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Sony World Photography Awards reveals new categories for 2020 and latest Sony Grant recipients

Press release   •   Jun 04, 2019 00:01 BST

  • Photography’s power to capture environmental issues recognized in new dedicated category
  • Sony Grants awarded to four exceptional professional artists and three student talents
  • Youth competition restructured to give young photographers more opportunity
  • Exhibition tours to Japan, Italy, Germany and beyond in 2019

Submissions for the 13th edition of the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are now open and free for all to enter at www.worldphoto.org.

The 2020 Awards are marked by the introduction of an Environment category to its Professional competition, recognizing the importance of the subject for contemporary artists, and a new format for the Youth competition, to engage and reward young photographers working worldwide.

The Awards also announced today the recipients of the 2019 Sony Grant. Chosen from the winners and shortlist of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, the Sony Grant give artists the freedom to create new bodies of work or develop long-term projects. In clear demonstration of this, a new film by 2018 Photographer of the Year Alys Tomlinson funded by her Sony Grant will be premiered at Rencontres d'Arles, France, this summer. The film is an extension of the artist’s 2018 award-winning series Ex-Voto.

Having been seen by 25,000 people in London, the exhibition of winning and shortlisted works from across the 2019 Awards will now tour internationally. Opening in Japan on June 1, the exhibition will travel to Germany, Italy, India, and Mexico giving audiences worldwide the opportunity to see the very best in contemporary photography from the past year.

Environmental issues highlighted in new Professional category

The Professional competition seeks serious bodies of work across ten diverse categories by artists working across fine art photography and photojournalism, and rewards those pushing the boundaries of what photography can do. The new Environment category will challenge artists to address environmental concerns affecting the world today and winning and shortlisted photographers are given a global platform upon which to showcase their work.

Speaking about the direct results of winning, Italian artist Federico Borella states: “Winning the 2019 Photographer of the Year title is one of the most important things for my career and my life. This kind of visibility is amazing because it allows me and my work to reach a global audience. My phone started ringing straight after the announcement and it hasn’t stopped ringing since! People want to listen to the story I want to tell. How can I ask for more?”

Judges selected Borella as the overall winner in 2019 for a powerful photographic essay on the human effects of climate change in Tamil Nadu, India.

New opportunity for young emerging photographers

The new Youth competition will give young photographers aged 12-19 the opportunity to enter up to three single images per month from June - December 2019. Each month will have a different theme and judges will select one winner and a shortlist per month. The seven monthly winners will then compete to be named Youth Photographer of the Year.

The monthly structure has been implemented to give emerging photographic talent more opportunity to be discovered and will be accompanied by expert advice on the monthly theme to help those entering.

In addition to the Professional and Youth competitions, the 2020 Awards includes the Open competition, rewarding outstanding single images across ten categories and the Student competition, for photography students worldwide. The National Awards program also runs in 60+ countries and celebrate local photographic talent.

The Awards are judged anonymously, giving all photographers across the world equal opportunity to be seen by juries of industry leading experts and win.

A total prize fund of $60,000 (USD) plus Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between winning photographers, with many also being flown to London to attend the annual awards ceremony. All shortlisted photographers are given exposure via the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition which opens in London before touring globally. The 2019 Awards saw 327,000 entries from 195 countries. For more details about all the competitions and categories please go to www.worldphoto.org/swpa

2019 Sony Grant recipients

The World Photography Organisation and Sony are committed to supporting contemporary photographers and contributing to the further development of photographic culture worldwide.

The Sony Grants program, introduced in 2016, is open to winning and shortlisted photographers of the Awards’ Professional and Student competition. Recipients of the 2019 Professional grant are Yan Wang Preston (UK), Ed Thompson (UK), Kohei Ueno (Japan) and Thomas Uusheimo (Finland). Each receive $7,000 (USD) and Sony digital imaging equipment to create work of their choice.

The 2019 Student grant was awarded to Joel Davies (Central St Martins, UK), Sam Delaware (Pacific Union College, USA) and Tobias Kristensen (Danish School of Media & Journalism, Denmark). Each receive $3.500 (USD) and have been commissioned to create a new body of images, working as a team.

The results of all grant recipients work will be shown at the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. Find out more about the Sony Grant at www.worldphoto.org/sony-grant

For further information please contact:

Press team, World Photography Organisation press@worldphoto.org / +44 (0) 20 7886 3043

Notes to Editors

Images from previous editions of the Awards are available download at www.worldphoto.org/press

The full touring schedule of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition can be seen at https://www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/travelling-exhibition

2020 Competition deadlines

  • Youth competition: Last day of each month from June - December, 2019
  • Student competition: November 29, 2019
  • Open competition / National Awards: January 7, 2020
  • Professional competition: January 11, 2020

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, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, and PHOTOFAIRS, leading international art fairs dedicated to photography. For more details see www.worldphoto.org

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics, semiconductors and financial services - Sony's purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, visit: 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.