The World Photographic Academy was created in 2007 to act as the WPO's expert advisors. This group of industry experts from around the world currently consists of internationally respected Photographers, Gallerists, Portfolio Managers, Agency heads, Academics, Authors, Publishers, Photography Foundation and other such members. In 2007 the Academy started with 12 members, including Elliott Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark, Nan Goldin and Martin Parr and has since grown to over 160 members.
Membership is by invitation only and grows organically each year. Today the Academy includes members from around the globe and from within many different industry sectors, including the likes of Francis Hodgson (Financial Times Photo Critic and co-founder of the Prix Pictet), Chien-Chi Chang (Magnum Photographer), WM Hunt (Photographic Consultant), Aidan Sullivan (VP of Reportage by Getty Images), Reza (Humanitarian and Photographer), William Klein (Photographer), Roberto Koch (Director of Contrasto publishing), Chloe Limpkin (Picture Director of Harpers Bazaar), Jodi Bieber (Photographer), Tim Walker (Photographer), Monica Allende (Picture Editor of Sunday Times Magazine), Sasha Erwitt (Senior Photo Editor at Vanity Fair), Olga Sviblova (Director, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow), Pedro Meyer (Photographer), Deborah Willis (Chair, Department of Photography & Imaging New York University - Tisch School of the Arts), Dr. Caprice Horn (Founder and Director, Gallerie Caprice Horn, Esther Woerdehoff (Gallerie, Esther Woerdehoff), Nadav Kander (photographer), Sarah Moon (Photographer) and many more.
As an Academy member, you form part of a global group of industry experts who share our vision of advancing photography. The primary roles of the World Photographic Academy's are:
- Endeavour to promote our organisation and with it, the Sony World Photography Awards
- Offer input, ideas and expert advice when appropriate
- Participate in activity when desired
- To participate as a judge of the SWPA competition if called on and available
As an advisory committee, the Academy is able to guide and help develop the future of the organisation, its initiatives and the development of our various international photography programmes, including the Sony World Photography Awards. However we respect that time is precious and thus interaction from Academy members is only requested when desirable by each member. How much each member participates, is up to their time and interest.
In return, we aim to support our members and promote their name and work, as well as to provide work form them through our own initiatives. We do this through a variety of programmes.
- Online - Academy members can use our global platform to communicate exhibitions and other programmes through our Academy News section on our website
- Live events - Whenever possible, we look to Academy members to employ speakers, portfolio reviewers, workshop leaders and other such expert positions, for events we host around the world
- Expert commentary - We often seek expert input through articles, critiques or press quotes. Our Academy are the first we turn to for this expert commentary to our public and media audience
- VIP events - Invitation to openings, festivals, awards and other such WPO events
- Academy connections - We encourage connections between Academy members and make introductions as requested.
- Respected organisation - Our Academy members are considered by the public and media we engage with as a revered group of industry veterans, which together form a united voice for the advancement, preservation, recognition and education of photography.