Winners announced in the Luminar Bug Photography Awards 2020

Wednesday 21st October 2020

The winners have been announced in the Luminar Bug Photography Awards 2020, in association with Europe’s leading invertebrate charity, Buglife.

[For a quick overview of the winning images: Bug Awards Winners, to see all the winning images, runners up and shortlisted images, visit the Luminar Bug Photography Awards website.]

Over 5,000 images were submitted from around the globe, competing for a total prize pool of £23,000.

The judging panel contained well-known figures including Buglife President, Germaine Greer; TV presenter and naturalist Nick Baker; and ground-breaking invertebrates photographer Levon Biss.

The grand prize winner, and ‘Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year 2020’ is Mofeed Abu Shalwa, a Saudi Arabian photographer who incredibly started photographing invertebrates as way of overcoming his childhood phobia of insects. He has clearly since gone on to conquer that fear, and alongside his title wins £2,500 in cash, and additional prizes worth £2,000.

Jamie Spensley from Solihull in the UK has been crowned ‘Luminar Young Bug Photographer of the Year 2020’. Jamie is 17 years of age, and in his second year at college studying Creative Media. He won with a technically brilliant shot of a carder bee, and takes home over £1,200 worth of prizes.

The annual awards were launched this year as a way of simultaneously celebrating invertebrates photography, and raising awareness of the plight of so many invertebrates species, which have seen large declines in their populations. The awards have also raised valuable funds for the conservation efforts of Buglife.

© Mofeed Abu Shalwa
‘Red palm weevil’ by Mofeed Abu Shalwa, who has been crowned Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year 2020.


Mike Betts, CEO of Photocrowd “These awards showcase the incredible variety and complexity of the world of invertebrates, and give those who photograph them an opportunity to have their talent recognised. Our planet is facing an array of environmental and ecological challenges, and few more pressing than the huge recent declines in many invertebrate populations. We’re proud to be able to support Buglife’s crucial conservation efforts, and to use these awards as a means to carry their message about the plight of invertebrates.”

© Jamie Spensley
A carder bee, shot by Jamie Spensley, the Luminar Young Bug Photographer of the Year 2020. The shot is composed of 41 separate images, called a ‘focus-stack’ to counter the shallow depth of field that extreme macro photographs suffer from.


Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO “A huge congratulations to all the participants and winners. It is often said we only save the things we know and love. Sadly this seldom applies to the bugs without whom life as we know it would come to an end. These awards will hopefully bring people closer to the beauty and value of our multi-legged friends. A big thank you to Luminar and Photocrowd for making this happen.”

© Peter Orr
The winning image in the ‘Flies, Bees, Wasps and Dragonflies’ category shows three mayfly on crested dogstail, and was shot on the River Kennet near Kintbury, in the UK.

Alex Tsepko, Skylum CEO: “We’re pleased to be the title sponsor for the first-ever Bug Photography Awards, alongside the renowned conservationists at Buglife,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Skylum. “By showcasing both the beauty and plight of invertebrates through the magic of photography, we want to call attention and help raise funds for this important effort.”