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8 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

Here are some of the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the internet.

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As noted by California police, the scene following a mudslide that devastated parts of Southern California evoke images of World War I, as thick rivers of mud consume entire neighborhoods, leaving an unprecedented trail of destruction in their path. Here, BuzzFeed News gathers pictures of tremendous acts of heroism and resilience against the forces of nature.

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

John Moore has been deeply committed to showing the situation on the border for the past 10 years, as attention and concern about immigration has waxed and waned. His body of work showing the high risks faced by those seeking to enter the US illegally should be mandatory viewing for those in policymaking.

—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News


Adriana Zehbrauskas' newest project on the retirement of sex workers in Mexico City offers insight into the deep need for human connection. The women, who have been rejected by their families or simply have nowhere else to go, have formed their own support network after retiring from sex work. The stories they tell are harrowing, but starkly human.


Photographer Gregg Segal's top-down portraits of kids around the world and the foods they eat is a visually interesting new take on series we've seen in the past. In addition to the bold color choices, Segal's use of textures and patterns are all reflective of the subject's culture and lend to the authenticity of the images. With Segal's framing, the eye of the viewer takes in the child's expression, dress and body language, and then spirals outward to the carefully plated food items. Exploring the different meals and snacks reveals the maturity of some kids' palates and the importance of nutritional values in each of the represented countries when it comes to feeding our children.

—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News


Photographer Christopher Payne has spent the past few years visiting the General Pencil Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, creating images that document the process of turning graphite and wood into pencils. Beyond the fascinating look at the industrial processes involved, the images themselves are stunning — an incredibly satisfying combination of poppy colors and repetition, coupled with unique framings that are surely the result of careful study.

—Ben King, deputy design director, BuzzFeed News

Few moments in art history are as serendipitous as the proliferation of photography during the California Gold Rush. Everything about California during the mid–19th century was a fantastic experiment and a bold step into the unknown. A new show at the National Gallery of Canada pays homage to this era by exhibiting rare, early forms of photography documenting the Gold Rush. Here, Hyperallergic profiles the exhibition and provides key insight into this fascinating time in US history.


Stacy Kranitz has one of the most thoughtful, nuanced approaches to modern photojournalism. This series, which could easily descend into cliche, puts a premium on the dignity of the people willing to be photographed. Due to our holiday hiatus, this got skipped on our newsletter, but YOU SHOULD LOOK AT IT IMMEDIATELY.


Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.


BuzzFeed's resident photo geek.

Contact Gabriel H. Sanchez at

Kate Bubacz is a Senior Photo Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Kate Bubacz at

Laura is a photo editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Laura Geiser at

Ben King is the Deputy Design Director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Ben King at

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