Photography Susanna Giancristofaro

What your August 2021 looked like

From Tokyo to Tiohtià:ke, here's a snapshot of the world from last month.

by Ryan White
02 September 2021, 8:15am

Photography Susanna Giancristofaro

i-D closed out 2020 with My Year in a Photo, a 12-month retrospective that brought in hundreds of incredible submissions from all over the world. We enjoyed it so much that from now on, we’ll be running it as a regular feature. At the end of each month, we’ll open our inbox to photographs from anyone and everyone — just email

Once again, this month, we received thousands of submissions, making the process of editing this story even harder. For anyone whose images did not make the cut, please do keep sending us your photography, as we’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions and want to keep sharing as much of it as possible.

Woman in a white shirt holding a picture book called

Andreea Castris, 25, Milan, Italy

“That smell of salt and the way it lingers on your skin. Those feelings that finish in laughter. The tears, the magic and the craving eyes. The sea and the sand. The night and the moon. Letting go and the way we always come right back.” @andreeacaas

A group of friends do dives and somersaults off a diving platform in the middle of the crystal blue sea surrounded by mountains.

Max Rawlins, London, UK

“Croatian teenagers jumping from an abandoned diving board.” @handburgers

Two people hold hands in the front seat of a car.

Alan de la Rosa, 21, Sonora, Mexico

“‘First they kiss and then they bite soft’. Cars are our new rooms.” @bluecowboyhat

a man holds up his arms in a public square

Mohamed Amine Mouhtadi, 21, Casablanca, Morocco

“In this picture I see pain of this homeless man, he posed as Jesus the Redeemer saying that he owns this public space and he is protecting it.” @maama_a

Silhouette of someone in a helmet in front of ships, a river and a fence.

Jaimi Robin, 23, Cape Town, South Africa

“An outtake on a recent set. A moment in-between shots that caught the stillness while waiting for the sun to rest.”

friends sunbathe and swim naked in a still lake surrounded by rocks.

Duciel Valentin, 27, France

“Three friends and I spent one week by the river, naked and alone, in Ardèche, South France. We drunk wine, sun-bathed, ate juicy fruits and made love. After six days, the cops asked us to get out.” @valentinduciel

A flamenco dancer moves around a restaurant floor as guests watch behind her.

Miriam Marlene, 25, Berlin, Germany

“A flamenco dancer in a restaurant I was at as I met my father for the first time one-on-one. He’s very into rhythmic Spanish music. Since that night, I feel like I can forgive the past and we can start to become closer.”  @miriam_marlene

people on a Mediterranean looking beach

Spelledmind, 22, Mexico

“Summer 2021 has been a wild time for me. I decided to use my savings and leave my hometown again and so far I have been jumping from place to place. I don’t 100% know where I will be next year. For me, this photo represents the beginning of a new era and a celebration of summer and the freedom it comes with.” @spelledmind

A father and a daughter stand in front of a foggy view of skyscrapers

Mateus Lima, 22, São Paulo, Brazil

“This photo marks my first visit to my favourite museum, the MAC-USP Museum in São Paulo, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the picture a father teaches his daughter how to use a telescope.”

A group of people stand by a red fire in the woods in the early morning.

Mildred, 24, Mohawk Lands, Tiohtià:ke

“This photo of my friends and I dancing in the woods on the mountain reminds me of seeing a black mass or something ritualistic occurring from afar. August is an Angel after all!”

A mother undoes the hair of a young girl.

Wenzile Dube, 22, Botswana

“My mother undoing my sister's hair.” @wenz_hd

Blurred photo of two people in front of the sunset.

Catherine Brunet, 30, Montreal, Canada

“We were on shrooms at a small but awesome music festival in Gaspésie in Quebec, Canada, watching the sunrise and crying because it was so beautiful. I took the picture with my Minolta 35mm, and you can see that I was a little high.” @cathbrunet

Woman facing away from camera in a blue bikini ties the back of her top. In front is stretched out legs, both sat on the beach.

Susanna Giancristofaro, 21, Abruzzo, Italy

“Legs that intertwine. Our burning skins smell like sea salt. We whisper eternal promises under the sun, and we feel like children once again.” @sug.opomodoro

close up of Drag artist Queen of Virginity butt as they bend over in fish net tights and tiger print underwear.

Daniel Bernstein, Berlin, Germany

“My best friend, drag artist Queen of Virginity, performs their version of ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’ at an outdoor venue in Berlin. Note the fresh tan line from a last-minute, post-break up vacation to Tenerife.” @danielberrr

A woman in all black sits on a bench on the front deck of a home looking at the camera. A girl in all white walks next to her in front of a lawn and plants.

Elene Japoshvili, 20, Khashuri, Georgia

“A mother and daughter spending the last days of summer together.” @slowsensuality

A man sits shirtless by a concrete wall near an airport as a plane flies overhead.

Goran Nakovski, Stuttgart, Germany

“The events in the Middle East over the past month conveys a bigger message: The lines on a map should not decide the fate of our lives.” @goran.nakovski

Two skateboarders guide an old man out of a park in Paris.

Max Dauskardt, 22, Rotterdam, Holland

“This picture was taken on the Place de la République in Paris. An older man found his way in the middle and was too scared to move as skaters flew by him from all sides. Luckily, these two young skaters rushed over to take his hand and guide him to the side.”

A woman in a black bikini sits on a surfboard in the middle of a lake surrounded by trees. She kisses a man in purple shorts in the water.

Sarah Berglund, 22, Toronto, Canada

“After swimming, we bathed in the last light of the sun before the clouds rolled in. Everything glowed.” @sarahberglunds

Black and white portrait of a man wearing an open satin shirt with his hair blowing back.

Charles Sands, 18, California, USA

“This is a photograph of my buddy, styled and shot by me in Riverside, California.”

A woman wearing blue baggy jeans, white trainers and a silver belt chain, leopard print bra under a sheer top, grey hoodie and gloves as she holds a large portable speaker dragged along the pavement.

Jelani Todd, 21, Atlanta, USA

“I’ve seen this woman playing music and dancing on the side of the road for the past three years. It’s always been apparent to me that she does it for no other reason than to simply take the edge off for whoever happens to drive by.”  @2dollarjeans

Two people run naked through a field in the early morning light.

Aylin Scheer, 22, Berlin, Germany

“I took this photo very early in the morning right after the sun rose after a long night of dancing in the rain and partying with my best friends for my birthday. This is one of my favourite photograph’s I’ve ever taken. Although, the field had weird bugs that bit us everywhere!” @scheeraylin

A girl wears brown trousers, black bely, black cropped vest, necklaces, black nail varnish and thin black sunglasses holds a drink in a plastic bag with a straw as she stands in front of the water's edge, a mountain and the sunset.

Yuri Tachi, 26, Tokyo, Japan

“It almost feels like this image of my friend Nanami against the natural beauty of Kugenuma Beach and Mount Fuji was shot with a green screen. Not only is it the end of a summer day, but also the end of summer itself.”  @yuritachi

The backs of two men as they sit on a bench looking out at a still body of water and surrounding trees.

Darlington Sheriff, 21, Delta State, Nigeria

“My brother (right) and his friend chilling by the beach bank after having  a good swim. Their colour contrast was just aesthetically pleasing. I’m proud to be black.”  @darlingtonsheriff

A man stands shirtless on the beach staring out at the tide coming in.

Leon Baeck and Tessa de Jong, 24, Amsterdam, Netherlands

“That beautiful day shared with a person close to me as we reminisced about our summer, I was feeling grateful for the beauty in the ordinary and the wholesome people in my life. Needless to say, on one of the last golden summer days a skinny dip is mandatory!” @leoneistleone @tessiebes

Blurred photo of two animated people wearing masks as they travel on the train.

Amari Arrindell, 21, Georgia, USA

“As the pandemic persists, acts of love are a revolutionary form of resistance to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing. I captured this fleeting yet tender moment shared between lovers on the train to Chicago.” @amariarrindell

a man and woman swap clothes and take self-portraits

Dai Asano, 24, Tokyo, Japan

"Sometimes, this relationship allows me to tap into my vulnerability." @tokyo106

Blurred photo of a man sitting in a car doing the peace sign.

Karma Johnson, 17, Virginia, USA

“August has kind of been a blur. Hell, the whole summer has been a blur. In a week I’ll be going back to school. I’ll be a senior this year and I’m excited, anxious, nervous and everything in between. It’s bittersweet. I know this school year will go by in a flash but just because things are blurry, doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful too.” @sageflowerz

Man with a walking stick standing next to a rusty white gate with a white bike leaning against it and big leafy dark green tree beside it amongst a fairly barren field

Xiker Gabirondo, 15, Basque County

“I took this photo while walking in my little summer village, Martiago. I only had an old digital camera with me but I felt like this should be captured.” @genselnut

Someone in shorts and a white cardigan sits on the side of a cliff with a green tree and rocky cliffs in the background.

Tatiana Isshac, 21, California, USA

“This is a photo of my boyfriend meditating on a cliff edge in the Grand Canyon. To me this truly represents timelessness in an age where it feels like there’s not enough time.”

Dark photo with the edge of someones face reflected in the light.

Gabriel Lopez, 19, California, USA

“My art has a big impact on my mental health and whenever I find myself experiencing a block, it’s rough to get out of it. However, sometimes all it takes is a simple risk to undo it all. Although blocks aren’t fun, they’re necessary. They force you to look deep into yourself so you can see your full potential.” @gabrielslopez

black and white photo of a man looking pensively down by a window.

Rose Aschebrock, 28, Auckland, New Zealand

“Quietly listening and waiting for Prime Minister Jacinda Adern to share with New Zealand how long the lockdown will continue.” @_roseloren

Man with quiffed hair, sunglasses and a grey t-shirt as he sits in a car on the road.

Sofia Sanchez, 18, Mexico City, Mexico

“I took this photo during a road trip with my best friends. We were singing at the top of our lungs and this memory makes me smile for the amazing summer we all had together.” @sfsnchz

four men stand in front of skyscrapers in the distance.

Gabriel Baytion, California, USA

“August helped me realize the value of friendships.” @tomorrowcouldbeworse

a big group of people under a bridge

Salignat-Moandal Mawen, Marseille, France

“This photo represent for me a form of emotional liberation and emancipation from the restrictions of Covid-19.”

The silhouette of four people standing in front of a beach at sunset

Raphael Gaultier, 25, Seattle, USA

“This photo was taken in Hawaii after a week spent with my friend's family for the memorial of his Grandpa. This is a week that I'll always remember for the love and closeness I got to experience with their family and the place they call home.”  @raphgaultier

Two men wrestle shirtless in the dark

Chris Robinson, 25, New York, USA

“I really enjoy watching my friends spar.” @cooly.fooly

A person in a white top sits near a blank white wall and stares out the window.

Mohit Tiwari, 23, New Delhi, India

“I wanted to portray my mental health during the lockdown and how I've been in my room all along, alone with whatever I was feeling or going through. I couldn't go anywhere so I stayed there and experienced every bit of it in my room.” @mohitkrtiwari

A group of men naked or in swim briefs pull a rope from the water and onto the sandy beach.

John Pallis, 39, Anafi, Cyclades

“After a year of quarantine and restrictions, the need for freedom, openness, hedonism, joy, sea, sun and a sense of community is immense.” @pallik_82

Old apartment buildings are in the foreground with new skyscraper buildings towering over behind them.

Roman Permiakov, 31, Seoul, South Korea

“The older neighbourhoods in Seoul are being demolished and replaced with faceless and overly expensive development projects. My goal is to witness and document as much as I can before they are gone.” @abstrkn

A mosh pit scene at a concert under pink and purple lights.

Sarah Stearn, 33, London, UK

“My first gig since lockdown 2.0 at the 100club. It was reminiscent of a renaissance meal scene.” @essjayess_

An old person's hand sits on a table with a child's hand on top. Next to the hands is a decorative plate.

Amina Balgimbayeva, 24, Almaty, Kazakhstan

“After my family and I recovered from Covid, my nephew was so happy to see his grandma again. I caught this precious moment between them.”


 Rose Papadopoulos Hedden, 17, Reading, UK

“The drunk delirium of the early morning at Reading Festival certainly made for a hilarious photo to look back on the next day.” @roseam3lia

A family stand on the side of the road as cars pass.

Adetolani Davies, 20, Lagos, Nigeria

“One important thing I learnt from hovering about and capturing images is that beauty exists everywhere; even in places it is least expected.” @karmathagreat

A group of people play chess on a table outside.

Arinze Martin, 23, Beijing, China

“On a hot summer noon in Beijing, I took a stroll with two of my friends around the Hutong area, these are alleyways and traditional courtyard residence that embody Chinese cultural history. We came across this group of men playing Chinese chess (xiangqi). They were all deeply concentrated on the game that I wasn't even noticed when I took a photo of the moment. I stayed afterwards and watched them play. It was a good day.” @martin_stiles

Skateboarder sits on the side of the road wearing white jeans, a vest, van shoes and holding a skateboard.

Jordan Chig, 22, Singapore

“I took a walk round the city on a Saturday afternoon and there were a bunch of skaters outside the Asian Civilisation Museum. I noticed this guy with an interesting haircut and a sick skateboard and asked him for a portrait. I took it, thanked him, and left without getting his name or socials. It was only after sharing the image on my story that friends bombarded me to say he’s a famous sneaker customiser @mr_sabotage. I sent him the photo and a message and it got featured on his page! I guess I just want more young Singaporeans to go out and talk and meet more people. Culturally we aren’t the most outgoing and we wouldn’t normally talk to strangers on the street, but I have had some of the most memorable experiences of my life from doing street portraits and meeting people that way.” @jordanchig

Man sits on the edge of the water as the tide comes in and the sky turns pink.

Samuele Nesti, 20, Pistoria, Italy

“The sky turned pink as the moon shined through.” @areusamu

A couple hold hands as they cross the street.

Pratik Khatri, 26, Ahemdabad,  India

“Love never gets old.” @pratikk_khatri

Man in swimming briefs stands on a rock next to a body of water. His belongings are in the foreground.

Alessandro Timpanaro, 25, Puglia

“Doubt.” @aletimpa


All images courtesy of the artist.

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more photography.

my year in photos
my year in a photo