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Sony World Photography Awards launches 2018 edition with new categories and grant opportunity

Communiqué de presse   •   juin 01, 2017 11:25 CEST

Frederik Buyckx, Sony World Photography Awards winner 2017

● A global platform giving visibility to photographers worldwide

● ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’ categories introduced to challenge photographers

● New grant opportunity available to winning photographers

● Images available at

“Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined.” Frederik Buyckx, Sony World Photography Awards winner 2017

The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, are now open for entries. Submissions are free at

The 11th edition of the Awards is marked by the introduction of two challenging new categories in the Professional competition, ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’, and an important new opportunity for award-winners to secure a grant to fund future photographic projects.

Created by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards are an authoritative voice in the industry and the world’s biggest photography competition. Celebrating the finest contemporary photography from the past year, the Awards give vast exposure, visibility and opportunity to photographers worldwide on an annual basis.

Commenting on the Awards’ impact, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards winner Frederik Buyckx said: “Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined. It has opened lots of new doors but, just as an importantly, the award has also encouraged me to keep on working on my personal projects.”

Changing medium of photography prompts new Professional categories

In recognition of the changing use of photography, two new categories have been added to the 2018 Awards’ Professional competition.

The new ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’ categories are both designed to embrace photographers working at the cutting-edge of the medium. Judges will specifically look to reward originality, experimentation and imagination in these categories and hope to discover what that would otherwise be unseen by the Awards. Artistic interpretation, integrity and technical ability are the key factors for judges across all categories of the Awards.

The Sony World Photography Awards comprise of four competitions:

Professional – 10 categories judged upon a body of work (5-10 images)

Open – best single images across 10 categories

Youth - young photographers aged 12-19 responding to a brief with a single image

Student Focus – for those studying photography

For the full list of competition categories and descriptions please go to

New Sony Grant to fund photographic projects

In demonstration of the Awards’ commitment to create opportunities for its photographers, a new grant programme those participating in the Professional and Student Focus competitions has been introduced this year.

From the winners of the 2018 Professional categories, Sony will award multiple grants of $7,000 to selected photographers to pursue photographic projects of their choice.

In addition, shortlisted photographers from the Student Focus competition will each be given $3,500 (USD) to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

The Sony Grant programme has been formalised for the 2018 Awards following a successful pilot with three 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Professional category winners:Amélie Labourdette, Maroesjka Lavigne and Nikola Linares. The inaugural Sony grants supported diverse projects including the documentation of young bullfighters in Spain (Linares), landscapes of Iceland and Namibia (Lavigne) and the impact of man on the Tunisian desert (Labourdette).

For more details about the recipients of the 2017 Sony Grant recipients please see Notes to Editors below. Images from the series are available at

Prizes: Worldwide exposure, exhibitions and digital imaging equipment

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony.

In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) to the overall Open competition winner.

All category winners plus many of the shortlisted Awards photographers will be exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and then toured internationally. The images will also be published in the annual Awards winners’ book and all shortlisted and winning photographers are given global exposure via dedicated marketing and press campaigns.

2018 Key dates

  • December 4, 2017 – Student Focus closes
  • January 4, 2018 – Open & Youth competitions close
  • January 1, 2018 – Professional competitions close
  • February 27, 2018 –Shortlist announced
  • March 27, 2018 – Open and National Awards winners revealed
  • April 19, 2018 – Photographer of the Year & Professional category winners announced


2017 Sony Grant recipients – images available at

Nikolai Linares (b. 1983, Denmark) won the 2017 Professional Sport category with his series “Second Best” and is a photojournalist. His new work, “The Boys and the Bulls” follows the pursuits of the boys and young men studying to become bullfighters in the city of Almería, southern Spain.

Maroesjka Lavigne (b.1989, Belgium) is a fine art photographer currently represented by Robert Mann Gallery, New York. Winner of the Professional Landscape category in 2017, her series “Out of the Blue” investigates the geological and aesthetic qualities of the land in X and X.

Amélie Labourdette (b. 1974, France) is a visual artist and winner of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards’ Professional Architecture category. Shot in the Tunisian desert, Labourdette’s series, “Traces of Human Occupation”, examines the impact the occupation of man has had on the different landscapes that constitute the territory of the mining basin of the Governorate of Gafsa.

The work of the three Student Focus photographers chosen to work together will be available later this year.

2017 COMPETITION CATEGORIES – see full category descriptions here

● Professional - Judged on a body of work.

Categories: Architecture / Contemporary Issues / Creative / Current Affairs & News / Discovery / Landscape / Natural World & Wildlife / Portraiture / Sport / Still Life

● Open - Judged on a single shot.

Categories: Architecture / Culture / Enhanced / Motion / Landscape & Nature / Portraiture / Still Life / Street Photography / Travel / Wildlife

● Youth - For photographers aged 12-19, judged on a single image responding to the brief of “My Environment”

Contacts presse

Sony France - Loic Malroux - +34 61740 5603 -

Sony France - Louis-Frédéric Decam - 01 55 90 30 82 -

Le Public Système - Alice Delaune - 01 41 34 23 72 -

À propos de Sony

Sony Corporation est l'un des principaux fabricants de produits audio, vidéo, de jeux, de communication, de périphériques clés et de technologie de l'information destinés aux professionnels et au grand public. Forte de ses activités dans les domaines de la musique, du cinéma, du divertissement informatique et en ligne, Sony bénéficie d'une position idéale de leader mondial en matière d'électronique et de divertissement. Sony a enregistré des ventes annuelles consolidées de près de 72 milliards de dollars pour l'exercice clos le 31 Mars 2016. Site Web international Sony :

À propos de la World Photography Organisation (WPO)

La World Photography Organisation est une plate-forme mondiale au service des initiatives photographiques. Œuvrant dans plus de 180 pays, notre objectif est d’élever le débat photographique en mettant à l’honneur les meilleurs photographes et images de la planète.

Nous sommes fiers de pouvoir construire des relations internationales durables avec des photographes indépendants mais aussi avec nos partenaires leaders du secteur.

Nous organisons de nombreux événements tout au long de l’année dont : les Sony World Photography Awards (le plus grand concours de photographie au monde, qui fêtera son 10e anniversaire en 2017), de nombreuses rencontres et conférences locales et PHOTOFAIRS, la foire internationale d'art dédiée à la photographie offrant deux rendez-vous à Shanghai et à San Francisco.

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