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Announcement Dates

Sony World Photography Awards 2020 timeline

All you need to know about when we’ll be releasing the shortlists, category and overall winners for the Sony World Photography Awards 2020.

World Photography Organisation announcement:

It is with great regret the World Photography Organisation has decided to cancel the Sony World Photography Awards 2020 exhibition at Somerset House (17 April to 4 May) and the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony (9 June). The decision was made in consultation with our partners, in line with UK government advice and in consideration of the health and safety of our staff and visitors.

We are working with Somerset House to try and find alternative dates for the exhibition to run at a later time. If you have booked a ticket to the exhibition Somerset House will be in touch as soon as possible should you wish to have a refund. Please contact for any ticket enquiries.

The overall winners of this year’s competitions will be announced on 9th June across the World Photography Organisation and Sony’s online platforms and channels.

The World Photography Organisation recognises the impact this has on our community of photographers and in response launched the Stay Connected page. Featuring varied online initiatives, activities and resources Stay Connected aims to support and inspire audiences while celebrating the work of winning and shortlisted photographers. 

Below is an updated schedule of press announcements: 

21 January, 2020
Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient revealed

11 February, 2020
Professional competition: shortlist and finalists 
Professional Sony Grant recipients’ projects

28 February, 2020
National Awards Winners

10 March, 2020
Youth competition: shortlist 
Student competition shortlist revealed
Student Grant recipients’ projects 

31 March, 2020
ZEISS Photography Award winner and shortlist revealed 

15 April, 2020 
Open shortlist and category winners revealed 

5 May, 2020
Alpha Female Award shortlist announced 

9 June, 2020
Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Student Photographer of the Year,Youth Photographer of the Year, Latin America Professional Award and Alpha Female Award announced online. 




Find the right competition for you – all are free to enter


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 now!



The Sony World Photography Awards has four competitions:

  • Professional (Opens 1 July, 2020)- Recognizing outstanding bodies of work
  • Open (Opens July 1, 2020) - Rewarding exceptional standalone images
  • Youth (Opens 1 July 2020) - Celebrating the best single images by emerging photographers aged between 12-19 years-old
  • Student (Opens 1 July 2020)  - Providing a platform for photography students worldwide

Exposure & Benefits

Why you should enter

The Awards are your chance to have your work recognized globally and has the power to change the careers of those who win and are shortlisted. 

The democratic approach of the Awards means all artists working across photography have equal opportunity to win and be seen by leading industry experts.

Every competition is free to enter and categories are designed to be open to all photographic genres and abilities.

Successful photographers can receive:

  • Inclusion in global and country-specific media and marketing campaigns
  • Exhibition at Somerset House, London
  • Potential to be included in international exhibitions
  • Inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards book
  • Opportunity to apply for the Sony Grant to further personal photographic projects

The World Photography Organisation has a thriving online presence and creates dedicated campaigns to give unprecedented worldwide exposure to the Awards' successful photographers across its social media platforms, mailers and website.


The world’s leading awards for artists working in contemporary photography

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures in the global photographic calendar.

The Awards are a global voice for photography and provide a vital insight into contemporary photography today. For both established and emerging artists, the Awards offer world-class opportunities for exposure of their work.

Now in its 13th year, the Awards consist of four competitions: Professional (for a body of work), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year-olds).

Always free to enter, there is a competition and a category for everyone – from Architecture, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sport, Street Photography, Wildlife, Travel, Culture and more.

All images are judged by industry experts from across the world, who come together each year in London to reward standout works. A total prize fund of $60,000 (USD) plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between the winning photographers.

With the power to kickstart and shape careers, the Awards provide those working in photography a global stage to showcase their work. Previous winning and shortlisted photographers have gone on to be represented by renowned galleries and institutions worldwide, as well as their work being featured in major international publications.

In addition, the Awards recognize the world’s most influential artists working in the medium through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award; previous recipients include Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Candida Höfer and, most recently, Nadav Kander.

Sony’s commitment

The objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture. The Awards do this by recognizing great contributions to photography in the past through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize as well as finding new talents of the future and providing them with the opportunity to be promoted and exhibited around the world. This is achieved through the Awards program and by integrating a Student and Youth competitions as well as Student and Professional Sony Grants. The latter further prove Sony’s commitment to photographic culture by extending their relationship with individual winners beyond the Awards to develop the individuals’ careers. The Grants of $7,000 (USD) and $3,500 (USD) each is awarded to four professional and three student recipients respectively so they can continue developing their projects. 

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Each Spring the hugely popular Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition goes on show at the famous London landmark, Somerset House. Attracting 25,000 visitors each year, the Exhibition features more than 800 images and is a must-see event in the capital’s cultural calendar.

Following its London debut, the exhibition tours globally to Europe, Asia and the Americas.  Click here to see our latest tour dates and locations.