Sarah Ahmad, a photographer from Rawalpindi in Pakistan, is the winner of the Campaign Award. Introduced this year, as part of the Sony World Photography Awards, the competition created a brief for amateur photographers to answer and it sought out one image which unites a global obsession with football and a passion for photography.
The winning image of a woman preparing a meal, with one foot placed on a football, is simply titled: ‘The Love of the Game: a cook, cleaner, mother….and an attacking midfielder.’
Delly Carr, one of the world’s leading sports photographers, and chair of the judging panel commented: “This photograph is so simple, yet it speaks volumes about the sport. The image exemplifies the fact that football is indeed the World Game, a sport built on passion and fanaticism. It also attempts to express that passion makes no discrimination against gender, age, nationality, or social class.”
On hearing the news, Sarah Ahmad, who only discovered her love of photography in 2006, said: “I pinched myself several times to see whether I was dreaming. When I realized it was not a dream I ran around and screamed. I think I scared the neighbours! I had imagined great things happening for me but nothing I imagined came close to something as amazing as winning this award.”
“The Campaign Award aims to seek out a single original image which captures the spirit of football in places where you might least expect it. This year’s winner has succeeded beautifully through her interpretation by taking us beyond the traditional boundaries of the sport,” commented Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe. “We were delighted by the enthusiastic response from talented individuals across the globe who submitted their inspiring images which reflect their passion for the game and it makes us proud to be able to nurture such wonderful talent in this competition.”
The judging panel, chaired by Delly Carr, included Shigeki Ishizuka, President of Digital Imaging Group at Sony Corporation; Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe; and James Kennedy, Brand Communications Director at Sony Europe.
In winning the award, Sarah received two VIP tickets to the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in Cannes, France (including flights and two nights’ accommodation in a luxury hotel on the famous Croisette); a Sony Alpha 350 DSLR camera and lens and will have the opportunity to be one of the photographers used in Sony’s forthcoming digital imaging FY09 campaign work, as well as receive two tickets to a South Africa World Cup game in 2010 (travel and accommodation included).
The winning photograph, along with the top 50 images entered to the competition, will be exhibited at Festival @ The Sony World Photography Awards in Cannes, April 2009
Further information about the Sony World Photography Awards can be found at www.worldphotographyawards.org