The World We Live In VIII: Contest Results!

Thank you to all the participants of this special eighth edition of our The World We Live In photo contest, in collaboration with Simons. We loved seeing your photographic exploration of the theme Celebrate Life.

“Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”—Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy

Whether it’s the people we meet, the exceptional beauty of nature and wildlife, or a simple moment of connection to our surroundings, there are unlimited things to appreciate about life as it unfolds around us.

These twelve images selected by our jury each express a unique idea about celebrating life. The images will be exhibited in Simons stores across Canada in June and July and available as prints in Simons’ Fabrique 1840!


Two of a Kind © Myriam Farah Cobb, Ottawa, Ont. / 1st Place, TWWLI VIII

1st Place
Two of a Kind
Myriam Farah Cobb, Ottawa, Ont.

“There is so much beauty in the shared connections we build and in the memories we create. This simple, spontaneous moment between a grandfather and his grandson reminds us of what’s most important in life: love.”

Myriam Farah Cobb has always been fascinated by stories. When she became a mother, she had the desire to document her children’s lives authentically. Her passion for photography grew out of her need to observe and remember the beauty in everyday moments.


Desert Captive © Paul Zizka, Banff, Alta./ 2nd Place, TWWLI VIII

2nd Place
Desert Captive
Paul Zizka, Banff, Alta.

“My goal is for people to want to experience the night sky for themselves—to bring them back to nature in general, to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors and see what wilderness can do for them. If I can play a part in making that happen, then it’s very rewarding for me.”

From the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the iceberg-laden seas off the coast of Greenland, Paul Zizka’s journey to capture the under-documented is a testament to his passion for exploration, creative vision and fierce sense of determination. These qualities combined with his keen eye for unique compositions have resulted in an exhaustive portfolio of cutting-edge images.


Trolley Stop © Brian Hunt, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. / 3rd Place, TWWLI VIII

3rd Place
Trolley Stop
Brian Hunt, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

“The powerful, passionate embrace of this young couple in the streets of Porto, was genuine, honest and real. There is nothing that makes us more human than our connections to each other. These moments make us feel alive, and maybe a bit younger, if even for just that moment.”

Over the last decade or so, photography has inspired Brian Hunt to begin a new journey of expression. As the clock ticks on, he feels compelled to leave behind some marker that says “I was here.” Brian hopes to build a body of relevant work that can be that legacy.


Searching for Carl © Mike Kukucska, Hamilton, Ont. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Searching for Carl
Mike Kukucska, Hamilton, Ont.

“Standing listening to the universe along with these amazing instruments, it’s impossible not to ponder where life came from, where we are, and where we are heading. Named for Carl Sagan, the image title implies not just continuing the search on his behalf but maybe, in some way, searching for him as well. This is a single image that was carefully zoomed out during the long exposure. The main image is composed and focused at 14 mm with careful attention to sharp stars. Then, without touching the focus ring, I zoomed in to 24 mm, set a 2-second timer to reduce shutter shake and very carefully zoomed out to 14 mm in about 5 seconds resulting in 20 seconds of exposure of the final scene…all while not breathing, it turns out.”

Mike Kukucska is a Hamilton photographer with a passion for night photography. By day, he’s president of the entertainment industry fabrication company Hamilton Scenic Specialty Inc. He’s conducted numerous talks and workshops, and his work appears in solo and group shows, magazines, newspapers, book covers, and private and corporate collections.


Soaring! © Sarah Moldenhauer, North Vancouver, B.C. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention / Soaring!
Sarah Moldenhauer, North Vancouver, B.C.

“What more is life than living in the moment? Not looking backward or feeling anxious about the future. If you close your eyes and dial back to when you were seven, climbing on the swing, pumping and pushing as hard as your little arms and legs could go ’til you reached the highest of heights. Feeling the wind rush through your hair, the fading sun warming your back, and the rush of freedom as you flew through the air. The point at the top where the world pauses, the chain slacks, and you’re suspended and weightless for the briefest moment. You could join the birds; you could soar. There wasn’t a worry in your mind, and you were free! There you were—living life, celebrating life!”

Before becoming a photographer, Sarah Moldenhauer wanted to become a doctor and help people. But somewhere along the way, she realized that she could use photography to help people see their beauty and create records of the love and relationships in their lives. She strives to capture and reveal her subjects’ essence and leave them with beautiful, permanent reminders of warm, fleeting moments. She has been a photographer for 10 years now and has loved every minute of it.


My Little Heroes © Myriam Farah Cobb, Ottawa, Ont. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
My Little Heroes
Myriam Farah Cobb, Ottawa, Ont.

“There is so much beauty in the shared connections we build and in the memories we create. Documenting these young brothers’ childhood is, for me, a celebration of life. Always by each other’s side, they explore their surroundings with boundless curiosity and innocence.”

Myriam Farah Cobb has always been fascinated by stories. When she became a mother, she had the desire to document her children’s lives authentically. Her passion for photography grew out of her need to observe and remember the beauty in everyday moments.


Happy Birthday! © Frédérick Brault, Beloeil, Que. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Happy Birthday!
Frédérick Brault, Beloeil, Que.

“Having a good time with your family on your godchild’s birthday is a great way to celebrate life! And what could communicate love better than a big hug?”

A full-time photographer since 2015, Frédérick Brault specials in wedding and event photography. He loves using his camera to play with light and photograph authentic moments. And when these moments include smiles and laughter, he’s the happiest person in the world!


Love in Australia © Mireille Fortier, Orford, Que. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Love in Australia
Mireille Fortier, Orford, Que.

“I feel grateful to share a special moment I captured on a trip to Australia. To me, this photograph reflects many of life’s precious emotions: love, comfort, happiness and wonder. This koala appears to smile in contentment as he cuddles his buddy, and it makes me want to celebrate life!”

Mireille Fortier has always enjoyed taking pictures. She bought her first 35-mm camera when she turned 16 and has been updating her knowledge and equipment ever since. Mireille’s interests are mostly related to travel photography, where she seeks to capture precious moments in images so she can always remember the way they made her feel.


Djasha © Catherine Miron, Mont-Tremblant, Que. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Djasha
Catherine Miron, Mont-Tremblant, Que.

“Celebrating life means dedicating time to the things that are important. It’s focusing on healthy mother-daughter relationships that help build a strong foundation for today and the future. It’s honouring the connection that unites us as we admire the beauty of life and try to work together to make a difference.”

A 2004 graduate of Marsan School of Professional Photography, Catherine Miron is a polyvalent, travel-loving photographer. Though she is experienced in all types of photography, she has chosen to specialize in portraits because she’s passionate about humanity. She is based in the Laurentians where she will soon open her own studio.


Twinkle © Sarah Moldenhauer, North Vancouver, B.C. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Twinkle
Sarah Moldenhauer, North Vancouver, B.C.

“We’ve all heard the old saying “Dance like no one is watching,” and though it may be a bit cliché, it also has a core truth. Stop caring about what others may think, and live your best life. Life exists in these in-between moments. Feel the music in your soul, and let go! Celebrate yourself and your life!”

Before becoming a photographer, Sarah Moldenhauer wanted to become a doctor and help people. But somewhere along the way, she realized that she could use photography to help people see their beauty and create records of the love and relationships in their lives. She strives to capture and reveal her subjects’ essence and leave them with beautiful, permanent reminders of warm, fleeting moments. She has been a photographer for 10 years now and has loved every minute of it.


Twilight Cliff Jumper © Gerhard Kaiser, Windsor, Ont. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Twilight Cliff Jumper
Gerhard Kaiser, Windsor, Ont.

“Years ago when in my early 20s, we would drive up to Bruce Peninsula National Park and celebrate life in the time-honoured tradition of jumping off the cliffs of the Niagara escarpment into the icy waters below. On a camping trip last summer, I came upon three young guys who, in the fading light after sunset, were committing to ‘just one more jump’ into Georgian Bay. To me, this was a real testament to the wonder, excitement, beauty and celebration of life on this amazing planet.”

Gerhard Kaiser is an urban/nature photographer whose work has been published in Ontario Nature’s Seasons, Harrowsmith, Ontario Parks, The Nature of Things, The Globe and Mail, Sky News, Mountain Life and Lake Superior Magazine. Gerhard has exhibited at the Windsor Printmakers Forum, Artspeak Gallery, and the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto.


Tree of Life © Anil Sud, Winnipeg, Man. / Honourable Mention, TWWLI VIII

Honourable Mention
Tree of Life
Anil Sud, Winnipeg, Man.

“I was struck by the incredible beauty of the solitary silhouetted tree that was nevertheless in harmony with its environment. The glow of the warming sun emanating from behind created a beautiful moment to witness, which heightened my senses and made me feel so joyful to be alive.”

What started as an infatuation with light in Anil Sud’s early teens has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. The beauty found in the simplest things continues to captivate Anil to this day. It fuels his desire to explore the world and celebrate all the wonders it has to offer.