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Student competition

 Providing a platform for photography students worldwide - first prize is top Sony digital imaging equipment.


  • Free to enter for anyone aged from 18 to 30 years-old undertaking a photography programme*
  • Students answer a set brief with 5 to 10 images
  • Up to 10 shortlisted photographers
  • One overall winner receives the Student Photographer of the Year title
  • Deadline for entries is 29 November 2024 at 13:00 (GMT)


2025 Brief: In the Beginning 

The start of something new can be an exciting prospect and documenting the point in time or space at which something begins has been a popular theme for photography projects throughout time. 

For this year’s brief, we’re asking students to show through a series of five to 10 images  the first part or earliest stage of something. Be it following a new life, sharing the start of someone’s day, following the preparations and beginning of a particular occasion or celebration, or revealing the promise of new technology, the story, approach and photographic style can be in any genre.      

Your images can be taken on any device, shot in any style – be black & white or colour – and approached from any angle you feel is best. While creative responses are encouraged, photographers must stick to the brief.

If your institution is not registered yet, you can register here. For a list of participating institutions please see here. For information relating to this year’s brief or any other questions please email Panos Pomonis at [email protected]

*A programme refers to a formalised photography course/credit/module/foundation which is taught at higher education level, within a diploma / Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts curriculum.



Overall winner Overall winner's university / institution Shortlist
Receive Sony digital imaging equipment* xx
Flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony in London**xx
Certificate xxx
Trophy xx
Global press exposure xxx
Copy of the book xx
Inclusion in bookxx
Inclusion in exhibition***xx
Promoted on WPO's website xxx
Promoted to WPO's online community xxxx

* The overall winning university is given Sony digital imaging equipment worth approximately €30,000.

**Includes flight and accommodation for student and one tutor  

***Please note, your image may be displayed digitally (on screens) or printed


Cilck to view

1. The Competition is open to all students of photography from World Photography Organisation’s selected Universities. All Entrants must be aged between 18 and 30 years of age at the time of Competition’s deadline. All entries must confirm, on application, their acceptance of the rules of the Competition and these Terms and Conditions. Entries must be submitted by 13.00 GMT on 29 November 2024. By entering the Competition, each Entrant agrees and acknowledges that World Photography Organisation is permitted to receive his/her registration data. All personal information will be used by the World Photography Organisation in accordance with its privacy policy.

2. Students are required to submit Five (5) - Ten (10) images responding to a brief.  To enter, students must ensure their institution is registered and images are submitted via

3.1 All entries to be uploaded by 13.00 GMT on 29 November 2024.

3.2 Images from all participating students will then be judged by the selected World Photography Organisation judging panel to choose a shortlist and overall winner.  The selected shortlist  will be announced after being deemed suitable by the World Photography Organisation after January 1, 2025.

3.3 The overall winner will be announced in April 2025.

3.4 The decision of the World Photography Organisation is final and no negotiation will be entered into.

3.5 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. World Photography Organisation will not take part in dialogue with any Entrant who has been refused entry or otherwise:

3.5.1 Entries must be original and your own work

3.5.2 You have the right to make your entry available to the competition

3.5.3 Entries containing personally identifiable information about the submitter or any other person(s).

3.5.4 Entries containing any infringing, threatening, false, misleading, abusive, harassing, libellous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic or profane content.

3.5.5 Entries containing any material that could constitute or encourage conduct, which would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law.

3.5.6 Entries which infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity, or which violate any person’s rights of privacy or publicity. This means, for example, that entries must not include: trademarks owned by third parties; copyrighted materials owned by third parties (including movie dialogue or musical compositions); and/or names, likenesses, voices or other characteristics identifying celebrities or other public figures, living or dead.

3.5.7 Entries in which an Entrant has purchased or secured the rights to use stock images.

3.5.8 Entries which contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service other than that of the World Photography Organisation. Entries must not contain screen credits.

3.6 Each Entrant submitting an entry represents and warrants that:

3.6.1 They have all the necessary rights to enter the Competition and have their entry displayed on the Website.

3.6.2 The entry does not contain or infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity. Each Entrant agrees to fully indemnify World Photography Organisation in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person by reason of the Entrant breaching any of the foregoing.

3.6.3 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.

3.6.4 If there is sufficient evidence 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.

3.6.5 By submitting an entry for the Competition, each Entrant acknowledges that the Copyright remains that of the photographer. Any photograph used by the Sony World Photography Awards shall carry the photographer's credit line. Use may include, but is not limited to, publication in any World Photography Organisation media or documentation for a maximum of three years after the announcement in April 2024. You hereby grant World Photography Organisation a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence in each Entry throughout the world in perpetuity in all media for any use directly or indirectly connected with the Competition but solely connected to the event, including, but not limited to:

(a) judging the Competition

(b) displaying the winning entries and runners up at public exhibitions promoting World Photography Organisation and organised by World Photography Organisation

(c) inclusion within the Website and publication in the winner’s book or similar.

(d) inclusion within any materials promoting of the Competition and / or any exhibition organised by 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.

3.6.6 By submitting an entry for the Competition, each Entrant acknowledges that is the Entrant’s responsibility for marking their own image to protect against image misuse; World Photography Organisation and its Event Partners assume no responsibility and are not liable for any image misuse.

3.6.7 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 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. 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 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 the Entrant’s 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, World Photography Organisation assumes no responsibility.

3.6.8 In no event will 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.

3.6.9 In entering the Competition, each Entrant agrees to participate in related publicity and to the use of names and likenesses for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation. By entering, each Entrant releases and holds harmless World Photography Organisation, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, Event Partners and agents from any and all liability or injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in the Competition or acceptance or use of any prize to the greatest extent as permitted by law.

3.6.10. All Entrants must be able to supply a high resolution image suitable for printing in media.

3.6.11. There are no cash alternatives available for prize winners.

3.6.12. Prize winners may receive digital imaging equipment as part of their prize and in such cases equipment may be sent to them. In some countries income tax may be applicable to prizes. It is the winner’s responsibility to pay any income taxes related to the prize in compliance with their own country’s law. In such cases the Winner agrees to indemnify and keep the World Photography Organisation, its parents, affiliates or partners indemnified against any tax liability, charges, fines, penalties or interest or any other liability incurred by the winner which liability arose as a result of prizes provided to the Winner.

3.6.13. Winners will be published online.

3.6.14. World Photography Organisation’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

3.7 Images must be taken between January 1, 2024 and November 29, 2024.

3.8 Images may be digitally manipulated. You must provide details on how your image has been altered.

4. Your Entry may feature manipulation, but where Entries are manipulated, the extent of which must be described in the image description section when submitting. For the avoidance of doubt, all Entries must originally be from either an analogue or digital photograph which may have then been manipulated. Computer generated content cannot be the origin of the Entry. Should a question arise through the judging process regarding the extent of your Entry’s manipulation you may be requested to submit the original photograph and image file to verify.

4.4 In accordance with clause 3.2 and 3.3 all shortlisted and winning photographers will be contacted by email. If the World Photography Organisation does not hear from the entrant by the date specified in any correspondence and is therefore not able to ratify the entry that entrant will be disqualified and replaced by another photographer.

4.5 All entrants are required to enter under their correct names, and all entrants are responsible for providing this information accurately. The Awards programme is structured around providing opportunities and exposure to individual photographers and as such we do not award anonymously or accept pseudonyms.