The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most celebrated and diverse photography competitions in the world. Now in its 12th year, our goal is to showcase the best contemporary photography worldwide.
The Awards are free to enter and open to all levels of photographer, from emerging 12-19-year-olds, enthusiastic hobbyists, and students, to established professionals. There is a competition and a category for everyone, from Architecture, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sports, Street Photography, Wildlife, Travel, Culture, and more.
All images are judged by leading industry experts, who come together each year in London to decide the best images. A total prize fund of $30,000 (USD) plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between winning photographers.
With the power to kick-start and shape careers, photographers are provided with an unprecedented stage to showcase their work, powered by a series of tailored global press and media campaigns. Previous winners and shortlisted photographers have gone on to be represented by renowned galleries and institutions, and their work has been featured in major publications around the world.
Equally, each year we recognise one of the world’s most influential photographers through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award; previous recipients have included Martin Parr, William Eggleston and Candida Höfer.
The objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture. The Awards do this by recognizing great contributions to photography in the past through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize as well as finding new talents of the future and providing them with the opportunity to be promoted and exhibited around the world. This is achieved through the Awards programme and by integrating a Student and Youth competition as well as Student and Professional Sony Grants. The latter further prove Sony’s commitment to photographic culture by extending their relationship with individual winners beyond the Awards themselves and helping develop their careers. The Grants of 7,000 USD and 3,500 USD each is awarded to 4 professional and 3 student recipients respectively so they can continue developing their projects.
Each Spring, the hugely popular Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, featuring the spectacular winning, shortlisted and commended images, is curated at the famous London landmark, Somerset House. Attracting around 30,000 visitors each year, featuring over 600 images and taking up both East and West wings of this magnificent building, the exhibition is a must-see event in London’s cultural calendar.
Global exposure is given not only to the overall winners, but also to the shortlisted photographers in each category.
Successful photographers can receive:
- Exhibition at Somerset House, London
- Potential to be included in international exhibitions
- Inclusion in the annual Sony World Photography Awards book
- Potential to work with Sony and other partners on a variety of projects
The World Photography Organisation has a thriving online presence and engages with photography enthusiasts and professionals worldwide via its:
Website & blog – Up to 250k unique visitors per month
International partnerships – 14+ international partners – See all our partners
- Offline events – Including meetups, portfolio reviews and exclusive talks
The Awards’ photographers are showcased across these platforms throughout the year – from a featured week on Instagram, to a showcase interview seen by millions, or the photographer’s latest show/news announced via our social channels.
The annual press campaign for the Awards generates huge interest not only in the winners, but for those on the shortlist too. Coverage can be seen everywhere from the world’s highest circulation newspapers and most read websites to spreads in luxury magazines and key photographic trade titles.