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© Adam Zadlo, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, Student Focus Shortlist, 2016 Sony World Photography

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.

This year's 1st challenge is:

We want you to recreate one of your favourite memories in a single image. 
It could be from your childhood; a moment of laughter with friends; a first date, or from a walk in the rain last week. 

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. 

“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 proccess 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. 


Revealed: The grand prize winners of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. View the incredible images that won the Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus and the National Awards.

The deadline for the 2017 Student Focus competition was December 5, 2016, submissions are now closed



2017 Exhibition 
Are you in London from the 21st April - 7th May? We will bring a complete celebration of photography to London. The Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr - 2017 Exhibition will showcase the winning, shortlisted and commended images from the world's leading photography competition. It will also present a unique selection of images, books and film from legendary photographer Martin Parr.

You'll be able to enjoy a variety of different genres from Architecture, Daily life, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sports, Street Photography, Wildlife and many more...

A perfect day out with the family!

Book tickets today