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8 Incredible Photo Stories You Absolutely Can’t Miss

Here are the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the web.

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1. "Love Your Body" — Now Toronto

NOW Toronto / Tanja-Tiziana

For Now Toronto’s third annual “Love Your Body” issue, the Canadian magazine has asked Torontonians to bare it all before the lens. As striking as the accompanying stories are, these portraits are elegant and empowering, each celebrating the undeniable beauty in each and every one of us.

—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News

2. "Conflicts of interest" — Australian Broadcasting Commission

Sebastian Rich

Here’s a candid retrospect of the life of a war photographer. As a veteran in that space, Sebastian Rich does not hold back in his commentary, even saying that wars have been, “paying my rent since I was 16, unfortunately.” His resume is astounding, and reading what happens behind the scenes — the bullets he’s taken and the suffering he’s seen — just gives deeper understanding to what people like him have to witness so the rest of the world can see what’s going on.

—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia

We’ve seen so many pieces that feature the sex industry in various corners of the world, but what Bénédicte Desrus presents here is an aspect of the industry that’s rarely discussed. The photographer’s curiosity into the lives of former sex workers is quite evident in her work. What I find particularly fascinating is the ease of which these women let her into their lives — from taking showers to the grieving of a dying housemate. These are the signs of trust that come with the many years that Desrus has spent at the shelter.

—A.M.

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4. "Hong Kong Shop Cats" — The Guardian

Marcel Heijnen / Blue Lotus / Via Hong Kong Shop Cats is published by Asia One

I haven't had the opportunity to travel too much, though seeing this lighthearted photo series warmed my soul. It reminds me that however far the stretches of the Earth may seem, there will always be little ties that bind us together. In this case, it is the shop cat, which, in New York City we have plenty. Of course, here they go by "bodega cats." This series is a glimpse into something all too familiar in an unfamiliar place.

—Sarah Kobos, photo editor, BuzzFeed

On the heels of a nationwide conversation on immigration, photographer Devyn Galindo shares her thoughts behind her incredible new photo book, We Are Still Here, which captures the vibrant energy of Chicanx youth in East LA. Through the expressive grain of analog film photography, these pictures document a young generation of Mexican-Americans taking queues from punk, art, and revolution, to embrace their heritage and make their presence known in America.

—G.H.S.

6. "The Mysterious Masked Women Of Iran" — BBC

Rodolfo Contreras

Photographer Rodolfo Contreras takes us to Hormozgan, a province on Iran’s southern coast, home to the the Bandari. It’s history as an important stop along the Spice Route, resulted in an unusual jumble of cultures, ethnicities, and sects, and reflected in the unusual and idiosyncratic style of dress, most notably the marks (boregheh) worn by many of the Bandari women. Contreras spent time in the region capturing many styles of boregheh, and offers some of the explanations for how the odd masks came to be.

—Ben King, deputy design director, BuzzFeed News

7. Inside The Vice President’s Official Residence" — Washington Post

Katherine Frey / The Washington Post

I've always found it fascinating to see the way other people live. To gain an understanding of how they interpret notions of "comfort" and "home." This week, the Washington Post offered a view into the way people at the highest level of our government live with their photo post on the vice president's official residence. As the Bidens prepare to move out, it was nice to see their mark on the home well-documented. In a house steeped with esteemed history, it's clear that the Bidens found a way to make it their own in the time it was theirs.

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News

8. "A Photographer Has Created Nightmarish Monsters To Portray The Human Condition" — BuzzFeed

Diego Moreno

Mexican photographer Diego Moreno has created a nightmarish photo essay on around a tradition of celebrating the feast of the Virgin of Mercy in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico. The monster costume seen in each photo represents the person’s sins. The more hideous the costume the worse the sinner. The series is a lively portrayal of a fascinating tradition. To me, it also represents the age-old concept of the "elephant in the room"; an awful fact or situation that people choose to ignore rather than confront.

—Matthew Tucker, picture editor, BuzzFeed UK

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