Supporting photographers beyond the Awards
The Sony Grant programme was introduced in 2016 to further support and create opportunities for individual photographers recognised in the Sony World Photography Awards. The annual initiative is open to all photographers successful in the Sony World Photography Awards Professional and Student competitions corresponding to that year. Created by Sony to help sustain their connection with photographers beyond the Awards, the Grant programme symbolises Sony’s commitment to encourage today’s chroniclers, commenters and photographic artists to keep on making new and interesting work. Divided into two initiatives, the Sony Professional Grant and the Sony Student Grant, each programme is tailored to benefit either the established or emerging photographer.
Striving to be an inclusive programme that celebrates a broad range of experiences, viewpoints and approaches, the Sony Grant has benefited 29 photographers to date and has seen a variety of projects flourish. Such projects include Will Burrard Lucas’ book in collaboration with Tsavo Trust Land of Giants; Alys Tomlinson’s film Vera, (New Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2019) and National Geographic photographer Luca Locatelli’s ongoing project MATERIA, which looks at humanity’s reactions to the growing environmental and population strains on earth. Sarah Schrimpf, the recipient of the Student Sony Grant, has not only gone on to gain a variety of success in academia and fellowship programmes, she also had work exhibited in the 2019 Venice Biennale.
Sony Professional Grant
Acknowledging the importance of supporting forward-thinking photographers passionate about creating work outside of their commissioned portfolio, the Professional Grant benefits those wanting to push their – and the photographic medium’s – creative development without having to sacrifice financial risk.
All finalists (those awarded first, second or third place) from the Professional competition are invited to apply. Submissions can be focused on creating a new body of work of the photographer’s choice or developing a long-term project. The chosen photographers are each gifted $7,000 (USD) and are loaned Sony digital imaging equipment of their choice (depending on availability). Alongside a dedicated media campaign led by the World Photography Organisation press team, a selection of works from each project are then shown in the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House.
Sony Student Grant
The Sony Student Grant was introduced to support emerging talent in photography during their first years in the industry. Aimed to empower the next generation of photographers, the Student Grant was set up to build lasting relationships with those coming to the fore to ensure innovative work continues to be made. The Sony Student Grant offers those at the start of their career to take the next level.
Recipients are chosen from the shortlist of the corresponding year’s Sony World Photography Awards’ Student competition. Each photographer is given $3,500 (USD) and are loaned Sony digital imaging equipment of their choice (depending on availability). Recipients are asked to respond to a particular brief in a series of five to 10 images. Written by Sony and the World Photography Organisation, the brief reflects contemporary themes, issues or concerns, for example, the 2019 recipients were asked to explore the greenification of cities. A selection of works from each project go on display at the annual Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House.
How to Apply
The Sony Professional Grant welcomes applications from photographers awarded as a finalist in the corresponding year’s Professional competition. Enter the Professional competition.
The Sony Student Grant invites proposals from photographers shortlisted in the corresponding year’s Student competition. Enter the Student competition.
2019 Professional Grant recipients
Sony has chosen the below category winners to receive the 2019 Grant:
Yan Wang Preston | UK | Landscape Winner
Ed Thompson | UK | Brief 3rd Place Winner
Kohei Ueno | Japan | Sport 2nd Place Winner
Tuomas Uusheimo | Finland | Architecture 2nd Place Winner
Each receives $7,000 (USD).
2019 Student Grant recipients
For the third year, Sony has commissioned three photographers from the Student Focus competition to work together on a new body of work.
Joel Davies | UK | Central St Martins
Sam Delaware | USA | Pacific Union College, 2016 Youth Photographer of the Year
Tobias Kristensen | Denmark | Danish School of Media & Journalism
2018 Professional Grant recipients
2018 Student Grant recipients
For the second year, Sony has commissioned three photographers from the Student Focus competition to work together on a new body of work. The theme for this body of work will be announced later in the year.
2017 Professional Grant recipients
Four Professional category winners from the 2017 Awards were chosen by Sony to receive grants to pursue a project of their choice.
The 2017 Sony Grant recipients from the professional category are:
2017 Student Grant recipients
Continuing to engage with the next generation of photographers, three young artists shortlisted in the 2017 Student Focus competition were commissioned to create a new body of work.
Working together as a collective across three continents, the photographers were challenged discover “How photography transforms our encounters with everyday objects?”
The three photographers are:
Shravya Kag | USA | School of Visual Arts, New York
Sarah Schrimpf | Germany | Akademie der Bildenden Künste München
Tatsuki Katayama | Japan | Kyoto University of Art and Design
2016 Professional Grant recipients
Three Professional category winners from the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards were chosen by Sony to receive grants to pursue a project of their choice.
The 2016 Sony Grant recipients from the professional category are:
Amélie Labourdette | France | Architecture
Maroesjka Lavigne | Belgium | Landscape
Nikolai Linares | Denmark | Sports