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All you need to know: what’s new in the 2022 Awards

3 years ago

Today is an exciting day at the World Photography Organisation as we launch our 15th Sony World Photography Awards. Believing the photographic medium should be as democractic as possible, photographers from around the globe can enter for free. 

Since 2007 the Awards has rewarded some of the most exciting and talented photographers and showcased a huge range of genres, styles and points of view. Just take a look at our Success Stories page, where you can see just some of the photographic artists who have enjoyed the career boosting benefits the competitions can bring to awarded photographers.

The four competitions cater to all different types of photographers, making sure you can choose the right competition for you. 

© Simone Tramonte, Italy, 1st Place, Professional competition, Environment, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards


The Professional competition is designed for any photographers of all levels (you don’t have to be a fully fledged professional!) who have five to 10 images they’d like to enter to the Awards. Photographers can enter all 10 categories if they wish – each series submitted just needs to be different. Nine out of the ten categories ask for those images to be a series, so related in subject matter. The Portfolio category (new for last year’s awards) asks for single images highlighting the breadth of a photographer’s work. Take a look at last year’s finalists to understand what we’re after. If you’re considering the Portfolio category, please note that images must be taken in the last three years, with a minimum number of five images from 2021. If you’re based in Latin America, you will automatically be eligible for the Latin America Professional Award, an initiative launched in collaboration with Sony Latin America, find out more here


© Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Category Winner, Open competition, Architecture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards


The Open competition is the ideal fit for those who’d like to enter a striking image. There are 10 diverse categories to enter and photographers can enter up to three images for free. If you’d like to enter more images, you can buy a bundle - discover more by signing up and viewing your account. Please note, you cannot enter the same image into different categories. The categories have stayed the same as last year and we’re delighted the Alpha Female Award and National Awards continue within our 2022 Awards. You will be automatically entered into the Alpha Female Award if you register as a woman when you create your account. If your country has registered into the National Awards, you again will be instantly entered into this popular programme. New for 2022 is the Latin America National Awards, a format that shines a spotlight on the region’s vibrant and varied photographic community. Read more here


© Coenraad Torlage, South Africa, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Competition, Our Time, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards


Open to photographers worldwide aged between 18 to 30 years-old enrolled in a photography programme, the format of the Student competition has changed this year. Opening earlier than ever before (that’s right, you can enter now!) there’s just one brief for students to work on, rather than two. For the 2022 competition we’re asking you to respond to ‘Connections.’ How do you connect with your surroundings or local environment? How do you create bonds with your family, friends and colleagues? How do you nurture and develop these links to ensure they endure for years to come? Read the full brief by clicking on the enter now button below. 


© Zak Elley, United Kingdom, Winner, Youth competition, Show Us Your World, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards


The Youth competition is back to it’s format of seven months with seven themes, meaning you have more chances of winning! Running from June to December, budding photographers can submit up to three images relating to that month’s theme for free. Themes embrace genres such as wildlife, landscape, portraiture, still life and street photography. Some of the themes have slightly changed, so make sure you read the full description before entering. 


Throughout the summer we’ll be bringing you lots of tips to ensure you submit your best entry possible, so make sure you sign up to our weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest stories, articles and sessions from us.