Winners announced in the Buglife Bug Photography Awards 2021

Thursday 25th November 2021

The winners have been announced in the Buglife Bug Photography Awards 2021.

Over 4,500 images were submitted from around the globe, competing for a total prize pool of £21,000.

The judging panel contained well-known figures including TV presenters Gillian Burke and Nick Baker; Buglife Emeritus President Germaine Greer, and some of the world’s most renowned invertebrate photographers and entomologists.

The grand prize winner, and ‘Buglife Bug Photographer of the Year 2021’ is Steve James, a Northampton, UK-based photographer who has had a lifelong passion for macro wildlife photography. During lockdown he was amazed to see how insect life quickly thrived in the grass verges that went unmowed, and he hopes that his bug photography will help create a greater appreciation of, and sympathy for, invertebrates. Alongside his title he wins a cash prize of £2,500.

Alexis Tinker-Tsavalas from Berlin, Germany, has been crowned ‘Buglife Young Bug Photographer of the Year 2021’. Alexis is 14 years old and got his first camera in 2017, although the first lockdown in 2020 was when he got more seriously into macro photography. He won with a stunning picture of a Masked bee, displaying great technical and aesthetic skills. He wins over £1250 worth of prizes.

The annual awards are in their second year, and celebrate invertebrate photography around the world, whilst raising awareness of the plight of invertebrates, which have seen large declines in the populations of so many species. The awards also raise awareness of Buglife, Europe’s largest conservation charity devoted to all invertebrates, and the vital work that they do.

To see all the winning images, runners up and shortlisted images, visit the Buglife Bug Photography Awards 2021 website.

© Benjamin Salb
“Luna Moth portrait”
2nd place in the ‘Butterflies and Moths’ category
This luna moth was reared as a cocoon by the photographer. After emerging, the photographer took this image, and then released the moth into the wild.


Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO “The standard of photos this year has been amazing; they showcase the fantastic little animals with which we share the planet. Congratulations to all the winning photographers whose images will now become worldwide icons representing the beauty of life on earth.”

 Mike Betts, Photocrowd CEO “The quality of the work submitted to this second year of the Bug Photography Awards has taken our breath away. These creatures are truly remarkable, and these awards should help us to better appreciate them, and to do everything we can to support conservation efforts.”