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Juries announced for the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Press release   •   Oct 02, 2018 11:14 CEST

The World Photography Organisation is delighted to announce the juries of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s most diverse photography competition. To mark the occasion, a selection of entries to the Open competition are released, and the Chair of Judges offers advice to potential entrants.

The World Photography Organisation today also publishes the opening list of participating countries for 2019’s National Awards. A longstanding part of the Sony World Photography Awards, the National Awards provide the unique opportunity for entrants of all levels, from more than 50 countries, to be recognised in an internationally renowned photography competition.

Now in its 12th year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate the finest contemporary photography from the past 12 months across all genres of the medium. All entries are free at

Expert juries seeking the world’s finest contemporary photography

The 2019 juries specially selected by the World Photography Organisation are all experts working across the photographic industry. This year’s panel, who will judge series across 10 categories of the Professional competition, consists of industry leaders from across the world:

Erin Barnett, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, International Center of Photography (USA)

Brendan Embser, Editor, Aperture (USA)

Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator, Tate (UK)

Isabella van Marle, Head of Exhibitor Relations, Unseen (The Netherlands)

●Chair: Mike Trow, editor, photographer, producer (UK)

Chair Mike Trow comments:

“It is an honour to be asked to be Chair of Judges for the Sony World Photography Awards’ Professional competition. What makes the Sony World Photography Awards so exciting is the range of subjects and global reach of the stories and images selected. My advice for entrants is to choose your categories carefully and believe in your story. Show how you see the world, and avoid cliché. Photography techniques and styles are getting more adventurous and dynamic, so technical excellence is also necessary. To impress this world-leading panel of judges will take your best output, and the ability to edit your work so it is coherent, dynamic and beautiful.”

The Open competition, judged on a single image across 10 categories, will be chaired by Rebecca McClelland, Photography Director & Head of Art Production for Saatchi Saatchi & Prodigious (UK), who we are delighted will also chair the Youth and National Awards competitions.

This year’s Student competition will also be judged by 3 further leading judges from the international photography industry - Jason Baron, Creative Head of Photography, BBC Creative (UK); Bruno Bayley,Managing Editor, Magnum Photos (UK) and Jeff Hamada, Founder & Editor, BOOOOOOOM (Canada)

For full biographies of each judge please go to:

Inspiring images from across the Open competition

Following a record-breaking number of entries in 2018*, the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards have already received thousands of diverse and exceptional images from across the world. While the Professional competition is judged on a series of images, the new images released today are all entries from across the 10 categories of the Open competition. Judged upon a single image, the submissions include Marco Gaiotti’s (Italy) image of icebergs stuck in frozen water in Svalbard (Landscape category), Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra Saiz’s (Spain) image showing a diver in motion outside the Guggenheim Bilbao, Christy Lee Rogers’ (USA) and images of swirling images of people entangled in water (both Motion category).

Worldwide recognition for all levels through the National Awards and Sony Grant

Each year the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate and reward photographers of all abilities, recognizing stunning bodies of work in the Professional and Student competitions and the world’s best single images across the categories of the Open and Youth competitions. The National Awards celebrate local photographic talent from more than 50 countries. The range of eligible countries and prizes can be found below, with more being added in the coming months:

The Awards’ winning and shortlisted photographers can enjoy worldwide recognition and exposure in addition to cash prizes, the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony and inclusion in global exhibitions.

Award-winners can also secure a Sony Grant to fund future photographic projects. Multiple grants of $7,000 (USD) will be awarded to selected winners of the Professional competition and multiple grants of $3,500 (USD) will be given to selected shortlisted photographers in the Student competition to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

Forthcoming deadlines and announcements

The closing dates for the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards are:

●November 30, 2018 (13.00 GMT) – Student competition

●January 4, 2019 (13.00 GMT) – Open, Youth and National Award competitions

●January 11, 2019 (13.00 GMT) – Professional competition

The Open and Youth shortlist for the Awards will be announced on February 5, 2019. The Open and National Awards winners will be announced February 26, 2019. The Professional and Student competitions’ shortlist will be announced on April 2, 2019. The Photographer of the Year, Overall Open, Student, Youth and Professional category winners will be announced April 17, 2019. The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition will run from April 18 - May 6, 2019 at Somerset House, London.

For all press enquiries please contact:

Press Department, World Photography Organisation

+ 44 (0) 20 7886 3043 /



2018 SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS COMPETITIONS & CATEGORIES – see full category descriptions here

Professional - Judged on a body of work.

Categories: Architecture / Brief / Creative / Discovery / Documentary / Landscape / Natural World & Wildlife / Portraiture / Sport / Still Life

Open - Judged on a single shot.

Categories: Architecture / Culture (supported by Culture Trip) / Creative / Motion / Landscape / Natural World & Wildlife / Portraiture / Still Life / Street Photography / Travel (supported by Eurostar)

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

Student - For all photographers studying photography, a body of work responding to one brief on the theme ofEvolution”.Shortlisted photographers then submit a series of images responding to a second brief.

National Awards – Celebrating local photographic talent in more than 50 countries, judged upon a single image.

*The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards saw a record breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories.

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