● Photography’s power to capture environmental issues recognized in new dedicated
● Sony Grants awarded to four exceptional professional artists and three student talents
● Youth competition restructured to give young photographers more opportunity
● Exhibition tours to Japan, Italy, Germany and beyond in 2019
June 4, 2019, London: Submissions for the 13th edition of the internationally acclaimed Sony
World Photography Awards are now open and free for all to enter at www.worldphoto.org .
The 2020 Awards are marked by the introduction of an Environment category to its Professional
competition, recognizing the importance of the subject for contemporary artists, and a new
format for the Youth competition, to engage and reward young photographers working
The Awards also announced today the recipients of the 2019 Sony Grant. Chosen from the
winners and shortlist of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, the Sony Grant give artists
the freedom to create new bodies of work or develop long-term projects. In clear
demonstration of this, a new film by 2018 Photographer of the Year Alys Tomlinson funded by
her Sony Grant will be premiered at Rencontres d’Arles, France, this summer. The film is an
extension of the artist’s 2018 award-winning series Ex-Voto.
Having been seen by 25,000 people in London, the exhibition of winning and shortlisted works
from across the 2019 Awards will now tour internationally. Opening in Japan on June 1, the
exhibition will travel to Germany, Italy, India, and Mexico giving audiences worldwide the
opportunity to see the very best in contemporary photography from the past year.
Environmental issues highlighted in new Professional category
The Professional competition seeks serious bodies of work across ten diverse categories by
artists working across fine art photography and photojournalism, and rewards those pushing
the boundaries of what photography can do. The new Environment category will challenge
artists to address environmental concerns affecting the world today and winning and
shortlisted photographers are given a global platform upon which to showcase their work.
Speaking about the direct results of winning, Italian artist Federico Borella states: “Winning the
2019 Photographer of the Year title is one of the most important things for my career and my
life. This kind of visibility is amazing because it allows me and my work to reach a global
audience. My phone started ringing straight after the announcement and it hasn’t stopped
ringing since! People want to listen to the story I want to tell. How can I ask for more?”
Judges selected Borella as the overall winner in 2019 for a powerful photographic essay on the
human effects of climate change in Tamil Nadu, India.
New opportunity for young emerging photographers
The new Youth competition will give young photographers aged 12-19 the opportunity to enter
up to three single images per month from June – December 2019. Each month will have a
different theme and judges will select one winner and a shortlist per month. The seven
monthly winners will then compete to be named Youth Photographer of the Year.
The monthly structure has been implemented to give emerging photographic talent more
opportunity to be discovered and will be accompanied by expert advice on the monthly theme
to help those entering.
In addition to the Professional and Youth competitions, the 2020 Awards includes the Open
competition , rewarding outstanding single images across ten categories and the Student
competition , for photography students worldwide. The National Awards program also runs in
60+ countries and celebrate local photographic talent.
The Awards are judged anonymously, giving all photographers across the world equal
opportunity to be seen by juries of industry leading experts and win.
A total prize fund of $60,000 (USD) plus Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between
winning photographers, with many also being flown to London to attend the annual awards
ceremony. All shortlisted photographers are given exposure via the Sony World Photography
Awards Exhibition which opens in London before touring globally. The 2019 Awards saw
327,000 entries from 195 countries. For more details about all the competitions and categories
please go to www.worldphoto.org/swpa
2019 Sony Grant recipients
The World Photography Organisation and Sony are committed to supporting contemporary
photographers and contributing to the further development of photographic culture
The Sony Grants program, introduced in 2016, is open to winning and shortlisted
photographers of the Awards’ Professional and Student competition. Recipients of the 2019
Professional grant are Yan Wang Preston (UK), Ed Thompson (UK), Kohei Ueno (Japan) and
Thomas Uusheimo (Finland). Each receive $7,000 (USD) and Sony digital imaging equipment to
create work of their choice.
The 2019 Student grant was awarded to Joel Davies (Central St Martins, UK), Sam Delaware
(Pacific Union College, USA) and Tobias Kristensen (Danish School of Media & Journalism,
Denmark). Each receive $3.500 (USD) and have been commissioned to create a new body of
images, working as a team.
The results of all grant recipients work will be shown at the 2020 Sony World Photography
Awards Exhibition. Find out more about the Sony Grant at www.worldphoto.org/sony-grant