Sony launches 2019 edition of photo contest, announces 2018 grant winners




The World Photography Organisation has opened the 12th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s most diverse photography competition. To celebrate its continued presence as a leading global photography competition, the Awards reveal the latest recipients of the Sony Grant, from previous Award winners, and announces three new categories for 2019.

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, visibility and opportunity to photographers worldwide on an annual basis.Sony supports the Awards to help the continued development of photographic culture throughout the world, celebrating the best of past and present practitioners, as well as giving a global platform to today’s talent. Entries to the Awards is free and can be submitted online.

Speaking of her experience upon winning the overall title at the 2018 Awards, Alys Tomlinson said: “Being named Photographer of the Year means a huge amount to me. It’s wonderful to be recognised for what I do, for what I am so committed and passionate about. Having worked on the ‘Ex-Voto’ series for five years, winning this Award has opened up and emphasised the centrality of pilgrimage to us all.”

New categories:

Photographers worldwide are invited to submit to the Awards’ four competitions: Professional, outstanding bodies of work between 5-10 images across ten categories; Open, rewarding the world’s best single images across ten categories, Youth, a single brief for emerging talent aged 12-19, and Student, for photography students across the globe. The National Awards program will also reward local photographic talent.

The 2019 Awards is marked by the introduction of two challenging new categories in the Professional competition: Brief and Documentary. Brief will test photographers abilities to compose a body of work on a specific theme. The inaugural theme of this category is ‘Identity’. Documentary is a new category for bodies of work portraying facts about a chosen subject, giving insight into contemporary issues and news. In choosing these new categories, the Awards hopes to continue appealing to a diverse range of contemporary photographers. 

In the Open competition a new Creative category has been introduced and the Awards welcome Culture Trip and Eurostar as category partners. 

Sony Grant:

Introduced in 2016, Sony Grants provide previous Award winners with further opportunities to develop and display their works and establish an ongoing relationship with Sony after the Awards. The recipients are chosen by Sony from the winning and shortlisted photographers of the Awards’ Professional and Student competitions.

The 2018 Sony Grant recipients are announced today as Alys Tomlinson (UK), Luca Locatelli (Italy), Tom Oldham (UK) and Balazs Gardi (Hungary).  Each receives US $7,000 to develop a project of their own over the next year, with the resulting images being exhibited at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London.

The 2018 Student Sony Grant recipients are revealed as Morgan Mulholland (South Africa), Anshul Mehrotra (India) and Cao Hongmei (China). Each student will receive US $3,500 to develop a collaborative project set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation which will also be exhibited in London.

A further round of Sony Grants has been confirmed for the winning and shortlisted photographers of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

Photographers have until November 30, 2018 to enter the Student competition, January 4, 2019 for the Open and Youth competitions, and January 11, 2019 for Professional. Full competition and categories descriptions can be found at the awards portal.

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of US $25,000 will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and US $5,000 to the overall Open competition winner. Afterwards, 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.

The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives.  Working across up to 180 countries, it aims to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of events including the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition, and PHOTOFAIRS, international art fairs dedicated to photography with destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco.




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