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2021 Youth competition shortlist celebrated!

1 year ago

From creative interpretations of TikTok to enigmatic shots of foxes in the winter landscape, it's time to celebrate the amazing Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Youth shortlist! Consisting of six monthly winners, the shortlisted photographers entered images responding to a particular theme that month. Running from July to December, monthly photo challenges were (in chronological order) Composition & Design, Culture, Natural World & Wildlife, Street Life, People plus Show us your world (which was an open call). Each monthly winner was showcased on our Instagram stories, website and announced in a dedicated mailer. Below are some of our highlights from the shortlist. 

Judged by the team at the World Photography Organisation the shortlist will now go on to the second stage of the competition, where the winner will be chosen by Youth competition judge Gastón Deleau, the Founder and Director of FOLA – a space dedicated to photography located at the heart of Buenos Aires.

Youth Photographer of the Year will be announced on 15 April, 2021, stay updated with the latest news by signing up to our newsletter


 Zak Elley, United Kingdom, 19 years-old 

'I'm very pleased to be shortlisted, let alone win the December Youth competition! This image is 1/6 of a series exploring Artificial Intelligence's role in the spread of misinformation and hate content about the LGBTQ+ community on social media. I want to say a massive thanks to the team that helped to produce this image alongside me. These people were: Rebecca Ross (Make-Up Artist), Candela Saenz Arana (Model) and Rocket Green (Studio Assistant).'


Connor Lothian, United Kingdom, 18 years-old 

'I took the shoot using coloured gels because I wanted to show the beauty and emotion that can be expressed through an image. By playing with posture and colour, I was able to create empowering images, which I hope will spark something in everyone.'

Ram Kaushalyan, India, 18 years old

'I am so grateful to be selected as the October Youth competition winner. To be named a monthly winner in the Sony World Photography Awards has given me confidence, exposure and encouragement to continue my passion as a career.'

Emil Holthausen, Germany, 18 years-old 

'I feel very honored to be in the shortlist something that is as close to my heart as photography. I would like to thank my grandpa (who is also a photographer) for his support and the awesome folks at MPIfR for making possible this incredible internship in Spanish Sierra Nevada, where I took the photo.'

Tianyang Wang, China Mainland, 18 years-old 

''I took this image during a trip to Tibet in March. It is such an honor to win the Sony World Photography Awards August Youth competition. I love the art of photography and seeing my works recognised means a lot.'

Pubarun Basu, India, 19 years-old 

'I am absolutely stoked to have been chosen as the July Youth competition winner in the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. It means a lot to me, having my work recognised by such a respected organisation. The July theme (Composition and Design) was quite interesting and I had a lot of fun breaking away from my usual point of view and daily life to discover new perspectives. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my parents who have supported me throughout this beautiful journey of developing myself as an artist.'