Over 4,400 Pexels photographers rose to the occasion, donating more than 25,000 incredible photos and videos of wildlife from all around the world in our Better Future for Animals challenge.
This content is now available in the Pexels library for anyone to use for their creative projects, helping to increase our representation of the incredible diversity of wildlife and aiding in IFAW's efforts to spread their message further.
Photos like these help shape the way we all see the world — our hope is that they can help in IFAW's work of opening people's eyes to the importance of wildlife protection and conservation.
In celebration of Earth Day and in partnership with Canva Print, we're also showcasing the Better Future for Animals challenge winners and best submissions in an international series of photo exhibitions on April 22nd. (More details on this below!)
“Imagery brings our work to life," says Stacie Paxton Cobos, IFAW's VP of Brand Communications and Marketing. "From rescuing individual animals and releasing them into secure habitats to safeguarding entire populations and geographies – IFAW relies on compelling visuals to tell our story."
Adds Stacie: "These images deliver 25,000 opportunities to connect with someone and inspire them to join our team as we build a world where animals and people can thrive together.”
Not only are we truly impressed by just how many images were donated by the community, we're also excited to see just how creative and wide-ranging this wildlife imagery is. Much of the work of conversation involves educating people on lesser-known species, so diverse visual content is especially helpful for IFAW.
“The incredible range of species and landscapes represented – I wasn’t expecting to see an Australian echidna or a fennec fox, but I’m so glad I did," says Stacie. "IFAW’s work truly touches all species because of our holistic approach, so it’s fantastic to see lesser-known animals get some love."
Three challenge winners have now been selected by our curators — no easy feat considering the amazing range of imagery that was submitted. But these captivating shots stood out from the pack, with each one sharing a unique view on wildlife.
For even more beautiful wildlife photos and videos, browse our curated collection of the top 100 submissions.
This beautiful capture by Netherlands-based photographer Stijn Dijkstra was the natural choice for our first place winner. Stijn wins a $1,000 prize.
“Photography plays a huge role in inspiring people to help towards creating a healthier and greener ecosystem," says Stijn, who's excited to be part of spreading IFAW's message.
"I believe that nowadays people don’t really want to read anymore, so visuals become more appealing," he adds. "By sharing photos which tell a story about the problem, we can help big time in working towards the change!”
We loved this creative composition by Kuwait photographer Mohammad Mirza — he does a great job of capturing the unexpected beauty of wildlife with this dynamic image. Mohammad takes home a $500 prize as second place winner.
This image captured in Sri Lanka by Ishara Kasthuriarachchi truly grabbed our attention. To us it feels like an excellent reminder of just how much we have in common with animals, and how important it is to help protect them and conserve their habitats. Ishara receives a $500 prize as our third place winner.
“I like to share my stories with the rest of the world,” Ishara says. “Photography completes the missing pieces of unwritten stories and talks to millions of hearts.”
For those who happen to be in Beijing, Melbourne, Sydney, or Vancouver, you're invited to come out and see these incredible photos in person at our free Earth Day exhibitions on April 22. Beautiful large-format prints of the winning photos are being generously provided by our partners Canva Print.
We'll have photos on view at Vanke Time Square Beijing and at several locations in downtown Vancouver: the Pacific Centre (701 W Georgia Street), the Bentall Centre (505 Burrard Street), The Oprheum (664 Granville), and the Waterfront Food Court (900 Canada Place #999). There will also be selected photos on view at private co-working space the Work Club in Melbourne and Sydney.
If you do have the chance to stop by any of our exhibitions, share your experience with us on Instagram at @pexels — we'd love to hear what you think!
And if you can't make it, scroll down for a virtual gallery of all the photos that will be on view.