Outstanding agency photographers of 2023 | News photography

Outstanding agency photographers of 2023 | News photography

Every year, the Guardian picture desk choses its favourite images from the millions of images it receives from the international agencies. This year the format focuses on highlighting the work of a group of photographers equally, rather than selecting an overall winner.

The following agency photographers’ outstanding work – from reactive and spot news work to features and stories – has been an invaluable support to our journalism in 2023.

Police use a water cannon on protesters blocking a road that leads to the Prime Minister’s office at a demonstration following a parliament vote on a contested bill that limits Supreme Court powers to void some government decisions, in Jerusalem July 24

Ronen Zvulun

  • Police use water cannon on protesters after a parliamentary vote on a bill limiting supreme court powers over government decisions, Jerusalem, 24 July

Jerusalem-based Ronen Zvulun works for Reuters and covered a range of themes including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, security, religion, politics and diplomacy in 2023.

Israeli soldiers carry the body of a victim of an attack by militants from Gaza at Kfar Aza kibbutz in southern Israel, 10 October
Toys lie on a bunk bed with blood stains after the 7 October attack by gunmen from Palestinian militant group Hamas from the Gaza Strip, in Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel, 21 November
Israeli soldiers at the entrance of a tunnel at Al Shifa hospital compound in Gaza City, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, 22 November. This set of images was reviewed by the IDF as part of conditions of the embed, no photos were removed

  • Toys lie on a bunk bed with bloodstains following the 7 October attack by gunmen from the militant group Hamas, in Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel, 21 November. Right: Israeli soldiers at the entrance of a tunnel at Al Shifa hospital compound in Gaza City, 22 November. This set of images was reviewed by the IDF as part of conditions of the embed, no photos were removed

A helicopter carrying hostages released as part of a deal between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas arrives at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, 24 November

  • A helicopter carrying hostages released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas arrives at Schneider children’s medical centre in Petah Tikva, Israel, 24 November

Fire and smoke rise after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, 8 October

Fatima Shbair

  • Fire and smoke rise after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, 8 October, after the multifront attack by Hamas on Israel the previous day

Associated Press staff photojournalist Fatima Shbair is based in Gaza and has been covering the rising tension in the region and the ensuing war since the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October.

A Palestinian woman wounded in an Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip arrives at a hospital in Khan Younis, 3 November
Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in the hospital in Khan Younis, 11 November
Palestinians wounded in Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to a hospital in Khan Younis, 15 November.

  • Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in a hospital in Khan Younis, 11 November

Beekeepers in Rafah lift honeycombs from a beehive after using smoke to calm the bees, during the honey harvest along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, 27 April

  • Beekeepers in Rafah lift honeycombs from a beehive after using smoke to calm the bees, during the honey harvest along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, 27 April

A Palestinian boy carrying a baby stands at a site of an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas, 4 December

Mohammed Salem

  • A Palestinian boy carrying a baby stands at the site of an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, 4 December

Mohammed Salem is a Palestinian photojournalist for Reuters from Gaza City, based in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian man carries a child casualty at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinian girl boxers trade jabs and punches during training at the first women’s boxing centre in Gaza City, 17 January
Mustafa Abdou repairs fans in his shop amid a heatwave at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, 25 July

  • Palestinian girls training at the first women’s boxing centre in Gaza City, 17 January. Right: Mustafa Abdou repairs fans in his shop amid a heatwave at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, 25 July

Friends and family take cover as rocket sirens sound during the funeral of Sagiv Ben Zvi, 24, killed after the attack by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip as he attended the Nova festival in southern Israel, in Holon, Israel, 26 October

Evelyn Hockstein

  • Friends and family take cover as rocket sirens sound during the funeral of Sagiv Ben Zvi, 24, killed after the attack by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip as he attended the Nova festival in southern Israel, in Holon, Israel, 26 October

Evelyn Hockstein is a senior staff photographer at Reuters based in Washington. She has covered the increasingly divisive issue of abortion in the US post-Dobbs in addition to international stories.

Hadas Kalderon – whose children Erez and Sahar and their father, Ofir, were kidnapped, while her mother and niece were killed, during the attack by Hamas gunmen on Nir Oz kibbutz – cries in the burned-out remains of her mother’s home, 30 October

  • Hadas Kalderon, whose children Erez and Sahar, and their father, Ofir, were kidnapped, and her mother and niece killed, in the attack by Hamas gunmen on Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel, cries in the burned-out remains of her mother’s home, 30 October

Anti-abortion demonstrators and counterprotesters listen as Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence addresses the National Celebrate Life Day rally on the first anniversary of the supreme court ruling in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Washington, 24 June
US president Joe Biden reacts as South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, sings at an official state dinner given during the president’s state visit, at the White House in Washington, 26 April.

  • Anti-abortion demonstrators and counterprotesters listen as Mike Pence addresses the National Celebrate Life Day rally on the first anniversary of the supreme court ruling in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization case, overturning the Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Washington, 24 June. Right: US president Joe Biden reacts as South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, sings at an official state dinner at the White House, 26 April

Floodwaters inundate farmland in the re-emerging Tulare Lake, near Corcoran in California’s Central Valley, on 26 April

Mario Tama

  • Floodwaters inundate farmland in the re-emerging Tulare Lake, near Corcoran in California’s Central Valley, 26 April

Mario Tama is a Getty Images staff photographer based in Los Angeles, California, who covered a number of powerful environmental stories in the region.

A pool at the edge of a hillside landslide, which caused four ocean view apartment buildings to be evacuated and shuttered, 16 March in San Clemente, California, after weeks of rains loosened the soil in Orange County which tumbled down near railway tracks that run next to the beach below

  • A pool at the edge of a hillside landslide, which caused four ocean view apartment buildings to be evacuated and shuttered, on 16 March in San Clemente, California, after weeks of rains loosened the soil in Orange County, which tumbled down near railway tracks running next to the beach below

Asylum-seeking migrants stand handcuffed together before being transported to a US Border Patrol processing centre on 29 November in Jacumba Hot Springs, California. The remote community, with a population of 600, has seen a recent influx of hundreds of asylum seeking migrants arriving daily and sheltering in makeshift camps in the desert cold
Asylum-seeking migrants try to keep warm at a makeshift camp before sunrise as they await processing by the US Border Patrol on 1 December in Jacumba Hot Springs

  • Asylum-seeking migrants stand handcuffed together before being transported to a US Border Patrol processing centre, on 29 November. Right: migrants try to keep warm at a makeshift camp before sunrise as they await processing on 1 December, in Jacumba Hot Springs, California. The remote community with a population of 600 has recently seen hundreds of asylum seekers arriving daily and sheltering in makeshift camps in the desert cold

Equipment is carried away from the Hollywood sign on the 100th anniversary of it first being illuminated, 8 December in Los Angeles, California

  • Equipment is carried away from the Hollywood sign on the 100th anniversary of its first illumination, on 8 December in Los Angeles, California

People look at a collapsed bridge on the Dashihe River after heavy rains in the Fangshan district in Beijing on 1 August

Pedro Pardo

Pedro Pardo is an Agence France-Presse staff photographer for China and Mongolia, covering the region as well as his home country, Mexico, in 2023.

People watch the children’s race during the first day of activities of the ultra-marathon Caballo Blanco (White Horse) in Urique, Chihuahua state, Mexico, 4 March.

  • People watch the children’s race during the first day of activities of the Caballo Blanco (White Horse) ultra-marathon in Urique, Chihuahua state, Mexico, 4 March

A student practices contortionism at the Flower Studio in Ulaanbaatar, September
Astronauts Jiang Xinlin, Tang Shengjie and Tang Hongbo wave before boarding the Shenzhou-17 spacecraft at the Jiuquan satellite launch centre in the Gobi desert, north-west China, 26 October

  • A student practises contortionism at the Flower Studio in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 5 September. Astronauts Jiang Xinlin, Tang Shengjie and Tang Hongbo wave before boarding the Shenzhou-17 spacecraft at the Jiuquan satellite launch centre in the Gobi desert, north-west China, 26 October

A woman enters the sea from a beach where wildfires destroyed the woods, at Glystra near the village of Gennadi in the southern part of the Greek island of Rhodes, 27 July

Angelos Tzortzinis

  • A woman enters the sea from a beach where wildfires destroyed the woods, at Glystra near the village of Gennadi in the south of the Greek island of Rhodes, 27 July

Angelos Tzortzinis is a Greek documentary photographer based in Athens and a regular contributor to Agence France-Presse.

A firefighter sprays water on flames during a wildfire in Chasia in the outskirts of Athens, 22 August.
A man carries a girl and a dog in the flooded village of Palamas near the city of Karditsa, central Greece, 8 September after deadly storms in which more than a year’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours
Volunteers rescue local people in the flooded village of Palamas near the city of Karditsa, central Greece, on 8 September

  • Volunteers rescue local people in the flooded village of Palamas near the city of Karditsa, central Greece, 8 September

England’s Alessia Russo celebrates scoring their second goal of the game during the Fifa Women’s World Cup quarter-final at Stadium Australia, Sydney, 12 August

Isabel Infantes

Isabel Infantes is a freelance press photographer working for PA Media, Reuters, AFP and Getty images, based between Madrid and London.

Classical pianist Violette Prevost performs on a floating platform at the Pradolongo lake, before the start of summer, in the working-class neighbourhood of Usera, Madrid, 18 June

  • Classical pianist Violette Prevost performs on a floating platform at the Pradolongo lake, ahead of the start of summer, in the working-class neighbourhood of Usera, Madrid, 18 June

A model presents a creation by the British designer Richard Quinn during his Autumn/Winter 2023 show at London fashion week, 18 February
Members of the security forces continue to search for identification and personal effects at the Supernova music festival site where hundreds were killed and dozens taken by Hamas militants near the border with Gaza on 12 October in Re’im kibbutz, Israel

Leon Neal

Leon Neal is a staff editorial photographer with Getty Images, covering news and features in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

England fans react as they watch the Fifa Women’s World Cup semi-final match against Australia at Boxpark Wembley, 16 August
Crowds watch illuminated drones creating a light display above Windsor Castle during the coronation concert, 7 May
Festivalgoers pass through gates after the 8am public opening of the campsites on day one of the Glastonbury festival, 21 June
Protestors march against antisemitism in London, 26 November. The war between Israel and Hamas has sparked a wave of protests across Europe and heightened concerns over antisemitism among Jewish communities

Alishia Abodunde

Alishia Abodunde is a freelance photographer in London who produced fine work for Reuters and Getty Images in 2023. We published her feature on Pointe Black ballet school.

Ruth Essel, 30, founder of Pointe Black ballet School, poses for a picture with her students Maya, Kalani, Dior and Kioni, as they gather to watch The Wiz at Essel’s flat in south London, 29 May

  • Ruth Essel, 30, the founder of Pointe Black ballet school, with her students Maya, Kalani, Dior and Kioni as they gather to watch The Wiz at Essel’s flat in south London, 29 May

Graffiti is painted near the US embassy, before the protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas
Protestors march in solidarity with Palestine, demanding a ceasefire amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in London, 25 November

  • Graffiti is sprayed near the US embassy in London before a protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, 11 November. Right: protesters in London march demanding a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, 25 November

People shelter inside a subway station during an air raid alert amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, 29 May

Alina Smutko

Ukrainian photographer Alina Smutko is a Reuters staffer based in Kyiv. She covers the war and social issues in Ukraine and travels internationally for sports.

Volunteers evacuate residents from a flooded area after the Nova Kakhovka dam breached, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kherson, 8 June

  • Volunteers evacuate residents from a flooded area after the Nova Kakhovka dam was breached, in Kherson, 8 June

Medics of the 5th Separate Assault Brigade help injured Ukrainian serviceman Mykhailo, 42, inside a medical stabilisation point, near the frontline in the Donetsk region, 9 November
Nataliia, 43, and Krystyna, 22, replace a train battery at a mine in Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, 17 November

  • Medics of the 5th separate assault brigade help injured Ukrainian serviceman Mykhailo, 42, at a medical stabilisation point near the frontline in the Donetsk region, 9 November. Right; Nataliia, 43 and Krystyna, 22, replace a train battery at a mine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, 17 November

Dance Centre Kenya students wait to take the stage during the production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, a ballet traditionally performed in the Christmas period, at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi on 26 November

Luis Tato

Luis Tato is a Spanish photojournalist for Agence France-Presse, based in Nairobi, Kenya. We published his photo story on the Nutcracker ballet production.

Technicians from CP Solar work on the maintenance of solar panels at a partially solar-powered factory in the industrial area of Nairobi, 9 October. Renewable energy sources generate over 80% of Kenya’s electricity but despite the tremendous potential of the country’s daily insolation, only 1% of the country’s energy mix has been tapped
A model is helped by assistants to get a design ready at the backstage of the main show of the Kibera Fashion Week, 15 October
Members of Dance Centre Kenya during a break in the production of the Nutcracker at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi, 2 December

  • A model is helped by assistants to get a design ready backstage at the the main show of Kibera fashion week, 15 October. Right: members of Dance Centre Kenya during a break in the production of the Nutcracker at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi, 2 December

A tourist taking a selfie on the Mai Khao beach as a plane lands at Phuket international airport in the southern Thai island of Phuket. Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are throwing up new airports and terminals, and a new airline is set to launch next year all banking on an expected boom in air travel in south-east Asia, fuelled by Chinese and Indian tourists

Lillian Suwanrumpha

Lillian Suwanrumpha is a Thai-American photographer based in Bangkok, working for Agence France-Presse.

Aston Martin’s Canadian driver Lance Stroll jumps out of his car after crashing during the qualifying session of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix night race at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore, 16 September
A Thai national hugs family members after arriving on a flight from Israel at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, 12 October, as Thais working in Israel returned to the kingdom after a surprise attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas
Members of the Thai Wild Boars youth football team gather inside the Tham Luang cave in the Mae Sai district in the northern province of Chiang Rai, 10 July, to mark the five-year anniversary of their rescue from inside the flooded cave

  • A Thai national hugs family members after arriving on a flight from Israel at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, 12 October, as Thais working in Israel returned to the kingdom after the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas. Right; Members of the Thai Wild Boars youth football team gather inside the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on 10 July to mark the ffth anniversary of their rescue from the flooded cave

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