This paper explores how photojournalism addresses refugee migration in Sweden, a country currently receiving a large influx of asylum seekers, in particular during a surge in global migration in 2015. Theoretically informed by literature calling for a compassionate visual storytelling focusing on the experience of refugees, the specific focus is on entries in the Swedish Picture of the Year contest. Images of children were particularly prominent among contest entries focusing on forced migration in the examined years, presenting an opportunity to further explore visual representation while also considering portraiture as a photojournalistic genre and visual strategy. A close reading drawing on semiotics and compositional analysis was conducted on images and written contest jury motivations. Findings showed a humanitarian aesthetic, formality as a storytelling tool, and an unresolved tension between showing and shielding young victims of trauma.