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Professional competition finalists and shortlist revealed!

3 years ago


It's time to reveal the latest announcement from the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 and we're delighted to share with you all the Professional competition finalists and shortlist! We've selected the strongest work from each of the celebrated 88 series to bring you the most fascainting stories and images of our time. 

With the highest number of international entrants to the Professional competition in the Awards' 14 year history, this year's successful series really do give us an excellent insight into contemporary photography on a global scale. Learning more about the world we live in through the wonderful photo projects recognised this year, here we celebrate a selection of the 30 finalist photographers that caught our eye. Commenting about this year’s finalists and shortlist Mike Trow says: ‘The integrity, intentionality and considered edits presented in this year’s projects stirred up debate and genuine appreciation among the jury. Photographers rose up to the challenges of 2020 using the time to delve deeper into personal projects and explore the stories unfolding in their local communities. Their efforts have truly paid
off with shortlisted and finalists’ works presenting a noticeable step up in quality, which made the competition feel special this year.’

Among the collection featured here, you'll see Jane Hilton's empowering black & white portraits of Drag Queens and Lorenzo Tugnoli's sobering documentation of the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut – both series really stood out to the editorial team. The finalists go on to the next stage of the competition to compete to be the winner of their category and, if successful, then go on to be considered for the Photographer of the Year title which will be announced in a special digital programme on 15 April hosted by art historian Jacky Klein and entertainer Nish Kumar, which will be available to stream on the World Photography Organisation online platforms. Don't miss it!

Make sure you check out our takeover on Instagram this week, where we're sharing some of our favourite photographs from 58 photographers shortlisted in this year's competition. 



Focused on awarding outstanding photo series, the Professional competition required photographers to submit five to 10 images across 10 categories: Architecture, Creative, Documentary Projects, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, Sport, Environment and Portfolio. The latter category, new for 2021, asked photographers not to submit a series of images but a set of single images that encapsulate their vast range practice.