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2020 Student Competition Winner & Shortlist


We are delighted to announce that Greek Student Ioanna Sakellaraki is awarded Student Photographer of the Year 2020. Sakellaraki represents the Royal College of Art in the UK and has won €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for her institution. 

Open to academic institutions worldwide, the Student competition reveals the talent and intellect soon to shape the photography industry. This year students were asked to submit a body of work responding to the inspiring theme ‘Invisible Lines.’ A shortlist of ten were then given a final brief: to create a series relating to ‘Sustainability Now’. 

‘I am honoured to have been awarded the title of the Student Photographer of the Year. My series Aeiforia enabled me to share a positive story on the theme of sustainability by capturing the landscape as a passage into the night ambiance of the Greek island of Tilos. I hope that this honourable recognition will give me the opportunity to work on many more assignments of this kind. I am also thankful on behalf of The Royal College of Art for receiving the excellent equipment Sony generously offers as it will help other students to realise new projects with it.’

Ioanna Sakellaraki, Student Photographer of the Year 2020




First Brief: Invisible Lines

The world we live in is structured around a variety of invisible lines. This could be in a natural environment (ie oceans, mountains, forests), in our society (ie gender, wealth, race), or intellectually. Show the judges the stories of people fighting against that and trying to break the invisible lines that most intrigues you in a positive way.   


Second Brief: Sustainability Now

Today’s zeitgeist is, of course, the climate crisis. The need to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint has been a recurring headline this past year: pictures, stories and alarming statistics about the fragility of our world have appeared at the top of our newsfeeds on an almost daily basis. Younger generations have taken to protesting, striking and pleading for us to secure their future planet, with climate activists like Greta Thungberg leading the way. Some countries and companies have responded to the urgency for a greener planet, having started to implement the Sustainable Development Goals into their legislation or business plans. Local communities have also taken action to do what they can to help stop climate change in a positive way. For the second brief in the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards Student competition, we’re challenging you to show us a story connected to environmental sustainability. How are people trying to stop the emission of greenhouse gases? Or combat the problems of deforestation? Toxic air pollution? Loss of insects and wildlife? The acidification of oceans? Whose story do you want to tell?