The internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar. Annually, the Awards recognize the best contemporary photography from the past year and celebrate a wide variety of photographic genres.
Established contemporary photographers describe below how their success at the Sony World Photography Awards positively influenced their career development. Their testimonies reveal the Awards’ success at promoting the talent of exceptional photographers and highlight the benefits to their careers, which includes international press exposure, gallery representation and book deals.
“My involvement in the Sony World Photography Awards has directly lead me to have gallery representation by fine art photography gallery, HackelBury Fine Art.”
British photographer, Alys Tomlinson was the Professional Photographer of the Year title at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. She is an award-winning editorial and fine art photographer based in London. 2018 has been a key year for Tomlinson - as well as receiving this esteemed Award, she has also received a Professional Sony Grant, and has won or been shortlisted for various other high profile awards.
Tomlinson studied photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has recently completed an MA in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage (Distinction) at SOAS, University of London, which ties in with her long-term personal project about pilgrimage.
Read more about "Ex-Voto", her series awarded 2018 Photographer of the Year and 1st Place in the Discovery category of the Professional competition in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
“The media response to the awards was overwhelming, with extensive press and TV coverage all over the world. Apart from providing my work a huge international platform, the Sony World Photography Awards has also brought my images to the consciousness of collectors, curators, galleries and museums.”
Portuguese photographer, Edgar Martins, is a multiple-award winner in the Sony World Photography Awards, succeeding in both the 2009 and 2018 editions of the competition. Martins is considered by US and UK art critics as one of the most influential artists of his generation working in the medium of photography.
His work has been awarded and shortlisted in some of the most prestigious photography awards in the world. His work is collected in museums, public, corporate and private collections throughout the world including BES (Portugal), MACE (Portugal) and The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK).
Read more about "Siloquies And Soliloquies On Death, Life And Other Interludes", his series awarded 1st Place, Professional Still Life category, and "The Poetic Impossibility of Managing the Machine" which was awarded 2nd Place in the Professional Architecture category of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
"I am especially passionate about underwater photography, but have also challenged myself with various other natural subjects, such as fireflies, snow monkeys and whales. I'm very surprised at winning a prize, and take pride in this award."
A Ph.D. Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry at Ehime University, Japan, Kei Nomiyama is a keen wildlife and underwater photographer. His photograph was shot in the mountains of Shikoku Island, and captures the Luciola parvula firefly at the beginning of the rainy season.
In 2018, his image of Japanese monkeys was chosen as "Photo of the Day" by National Geographic, and he also obtained the 14th Miura Environment Award. In 2016 he won the 1st Place in the Nature Underwater category in the International Photography Awards.
See his stunning image “Enchanted Bamboo Forest”, with this image he was awarded Open Photographer of the Year at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards
“Winning the L'Iris d'Or/ Photographer of the Year 2013 was a great recognition and it made my work reach out to a worldwide audience. Both editors, collectors, potential collaborators in the business, but most important the normal readers that were moved and engaged by the images. It opened up new opportunities for me, and was a huge motivation to continue following the stories that I believe in.”
Winning the 2013 L’Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year title, propelled Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang onto the global stage.
Her stunning series of portraits of the children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya, outside Oslo, “One Day in History”, were published around the world and, despite being a mum to a very young baby at the time of the winning, has barely stopped working since.
In 2015 Andrea portrayed young asylum seekers who had been deported back to their home countries after living in Norway for many years. The project, which was called “Return”, has been published internationally and exhibited in art museums in Norway. She is also touring Norway with a workshop for adolescents.
Read more about "One Day in History", her series which was awarded the 2013 Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Professional People category in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.
Natalia was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow when she entered the Student Focus competition in 2013. An aspiring photographer with a strong artistic style, her series of work caught the judges’ attention and she was named the 2013 Student Photographer of the Year.
Since winning, Natalia has had her work shown in many of the world’s leading photography magazines and has delivered masterclass on behalf of Sony.
See more about her series awarded 2013 Student Photographer of the Year in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.
“Being part of the Sony World Photography Awards made my work visible in half of Latin America - they helped me spread the word (and the images) all around the world and I was even on TV!"
Spanish photographer Daniel Duart won 2nd Place in the Professional Travel category of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.
Since then, Daniel has worked with Sony Europe to promote the Sony RX1 camera and he has travelled around Latin America with Sony delivering workshops and masterclasses on travel photography.
See more about his series awarded 2nd Place, Professional Travel category in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Tania Franco Klein
Tania Franco Klein has been awarded in Sony World Photography Awards for two consecutive years. She has won, been shortlisted and been nominated in multiple other major photography competitions.
Franco Klein’s work is highly influenced by her fascination with social behavior and contemporary practices such as leisure, consumption, media overstimulation, emotional disconnection, the obsession with eternal youth, the American dream in the Western world and the psychological sequels they generate in our everyday life.
Her work has been exhibited across Europe, USA, and Mexico, including international fairs such as Photo Basel, Photo London, Photofairs SF, Getxo Photo and during the Los Angeles Month of Photography.
Read more about her series "Our Life In The Shadows", Shortlisted in the Professional Creative category of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, and her image awarded with the Mexico National Award prize in the 2017 Sony Photography Awards, National Awards.
"Since the award, my book “Wet Dog” came out (Grand Central Publishing). It was a dream come true! Then a couple of months after winning the award, I created “Flower Power”. I travel the U.S. photographing pit bulls in shelters, some of which have been waiting for homes for 3 or 4 years. My work has found meaning, and it’s very rewarding."
French photographer Sophie Gamand won 1st Place in the Professional People category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards with her series “Wet Dog”. Sophie's work has been published in the press worldwide, online and in print (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Oprah Magazine, ....). Her first book, “Wet Dog”, came out in October 2015.
Gamand is an animal advocate living and working in New York. Since 2010, she has been focusing on dogs and our relationship with them. Gamand travels around the U.S. photographing shelter dogs for free, to help raise awareness of their fate, and help them get adopted.
Read more about her series "Wet Dog", awarded 1st Place, Professional People category in the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.
"The Sony World Photography Awards provides an opportunity to learn from other photographers and promote photography."
Fan Li is a Chinese photographer, member of China Photographers Association, winner of China’s most prominent personal achievement award in photography - the “Golden Statue Award2. He is a judge of the 11th Chinese Golden Statue Award for Photography, is a member of Art Photography Committee of China’s Photographers Association and is a judge of the 24th China National Photographic Art Award and Exhibition.
For decades, Fan Li has committed himself to the practice, teaching, and research of photography, and many of his students have become outstanding photographers in prestigious media organisations across China, winning prizes in photographic contests at home and overseas. He works as associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communications of Shaanxi Normal University in China.
Read more about his series "Left-behind Children in Western China", which won 1st Place, Professional Lifestyle category in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.
"Ethnic Yi People Living in the Great Liangshan Mountains of China", was shortlisted in the Professional Lifestyle category of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
"Tajiks on the Pamir Plateau", was shortlisted in the Professional Candid category of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
" Portraits of Ethnic Minorities in Western China", was shortlisted in the Professional Portraiture category of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.
“I'm very pleased that I have the opportunity to share my view of this world by doing what I love most. I hope my images momentarily take the viewers out of their daily routine to appreciate the beauty of these desolate landscapes.”
Belgium photographer Maroesjka Lavigne won 1st place in the Landscape Category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.
Lavigne's work has been shown internationally at the Foam Talent exhibition in Amsterdam, The Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Galerie Hug in Paris and Museum Saint Guislain in Gent, Belgium, among others. She self-published a book called ‘ísland’ in 2012 that sold out. In 2014, she published a postcard version of this book and in 2015 she made a commissioned work called ‘Not seeing is a Flower’, in collaboration with the Flanders centre in Osaka. This was published in the catalog called “Facing Japan”. Her latest project “Land of Nothingness” is made in Namibia and exhibited in the Robert Mann Gallery in New York.
Lavigne was selected for the Talent Call at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) Netherlands in 2012, and was the winner of the Emerging Talent competition of Lensculture in 2014 with the series “You are More than beautiful”.
Read more about her series awarded 1st Place, Professional Landscape category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.
“The Sony World Photography Awards opened up doors for me when I won in the Open Category in 2015 - I was appointed as Sony Malaysia’s Alpha Ambassador as well as Sony South East Asia’s Alpha Professional Photographer. From the 2015 London trip, I worked myself towards the Professional category in 2016, and was elated to have been awarded 2nd place in the Candid Category. Being a finalist in the Professional category spurred me to continue my work as a contemporary photographer.Sony has recognized that, and has been a great support."
Nick Ng started photography in 2008 and is an avid travel and documentary photographer with special interests in people, environmental portraits and cultures. His interest in photography was instilled when he was a teenager, but due to financial constraints, he was only able to pick up his first camera in 2008. He has since won many awards and has been a Sony Alpha user since 2014.
Photography to him is an extension of his inner childhood, memories of his grandfather who worked as a goldsmith in a dimly lit workshop inspired him to explore the hidden gems during his travels. His passion lies in the people he meets and their surrounding environment that moulds their cultures and traditions, be it in modern cities or remote villages.
Read more about his series "If You Don't Drink Tea, You Are Not Chinese ", awarded 2nd Place, Professional Candid category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.
Pedro Jarque Krebs
“Such a recognition gives me immense joy, and I am very pleased that this will also contribute to the dissemination of my work, which aims to raise awareness of the fragility of animal life”.
Pedro Jarque Krebs is a Peruvian photographer who has been awarded multiple times at the Sony World Photography Awards for his stunning pictures of animals.
He has received around 100 awards and recognition from all over the world, including 1st Place in Creative nature photography at the 2018 Festival International de la Photo, the 2018 Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) and 1st Place and 3rd Place at the 2018 The Motif Collective Award on the theme "Nature’s Glory."
See some of his awarded images in the Open Competition of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Japanese photographer Yukari Chikura (地蔵 ゆかり) was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards. Chikura won the 2017 Steidl Book Award Asia with the project " Fluorite fantasia ( looking for my father...)" and is going to publish soon the book 'Zaido', a record of this 1,300-year-old Japanese ritual festivity.
She was selected as “FOTOFEST Discoveries of the Meeting Place 2018”. She won LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, Photolucida Critical Mass TOP50 (Winner) 2016 & 2015, PX3, the International Photography Award, National Geographic among others. Some projects have collected in Griffin Museum in US and Bibliotheque National de France.
She was an artist in residence of Rokko International Photography Festival in 2015. Her photograph selected as "IPA Best of Show photographer 2013" (Lucie Foundation). She also participated in the “RPS Photobook Masterclass”, the “Review Santa Fe 2014” and “Eddie Adams Workshop 2014”.
Read more about her series "Frozen World" which was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.
"As a result of the Sony World Photography Awards, I have developed a close relationship with Sony which has led to main opportunities including a solo exhibition of my work in Tokyo, a grant for my Land of Giants project and to me becoming a Sony Europe Imaging Ambassador."
British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas is the first photographer to capture high-quality camera trap images of the melanistic African leopard. He is also celebrated for developing devices, such as BeetleCam and camera traps, which enable him to capture incredibly close-up photographs of the most elusive animals. He works with WWF African Parks and The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme.
In 2017 Will won the Natural World & Wildlife category in the Professional competition and was one of the four recipients of the Sony Grant. The grant funded the early stages of Wil’s Land of Giants project, which he’s subsequently released as a book in partnership with Tsavo Trust and Kenyan Conservation Area.
Since his win, Will has developed a close working relationship with Sony.
"To be honored with the Photographer of the Year award in 2015 meant my work, and more importantly, the story I was reporting, could be seen by the public in print form in a gallery setting. The more ways that viewers can see photojournalism presented in context, the better."
American photojournalist John Moore is a senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images. He has photographed in 65 countries on six continents and was posted internationally for 17 years.
While John was already well-established in the photography industry and the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, winning the 2015 Photographer of the Year title helped his work reach a wider audience.
In 2018 he released Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border with powerHouse books. His images of America’s migration crisis are some of the most recognized in the international press.