Celebrating National Geographic Top Portraits of 2018

My dream was always to become a photographer for National Geographic magazine and although my path has shifted and I have found my love and niche, I still have a great appreciation for portraits of real people with real struggles and beautiful stories.

Herewith some of my favourite portraits voted the best photography of 2018 by National Geographic magazine:

Marcia (left) and Millie Biggs, both 11. by ROBIN HAMMOND

Marcia (left) and Millie Biggs, both 11. by ROBIN HAMMOND

These Twins will make you Rethink Race’ is a story about twins Marcia and Millie, that share the same parents but not the same skin colour. Written by Patricia Edmonds and photographed by Robin Hammond, it is part of The Race Issue in April 2018, a special issue that explores how race defines, separate and unites us.

The fraternal twins were worn in 2006 and although they have similar features, their colour schemes are very different. Marcia looks more like her english born mother Amanda and Millie with her darker complexion, takes after her father Micheal, of Jamaican descent.

In the Wakhan corridor, Sidol (left), Jumagul (center), and Assan Khan (right) return on their yaks. by MATTHIEU PALEY

In the Wakhan corridor, Sidol (left), Jumagul (center), and Assan Khan (right) return on their yaks. by MATTHIEU PALEY

A Historic Journey Proceeds Across the Roof pf the World” appeared in the September 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine. The story by Paul Salopek and photographs by Matthieu Paley.

Salopek has been basically walking across the world for the last five year as part of a project called the Out of Eden Walk. He explains it as a storytelling pilgrimage along the pathways of the first ancestors. This part of the story is him exploring Afghanistans' peaceful villages ad the Wakhan corridor, one of the remotest inhabited landscaped on earth.

The Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. by MARTIN SCHOELLER

The Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. by MARTIN SCHOELLER

They saw Earth from Space. Here’s how it changed them.” A Story of Italian astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti by Nadia Drake and photographs by Martin Schoeller. It appeared in the March 2018 issue.

In 2015 Cristoforetti spent 199 days on the International Space Station which at that time was the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a woman and was only topped in 2017 by Peggy Whitson. She said that the more time she spent orbiting the earth, the more her perception about time and humanity evolved.

“You’ve got this planet beneath you, and a lot of what you see, especially during the day, does not necessarily point to a human presence. If you look at it on a geologic timescale, it’s almost like we are this flimsy presence, and we really have to stick together as a human family to make sure we are a permanent presence on this planet and not just this blink of an eye.”

Masoumeh Ahmadi, 14, holds her mother’s shotgun. by NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN   In Khuzestan Province, a woman receives a firearms after she marries. This only after the husband and father has approved.

Masoumeh Ahmadi, 14, holds her mother’s shotgun. by NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN

In Khuzestan Province, a woman receives a firearms after she marries. This only after the husband and father has approved.

Why Iran’s nomads are fading away.”, a story by Thomas Erdbrink and photographs by Newsha Tavakolian appeared in the October 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine. It explores the reality of modern life luring younger generations to cities, leaving some behind to struggle with drought and dust storms.

Although there are millions of nomads resisting modernity, mainly because of isolation and deep tradition, a combination of persistent drought and dust storms and the modern world closer and closer, are making this harder and harder.

Kamilah Munirah Bolling and Adil Justin Cole stand outside their home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. by WAYNE LAWRENCE

Kamilah Munirah Bolling and Adil Justin Cole stand outside their home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. by WAYNE LAWRENCE

How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, are Thriving in America’ a story by Leila Fadel and photographs by Lynsey Addario. It appeared in the May 2018 issue and formed part of a National Geographic series, Diversity in America. The series covered racial, ethical and religious groups and explored the way their roles are changing in a 21st- century life.

“Today an estimated 3.45 million Muslims in America are living in a climate of hostility, their faith distorted by violent extremists on one end and an anti-Muslim movement on the other. The rise in animosity was stoked by fiery anti-Muslim rhetoric from conservative commentators and politicians, including the president. Trump repeatedly has described Islam as a threat, retweeting anti-Muslim videos from a British hate group and keeping his distance from the religion, like when he decided the White House, for the first time in more than two decades, would not host a dinner to mark Ramadan.”

Irene Sonia poses in front of a milaya, or bedsheet—one of the few things her mother managed to bring when they fled South Sudan for Uganda. by NORA LOREK

Irene Sonia poses in front of a milaya, or bedsheet—one of the few things her mother managed to bring when they fled South Sudan for Uganda. by NORA LOREK