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Professional photographers praise the Sony World Photography Awards’ effect on their careers as new images are released to mark one month until deadline

Press Release   •   Dec 04, 2018 00:01 GMT

Witold Ziomek

Photographers worldwide have just one month left to enter the 12th annual Sony World Photography Awards’ Professional, Open and Youth competitions. Open to all, submissions to these global and prestigious awards are free at www.worldphoto.org/swpa.

To mark the closing deadlines, leading professional artists describe the unique worldwide platform the awards provide and highlight the benefits to their careers, which includes international press exposure, gallery representation and book deals.

Alongside this, the World Photography Organisation, the creators of the awards, releases a new selection of entries to the 2019 Awards. Submitted by photographers from around the world, the images cover a wide variety of topics taken from the ten categories of the Open Competition, which is judged on a single image.

The internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar. Annually, the awards recognise the best contemporary photography from the past year and celebrate a wide variety of photographic genres.

Scott Gray, CEO and founder of the World Photography Organisation comments: “Each year, the Sony World Photography Awards uncovers emerging photographic talent and gives established artists a global audience for their work. I look forward to seeing the entries, and the our esteemed judges’ selection.”

Yann Salmon-Legagneur, Director Product Marketing, Sony Europe adds: “The Sony World Photography Awards is a platform to celebrate photography in all its diversity, as well as showcasing incredible talent from around the globe.”


Below three established contemporary photographers describe how their success at the Sony World Photography Awards positively influenced their career development. Their testimonies reveal the awards’ success at promoting the talent of exceptional photographers:


Worldwide exposure and entering collections

Acclaimed Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins grew up in Macau (China) and studied Photography and Social Sciences at the University of the Arts and the Royal College of Art, London. He has represented Macau as part of the 54th Venice Biennale, and his work has been exhibited widely across the world and is held in major museum collections. He achieved success in both the 2009 and 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. Speaking of this, Martins says: “The media response to the awards was overwhelming, with extensive press and TV coverage all over the world. Apart from providing my work a huge international platform it has also brought my images to the consciousness of collectors, curators, galleries and museums… As a direct result of being part of the Sony World Photography Awards, my work was acquired by several private and public collections.”

Getting published

British photographer Amanda Harman has worked on a range of commissions, residencies and projects for a variety of public and commercial clients. Her work has been exhibited widely and is held in museum collections, she is also a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of the West of England. Harman won the Professional Competition’s Still Life category in 2014, and her series A Fluid Landscape was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category in 2018. She recently received a book publishing deal for the series with Another Place details here). Harman states “Taking part in the Sony World Photography Awards has led to great things for me. I feel that being shortlisted for the 2018 awards - and receiving a book deal - for a series that I took with the Sony camera that I won at the 2014 awards has nicely completed a circle. The awards have undoubtedly helped me in my career, and I am excited for the next steps.”

Gallery representation

2018’s Photographer of the Year, established British artist Alys Tomlinson studied photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and combines her editorial, design and advertising photography with personal projects. Tomlinson says that winning the Award has directly led to multiple new opportunities for her work, including being represented by a prestigious fine art photography gallery. She comments: “Winning Photographer of the Year has lead to great things for me, including being represented by HackelBury Fine Art. It has been fantastic to gain representation by a prestigious contemporary photography gallery and to see my work exhibited with them at fairs across the world. Adding to this, since winning the award I've also found a publisher for the series, and my book is due to be published by GOST Books in spring 2019."

Deadlines and jury

The 2019 judges have been tasked to reward the very best contemporary photography from the past year across the following competitions:

Open - best single image across 10 categories
Youth - photographers aged 12-19, best single image answering a brief
National Award - best single image taken by a local photographer from 60+ countries
Deadline: January 4, 2019

Professional - best series of works across 10 images
Deadline: January 11, 2019

The full list of competitions and categories can be found here.

The juries are chaired by Mike Trow, editor, photographer, producer (Professional competition) and Rebecca McClelland, Photography Director / Head of Art Production for Saatchi Saatchi & Prodigious (Open, Youth competitions and National Awards). Full details about the 2019 jury can be found at www.worldphoto.org/2019-judges

Prizes and exhibition

Prizes include $25,000 (USD) for the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) for the overall Open competition winner. All category winners will receive the latest Sony Digital Imaging equipment and the overall competition plus Professional category winners will be flown to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards dinner on Wednesday April 17, 2019.

The awards’ winning and shortlisted images will once again be exhibited at Somerset House, London. Running April 18 – May 6 2018, the exhibition will also include exclusive new works by the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award, to be announced March 2019. Previous recipients include Candida Höfer (2018), Martin Parr (2017), RongRong&inri (2016), Elliot Erwitt (2015) and Mary Ellen Mark (2014).

Future announcement dates

  • February 5, 2019 - Open and Youth shortlists
  • February 26, 2019 - Open and National Awards winners
  • March, 2019 - Outstanding Contribution to Photography revealed
  • April 2, 2019 - Professional and Student shortlists
  • April 17, 2019 - Photographer of the Year, Professional category winners and overall Open, Youth and Student winners


Images from the Open submissions can be downloaded at https://press.worldphoto.org

For further information please contact:
Jill Cotton / Emma Double, World Photography Organisation
press@worldphoto.org / +44 (0)207 886 3043

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, interactive 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 $77 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation that is responsible for its imaging products and solutions businesses, from consumer camera, solutions with a focus on broadcast- and professional-use products, to medical business.

About World Photography Organisation
The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives. Working across up to 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers as well as our industry-leading partners around the world. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of events including the Sony World Photography Awards, the world's most diverse photography competition, and PHOTOFAIRS, international art fairs dedicated to photography with destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco For more details see www.worldphoto.org