The job of a photojournalist isn’t just about pressing down the button to capture something appealing – photojournalists are here to tell us a story, shaping the way we see our world in all its complexity. 

A photojournalist must have a deep understanding of their subject matter, be it the sociopolitical climate they are in, the intricacies of war and conflict, the endless processes and trends in art and culture, or all that goes into sport and news events. Being at the right place at the right time is not enough – a photojournalist must combine this art of anticipating and capturing a moment with the intrinsic journalistic elements of research, analyses, adaptation, ethics, empathy, and often put themselves in harm’s way just to convey an important message. 

While tomorrow’s UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards ceremony will highlight its winning photojournalists with IMAGO joining the celebrations, The Game has dedicated this month to photojournalism. In our Local Heroes series where we dive into what it means to be a photojournalist, we have selected some of this year’s top picks from our picture desk and our partners, delivering curated and impactful stories from around the world.

See also Photojournalism, by Photojournalists. IMAGO voices. and discover firsthand accounts from our photojournalists. 

IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Allison Dinner | A woman holds a child as migrants, part of a group of over 200, are processed by U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico into Normandy, Texas. 11 August, 2022.
IMAGO/Xinhua
IMAGO / Xinhua / Sanullah Seiam | A boy reads during a class at a mobile school in Kandhar province, Afghanistan. A mobile school has been set up in Kandhar province of Afghanistan. The mobile school travels from village to village to provide education chances for local kids. June 2, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Carol Guzy | Taisiya Georgievna Tarasova, 82 years old, decided to remain as the Russian invasion rages and lives alone now in her apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine. She receives food and medicine from a group of local residents that formed a humanitarian network. After 3 surgeries she has lost almost half her body weight and is frail like a tiny bird but her spirit remains intact. March 23, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Joy Saha | Workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, carry piles of bricks weighing more than 15 kg on their heads as they are laid out ahead of being baked in a kiln. Around 4,00,000 low-income migrants arrive in Dhaka from different parts of the country every year to work at brickfields. Long working hours under the scorching sun in the brickfields, massive accumulation of dust, the risk of falling from the trucks and piles of bricks, and carrying excessive loads pose serious health hazards for the workers.13 October 2022.
IMAGO/PanoramiC
IMAGO / PanoramiC / Antoine Couvercelle | Serena Williams (USA) plays her last match against Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open. 2 September, 2022.
IMAGO/Kyodo News
IMAGO / Kyodo News | A woman walks by Russian military vehicles destroyed in the invasion of Ukraine in Kyiv on the 31st anniversary of the country's independence from the Soviet Union. 24 August, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Eric Renom | Firefighters of the government of Catalonia, specialists in forest fires (GRAF), work together with forest volunteers. Due to the high temperatures, which reach the entire Iberian Peninsula, there has been a large forest fire, which affects 5 towns near the city of Manresa, Spain. 17 July, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Eric Renom | For generations Bahurupi artists from West Bengal have been practising the art of face painting. Using their painting techniques they can easily metamorphose into different characters during a performance, which often represents tribal myths. These traditional artists scrape a living from their performances, relying on the generosity of audiences for their income. Kolkata, India. 14 April, 2022.
IMAGO/Bildbyran
IMAGO / Bildbyran / Ludvig Thunman | Hanna Glas of Sweden and Lauren Hemp of England during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 semifinal match between England and Sweden in Sheffield. England’s victory secured the country’s first major international win since the men’s team won the 1966 World Cup. July 26, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Rick Mave | The entrance of the bunker is located at the house of culture. Lysychansk is an elongated city on the high right bank of the Donets River in the Luhansk region. The city is under attack by Russian army, it is bombed daily and people evacuate or live in bunkers. The town is about 10 km from the frontline. 22 May, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Luka Dakssobler | Locals watch a large wildfire burn near the village of Novelo in the Karst region of Slovenia for the sixth day in the largest wildfire in the history of Slovenia. 22 July, 2022.
IMAGO/TT
IMAGO / TT / Ali Lorestani | Mick Jagger when the Rolling Stones perform at the Friends Arena in Stockholm during the “Sixty” tour marking the legendary band’s 60th anniversary. 31 July, 2022.
IMAGO/ANP
IMAGO / ANP / Ramon Van Flymen | Asylum seekers at night at the application center in Ter Apel, Netherlands. For the third night in a row, about 700 people slept outside last night at the registration center where it has been busy for months. Asylum seekers centers no longer have a place and status holders cannot move on to a home due to, among other things, the overheated housing market. 26 August, 2022.
IMAGO/Pacific Press Agency
IMAGO / Pacific Press Agency / Rana Sajid Hussain | People on their way during heavy monsoon rainfall, in Lahore, Pakistan. The heavier than usual floods caused by annual monsoon rains and melting glaciers due to climate change, killed over 1,700 people this year. 20 August, 2022.
IMAGO/Agencia EFE
IMAGO / Agencia EFE / Lenin Nolly | Women protest in front of the Supreme Court in Washington DC. The court overturned the Roe v Wade issued in 1973, which protected the constitutional right to abortion throughout the country. The Supreme Court's ruling leaves each of the 50 states the power to legislate on abortion, something that many states governed by Republicans have been waiting for a long time. 24 June, 2022.
IMAGO/ZUMA Wire
IMAGO / Zuma Wire / Presidential Office Ukraine | President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region, where mass killings of civilians took place during the occupation by Russian troops. Zelenskyy visited the humanitarian aid center and talked to local residents. 4 April, 2022.
IMAGO/PA Images
IMAGO / PA Images / Doug Peters | Her Majesty The Queen’s coffin arrives in Edinburgh on its way to the Palace of Holyrood having left Balmoral this morning.11 September, 2022.
Article and image selections by Sofia Bergmann and the IMAGO picture desk. Part of out Local Hereos series.