These stunning images from all over the world perfectly convey what friendship means, across cultures and generations – and the animal kingdom.
Fifty beautiful shots have made it to the final of photography app Agora’s Friends 2020 competition, including six entries from UK artists.
Exquisite shortlisted shots by Britons include father-and-son co-pilots flying their drones at sunset, an aerial shot of a colourful beach barbecue, and two women floating peacefully on azure water.
The UK entrants beat more than 16,300 applicants to express what friendship meant to them through their camera lens. The overall winner will be crowned next month and receive a cash prize of $1,000 (approximately £750).
‘Friendship is a universal concept that can be perceived in a lot of different ways according to our culture, beliefs and life experience,’ said Octavi Royo, Agora’s chief executive and co-founder.
‘At Agora we see friendship in an infinite number of ways, but we also see what is common to all forms of friendship – love, trust and support that is generated between living beings. The result of friendship is a shared, happier life.’
The beach feast picture was taken by Marc Le Cornu in his Channel Island homeland of Jersey.
He said of the image, which was taken at a small group of islands called Les Minquiers: ‘The photo features a group of my creative friends who decided to head out to this deserted sandbar and set up a barbecue and have food, drink, music and just an amazing day in the sun away from it all.’
The drone shot was taken by Kieran Hanlon, who is pictured alongside his father in Somerset – moments before disaster struck.
‘My dad is my best friend and we run the @Keanudrone Instagram account together,’ he stated.
‘We wanted a photo of us and the drones and this is the outcome. I love it! Although shortly after this photo was taken my dad crashed one of the drones into a tree.’
The floating women picture, meanwhile, was taken by Alan Mills from London.
He said: ‘The two people in the picture are very close friends that I had the pleasure of meeting when I was travelling the Philippines.
‘We spent the whole day on a beach where I wanted the girls to have a photo that would sum up the day, and to show their friendship from another point of view. The big smiles on their faces made this shot even better than just the pure beauty of the surrounding area.’
Another shortlisted image taken by a Briton shows a pair of seals on the Isle of Harris in Scotland.
The photographer, Jon Cleave, said: ‘Seals are social animals and can be found in small groups or entire colonies.
‘Spotting these two together on a patch of seagrass off the Hebridean coast with nothing else around made me think of true friendship. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. We often think about humans only having friendships as it’s something we can relate to – but to see wildlife stick at it together is even more inspiring.’
Another British photographer, known as @Perksy12, caught a romantic shot of a newlywed couple starting their life together on a jetty in Bristol and Briton @Sollylevi captured friends running in the surf in Tanzania.