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Student Focus

The Student Focus competition is one of the world’s leading programs for photography students. Anyone undertaking a full-time photography course can take part.

Each year all registered universities are given a unique 1st challenge, with a time frame given for their students to respond and submit a single image per university. A shortlist of 10 students are then selected and given a 2nd and final challenge.

All shortlisted photographers are given Sony digital imaging equipment and flown to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony, with the winner receiving €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his or her university. All shortlisted photographers will be able to attend a morning of intimate portfolio reviews with World Photography Organisation editorial staff and the Student Focus judges. 


The 1st challenge for the 2018 Student Focus competition

This year’s student focus student worked in response to Parley for the Oceans Foundation.

Parley has been created to accelerate a process of change that is already in progress. It is an initiative where creatives come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction, it addresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet.

Inspired by Parley’s initiative, for the first round of this year’s Student Focus, we would like to see a single image which highlights and raises awareness of an environmental topic of your choice. The topic can be something small and close to home or a wider issue, acknowledged on a global level.

Using photography as a tool to illustrate your topic of choice, you are encouraged to creatively use the medium of photography in all its forms and look at how you interpret the environmental subject into your images.

Take a look at to understand further their initiatives.

See the 10 finalist images on the gallery below.


“On behalf of myself, Rochelle and Stellenbosch Academy of design and photography we applaud your program for students and the awards’ themselves.” - Mark Antonello, Stellenboch photography tutor, South Africa


To take part in the Student Focus competition your institution needs to be registered. Please check our list of participating institutions or you  can ask your photography tutor to register your institution. The registration and submission process must be completed by tutors, if your university is registered or needs to be registered please contact your photography tutor. Students must be between 18 - 30 years of age on the closing date of the competition. 


Please note
The deadline for the 2018 Student Focus competition is December 11, 2017 (Now Closed)

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