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Help and FAQ

Have a question? Need help using the World Photography Organisation's  website? We've tried to make things as intuitive as possible but just in case, here you'll find answers to the most common questions and problems, updated regularly as we make changes and add new features. If after browsing the categories you still can't find an answer to your question, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Sony World Photography Awards

Can I change my images after submission?

No. Once you have selected to ‘submit’ your images into a specified category, you will not be able to change it. 

How do I submit my images?

All images should be submitted online through the Competitions section of the World Photography Organisation  website.

Can I enter my images in other competitions?

Yes. You may enter into other photography competitions, we have no exclusivity rights to your images.

Can I submit manipulated images?

Images can be manipulated, however the manipulation must be clearly outlined within the image description.

Can I submit my images on a CD, URL Link or in a book ?

No. All images must be submitted online, via the website.

Can images taken on camera phones be entered into the competition?

Yes they can. These images should still be no smaller than 1MB in order to enter them, and a higher resolution version may still be required.

Do my images need to be taken within a certain timeframe?

Entries in any 2021 Sony World Photography Awards competition must have been taken in 2020 (January 1 to December 31, 2020}, with the only exception being that entries in the Professional competition may have been taken prior to this, only if they have been first published in 2020. 

Do the sponsors have rights to use my image? Will my images be used in any other way?

All entrants understand that any image submitted to the competition may be used by Sony World Photography Awards, for the sole purpose of promoting the competition and the photographers themselves.

Please read the full list of rules for the Open and Professional competitions for details.

How can I find out the results of the competition?

Shortlisted winners will be individually notified by email prior to the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony in April 2021. The winners will all be announced at the ceremony in April 2021.

How do I contact you?

We would be delighted to hear from you! Please do not hesitate to drop us a message and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

How many images can I upload?

In the Professional competition you can enter a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 images per category. You may enter as many categories as you wish.

In the Open and Youth competitions, you can enter up to 3 images in total for free. These images may be entered across any of the categories. You may enter more images by buying our bundles. There are two image bundles avaliable: the 8 images bundle  and the 20 images bundle (You will need to be a registered user in order to access the bundle page)

How much does it cost to enter the Sony World Photography Awards competitions?

The Sony World Photography Awards are FREE to enter.

I am unable to upload my images, what should I do?

Please ensure that your images are above 1MB size and are in Jpeg format.

It may be that your images are too large for the local Internet connection and we suggest that you resize all the pictures and try again.

If you continue to have problems, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I have images in original negatives, how can I enter these?

These will need to be scanned into a digital file and then uploaded online via the website. Please state in the image description that the images have been scanned from negatives.

Is judging anonymous?

Yes, we respect the integrity of the photographers and therefore judging is anonymous.  Judges will not know the names of any of the entrants.

Should there be a watermark/copyright information added to the images entered into the competition?

No. All images must be clear of any copyright information so that the photographers identity is not revealed by the image.  In the interest of fairness, the judges are not allowed to see the names of the photographers when judging. Any images that do contain photographers names on the image or any other watermark/copyright information, will be disqualified from being presented to the judges.

What about published work?

In the Professional competition only, images that have been commissioned or acquired to be published for the first time in 2020 can also be entered, but only after the published date. You must be able to prove that this is the first time the work has been published and you must also be able to prove that you have not entered the work previously into the Sony World Photography Awards. Please see point 2.1 of the competition rules for further details.

What size / format file should I submit?

Images should be no smaller than 1MB and no larger than 5MB. Images should be either JPEG or TIFF files.

All images must be saved in the sRGB colour model.

All entrants must be able to supply a high resolution image suitable for printing in exhibitions and marketing materials should the image be required.

When and where are the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards?

The Awards night will be held in London in April 2021.

When is the deadline for submissions for the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards?

The deadline for the National Award, Open and Youth Competitions:  January 7, 2021 13.00 GMT

Professional competition deadline:  January 14, 2021 13.00 GMT

Will all academy members judge my images?

Each year, a pre-selection committee and an honorary judging committee are chosen from the World Photography Academy.  These commitees will judge the submitted images.

Student Competition

What format should I enter?

The images of the series combined should be no larger than 10 MB and should be submitted as Jpeg file.

You should also have a high res version available for printing:

Shooting negative and supplying scans - Supply at 300dpi at full printing size.

Digital- Supply a Maximum Resolution Tiff File (sizes of files will vary depending on what camera your image is shot with).  

Can all students enter the competition?

Your university must be registered to enter the competition. Universities can register here

Can my image be in black & white?

Your image may be in black & white or colour. 

How do I upload my image?

You should submit your image to your tutor who will upload it for you. 

Any enquires please email

How does the judging work?

World Photography Organsiation judges will view all of the submitted works. They will choose 10  series in total, each one representing the 10 final institutions. One institution will be chosen from each of the six continents plus 4 commended institutions from all the continents. All 10 universities will compete to win the Student Focus title. 

How many images should I enter?

A series of five(5) to ten(10) images.

Is digital manipulation allowed?

Digital manipulation is allowed, however you must provide details of how your image has been altered.

Is there an age limit?

You must be aged 18-30.

What are the prizes if I win?

The 10 shortlisted students, along with each of their tutors representing their institution, will be flown to London, where their images will be exhibited at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. They will also have their images published in the annual World Photography Awards book. 

The winner will be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony.

The prize for the winning university consists of over €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment. Out of this amazing prize collection, each of the 10 shortlisted students will be given a professional camera, whilst the overall winning institution receiving the remaining equipment and largest portion of this combined prize, provided by Sony, the sponsor.

What are the requirements for educational institutions to join the Student competiton?

Your institution should be teaching higher education photography – a minimum of one module/course in photography as part of a degree course or similar.  Students entering the competition should be studying an element/module of photography. 

What level of photography is the competition for?

The competition is for all students studying an element of photography within a higher education course.

When does the competition close?

Please visit the competition page here for all the key dates.

When will I find out if I have won?

Please visit the competition page here for all the key dates.

Who judges the competition?

The judging panel will be announced soon, check the competition tab for updates.