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Photographic artists shortlisted in the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards’ Professional competition for the world’s most powerful photo series

Press release   •   Mar 26, 2019 00:01 CET

Professional and Student shortlisted images now available at

●Record-breaking entries to these prestigious, global awards: Over 326,000 submissions across 4 competitions from 195 countries and territories

●Awards’ Student competition shortlist also revealed

Photographer of the Year, ten Professional category winners, and overall Open Youth and Student winners announced at London Awards ceremony on April 17, 2019

Showcasing exceptional series by the best artists working worldwide in photography, the World Photography Organisation today reveals the shortlisted photographers for the Professional competition of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

The Awards offer photographers unparalleled opportunity to showcase their art to a global audience, with past winning and shortlisted artists enjoying career-boosting benefits such as gallery representation, exhibitions and publishing deals. The 2019 shortlist presents a vibrant and diverse insight into photography today.

Specially selected by a panel of the world’s leading judges from academia, museums, publishing, festivals and the media, the judges have chosen a powerful range of cutting-edge series across ten diverse categories. Often taken from larger bodies of work, the Professional shortlist contains series of five to ten exceptional images. Each series demonstrate artistic prowess and expertise in photographic techniques, editing and visual storytelling, providing audiences with captivating stories about humanity and the contemporary world.

Today’s shortlisted artists offer their interpretations of the modern world in all its forms. Many tackle political issues: Daniel Ochoa de Olza’s (Spain) architectural images bring to light border wall prototypes currently in place in San Diego near the Mexico / US border, whereas Toby Binder’s (Germany) photo essay depicts the ubiquity of problems afflicting youth in Belfast, Ireland and the impact Brexit may have on the 1998 Peace Agreement. The beauty of the natural world and man’s effect upon it can be seen in Kieran Dodds’ (UK) aerial imagery of Ethiopia, highlighting the 95% loss of its native forests, and in the work of Leah Schretenthaler (USA), who uses traditional film and silver gelatin to shoot and print images of controversial infrastructure projects in Hawaii, which she then lasered out leaving scar-like blank spaces on the photographs.

Insights into lives and places that might otherwise be unknown are also shared: Alice Mann (South Africa) shows the unique and aspirational subculture surrounding all-female teams of drum majorettes, while Kohei Ueno (Japan) takes the viewer to the underwater world of competitive freediving and stunning portraits of the female boxers of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo are offered by Alessandro Grassani (Italy).

The success of those shortlisted is notable as the 2019 Professional competition received its highest number of entries to date, with submissions by artists from 161 countries as far afield as Gabon, Paraguay, and Cote D’Ivoire. This internationality is continued in the shortlist, with both emerging and established photographers recognised from 30 countries including St Kitts and Nevis, Finland Japan, Colombia and Iran.

All Professional shortlisted photographers will now go on to compete to become category winners, with the chance to be selected as Photographer of the Year winning$25,000 (USD). Second and third placings in each category will also be awarded on April 17 and their work will be shown at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London, before touring globally.

Student competition

The Student shortlist features bodies of work by ten students at leading higher education institutions from across the world. Responding to the theme of ‘Evolution’, shortlisted photographers come from a range of countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, Argentina and Canada.

All ten shortlisted photographers have won Sony Digital Imaging equipment and will be flown to London to attend the Awards ceremony on April 17, where the overall Student winner will be announced and will receive €30,000 (Euros) worth of Sony photography equipment for their institution.

In London, the ten students will take part in an intimate talk with Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient Nadav Kander and a portfolio review with 2019 Student competition judge Jason Baron (Creative Director of Photography, BBC Creative) and the World Photography Organisation. As well as providing various networking opportunities for the students and their tutors, each student will also be considered for the 2019 Student Sony Grant.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar. The Awards are now in their 12th year of partnership with headline sponsor Sony and consist of four competitions in total: Professional (for a body of works), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19-year olds).

Judging the Professional and Student shortlists

This year’s Professional judging was chaired by Mike Trow (Editor, Photographer, Consultant, UK), who comments: "The work in this year’s Professional shortlist provoked a lot of debate and interest amongst the jury, with interesting conceptual work and juxtapositioning of images to make new narratives, seen alongside more traditional storytelling. It is in some ways a more challenging and contentious year than ever before - which is a great thing, and important for pushing the boundaries of photography and to challenge the perceptions and expectations of the audience."

Erin Barnett (Director of Exhibitions and Collections, International Center of Photography, USA) remarked: “While I was not surprised by the quality of the images, I was delighted by the extensive range within each category. It was great to see photographers pushing boundaries and forcing me to re-evaluate my preconceived notions. It’s important to remember that powerful images shift our perspectives and teach us to see the world around us in new ways.”

Brendan Embser (Managing Editor, Aperture, USA) said: “The photographers we have selected who are part of the exhibition are the vanguard - they are the next generation.”

Emma Lewis (Judge and Assistant Curator, Tate, UK) commented: “I was impressed by the sensitivity and rigour of the documentary projects: interesting, often urgent, topics that were thoroughly researched and executed with great care to the subjects, as well as a distinctive conceptual approach.”

Liu Heung Shing (Founder, Shanghai Center of Photography, China)commented: “We have selected winners which exhibit the most attractive quality in photography - the ability to draw the viewers into their work.”

Isabella van Marle (Head of Artist & Gallery Relations, Unseen Amsterdam, The Netherlands) said:

“When reviewing work at the Sony World Photography Awards, I was immediately attracted to the different approaches within certain categories. I think everyone should visit the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition because it has a great diversity of work with some really clever and beautiful projects.”

This year’s Student competition was judged by global photography experts who have strong insight into emerging photography practise. The panel comprised of Jason Baron (Creative Director of Photography, BBC Creative), Bruno Bayley (Managing Editor, Magnum Photos) and Jeff Hamada (Founder & Editor, BOOOOOOOM).

Speaking on the quality of images, Jason Baron says: “What’s been so interesting to see in this year’s student competition is the range, variety and diversity of the images on show, not just in the subject matter, but in the genre of photography. Urban landscapes, lit portraiture, photo essays and still life to name but a few. It’s good to know that the future of all the different kinds of photography is safe in the hands of some great young talent.”
Commenting on this year’s Professional and Student competitions, Scott Gray (CEO, World Photography Organisation) notes: “The standard of entries to the Sony World Photography Awards continues to increase year on year. We are delighted to see such a wide range of ground-breaking bodies of work entered into this year’s Professional and Student competitions. The Awards’ provide these outstanding established and emerging photographers with a truly global platform to showcase and exhibit their work.”


All shortlisted and winning images will be exhibited as part of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London. This exhibition will include a dedicated section featuring specially selected works by the 2019 recipient of theOutstanding Contribution to Photography prize, the renowned artist Nadav Kander. The exhibition will run from April 18 until May 6, 2019 at Somerset House, London, before travelling globally to countries including Japan, Germany and Italy. London Exhibition tickets are available

The Awards’ overall winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on April 17.The Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, the Professional competitions’ category winners and the ten shortlisted Student entrants will all be flown to London to attend. Winners will also receive the latest Sony digital imaging equipment and will be included in the 2019 Awards' book.

For further information please contact:

Jill Cotton/Emma Double, World Photography Organisation / +44 (0) 20 7886 3043 / 3049

Notes to Editors

Further press information and all shortlisted Professional and Student competition images are available to download for publication at
The 2019 Awards received 326,997 entries across its 4 competitions (Professional, Open, Youth and Student)

The full list of Professional and Student shortlisted photographers is below.

About World Photography Organisation

The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives. Working across up to 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers as well as our industry-leading partners around the world. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of events including the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, and PHOTOFAIRS, leading international art fairs dedicated to photography.For more details see

About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, interactive entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $77 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. Sony Global Website:

Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation that is responsible for its imaging products and solutions businesses, from consumer camera, solutions with a focus on broadcast- and professional-use products, to medical business.

2019 Sony World Photography Awards SHORTLISTED PHOTOGRAPHERS

Rewarding the best body of work across 10 categories. Up to 10 photographers were shortlisted in each category. Category winners will be announced April 17, alongside the Photographer of the Year chosen from the ten category winners.

ArchitectureDavid Behar, American
Dimitri Bogachuk, Ukrainian
Peter Franck, German
Michael Najjar, German
Daniel Ochoa de Olza, Spanish
Felicia Simion, Romanian
Tuomas Uusheimo, Finnish
Stephan Zirwes, German

Brief (NEW for 2019)Toby Binder, German
Rebecca Fertinel, Belgian
Kacey Jeffers, Kittian and Nevisian
Alice Mann, South African
Christina Stohn, German
Edward Thompson, British
Zhipeng Zhu, China Mainland

CreativeDjeneba Aduayom, French
Allan Dransfield, British
Pol Kurucz, French
Marinka Masséus, Dutch
Leah Schretenthaler, American

DiscoveryKarina Bikbulatova, Russian
Jean-Marc Caimi & Valentina Piccinni, Italy
Boyuan Zhang, China Mainland

Documentary (NEW for 2019)Federico Borella, Italian
Mustafa Hassona, Palestinian
Andrew Kelly, Australian
Kyung-Hoon Kim, South Korean
Hashem Shakeri, Iranian
Brent Stirton, South African

LandscapeImma Barrera, American
Kieran Dodds, British
Catherine Hyland, British
Marco Kesseler, British
Yan Wang Preston, British

Natural World and WildlifeJasper Doest, Dutch
Liang Fu, China Mainland
Maela Ohana, French
Alain Schroeder, Belgian
Christian Vizl, Mexican

Portraiture Scarlett Coten, French
Massimo Giovannini, Italian
Álvaro Laiz, Spanish
Marta Moreiras, Spanish
Laetitia Vançon, French
Sadegh Zabbah, Iranian

SportAlain Schroeder, Belgian
Chris Donovan, Canadian
Sigurd Fandango, Norwegian
Filippo Gobbato, Italian
Alessandro Grassani, Italian
Trent Mitchell, Australian
Thomas Nielsen, Danish
Jaime Otoniel Perez Munevar, Colombian
Kohei Ueno, Japanese

Still LifePeter M. Madsen, Danish
Nicolas Gaspardel & Pauline Baert, French
Kui Su, China Mainland
Cletus Nelson Nwadike, Swedish
Yiming Zhang, China Mainland
Stefanie Dollhopf, German

Open to all students worldwide studying photography. The Student Photographer of the Year will be announced April 17.

Name, University, Country

Nur Hidayati Binti Abd. Rahim, Faculty Of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia
Carla Meyer-Kleynhans,
Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Sounak Das,
Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Bangladesh
Sergi Villanueva,
Universidad Jaume I, SpainLéonie Synnott-Bruson, College de Matane, Canada
Sol Leonardi,
TFP/Motivarte, Argentina
Tobias Kobborg Kristensen,
Danish School of Media and Journalism, Denmark
Sam Delaware, Pacific Union College, USA
Joel Davies,
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK

Cassidy Power, University of Auckland - Elam, New Zealand

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, interactive entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $77 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. Sony Global Web Site: