The Sony World Photography Awards 2020 are now closed for entries! The 2021 Professional, Open, Student and Youth competitions open on 1 July, 2020. Want to keep up-to-date with the 2021 competitions? Register your interest below!
Recognizing 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
- 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
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.
For emerging photographers, the Awards can open doors to publishing deals, gallery representation and worldwide exhibitions. For established artists, the Awards offer a global platform to share personal projects and recognition for your passion for the medium.
Artists can enter multiple series of works to the following categories: Architecture, Creative, Discovery, Documentary, Environment, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, and Sport.
Read about the Latin America Professional Award, new for the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards' Professional competition.
“Three big things have happened since I won the Photographer of the Year title in 2018. I’ve recently had a book released (Ex-Voto, published by GOST), received gallery representation (by HackelBury Fine Art) and I’m also having a show at The Rencontres d’Arles. The Sony World Photography Awards has really helped to change my career trajectory, which is now much more in the fine art photography world. The Awards has accelerated that process to get where I hoped to be.”
Alys Tomlinson, United Kingdom, 2018 Photographer of the Year
“Winning Photographer of the Year makes me so happy because it means my story can reach so many people. My phone started ringing straight after the announcement and it hasn’t stopped ringing since! I’ve got messages from all around the world...People want to listen to the story I want to tell. How can I ask for more.”
Federico Borella, Italy, 2019 Photographer of the Year
- Photographer of the Year receives $25,000 (USD), a range of Sony digital imaging equipment and inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London
- Ten category winners receive flights and accommodation to the Awards ceremony in London, a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the Sony World Photography Awards book, inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London.
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners receive Awards ceremony ticket, publication in the Sony World Photography Awards book, inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London
- Shortlisted photographers - works shown on digital screens at Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London
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, 2020, 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, 2019, and December 31, 2019, 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, 2019, and December 31, 2019. 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, 2019, will be considered published and not permissible within this competition.
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 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, 2020, and January 31, 2020.
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 2020.
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 2020.
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 2020.
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:
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. 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 2020. 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 The World Photography Organisation will never distribute any high-resolution files to any third party. 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.
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.
Promoter: World Photography Awards Limited, 9 Manchester Square, London