5 Blocks from Home – Contest Results!

First Place: Tommi

Here are the results!

(For those of you who aren’t familiar – this is the result of a contest run with my mailing list to send photos taken within 5 blocks of your home).

I found it pretty exciting that nearly 100 sent in submissions. I’m going to include the three winners and three honorable mentions below with little writeups. And I’ll also share some other photos that really stood out for me.

Please take my choices with a grain of salt. I learned that I really enjoy putting on a contest but I hate choosing winners. This is all based on my personal preferences and how I was feeling that day choosing through a lot of interesting work.

There was a lot of fascinating photography and image groups that just because I’m not posting them here, doesn’t mean I didn’t love them. I had a brutal time cutting out photos to show since I can only share so many and wanted to keep my choices to a tighter edit.

There were suburban, rural, and city photographs. Image sets entirely in people’s homes, or of all backgrounds, or of all people. It was difficult to choose a representation from all of this.


I don’t know why, but I kept coming back to Tommi’s five photographs. That’s the beauty of photography I guess.

I found them intimate, unique, weird, and consistent (although I would have liked the 4th image to be in B&W to fit the set). I feel like I get a small sense of Tommi’s world and personality through these.

And even moreso during this lockdown, I related to this project even more. The way household objects gain this permanence that you can’t seem to escape.

There was not a weak image in this set. There were other entries with very strong sets of images that were similar to what Tommi did here, but this stuck out the most.

Vin (2nd Place)

For the 2nd and 3rd place and the three honorable mentions, I had such a hard time choosing between them. I felt they all had unique strengths and also weaknesses.

In the end, I organized them by who had the strongest top images. The first image from Vin was my favorite of the entire contest and I absolutely loved the second image as well. The other three photos I thought were all pretty good, but I would have loved to see a few detail or environmental shots, perhaps without people to round out the set. But in the end, the top two photos carried this grouping.

I didn’t set out to have the top two sets of images taken completely within the home. I actually thought it would probably be the opposite, but that’s the beauty of this. I’m happily surprised it ended up this way.

Regina (3rd Place)

I thought that the first two photographs carried Regina’s project and I’m enamored with the first one. I liked the third and fourth and I thought the final image could have been better.

I chose Regina’s series here because it made me want to see more. More houses, more quirks of the neighborhood, some people whether portrait or candid. There’s a point of view here that I would love to see explored.

Regina wrote:

“It was cool and inspiring taking photos 5 blocks from home. I’m sending these 5 pictures but I feel like I’m going to keep doing it, extending it a little bit over 5 blocks and creating new series.

I love photography but for the last few months (in fact, since February) I found myself in a creative rut and couldn’t get out of it, this project has helped me to break out of it and find joy in shooting again.

I live in a lake community in a small town in CT. I walk regularly around here but taking pictures for this contest made me more aware of my neighborhood.

So interesting to notice how people express themselves through their front house/yard.

The pride to hang the American flag, or the flag colors so everybody can see it, the signs, the words they hang, or post in front of their homes. It’s not like that at all in the country I am from. To me this is so interesting and shows so much about American culture.”

(I hope you do continue with this Regina.)

Honorable Mention: Andrea

Here I felt that Andrea’s images were varied, interesting, well-composed, and most importantly they had this consistent and wonderful dark mood to them.

An interesting thought – I think the third photograph with the biker would have been better without the biker in it. The scene is so striking on its own that I’m wondering whether or not he takes away from it.

Honorable Mention: Natalia

Natalia had the most beautiful of all the projects. The first four images have such a special quality to them and the photographs all fit so well together.

In the end, I could have used for a little more variety or points of view of the area and the last photo didn’t stand out as much, but I absoluted loved these photographs.

Honorable Mention: Emily

I thought Emily’s photographs here were all consistent and strong. I might have prefered to see a couple photographs in the set without people, and this just screamed to me to be shown in color, but besides that I really enjoyed it.

I’d like to see what she’d be able to do with more time.   

Keeping it Going – Help Me Out With A Survey


Survey link.

For those of you who told me that the contest inspired you and opened up a new way of shooting, I’m so happy for that – it was the point all along. I hope you all keep it going.

These emails made me start to play around with the idea of creating a community website / online photo club around a much looser idea of this method of shooting – a way to inspire each other and to keep it all going.

Right now, it’s just a bit of a pipe dream, but if enough people are interested, it’s something that I’d really want to create.

I’d’ love it if you could fill out this short survey to let me know your thoughts – it will give you a lot of information about my daydreams for what this thing might look like as well.

You can fill out the quick survey here.

Contest Favorites

You can fill out the survey here. 


5 thoughts on “5 Blocks from Home – Contest Results!”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Download The New York Photographer's Travel Guide

The New York Photographer's Travel Guide

Sign up and you will also receive the twice-a-month Glass City Photo Column, which includes:

  • Commentary on Photography, Creativity, and Urbanism
  • Photographer and History Features
  • Photo Book and Project Write-ups
  • Fun photo insights and inspirations