Arts, Food & Free Time

“Transylvanian Shepherds”: István Kerekes wins 2021 iPhone Photography Awards

Out of thousands of submissions of photographers from all over the world Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș born Hungarian photographer István Kerekes, who lives in Hungary since 2007, won the Grand Prize and the Photographer of the Year title at the 2021 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA) competition with his photo titled “Transylvanian Shepherds” – ippawards.com informs.

“Transylvanian Shepherds” (Photo: István Kerekes)

István Kerekes took his winning photo, with an iPhone 7 in Transylvania, near Marosvásárhely. The somber colored pic shows two rugged shepherds walking through a desolate industrial landscape, each carrying a lamb.

“The grit of the men and the bleakness of their environment are a moving contrast to the hope and innocence of the lambs in their care.”

– the site notes.

IPPA has annually celebrated the creativity of photographers who use an iPhone to capture images since 2007 and awards prizes to the best photos chosen by a jury in more than fifteen categories.

PE teacher and photographer

István Kerekes was born in 1977 in Marosvásárhely then graduated at the Babeş–Bolyai University of Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca in the faculty of physical education. He is a self-taught photographer who first hold a camera in his hand only at age of 19. He moved to Hungary in 2007 and now lives in Mosonmagyaróvár with his family where he works as a PE teacher.

But beside of his daily job, he has won more than 2000 prizes and awards as a freelancer photographer in international and national photo competitions. In 2018 even the President of Hungary honored him with the Hungarian Gold Cross Order of Merit for his photographic achievement.


“Yelena” has won more than 500 awards in more than 50 countries on 6 continents. (Photo: István Kerekes)

His most famous work is a portrait entitled “Yelena” – shot in 2009 in Máramaros/Maramureș – which has set an absolute unique record result having won over 500 awards in more than 50 countries on 6 continents.

“Because I was born in Transylvania and my main topics are social photography and portrays, most of my photos I take there. So, if I would have to answer using the fancy word of “project”, my whole photographer life is a big project with the following title: Transylvania and Máramaros.”

– summed up István Kerekes his photography in a last year’s interview.

István Kerekes front of his most famous portrait, “Yelena”.


Title image: “Transylvanian Shepherds” by István Kerekes.



Author: Attila Szoó