New categories, entry deadlines for Sony photography awards
July 18 2020 07:31 PM
In the Sony World Photography Awards 2020, the Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,0
In the Sony World Photography Awards 2020, the Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,000 prize was awarded to Albarenga (Uruguay) for his series, ‘Seeds of Resistance’.

The World Photography Organisation has announced that submissions for the 14th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards are now open with new categories introduced along with added application features.

"Created by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards are an authoritative voice in the industry. Celebrating the best contemporary photography from the past year, the awards give vast exposure and opportunity to photographers worldwide. Sony supports the awards to help the continued development of photographic culture by giving a global platform to today’s talent," according to a statement issued in Doha by Darwish Holding.

Entry to the awards is completely free and photographers are judged anonymously by a panel of industry leading judges. For the first time this year, photographers are able to register themselves in the competition using their Facebook, Weibo or Google accounts and upload images via their Instagram, the statement notes.

Photographers worldwide are invited to submit to the awards’ four competitions: Professional, outstanding bodies of work between 5-10 images across 10 categories; Open, rewarding the world’s best single images across 10 categories; Youth, a monthly brief for emerging talent aged 12-19 years; and Student, for photography students across the globe.

The National Awards programme will also reward local photographic talent.

The 2021awards introduce new categories across the Professional, Youth and Open competitions and a refreshed theme for the Student competition. In choosing these new categories, the awards "hope to continue appealing to a diverse range of contemporary photographers".

In the Professional competition, a new category for single images is introduced, titled Portfolio, in which photographers are requested to submit 5-10 images not related to each other in subject matter or narrative but where the photographer’s quality and technical skills are evident and consistent throughout. The Architecture category has also been expanded to include Design, giving photographers the option to showcase exteriors and urban landscapes alongside interiors with an architectural approach.

In the Open competition, two new categories have been introduced: Lifestyle and Object. Lifestyle will feature editorial, fashion or family images of people in situations or events taken in an artistic manner while Object will present images depicting inanimate subject matters. This can include photography for commercial and advertising purposes but must show the photographer’s artistic approach.

In the Youth competition, monthly themes have all been updated to include the following:

Composition and Design (July): creative images from around the home that encapsulate good composition and design; Culture (August): images that have enriched and expanded our appreciation of the world and its people. Be it immersing in local culture or capturing a unique travel experience away from home; Natural World & Wildlife (September): photographs of the best wildlife, nature and landscape taken in 2020; Street Life (October): images of urban landscapes from eye-catching graffiti, architectural details or snapshots that offer a glimpse into everyday life; People (November): portrait shots, be it studio, candid or even a self-portrait; and Show Us Your World (December): Open call. Entries can be on any topic, style or subject matter.

For the first brief in the Student competition entrants will be asked to submit images under the theme of Building a Better Future, which showcases the stories of people who are working towards creating a better future for all.

The Sony World Photography Awards are open to submissions. Full competition and categories descriptions can be found at

Deadlines for submission across the awards’ four competitions are: Professional - January 14, 2021; Open: January 7, 2021; Youth: each monthly theme will run from the first day of the month to the last (July 1 - December 31); and Student: November 30 (first brief).

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 to the Open Photographer of the Year. All winning and shortlisted photographers’ works will be exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and will then be toured internationally. The winning images will also be published in the annual awards book.

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