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Success Stories

At the World Photography Organisation we’re driven to push photography forward and one way we deliver this is through the Sony World Photography Awards. Now in it’s fourteenth year, the Awards is devoted to promoting both established and emerging photographers and giving them the exposure, visibility and opportunities to help advance them into the next stage of their career. 

Every year thousands of photographers submit their best imagery to the Awards and with our vast global community viewing the work, successful photographers have benefitted from publishing deals, gallery representation and worldwide exhibitions. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with individual photographers and industry-leading partners. The World Photography Organisation's aim is to facilitate the meeting of creative minds so credible, innovative and exciting work is made.

Ioanna Sakellaraki

2020 Student Photographer of the Year

"Winning Student Photographer of the Year has certainly contributed immensely to my artistic trajectory as my work has been warmly welcomed by curators and acquired by collectors, leading to various exhibitions and international media coverage. This has allowed my work to travel to readers and viewers all around the world which I find the most rewarding."

 

Greek photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki won Student Photographer of the Year in 2020 for her series The Truth is in the Soil

Since receiving the award Sakellaraki has had a solo exhibition at Galerie Erstererster (Berlin) and shown work at a variety of festivals - including Athens Photo Festival and Circulation(s) festival (Paris). She has been interviewed for leading media titles, including The Guardian, The New Yorker, Deutsche Welle and Musee Mag. She is currently studying her PhD in Art, Archiving the Disaster: Preservation, Separation and Encounter, Techne Doctoral Scholarship Award by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, United Kingdom.

View awarded series | View series | Beyond the Frame | Website | Instagram

 

Alys Tomlinson

2018 Photographer of the Year

“My involvement in the Sony World Photography Awards has directly lead me to have gallery representation by fine art photography gallery, HackelBury Fine Art.”

 

British photographer, Alys Tomlinson won the Professional Photographer of the Year title at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. She is an award-winning editorial and fine art photographer based in London. 2018 has been a key year for Tomlinson - as well as receiving this esteemed Award, she has also received a Professional Sony Grant, and has won or been shortlisted for various other high profile awards.

Tomlinson studied photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has recently completed an MA in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage (Distinction) at SOAS, University of London, which ties in with her long-term personal project about pilgrimage.

 

Read more about "Ex-Voto", her series awarded 2018 Photographer of the Year and 1st Place in the Discovery category of the Professional competition in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Tania Franco Klein

2018 Professional, Creative, Shortlisted

 

 

Tania Franco Klein has been awarded in Sony World Photography Awards for two consecutive years. She has won, been shortlisted and been nominated in multiple other major photography competitions.

Franco Klein’s work is highly influenced by her fascination with social behavior and contemporary practices such as leisure, consumption, media overstimulation, emotional disconnection, the obsession with eternal youth, the American dream in the Western world and the psychological sequels they generate in our everyday life.

Her work has been exhibited across Europe, USA, and Mexico, including international fairs such as Photo Basel, Photo London, Photofairs SF, Getxo Photo and during the Los Angeles Month of Photography.

 

Read more about her series "Our Life In The Shadows",  Shortlisted in the Professional Creative category of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, and her image awarded with the Mexico National Award prize in the 2017 Sony Photography Awards, National Awards.

 

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Will Burrard-Lucas

2017 Professional, Natural World & Wildlife, 1st Place, Sony Grant recipient

"As a result of the Sony World Photography Awards, I have developed a close relationship with Sony which has led to main opportunities including a solo exhibition of my work in Tokyo, a grant for my Land of Giants project and to me becoming a Sony Europe Imaging Ambassador."
 

British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas is the first photographer to capture high-quality camera trap images of the melanistic African leopard. He is also celebrated for developing devices, such as BeetleCam and camera traps, which enable him to capture incredibly close-up photographs of the most elusive animals. He works with WWF African Parks and The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme.

In 2017 Will won the Natural World & Wildlife category in the Professional competition and was one of the four recipients of the Sony Grant. The grant funded the early stages of Wil’s Land of Giants project, which he’s subsequently released as a book in partnership with Tsavo Trust and Kenyan Conservation Area. 

Since his win, Will has developed a close working relationship with Sony.

 

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Kei Nomiyama

2016 Open Photographer of the Year

"I am especially passionate about underwater photography, but have also challenged myself with various other natural subjects, such as fireflies, snow monkeys and whales. I'm very surprised at winning a prize, and take pride in this award."

 

A Ph.D. Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry at Ehime University, Japan, Kei Nomiyama is a keen wildlife and underwater photographer. His photograph was shot in the mountains of Shikoku Island, and captures the Luciola parvula firefly at the beginning of the rainy season.

In 2018, his image of Japanese monkeys was chosen as "Photo of the Day" by National Geographic, and he also obtained the 14th Miura Environment Award. In 2016 he won the 1st Place in the Nature Underwater category in the International Photography Awards.

See his stunning image “Enchanted Bamboo Forest”, with this image he was awarded Open Photographer of the Year at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

 

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Maroesjka Lavigne

2016 Professional, Landscape, 1st Place

“I'm very pleased that I have the opportunity to share my view of this world by doing what I love most. I hope my images momentarily take the viewers out of their daily routine to appreciate the beauty of these desolate landscapes.”

 

Belgium photographer Maroesjka Lavigne won 1st place in the Landscape Category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

Lavigne's work has been shown internationally at the Foam Talent exhibition in Amsterdam, The Robert Mann Gallery in New York, Galerie Hug in Paris and Museum Saint Guislain in Gent, Belgium, among others. She self-published a book called ‘ísland’ in 2012 that sold out. In 2014, she published a postcard version of this book and in 2015 she made a commissioned work called ‘Not seeing is a Flower’, in collaboration with the Flanders centre in Osaka. This was published in the catalog called “Facing Japan”. Her latest project “Land of Nothingness” is made in Namibia and exhibited in the Robert Mann Gallery in New York.

Lavigne was selected for the Talent Call at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (FOAM) Netherlands in 2012, and was the winner of the Emerging Talent competition of Lensculture in 2014 with the series “You are More than beautiful”.

 

Read more about her series awarded 1st Place, Professional Landscape category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Nick Ng

2016, Professional, Candid, 2nd Place

“The Sony World Photography Awards opened up doors for me when I won in the Open Category in 2015 - I was appointed as Sony Malaysia’s Alpha Ambassador as well as Sony South East Asia’s Alpha Professional Photographer. From the 2015 London trip, I worked myself towards the Professional category in 2016, and was elated to have been awarded 2nd place in the Candid Category. Being a finalist in the Professional category spurred me to continue my work as a contemporary photographer.Sony has recognized that, and has been a great support."

 

Nick Ng started photography in 2008 and is an avid travel and documentary photographer with special interests in people, environmental portraits and cultures. His interest in photography was instilled when he was a teenager, but due to financial constraints, he was only able to pick up his first camera in 2008. He has since won many awards and has been a Sony Alpha user since 2014.

Photography to him is an extension of his inner childhood, memories of his grandfather who worked as a goldsmith in a dimly lit workshop inspired him to explore the hidden gems during his travels. His passion lies in the people he meets and their surrounding environment that moulds their cultures and traditions, be it in modern cities or remote villages.

 

Read more about his series "If You Don't Drink Tea, You Are Not Chinese ", awarded 2nd Place, Professional Candid category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

View series | Read interview | WebsiteSony Website

John Moore

2015 Photographer of the Year

"To be honored with the Photographer of the Year award in 2015 meant my work, and more importantly, the story I was reporting, could be seen by the public in print form in a gallery setting. The more ways that viewers can see photojournalism presented in context, the better."

 

American photojournalist John Moore is a senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images. He has photographed in 65 countries on six continents and was posted internationally for 17 years.

While John was already well-established in the photography industry and the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, winning the 2015 Photographer of the Year title helped his work reach a wider audience. 

In 2018 he released Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border with powerHouse books. His images of America’s migration crisis are some of the most recognized in the international press.

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Sophie Gamand

2014 Professional, People, 1st Place

"Since the award, my book “Wet Dog” came out (Grand Central Publishing). It was a dream come true! Then a couple of months after winning the award, I created “Flower Power”. I travel the U.S. photographing pit bulls in shelters, some of which have been waiting for homes for 3 or 4 years. My work has found meaning, and it’s very rewarding."

 

French photographer Sophie Gamand won 1st Place in the Professional People category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards with her series “Wet Dog”. Sophie's work has been published in the press worldwide, online and in print (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Oprah Magazine, ....). Her first book, “Wet Dog”, came out in October 2015.

Gamand is an animal advocate living and working in New York. Since 2010, she has been focusing on dogs and our relationship with them. Gamand travels around the U.S. photographing shelter dogs for free, to help raise awareness of their fate, and help them get adopted.

 

Read more about her series "Wet Dog", awarded 1st Place, Professional People category in the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

View awarded seriesWebsite | Instagram

 

 

Yukari Chikura

2014, Professional, Landscape, shortlisted

Japanese photographer Yukari Chikura (地蔵 ゆかり) was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards. Chikura won the 2017 Steidl Book Award Asia with the project "  Fluorite fantasia ( looking for my father...)" and is going to publish soon the book 'Zaido', a record of this 1,300-year-old Japanese ritual festivity.

She was selected as “FOTOFEST Discoveries of the Meeting Place 2018”. She won LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, Photolucida Critical Mass TOP50 (Winner) 2016 & 2015, PX3, the International Photography Award, National Geographic among others. Some projects have collected in Griffin Museum in US and Bibliotheque National de France.

She was an artist in residence of Rokko International Photography Festival in 2015. Her photograph selected as "IPA Best of Show photographer 2013" (Lucie Foundation). She also participated in the “RPS Photobook Masterclass”, the “Review Santa Fe 2014” and “Eddie Adams Workshop 2014”.

 

Read more about her series "Frozen World" which was shortlisted in the Professional Landscape category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Daniel Duart

2013 Professional, Travel, 2nd Place

“Being part of the Sony World Photography Awards made my work visible in half of Latin America - they helped me spread the word (and the images) all around the world and I was even on TV!"

 

Spanish photographer Daniel Duart won 2nd Place in the Professional Travel category of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.

Since then, Daniel has worked with Sony Europe to promote the Sony RX1 camera and he has travelled around Latin America with Sony delivering workshops and masterclasses on travel photography.

 

See more about his series awarded 2nd Place, Professional Travel category in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Andrea Gjestvang

2013 Photographer of the Year

“Winning the L'Iris d'Or/ Photographer of the Year 2013 was a great recognition and it made my work reach out to a worldwide audience. Both editors, collectors, potential collaborators in the business, but most important the normal readers that were moved and engaged by the images. It opened up new opportunities for me, and was a huge motivation to continue following the stories that I believe in.”

 

Winning the 2013 L’Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year title, propelled Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang onto the global stage.

Her stunning series of portraits of the children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya, outside Oslo, “One Day in History”, were published around the world and, despite being a mum to a very young baby at the time of the winning, has barely stopped working since.

In 2015 Andrea portrayed young asylum seekers who had been deported back to their home countries after living in Norway for many years. The project, which was called “Return”, has been published internationally and exhibited in art museums in Norway. She is also touring Norway with a workshop for adolescents.

 

Read more about "One Day in History", her series which was awarded the 2013 Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Professional People category in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

View awarded series | View galleryWebsite | Instagram

 

 

Natalia Wiernik

2013 Student Photographer of the Year

Natalia was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow when she entered the Student Focus competition in 2013. An aspiring photographer with a strong artistic style, her series of work caught the judges’ attention and she was named the 2013 Student Photographer of the Year.

Since winning, Natalia has had her work shown in many of the world’s leading photography magazines and has delivered masterclass on behalf of Sony.

 

See more about her series awarded 2013 Student Photographer of the Year in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Edgar Martins

Awarded multiple times

“The media response to the awards was overwhelming, with extensive press and TV coverage all over the world. Apart from providing my work a huge international platform, the Sony World Photography Awards has also brought my images to the consciousness of collectors, curators, galleries and museums.”

 

Portuguese photographer, Edgar Martins, is a multiple-award winner in the Sony World Photography Awards, succeeding in both the 2009 and 2018 editions of the competition. Martins is considered by US and UK art critics as one of the most influential artists of his generation working in the medium of photography.

His work has been awarded and shortlisted in some of the most prestigious photography awards in the world. His work is collected in museums, public, corporate and private collections throughout the world including BES (Portugal), MACE (Portugal) and The Victoria and Albert Museum (UK).

 

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Fan Li

Awarded multiple times

"The Sony World Photography Awards provides an opportunity to learn from other photographers and promote photography."

 

Fan Li is a Chinese photographer, member of China Photographers Association, winner of China’s most prominent personal achievement award in photography - the “Golden Statue Award2. He is a judge of the 11th Chinese Golden Statue Award for Photography, is a member of Art Photography Committee of China’s Photographers Association and is a judge of the 24th China National Photographic Art Award and Exhibition.

For decades, Fan Li has committed himself to the practice, teaching, and research of photography, and many of his students have become outstanding photographers in prestigious media organisations across China, winning prizes in photographic contests at home and overseas. He works as associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communications of Shaanxi Normal University in China.

 

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Pedro Jarque Krebs

Awarded multiple times

“Such a recognition gives me immense joy, and I am very pleased that this will also contribute to the dissemination of my work, which aims to raise awareness of the fragility of animal life”.

 

Pedro Jarque Krebs is a Peruvian photographer who has been awarded multiple times at the Sony World Photography Awards for his stunning pictures of animals.

He has received around 100 awards and recognition from all over the world, including 1st Place in Creative nature photography at the 2018 Festival International de la Photo, the 2018 Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) and 1st Place and 3rd Place at the 2018 The Motif Collective Award on the theme "Nature’s Glory."

 

See some of his awarded images in the Open Competition of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

 

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Tom Oldham

Awarded multiple times

"When you win, everything happens so fast – the press, the social media flurry, the incredible prizes. All of these add up to an elevation of your status as a photographer and in a world of diminishing outlets for quality work, a competition win can really push your work into new corners of the world. That year I was also the beneficiary of the Sony Grant, which powered my next project forward enabling me to shoot in Paris and New York. Since winning Open Photographer of the Year I’ve got picked up by a photo agency. The Awards has undoubtedly contributed to a willingness by others to answer my requests with a yes in a very significant way."

British photographer Tom Oldham was the 2018 Professional competition Portraiture category winner with his series The Last Of The Crooners and one of four 2019 Sony Professional Grant recipients. He went on to win the 2020 Open Photographer of the Year for his portrait of Black Francis from the American rock band Pixies. 

An established photographer celebrated for taking imaginative portraits of leading musicians, actors, sports stars and other talented individuals living today, Oldham submitted a personal project back in 2018 and was supported to continue creating projects outside his commissioned work. Highlights to his current portfolio include working with Macmillan Cancer Support, shooting for MOJO, New York Times and GQ. Since receiving his awards he has gained agency representation and exhibited work at the Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition No.162 in Bristol. 

Oldham has also set up the charity Creative Corners, where you can donate creative books or equipment to state schools across the UK. 

 

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Peter Franck

Awarded multiple times

"My participation in the Sony World Photography Awards has become an almost annual tradition that I’ve grown very fond of. Every year it challenges you to put your own work in an international context. Since my work pushes the boundaries of photography and leans towards painting, I’ve succeeded in being perceived as an artist in the world of photography through my success in the Awards. This really is what is the most valuable to me."

German photographer Peter Franck has enjoyed a variety of successes in the Professional competition over the years, including first place in the 2012 Professional competition Beauty and Fashion category and second place in the Travel category; third place in the 2019 Professional competition Architecture; third place in the 2017 Professional competition Landscape category. 

Franck also enjoyed success in the 2021 Awards with Flashlights From Different Portfolios being shortlisted in Portfolio and Back to the Future was awarded third place in Architecture.   Since receiving his latest accolades, Franck has put together an exhibition, called Show in a Box: Shimmer Wall. He is represented by arthill gallery. 

 

 

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Alessandro Gandolfi

Awarded and shortlisted

"Being awarded first place in the Professional competition’s Still Life category in 2020 and being shortlisted in the Environment and Portfolio categories in 2021 brought considerable visibility both to my work as a photojournalist and to Parallelozero, the agency where I’m a partner. The presence of my name amongst the Award’s great talents is an unparalleled showcase and has enabled me to present my work to an audience of world-renowned specialists. It’s both a privilege and a source of pride."

 

Italian photographer and journalist Alessandro Gandolfi was a category winner in the 2020 Professional competition with his series Immortality, Inc. and he enjoyed success in the 2021 Awards’ Professional competition: Gas Chamber Delhi in the Environment category and his submission to the Portfolio category made the shortlist. His work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines including Der Spiegel, China Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine and National Geographic.

His pictures have been exhibited in several personal and collective photo exhibitions and festivals, including VISA Pour l’Image (Perpignan, France) and National Geographic exhibitions in Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome, Italy). He is also the co-founder of Parallelozero Photo Agency.

 

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