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MAXQDA Photo Contest 2019 Winners and Honorable Mentions

Do you have exciting pictures from the field, lab, or office that you’d like to share with the world? At VERBI Software, we are convinced that behind every MAXQDA project there is a story worth sharing. #PictureYourResearch – Share your unique perspective with the global MAXQDA community! Submit a photo from your research project for your chance to win by September 22nd, 2020 here:

MAXQDA Photo Contest

MAXQDA Photocontest Winners 2019

“Nowadays, people are often busy and they probably have no time to look around and see what surrounds them. With my photo I want to show people how harmoniously and surprisingly our beautiful, bewitching world was created!” Medina Karamurzina, a participant from Qostanai, Kasachstan

This year marked the fourth anniversary of the MAXQDA Photo Contest. The #PictureYourResearch submissions were once again beautiful, innovative, and touching. The diversity and creativity of the amazing projects being conducted by the MAXQDA community continue to give us new insights into how MAXQDA is being used by talented researchers all over the world.

That’s why, before we announce our top 5 winners and 7 honorable mentions, we would like to take a moment to thank each and every photographer for their participation. Thank you for being a part of our community and sharing your research projects with us! We are already looking forward to next year’s submissions.

Top 5 #PictureYourResearch Submissions of 2019:

“The Pet Sparrow” by Ahad Bootwala

The Pet Sparrow

What’s in the picture: This picture depicts a participant in Bootwala’s research project that was conducted in Uttar Pradesh, India. Bootwala’s team was conducting in-depth interviews with household members on their knowledge and perceptions on the importance of maternal nutrition during and after pregnancy. One woman’s husband told the researchers about how he had been taking care of his new pet sparrow: “I’ve been raising this sparrow for 2-3 days now. One day it sat on my hand and I started feeding it, and it’s stayed ever since. If you treat animals with love, they will stay. If you hit them, they will be unhappy and leave”. 

What we love about it: Portrait photography is no easy thing. Capturing a moment so that it seems both genuine and beautiful requires technical skill and understanding of the subject. In our opinion, Bootwala mastered all of these attributes in his #MAXQDAPhotoContest submission. He was able to channel this man’s emotions and character and create a beautiful work of art. Thank you for sharing your artwork with us, Ahad and we can’t wait for you to be able to display it with your large-scale print! 

“Hustle For Survival” by Olabode Ekerin

Hustle For Survival

What’s in the picture: This picture captures men at work in Ijede, a village in Lagos, Nigeria. In his research, Olabode explored jobs taken up by people in this region. It was gathered that men mostly take up jobs as local mechanics and bricklayers, while women often take up tailoring and petty trading.

What we love about it: We love how this picture gives us insights into the everyday lives of the Ekerin’s research partners. The vivid colors and the creative angle of the photo make the contrasts within the image stand out in this beautiful image. Did you notice how the bright clothing and old bricks of the pavement stand out against the dry ground and vibrant blue sky? Congratulations Olabode Ekerin and thank you for submitting your photo!

Where you can find out more: You can keep up-to-date with Olabode and his projects by following his social media profiles here: Twitter: @bodeekerin, Instagram: @bodeekerin or Facebook: Olabode Oluwatobi Ekerin.

“Stop Illegal Fishing Project” by Rahim Abas Kiobya

Stop Illegal Fishing Project

What’s in the picture: This photo was taken on the Mtera dam in Tanzania, where Kiobya collected his research data. In his project, Kiobya analyses the consequences of the illegal fishing activities in the Mtera dam. For example, some fishermen use dynamite-based fishing practices, which contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. 

What we love about it: Without knowing the backstory, this snapshot of a beautiful green landscape might seem like it was taken as part of a trip to a peaceful and tranquil holiday destination. On the other hand, without the image, the project description brings to mind images of environmental destruction and illicit activities. Combined, this #PictureYourResearch submission’s image and description show how complex real-world issues around environmental conservation can be. This picture reminded us of the importance of conservation and community engagement so that major ecological issues are not missed. Thank you for participating, Rahim and we can’t wait to hear more about your research!

“Archaeological excavations in Tuva” by Anna Klochko

Archaeological excavations in Tuva

What’s in the picture: The picture shows the process of the archaeological excavations in Tuva, Russia. The researchers are working in the famous “Valley of the Kings”. The valley was given that name because it has a high concentration of elite burial sites of ancient nomadic Eurasian tribal rulers. Klochko studies the culture of Tuva from the perspective of visual anthropology and has participated in such expeditions every summer since 2013. 

What we love about it: We know that such expeditions are not easy. Archeology requires researchers to be exact and thorough while working in remote locations and conducting hard physical labor. We admire Klochko’s dedication to her research and appreciate this insight into what it’s really like on a dig. You can see how researchers and volunteers from different parts of the world in the image is completely engaged in their work and the composition of the photograph is extremely well done. Thank you, Anna and we wish you many successful expeditions in the future!

Where you can find out more: You can find out more about Anna and her projects in a video about the project on YouTube!

“Put on my robe…tell the story” by Allison Upshaw

Put on my robe

What’s in the picture: The image depicts Upshaw herself and was taken within her autoethnographic project, where she has used visuals to represent the story of her family. Upshaw conducted critical autoethnography for her Ph.D. project because she believes that her story is representative of a large part of American society, stating: “My story is but one of many African American women who have come from humble beginnings to rise to the pinnacle of academia.”

What we love about it: We were struck by the poetry within Upshaw’s project description and image composition. The deep meaning of this picture is both personal and social; at first glance, you may only see a woman in a robe standing in a cotton field, but we encourage you to take a longer look. Upon reflection, it becomes clear that the robe is not simply a robe and the field is not a randomly-selected field. This image makes a powerful statement about the path that many generations of Upshaw’s and other African American families took: “from cotton fields to doctorate”, and we could not be more impressed by it. Congratulations Allison and thank you for sharing!

Where you can find out more: Follow Upshaw and her projects on her social media: Facebook: Allison Dr Diva Upshaw, Twitter: @MzOpera2u and make sure to visit her website.

Honorable Mentions 2019:

In addition to the top 5 winners, the MAXQDA Photo Contest 2019 Selection Committee has chosen to honor an additional 7 photographers for their excellent #PictureYourResearch submissions. Together, the 12 pictures will be printed in the 2020 MAXQDA calendar, which each of the 12 participants will receive soon.

“Faithful company” by Luis Miguel Garrido González

This photo was shot on the last day of the research’s fieldwork in a forest bird community in the evergreen forest of Cayo Santa María, Cuba. This snail is endemic to that quay and the researchers saw it every day during their fieldwork. Find out more about Luis Miguel and his projects on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


“Yakutian herders during annual reindeer recounting: moving the herd in an enclosure” by Aivaras Jefanovas

Yakutian herders during annual reindeer recounting

This picture was taken as a part of the research project about sociocultural human-animal relationships among the Eveny community of reindeer herders/hunters of the Yakutia North. This picture was taken during the annual recounting of reindeer, which is a hard manual job taking place in spring in the Taiga.


“Protect living heritage from the globalization process” by Abraao Ribeiro Mendonca

Protect living heritage from the globalization process

This picture was taken during field research in the Western part of Timor-Leste. It depicts the community’s traditional houses that will be evicted due to the infrastructure development of road expansion, which is in the direct contradiction to the SDG’s idea “Leaving no one behind“. Find out more about Abraao Ribeiro and his projects on Facebook.


“Dream of Generation” by Sari Omer

Dream of Generation

The photo shows a student protest in Khartoum, Sudan. The photographer describes it as showing students dreaming of a revolution against a dictatorial regime. Find out more about Sari and his projects on Instagram and on his website.


“Alexa” by Yair Merlín Uribe


Alexa lives with her mother and sisters in Tziscao, the starting point for the migration of the Mexican population. Alexa helps her mother in their coffee plantation and tourist business for now, but she still might migrate to the north, either to have a better future or out of curiosity. This research project is about real and attainable alternatives for sustainable production by the impoverished communities of Chiapas México. Learn more about Yair’s research.

“Niños Yshyr Tomarahõ (Children from Yshyr Tomarahõ)” by Nolberto Valdez

Niños Yshyr Tomarahõ

This photo depicts children from the Yshyr Tomarahõ village in Paraguay and was taken during a resilience research project that was conducted using MAXQDA.


“Reflections” by Jose Pablo Valverde


The picture shows people fishing in Bañado La Estrella, Argentina at sunset. It symbolically represents the tension between indigenous communities and modern economic development: To the left is El Bañado, the second largest wetland in Argentina and to the right is the bridge on Route 28.

There’s More!

This year, just as in 2018, every #MAXQDAPhotoContest participant was entered into a raffle to win a 1-year MAXQDA Analytics Pro license.
We are happy to announce that the raffle winner is Mohammed Djalil Baaziz. Congratulations Mohammed Djalil and all the best on your research journey with MAXQDA!


Want to see other contest submissions? You can also check out further contest entries on our MAXQDA social media platforms (@VerbiSoftware @MAXQDA) and search for submissions using the hashtags #PictureYourResearch and #MAXQDAPhotoContest. Winners of the previous contests are also right here in the MAXQDA Research Blog: 

If your picture is displayed above and you have not received an email notifying you of your selection, please check your inbox and let us know:! If you didn’t find your picture above, please do not be discouraged! We greatly appreciate your participation and hope that you will submit another entry next year.


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