I was in high school when the Columbine High School shooting occurred. Students across the country were horrified and never would have imagined that mass school shootings with the aid of semi-automatic rifles would become commonplace over the next decade. The photos in this series of teens taking direct action for change, causing disruption to the system, and speaking out on every major platform that will give them time after last week’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are truly a remarkable sight. This is what democracy looks like.
—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News
At first glance, the recent work by Sandro in Papua New Guinea has unsettling overtones of Edward Curtis. The photographer uses this to brilliant effect, using portraits of New Guineans in traditional dress as foils of their fellow citizens in more Western clothing so that the intricate balance of identity amid generalization, tradition, and modern intrusion comes to light.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
Max Desfor was a true legend. During the Korean War, he parachuted into frozen battlefields with American soldiers to capture striking photographs of the horrors of conflict, bringing the realities of war back home to the American people. After his long and prolific career, we say goodbye to a man who was not only fearless in his work, but forever raised the bar for photojournalism.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
While I’m by no means a fashionista, I’ve always reveled in the glitz and glamour (and insanity) of fashion shows, and this spread by the Guardian was made for fans like me. Laid out in timeline format, the piece gives a comprehensive look into how the industry has evolved. The words are accompanied by a smartly curated set of pictures that leaves you without a doubt why fashion shows are the prestigious, highly anticipated, multimillion-dollar production we know today.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
So. Many. Children. Of the 12 images in this series documenting the atrocities of the Syrian government's latest three-day bombing campaign on its own citizens in Eastern Ghouta, 7 are of children. In some they're amid the rubble, terrified; in others they're badly injured; and one is lifeless and covered by a sheet. These photos, although extremely hard to look at, force the world to bear witness and, with some hope, to act.
Addiction has a sense of repetition: mind-numbing, soul-sucking, life-destroying repetition punctuated by the chaos of withdrawal, or intrusions of reality in the form of death, family, or the law. This series by Time does an impressive job capturing the state of addiction from many sides of the experience as addicts seek again and again to get high, law enforcement and medical techs visit the same scenes again and again, and families are thrown into upheaval. The stills have a poetic sense of similarity, but it’s the videos that break your heart.
While the sports photography at the Olympics is impressive and beautiful in its own right, I love the quiet, intimate feel of Doug Mills' work in the background of the ski jump. Before bodies go twirling through the air in intimidating, otherworldly contortions, the athletes gather in elevators and stairwells, and this essay reminds us of their less-famous side as humans.
Sports photography is one of the most challenging genres of the medium. Not only do you have to constantly find fresh angles on subjects that look the same year after year, you’re also placed in difficult environments and, sometimes, right in front of the action literally hurling at you at some 90 mph. This feature shows us what few already know — the long and grueling hours of the job — but also include snaps that don’t normally make the cut.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.