We invited a panel of esteemed nature photographers, writers, and photo editors—chaired by award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas—to judge and select from this year's competition entries.
“BigPicture has become one of the most prestigious nature photography contests in the world. Every year, the judging panel has the privilege of seeing thousands of exquisite images from all corners of the globe, so many of which just blow your mind.”
—Suzi Eszterhas, BigPicture Jury Chair
Suzi Eszterhas is an award-winning wildlife photographer who is best known for her work documenting newborn animals and family life in the wild. Her photographs have been published in over 100 magazine cover and feature stories. She has 21 books in print and another three in progress. A dedicated conservationist, Suzi lends her images and expertise to help raise funds and awareness for several environmental organizations around the globe. Suzi is also the Founder and Executive Director of Girls Who Click, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging young women to enter the male-dominated profession of wildlife photography.
Jaymi Heimbuch is a conservation photographer and photo editor. She founded Wild Idea Lab and Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy, and is the host of Impact: The Conservation Photography Podcast. Her current photography project, Watershed Sentinels, focuses on ecosystem interconnectedness and watersheds along the Oregon coast. Her work has appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife Magazine, BBC Wildlife, bioGraphic, and National Geographic. Jaymi is a National Geographic grantee, partner photographer with Girls Who Click, and cofounder of Her Wild Vision Initiative, a job directory for diverse women working in conservation visual storytelling.
Gab Mejia is a Filipino photographer, storyteller, and engineer. His work focuses on climate, endangered wildlife, and the intersection of culture and environment. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Nikon Asia Ambassador, and an Emerging League Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers. Gab has published stories on National Geographic, Nikon, World Wide Fund for Nature, United Nations Development Programme, and CNN Philippines. Honored in the Forbes Under 30 Asia list, he is also a 2019 Jackson Wild Media Lab Fellow, a columnist for The Manila Times, and a Board of Trustee for the WWF-Philippines. Gab has given several TEDx talks on nature and the arts.
Jaime Rojo is a photographer who combines his passion for nature, conservation, and storytelling to create campaigns that engage the public in environmental issues. As a conservation advocate, he hopes his images can help the creation of new protected areas. He frequently collaborates as a photographer, filmmaker, and communications advisor with environmental organizations, corporate clients, educational institutions, and government agencies globally. Jaime is an International League of Conservation Photographers Senior Fellow, a trustee of the WILD Foundation, and the recipient of honors in competitions such as the World Press Photo and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
For more than two decades, Camille Seaman has documented the rapidly changing landscapes of Earth's polar regions through the lens of portraiture rather than landscape. Camille’s perspective is entwined with her Shinnecock tribal identity, which taught her from an early age to recognize all living beings—trees, spiders, fish, and even ice—as individual members of one, enormous family. Her dynamic images embed her subjects in an enduring, nourishing, but increasingly strained relationship with their environment—of which humans are an integral part. She is a National Geographic Contributing Photographer, TED Senior Fellow, Stanford Knight Fellow, and CIR Filmmaker in Residence Fellow.
Sophie Stafford is a passionate conservationist and charity communication consultant who has judged many of the world’s nature photography competitions. As Editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine, she judged and co-managed the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for nearly 10 years. She has traveled the world to join the juries of natural history photo contests, and has been part of the BigPicture team since its inception in 2014. Sophie is an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and reviews and judges photography for a myriad of natural history magazines that she produces for international conservation charities, as well as for bioGraphic.
As a photojournalist and filmmaker, Christian Ziegler aims to share the significance of threatened species and ecosystems with a broad audience. He is an outreach photographer at the Max-Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour in Konstanz and contributes regularly to National Geographic magazine. Trained as an ecologist, Christian worked with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for 12 years. He is a Canon Ambassador and a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Christian’s work has won numerous awards, including four World Press awards and the 2017 Outstanding Nature Photographer award from the North American Nature Photography Association.