The Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Open competition is now closed.
Open shortlist, category winners and the overall winner will be announced later on this year. Stay tuned with our latest news and announcements by signing up to our newsletter.
Rewarding exceptional standalone images
- Free to enter and open to anyone submitting single images taken in 2020
- Ten categories to enter, including two new categories: Lifestyle & Object.
- Awards for 1st place plus up to 15 shortlisted photographers per category
- One overall winner selected as Open Photographer of the Year and recipient of the $5,000 (USD) prize
- Once you enter the Open competition you cannot submit work to the Professional or Youth competitions
- Please see 'Rules' below for full image eligibility criteria
- Deadline for submissions: January 7, 2021 13:00 GMT
The Open competition celebrates outstanding standalone images from across the world.
Judges are looking for photographs that are striking, well-crafted and of exceptional quality. Successful images will communicate a visual narrative through excellent technical and creative skills. The Open competition aims to uncover images that show the world around us and to give the opportunity to photographers whose work might otherwise never be seen.
Photographers of all abilities can enter multiple single images to the following categories: Architecture, Creative, Motion, Landscape, Lifestyle, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Object, Street Photography, and Travel.
Last year the Awards initiated a number of programmes to support photographers worldwide. We are delighted the Alpha Female Award returns to the 2021 Awards. Read about the programme here.
‘It’s an incredible compliment to be chosen for this as I’m still buzzing to have made the shortlist alongside so much world class talent. I never dreamt I could get anywhere in the Open competition as the standard is so high and this award will really take some time to realise. I thank Mojo Magazine for the commission, my brilliant team and of course Charles for offering up such a moment. I’m astonished and delighted.’
Tom Oldham, Open Photographer of the Year 2020
- Open Photographer of the Year receives $5,000 (USD), a range of Sony digital imaging equipment
- 10 category winners receive a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in Sony World Photography Awards book
The Open competition rewards outstanding single images across ten (10) categories. Photographers should consider the category description when entering their work. Judges are looking for good composition, creativity and clear photographs.
Please note that if you enter the Open competition you cannot enter the Professional competition.
The Sony World Photography Awards support Pro-Imaging in order to protect the image rights of photographers.
1.1 By entering the Competition You hereby accept these Competition Rules and the Terms and Conditions.
1.2.1 The Competition is free to enter.
1.2.2 The Open competition is open to all members of the public.
1.3 Entries must be submitted by January 7, 2021 - 13.00 GMT.
2. To enter, you must upload your image via the World Photography Organisation Website (www.worldphoto.org) or any of the official Sony World Photography Awards’ websites and follow the on-screen instructions carefully.
2.1 Images must be taken in 2020 and entries should be based on the Categories outlined, information on which can be found on the Website.
2.2 Images should be no smaller than 1MB and no larger than 5MB. Images should be JPEG files. All images must be saved in the sRGB color model.
3.1 Entries will be judged between January 8, 2021, and January 31, 2021.
3.2 A shortlist of up to fifteen (15) photographers from each category will be selected and announced prior to the Awards Ceremony and the overall winners will be announced during the Ceremony in April 2021.
3.3 The individual category winners and the winner of the Sony World Photography Awards, the Open competition winner, will be voted for by the Judges. The overall winner of the Open competition will be notified by email and will receive return flights to London (economy class) and hotel accommodation, for two consecutive nights including the night of the Awards presentation in London, April 2021.
3.4 The decision of the Judges and the World Photography Organisation is final and no negotiation will be entered into with respect to any such decision.
3.5 Each Entrant can submit up to three images for free. The images entered can be entered in different categories or all images can be entered into a single category. Judging will be based on a single image and not the series of images.
4.1 The World Photography Organisation reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and remove any entry that does not comply with the following requirements, even after the entry is submitted on the Website. You warrant and represent, in respect of each entry submitted by You (“Entry”), as follows:
4.1.1 You are the sole owner and author of each Entry
4.1.2 You have the right to make Your Entry available to the Competition
4.1.3 Each Entry does not contain personally identifiable information about You or any other person(s)
4.1.4 Each Entry does not contain any infringing, threatening, false, misleading, abusive, harassing, libelous-, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic or profane content
4.1.5 Each Entry does not contain any material that could constitute or encourage conduct which would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law
4.1.6 Each Entry does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity, or violate any person’s rights of privacy or publicity, including:
126.96.36.199 trademarks owned by third parties
188.8.131.52 copyrighted materials owned by third parties (including movie dialogue or musical compositions)
184.108.40.206 names, likenesses, voices or other characteristics identifying celebrities or other public figures, living or dead
4.1.7 Entries which contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service other than that of the World Photography Organisation.
4.1.8 Entries containing screen credits
4.1.9 No animals were harmed or manipulated in the making of the image
4.2 You agree to fully indemnify the World Photography Organisation in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person by reason of Your breaching any of the foregoing.
4.3 You confirm that each person depicted in the Entry has granted permission to be portrayed as shown. Any costumes, props or other materials used must be rented or borrowed with the permission of the owner, and all other relevant permissions must have been obtained.
5.1 If you are under 16, you have Your parent’s or legal guardian’s consent to participate in the Competition.
5.2 If the World Photography Organisation does not receive a valid signed parental or legal guardian consent form for any winner under the age of 16 within 7 clear days of the Entrant being declared a winner (excluding the day on which such declaration is made by the World Photography Organisation ) the World Photography Organisation will be entitled to select an alternative winner from among the Entrants.
6. The World Photography Organisation may run an online rating process whereby members of the public may vote for a favorite photograph. If there is sufficient evidence (in the World Photography Organisation ’s sole discretion) to suggest malpractice and manipulation of the rating process, then the World Photography Organisation has the right to remove the relevant Entry or Entries and, if necessary, award the prize to a different Entrant. the World Photography Organisation’s decisions are final.
7.1 The World Photography Organisation recognizes You, the author of the image, retain full ownership of the copyright in each Entry.
7.2 All Entrants understand that any image submitted to the competition may be used by the World Photography Organisation, and its Event Partners, for marketing and promotional purposes of You the author and the event only, for a maximum of three years after the Awards Ceremony in April 2021. You hereby grant the World Photography Organisation a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence in each Entry throughout the world for three years in all media for any use connected to the promotion of You the author and the Sony World Photography Awards event and/or competition, including, but not limited too:
(a) judging the Competition
(b) displaying the winning entries and runners up at public exhibitions promoting the World Photography Organisation and organized by the World Photography Organisation
(c) inclusion within the Website, a World Photography Awards book, magazine or similar
(d) inclusion within any materials promoting of the Competition and/or any exhibition organized by the World Photography Organisation, in the promotion of the World Photography Organisation
(e) inclusion on Competition- and exhibition-related products to be sold by the World Photography Organisation or any third party following the individual agreement by the author
(f) sub-licensing the Entries to the press for reproduction in connection with the Competition and any exhibition
(g) allowing viewers of the Website and/or Sony World Photography Awards Application to view images on a computer screen, PDA or mobile telephone and store such pages in electronic form on disk or on a PDA or mobile telephone (but not on any server or other storage device connected to a network) for their personal, non-commercial use only. Please also refer to clause 9.
(h) incorporation by the World Photography Organisation and Sony World Photography Awards Event Partners in Sony World Photography Awards Galleries and or Sony World Photography Awards Gallery Applications on Event Partner devices for a period of three (3) years after the applicable Award Ceremony date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, You hereby acknowledge and agree if Your image is included in such Sony World Photography Awards Galleries or Sony World Photography Awards Gallery Applications Your image will remain perpetually in the device royalty free.
7.3 All Entrants understand that the image information, including image name and description, may be shared with Event partners and media as per clause 7.1, 7.2 and 8. For the avoidance of doubt the “image information” does not include any personal information of You the author.
8. Any photograph used by the World Photography Organisation shall carry a credit line. Any failure to provide such credit line shall not be deemed to be a breach, as long as the World Photography Organisation uses its reasonable endeavours to rectify such failure within a reasonable period from the date of notice of such failure.
9. The World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility for any incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in the Competition, and the World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility for technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, for lost network connections, garbled computer transmissions, other problems or technical malfunctions with regard to the Competition. the World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, corruption, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alteration of Entries. the World Photography Organisation is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail addressed to the World Photography Organisation on account of technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the internet or any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to Your or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in the Competition. If for any reason a contestant’s entry cannot be viewed or is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer viruses, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud or technical failures, the World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility.
10. In no event will the World Photography Organisation , its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and related companies, Event Partners, its advertising or promotion agencies, or its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives or agents be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or punitive damages arising out of any Entrant’s access to and use of the Website. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, everything on the Website is provided "as is"without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for purpose or use or non-infringement.
11. You agree to participate in related publicity and to the use of Your name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion, and publicity without additional compensation.
12. All Entrants must be able to supply a high-resolution image suitable for printing in media and an exhibition should the image be required.
13. There are no cash alternatives available for prize winners.
14. Winners will be announced online.
15. Should the Awards Night and/or any Winner's Exhibition fail to take place, or be re-scheduled, due to Coronavirus or additional factors outside of the World Photography Organisation’s control there are no cash alternatives available for prize winners. In no event will the World Photography Organisation, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and related companies, Event Partners, its advertising or promotion agencies, or its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives or agents be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or punitive damages arising out of any cancellation or rescheduled Awards event or winner’s exhibition.
Promoter: World Photography Awards Limited, 9 Manchester Square, London.