Spain to study cinematography in Septima Ars, and then Professional photography and Master in digital Photography in Efti, Madrid. I have been a freelance photographer for 16 years, created my own company Veroa, and now I identify as Momenticos by Rocio Vega. My personal evolution is very tied to my professional evolution, always learning and evolving, always thirsty of life and knowledge.

The emotions create our memories. The things we ́ve been through, all that we have lived intensely remains guarded in our heart. But our memory is fragile and photography make those blurry recollections recover brightness, gives us the possibility of remembering forever these instants that make our life unique. My passion is to capture the best way those momenticos, these small instants in which the soul undresses and teaches its essence. I live through every wedding as a great celebration being conscious that probably this one will be the only time that all of them are in the same place simultaneously, looking for the connections, the bonds that join them, that one that thrills them and makes them cry of happiness.

Taras Bychko


Facebook   /   @tas0ma

Taras Bychko works in the genre of documentary and street photography. He was born in Lviv (Ukraine) in 1987 and started in photography in 2014.

His works were exhibited at the main expositions of the Miami Street Photo Festival (2016, 2017, 2018), Eastreet 4 – photography of Eastern Europe (2017), Odessa / Batumi Photo days (2017), Leica Street Photo (2018) and many other international and Ukrainian photo competitions.

The winner of the Ukrainian National Competition “Photographer of the Year 2016” in the category “Street Photography”.

Finalist and 2nd Best Overall Photo winner at Documentary Family Awards (2018, 2019).

His photo was included in the book “100 Great Street Photographs” (Prestel, 2017).

Also, he was published in Burn Magazine, In-Public, Burn My Eye, National Geographic, Lens Culture, 121 clicks, Bird in Flight and others.

Taras is one of the creators of group Ukranian Street Photography and a member of Little Box Collective (https://www.littleboxcollective.com)

Our Final Round Live-Stream Judges

The final round of Judging to select the top 10 winners + honorable mentions in each category, will be live-judged across multiple platforms by the following three finalist judges.

Nancy Borowick


Website   /   Facebook   /   @nancy.borowick

Nancy Borowick is an internationally renowned photographer, author, teacher and speaker, delivering over 50 speaking engagements each year around the world, bringing her personal story to universities, hospitals, oncology units and community groups around the world.  

Nancy is a graduate of the International Center of Photography and has exhibited her work in over 100 cities around the world. Working regularly with the New York Times since 2013, Nancy has told the intimate stories of people and places from every corner of the globe winning her major accolades and awards, such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International and most recently the 2018 Humanitarian Award from the organization Women That Soar for her photography and recent monograph, The Family Imprint.  

Over the last decade, Nancy has narrowed the focus of her work, telling stories of health, struggle and personal relationships, using compassion, humility and trust as tools to connect with and explore the lives of her subjects.  

Her work has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, including National GeographicTime Magazine, CNN, PDNO the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times MagazineAudubon Magazine and Glamour Magazine.

Jenna Shouldice

Photographer & DFA Co-Founder

Website   /   @jennacshouldice   /   @jennaandtristan

Jenna is a documentary and wedding/family photographer based out of Victoria BC, where she works with her husband and they raise their small daughter. Her documentary work focuses on women’s issues and more specifically, the labour process. In addition to being professionally trained in photography, Jenna has a degree in Psychology, trained as a doula in 2011, and her birth work has been published internationally both online and in print. In addition to shooting, Jenna teaches documentary birth and family photography to photographers around the world.

Kirsten Bethmann

Photographer & DFA Co-Founder

Website   /   @kirstenlphotog   /   Facebook

While photography is now her career, Kirsten actually began as a painter and ceramicist attending a high school with a strong magnet program in the fine arts in Norwich, CT. Additionally, she spent a significant amount of time on the stage through musical theater and dance, a place she was very familiar with growing up with a father who was an actor and musician. It was not until after she graduated with a Child Psychology degree that she began to explore photography, following in the footsteps of her mother and stepfather. Although it took almost a decade in the field, once Kirsten realized she could apply all of her education, experiences and interests to photography she abandoned the wedding industry and a very successful market in the Outer Banks, NC and focused on carving out a niche in the family photography world, applying her love of visual storytelling and photojournalism to a commercial business.

Kirsten now lives in Denver with her husband, street photographer Gregory Bethmann, their young daughter Byrdie Mae and Golden Retriever Mingus the Dingus. Although at least half the year is spent on the road, they are grateful for the mountains to ski on and bike trails to ride when they are home and spend a lot of time soaking up all the sunshine Colorado has to offer.

Our Past Judges