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Alex Ingle, Scotland, named world’s best Smile photographer at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, world’s biggest photography competition

Press release   •   Mar 29, 2016 00:01 BST

  • Record-breaking 230,103 entries submitted to the 2016 awards
  • Ten Open category winners announced today
  • Ingle now competing for $5,000 (USD) and Open Photographer of the Year title, announced 21 April
  • Images available at

A joyous family image by Scottish photographer Alex Ingle has won the Open Smile category at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition

A record-breaking 230,103 photographs from over 186 countries were entered into the awards’ three competitions -Professional, Open and Youth. Ingle’s photograph “Wake up call” was selected from 95,541 submissions to the Open competition. The image was chosen as the single best shot in the Open Smile category and was judged by an expert panel chaired by Jael Marschner, former picture editor Time Out London / Sunday Times Travel.

Alex Ingle is a photographer based in Edinburgh and his love of photography and film-making began at an early age. With a passion for environmental science, a background in glaciology and substantial expertise in offshore research expeditions, Ingle was worked on a variety of documentary projects from Greenland's ice cap to the catacombs of Rome, from Iceland's jökulhlaup gorges to the Norwegian Sea.

Ingle won with an image taken at Easter 2015 and he says: “After a large celebratory meal, a moment's peace is an opportunity for a nap. The youngest member of the Nawrot family, having none of it, climbs onto the sofa and prepares to wake 'Dziadzia Jacek' (his grandfather). This brief moment before jumping on his grandfather's legs is one of pure joy.”

Continuing to talk about the win the photographer continues: “To put the win into context, I do a lot of work at sea – packing the bags and saying goodbye to the family is always difficult. I was just preparing for one such trip when the call came through. Winning the Smile category couldn’t have been more apt - it’s the first time I've left home for an offshore assignment with a grin on my face. This is the first time that my work has been honoured in this way and it's an incredible feeling. I can't stop smiling.”

Alex Ingle is one of ten Open category winners announced today by the awards organisers, the World Photography Organisation. All ten winners will receive a Sony ɑ7 II camera and will have their winning images exhibited at Somerset House, London from 22 April – 8 May and published in the 2016 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Ingle will now compete against the nine other Open category winners to win the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title and $5,000 (USD) prize. The overall winning Open photographer will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 21 April and this photographer will be flown to London to collect his/her prize.

The winners of all ten Open categories, plus the winners of the Youth competition for photographers aged 12-19 which were also announced today, can be viewed at

  • Winning images are available to download at
  • If using on social media please #SWPA and tag @WorldPhotoOrg

For more information, please contact the Sony PR team at Hope&Glory PR on / 020 7566 9747


  • The ten category winners of the Open competition are:
    • Architecture - Filip Wolak, Poland
    • Arts & Culture - Swee Choo Oh, Malaysia
    • Enhanced - Pedro Díaz Molins, Spain
    • Low Light - Kei Nomiyama, Japan
    • Nature & Wildlife - Michaela Šmídová, Czech Republic
    • Panoramic - Markus van Hauten, Germany
    • People - Alexandre Meneghini, Brazil
    • Smile - Alex Ingle, Scotland
    • Split Second - Chaiyot Chanyam, Thailand
    • Travel - Andrej Tarfila, Slovenia
  • 230,103 images were entered in total to the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards:

127,098 Professional entries; 95,541 Open entries and 7,464 Youth entries images

  • 173,444 images were entered to the 2015 awards
  • Total number of entries since launch in 2007: 1,097,012

Sony World Photography Awards forthcoming announcements

21st April – Professional/Open/Student/Youth Photographers of the Year announced plus Professional category winners

About World Photography Organisation
The World Photography Organisation is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised. Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global platform across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition and the World Photography Organisation Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers. It also organises Photo Shanghai and Photo San Francisco, international art fairs dedicated to photography. For more information please visit

About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $68 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Sony Global Web Site: