The Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Professional competition is now closed. Discover our 2021 Finalists and Shortlist here.
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Recognising outstanding bodies of work
- Free to enter and open to anyone submitting a series of five to ten images per category
- Ten diverse categories to enter, including the new Portfolio category for 2021 competition
- Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place artists, plus up to ten shortlisted photographers per category
- One overall winner selected as the Photographer of the Year and recipient of the $25,000 (USD) prize
- Once you enter the Professional competition you cannot submit work to the Open or Youth competitions
- Please see 'Rules' below for full image eligibility criteria
- Deadline for submissions: January 14, 2021 13:00 GMT
The Professional competition rewards and showcases the world’s most outstanding bodies of work.
Judges are looking for series that are technically brilliant, exciting and offer a fresh perspective on what contemporary photography can do. They want to uncover work that would otherwise be unseen, and share it with a worldwide audience.
The Awards can open doors to publishing deals, gallery representation and worldwide exhibitions. The Professional competition offers established photographers a global platform to share and gain recognition for their personal projects.
Artists can enter multiple series of works to the following categories: Architecture & Design, Creative, Documentary Projects, Environment, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, Sport, and Portfolio.
New for this year’s Professional competition is the Portfolio category. Photographers can enter five to 10 images taken in the past year that encapsulate their photographic practice. Images do not need to be related to each other in terms of narrative, subject matter or style. Here the judges will be looking at the quality and technical skills evident throughout the group of images. The Architecture category has been expanded for this year, asking entrants to also submit their best design related photographs.
Last year the Awards initiated a number of programmes to support photographers worldwide. We are delighted the Latin American Professional Award returns to 2021 Awards. Read more about the programme here.
‘With this important award, I see two victories: first, the opportunity to tell the stories of the traditional communities of the Amazon by highlighting the people who are still fighting not only for their future, but for everyone's. We need to look beyond the trees, the oxygen and the "undiscovered" species of the rainforest. Secondly, that the photographer of the year award has landed in Latin America, a continent historically told through the eyes of foreigners. I hope that many more photographers from our region will continue to contribute with our voices, thus strengthening the amazing community of Latin American storytellers.’
Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay), Photographer of the Year 2020
- Photographer of the Year receives $25,000 (USD), a range of Sony digital imaging equipment
- Ten category winners receive a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the Sony World Photography Awards book
- Second and third place winners will be published in the Sony World Photography Awards book
The Professional competition is judged on a body of work. Photographers must submit a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of ten (10) images and all submissions must be accompanied by a series description.
Please note that if you enter the Professional competition you cannot enter the Open or Youth competitions.
The Sony World Photography Awards support Pro-Imaging in order to protect the image rights of photographers.
1.2.1 The Competition is free to enter.
1.2.2 The Professional competition is open to all Photographers entering a body of work.
1.3 All Entrants must be over 18.
1.4 By entering the Competition You hereby accept these Competition Rules and the Terms and Conditions.
1.5 Entries must be submitted by January 14, 2021, at 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’ website and follow the on-screen instructions carefully.
2.1 Image Entry criteria:
Un-published work entered into the competition must have been taken between the dates of January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, or taken at any point in history but never been shown publicly. Once unpublished work has been entered, it cannot be entered again as published work in the future year of the Awards’ competition.
Published work may have been taken at any point in history, but must have been commissioned or acquired or first published between the dates of January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Eligible publications include books, magazines, newspapers, online and print editorial, self-publishing websites, including personal sites as well as commissioned gallery exhibitions. Images included in past photographic competitions, advertisements, marketing material, blogs, social media and all other visible platforms prior to January 1, 2020, will be considered published and not permissible within this competition.
2.2 Images should be no smaller than 1MB and no larger than 5 MB. Images should be JPEG files.
All images must be saved in the sRGB color model and EXIF data must be left in the image file.
All Entrants, if they are selected amongst the shortlist, must be able to supply a high-resolution image suitable for printing in exhibitions should the image be required.
3.1 Entries will be judged between January 15, 2021, and January 31, 2021.
3.2 A shortlist of up to ten 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 three finalists in each category, the individual category winners and the Sony World Photography Awards’ 'Photographer of the Year' will be voted for by the Judges. The finalists will be notified by email. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony in London in April 2021.
3.3.1 The winner of each category will be notified by email and will receive return flights to London (economy class) and hotel accommodation for two consecutive nights including the Awards night in 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 You may enter a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of ten (10) images per category, and may enter as many categories as you wish, however, you cannot enter the same series or images into more than one category.
3.5.1 Judging will be based on the portfolio of work entered for each category.
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 that 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:
188.8.131.52 trademarks owned by third parties
184.108.40.206 copyrighted materials owned by third parties (including movie dialogue or musical compositions)
220.127.116.11 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. Intentionally deleted
6. The World Photography Organisation may run an online rating process whereby members of the public may vote for a favourite 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 decisions of the World Photography Organisation 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. Please refer to clause 7.4. 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 and shortlisted entries at public exhibitions promoting the World Photography Organisation and organised 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 organised 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 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
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
7.4 For media purposes in accordance with clause 7.2 and to promote your winning images the World Photography Organisation will choose a maximum of three images, in low resolution, from the series entered for media use; should media require further images for publication this will be done in consultation with You
7.5 In accordance with clause 7.2 and to promote your winning images the World Photography Organisation will exhibit winning and shortlisted images within, but not limited to, the Website and Exhibitions. The World Photography Organisation reserves the right to select which images from within the winning series that will be featured within the curated exhibit and such curation is made in our sole discretion. Associated series descriptions may also be edited to fit within the context of the exhibit
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 endeavors 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 utilized in the Competition, and the World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility for technical, hardware or software failure 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